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NBD: Fretless P-bass! (plus a string question)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by strost, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. strost


    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    So I got this beauty today:




    So far everything seems great - neck is straight, good action, and it sounds perfect to my ears. And the condition is top notch for a 37 year old bass.

    Only problem is that it came with rounds (even though the seller indicated that it only wore flats). I don't even want to play it with rounds so I need to replace those ASAP.

    So what flats should I buy for it?

  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Labella white tapewounds.
  3. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005
    I can't help you with strings (Labella's I guess), but I had to tell you that I love that bass.

    L-O-V-E it.

    That is all.
  4. MD


    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Nice score.
    Do you want flats for their tone/feel, or to protect the lovely slab of maple?
  5. roskuski


    Oct 25, 2007
    I use Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats on mine. To me they make it sound like a P-bass from the 70's :)
    Think Frampton Comes Alive. I tried Fender tapewounds and they just did not do it for me.

    Mine also has a maple fingerboard.
  6. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Cool bass. Would love a Precision fretless. Hope it works well for you.
  7. Interius


    Sep 27, 2012
    Upon seeing this, my middle name suddenly changed itself to Jealous... :)
  8. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    Lovely. The brown finish really sets off the maple neck. Is that the original finish. For years, I used nylon tape wounds on mine, don't recall the manufacturer (this was the 70s) but if you want a more roundwound sound, try d'Adarrio chromes.

    Here's my 71 ImageUploadedByTalkBass1389233085.804596.
  9. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Hmm...that bass looks a little green.

    Oh, nevermind, it's just me.

    Ha ha. Seriously, Thomastik Infeld Jazz flats would be the rolls royce of flats for that bass. TI flats flat out SING and have a nice woody overtones with a strong midrange.

    But if the TI's are too spendy and their tension a tad too noodley, then you would have a hard time going wrong with good ole D'Addario Chromes. Priced right, goldilocks just right "normal tension", and nice bright semi-metallic singing tone with great mids.

    And again that is a fricking GORGEOUS bass! :)
  10. strost


    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Both. I would get flats even if it were ebony.
  11. strost


    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Thanks all. I am lucky boy.

    btw I am amazed at how light this is. I'd guess 8 or 8.5. Still feels weird to me as my main bass is 10.5.

    As for strings, I am going for woody tone.

    Not sure I wanna do the TIs. I know I should but I've never been a big string guy. I've bought 2 other used basses and never changed the strings. If this had flats, I'd just keep them.
  12. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Just a BassGuy! Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Sadowsky (1st preference) or Chromes... Lots of m'wah and overtones. TI's were too floppy for me - and I gave them a year to grow on me. The Sadowsky's need a bit of a break-in, like all flats, but they do deliver the goods! I've used them for well over 5 years now, perhaps 7 even, and they just get smoother and better sounding...

    That IS a gorgeous, beautiful, sexy P-Bass!
  13. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    TIs really do sing on fretless, but the new LaBella "white" (actually clear) tapewounds have an attack/decay that more closely approximates an upright bass. They are smoother and slicker than the TIs as well (and a bit cheaper).

    That's a beautiful bass, congrats!


    Dec 12, 2013
    I've said it a thousand times, tape wound bass strings will change your life. I have been using the D'addario ETB92's for a while but the next set will be the La Bella white tape wounds. Aside from killer tone and buttery play-ability, they last and last. There is almost no tonal change from a new set to a set that is four months old, IMO.
  15. I have 3 basses with black tapes -Fender , Rotosound and DR Black Beauties and plan to try the La Bella whites next. Everyone says they are great and I think would look good on this bass as well . Always liked the walnut Fender basses and Strats as well .
  16. strost


    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Here is a pic with the case (original but pretty rough). I need a new case if I plan to take it out of my house.

  17. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Wow that is frickin awesome. I'm jealous. :)
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Man is that sweet!!!!! she is screaming I mean screaming for some Labella Jamerson's
  19. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    That's a beauty!

    I use TI's on all my fretted P basses but a recently acquired Jazz bass came with GHS 3025 Precision Flats and they are very nice for the mwah sound. These are very light strings though. This bass is only visiting here for a couple days but I like these strings enough that I am going to use them on a fretless I am building for myself.
  20. strost


    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    So I picked up a set of Chromes at the local shop. So far I am finding them a bit metallic sounding. Will that go away?

    I might swap them for the old Fender flats I have on my Fretless Jazz.

    I think I just don't like new strings.

    Maybe I'll try Labellas (tapewound) next if I can't get these to work.