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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Classical_Thump, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    Ok, so over the past few months I have been on a broad search for a new bass. I've come to the conclusion that I would like to get a 5-string (EADGC rather than the BEADG), which would also be fretless (unlined). I'm looking for a bass with really great fretless tone like Jaco that can cut through one to two distorted guitars, but I also would like to have tonal options to go to a thick and fat- bassy tone for walking as well as blues or a reggae feel tune. I play a lot of jazz as well as fusion (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Jaco, etc.) so I need a bass that can give me killer tone but also that has really great playability so I can pull off all those fast runs and odd meters. I will spend up to $2500, put not much more, so I was just wondering what bass would you reccomend for my specific criteria? Thanks guys- all replies are a big help.
  2. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Lots of options in your price range. If you want custom, there's plenty of info to be found with the search function.

    If you don't want to quite go full-out custom, Carvin is pretty awesome. A B5 fretless would do what you mentioned.
  3. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    If you dig Jaco's tone I don't see how you could go wrong with a J bass. Although I haven't seen many that are unlined.
  4. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    Well I have a Carvin 4-string now that is amazing. I am probably going to go with another custom Carvin 5 but I was just trying to find some other options that I had. thanks (ps- jbass is a little "boring" for the band ive been playing in)
  5. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    The two I would look at would be the Pedulla Pentabuzz or an F bass Frettless, I'm not sure if you can find them new in that range, but pretty close to 2500 for sure, and I've seen both used for under 1800. The Zons are pretty good too, but the F and Pedulla are pretty much the standreds in the Frettless bussiness. Most studio guys have one or the other.
  6. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I'd look at Zon, Hanewinckel, Brubaker, maybe even MTD. Or you could save a lot of bucks and go for a Lakland Skyline 55-02.


  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Check out Zon and FBasses. From what I've heard, the best playability in the business comes from these guys, as well as a *really* spankin' fretless sound.
  8. Conklin, Bee, Nordstrand... man, there are so many great options out there! remember that the sound is in your hands more than it is in the pickups and the woods.

    of course, it's tough to go wrong with a nice J-Bass!

  9. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    I"ll put in a vote for Nordstrand basses :) I've yet to find out for myself though :bag:

  10. trust me, Cherns, you're going to flip!


    from the lows,

  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Another vote for a Zon. I have a Sonus Custom fretless 5, and it has the Jaco tone in spades, is capable of the thick, bassy tone you describe, and a bunch of other tones as well.

    I have never played a Nordstrand fretless, but Carey is one of the best builders out there. I am sure it would rock. I know my Nordstrand fretted does.
  12. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Zon and Nordstrand are both great (and logical) 1st choices when looking for a fretless. I'll also recommend FBB ... just got a fretless 6 that is amazingand I couldn't be happier. The only problem there is that Matt Schmill is really reducing his output for the balance of the year as he relocates the business and makes some design changes. However, he may have some stuff still available .... great basses and relatively reasonable prices :cool:
  13. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    Thanks a lot guys, I going to check up on all the basses you guys mentioned. Hopefully I can find some in my price range. Thanks and keep em comin!
  14. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.

    I keep posting this link, but I can't help it. His product and prices are way too good to overlook.
    Besides, after the way Chris took care of me; he deserves the promotion.
  15. Chris is a great guy and his work is top notch!
  16. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    My pentabuzz rocks. I do like zon fretlesses as well,have yet to play an F fretless. Although I dug the MTD fretless I had for a second, I think the zon and penta were better. Something about the pentabuzz board and the zon neck. Funny, didn't like the modulus fretlesses.....
  17. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    The Steambaughs look pretty cool, I wonder if you can pick any custom options you want or if there are set limits.
  18. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    Call Chris and talk to him. You will be very surprised at how many standard options there are. I've looked at some other custom shops where the options alone added up to the total cost of my bass. And I mean only the options which match the specs of my bass.

    Furthermore, we discussed neck dimensions as well as numerous electronics, hardware, finish and inlay options not to mention tons of wood selections.

    One more thing...he answered all of my questions with patience and gave me alot of excellent advise. The entire process was a pleasure.

    Seriously, you should call him.

    Good luck and have fun in your quest! :hyper:


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