NBD: Fretless P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bisounourse, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    Yesterday I found a fretless P Bass on the local equivalent of Craigslist ((translated)it is called 'Second Hand Market Place').

    Apparantly it is a Hohner body with a fretless neck on it; I went to the sellers place to have a look at it (not really with the intention to buy it)

    First I played it unplugged and then it already started singing; it played good and the response and sustain was very even. Then I plugged it in (amp settings flat) and then it got me really hooked; a warm sound with a little bit of 'oompf'... Played a few scales, a few walking bass lines, some Jamerson things, a few Jazz standards... and BAM, I fell in love.

    It has a very smooth and comfortable neck (I think it is an Allparts neck); wide and rather thin (front to back) with a soft (satin?) finish on the back of the neck and a very dark fretboard (but I don't know if it's ebony or Rosewood; it looks almost black and it is very shiny, almost plastic like, if someone can chime in?).

    Pickup is great: warm, smooth, even, articulate (no need in changing pups). Pots are fine; just the tiniest hint of scratching when turning the volume pot up (second time I turned the volume knob, scratching was gone).

    Body: small traces of use (if (and I say if) it is a Hohner, it would be a '70ies or '80ies body, they were one of those 'lawsuit' firms (correct me if I'm wrong)), but was really taken care of, no buckle rash, no large dents of scratches, fairly light.

    Tuners: shiny and new. No brand visible, but they do their job and keep the strings in tune; after about 2 hours of playing strings were slightly off (on my tuner; needle was still near the middle, but just a fraction of).

    Only cons: bass is a bit neck heavy (which can be fixed with a decent strap) and I don't like the colour of the bass (but it will grow on me, I'm sure).

    But the biggest pro: I got home plugged it in in my rig, tuned it, started playing and kept on playing and playing with a huge, big and silly smile on my face. Even after the neighbours knocked on the wall, I kept on playing unplugged. :smug:

    In short: it is not a high-end bass, but it is a great player and a keeper.

    And one thing I'd like to ask some help; it is strung with rounds for the moment (I think Rotosound, looking at the silk (red), and they feel like Roto's I have on another bass). I like the sound of it, but I'm afraid it will chew the fretboard (there are already signs of (very minor) denting visible from the previous owner). Can anybody recomend me flats that will have about the same tonal range as those roto's? (I use LaBella's on other basses, but they will be a bit too 'thudy' I think) Or is it not that big of a deal?

    And because no pics, no bass, here are some (taken from the saleswebsite, need to make pics at home if someone is interested).

    Attached Files:

  2. jay tay

    jay tay

    Aug 12, 2009
    Manchester UK
    great find, I wouldn't worry about flats, it looks like it's been epoxy coated, or similar, so it should hold up to wear!
  3. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    Could be an ebonol fretboard. You should be okay with rounds aa long as you don't pull strings for vibrato.
  4. Five String

    Five String Supporting Member

    Try Rotosound flats. I really like 'em. Can't figure out why people buy things like Alembics when you can get great finds like this one. My Squier VM lined fretless jazz was $200 with case, and I love it.
  5. macmanlou

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

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    I think you'd be very happy with TI Jazz flats. Sound and feel great on fretless. They are expensive, but they last for years.

    LaBella white tapewounds are surprising bright, too.