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Neuser Fretless System bridge?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adouglas, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Has anyone seen or tried this gadget?


    The website is not all that enlightening...the PDF that's available there is more informative.


    Apparently it's an individual-string type bridge (i.e. one bridge unit for each string...you install five of them for a five-string bass) that has some sort of mechanism inside it. You slide the cover and it alters the sound, simulating a fretless. The sound clip on the site is fairly convincing.

    I'm guessing that what it does is allow the string to vibrate across the bridge fulcrum point when engaged, sort of sitar-like.

    Allparts carries them.

    No way will this ever sound like a real fretless, but it does sound pretty cool (at least the clip sounds cool). I do play fretless somewhat, but only on a few songs...the idea of not having to switch instruments (and carry an extra bass) is appealing.
  2. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004
    It runs cross-grain with my theory that more gear is better though :D.
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    It sounds fairly convincing - except for slides. You can't simulate the smooth slides of a fretless with that device at all. Or vibrato. Only the tone itself.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    True, and a fake fretless will never sound as good as the real thing.

    IMO, it sounds great if you're not sliding and really worried about intonation, but try being perfect on an upright bass, then complain ;)... Honestly, you can hear the frets, sliding up and down happens in perfect half steps. Can't do that on a fretless.

    I'm not big on things that simulate other things. IMO it's all technique and gear, and some effects.
  5. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Sure you can do vibrato! Guitar style, pull the string up and down.

    Heck, I think the concept is pretty cool. Only problem I find is that it might dampen harmonics pretty bad. That and it's not actually fretless. Neuser's advertisement is a bid of a farce, "Learn how to play fretless in one day!" Uh, no.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Why is the black so much cheaper than chrome and gold? Shouldn't it be much closer?
  7. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Sure, except it isn't true vibrato because it only goes up in pitch, then back to the original pitch. True vibrato, which you can do on fretless, goes both up and down in pitch.
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Unless you do the vibrato where you stretch the string towards and away fromthe headstock. True vibrato.
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Where do you see pricing? Is it one of the "red X" boxes I am getting onscreen?
  10. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Um....check the Allparts bridge page. The three versions have a spread of $10-20 between them.

    I agree about the limitations vis a vis a real fretless, and about the lame advertising claim. But for certain requirements it could work well...There are two or maybe three songs in my band's gig list that I use fretless on...so I have to lug a second instrument that I only get to use for maybe ten minutes on a given night, plus I have to swap instruments in the middle of the set, etc. etc.

    In a perfect world the fretless wins every time, of course. But it would be cool to get some of the vibe easily.

    Note also that there are some interesting possibilities raised by the ability to switch any individual string to "fretless" on demand, even in the middle of a song.

    I just wonder if it functions well as a bridge.
  11. Daemond


    Jun 18, 2010
    There is a demonstration video of the NFS bridge available in YouTube. Check it out to hear the difference in sound and see how the thing works in practice. Here's the link:

    Neuser Fretless System bass solo demonstration
  12. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I like it!! In the context of a gig with other instruments playing I think it would sound great. I would always opt for the real thing recording.
  13. Bump....anyone know where I can get these? I'm looking at a Cliff Bordwell fanned 7, so there's a good chance I'll need individual bridge pieces (or pay a little to get one machined). I have plenty o' fretli, but it would be nice if I could get a pseudo fretless sound.
  14. BUMP!! I've searched at the allparts but NFS was no longer listed..
    where can I found them?
  15. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Interesting, the clip sounds pretty cool. If my main bass already had individual bridge pieces I would probably do a swap like that. Definatly not the real thing but better tone than I've heard on a lot fretless basses. I'm not a star fretless player by any means but I bet I could pull off a few tunes if I needed to with one of those.