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Opinions on this Fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickbass, Jun 19, 2001.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Never having been a fretless player, wondered what anyone thought of this bass.


    It's not used but is being sold for $525 because it has a small blemish near the bridge, so I guess the luthier (the seller) couldn't deliver it to the customer. Specs are -

    - Curly maple over Spanish cedar (that's a new one on me)
    - 5 piece birdseye maple/bubinga neck
    - Ebony board with pear wood lines
    - 35", Kahler bridge, Gotoh tuners
    - EMG LJ5 and Bart 59JL passive pups

    Good deal or not? (Where's Brad?)
  2. Hey Rick, the Spanish Cedar went right over my head too, but unless it sounds like droppings, I'd say jump on it. The wings are a little unusual, but I could live with them. Small blemish near the bridge?
    Would you turn down Heather Locklear if she had a small blemish near her bridge?

    Mike J.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Michael - I don't want it now, but I can see the day coming that I'll go fretless, (too much jazz getting into our sets not to do so). For the present, my GAS money is tied up in a custom.

    But, I figured I'd get some education on the specie in the meantime. Never can know too much about this stuff. ;)
  4. Rick, all kidding aside, the specs on that bass pretty much point to a very good sounding instrument. I'm
    just taking a guess, but I'd say Cedar would fall somewhere near the sound of Ash. For $525.00 it seems like an excellent deal.

    Mike J.
  5. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    Roscoe uses Spanish Cedar for his bass bodies. They certainly sound good!

  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    That's a Matt Schmill (schill?) bass...that's the dude who has the bass review index. Supposedly AMAZING basses, despite the strange looks. If I knew where it was...i'd hop on it ASAP!

    New I think they're well over $1500. He's definitely a Dave Pushic and Tim Salas...supposedly killer instruments for cheap, because they 1) dont advertise, 2) work alone, and 3) aren't well known enough to charge.

    However, Salas is slowly raising prices a lot. :(

    BTW, like was already noted, Roscoe uses Spanish Cedar on a lot of their basses...it would be a great wood for fretless. It has a great woody tone, like an acoustic.

    EDIT: hop, not hope!
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I agree, Angus...and it definitely looks like one of Matt's basses. Keith Roscoe does use Spanish Cedar and it sounds very good. That price is a bargain, Rick.

    Let's see...do I need a third fretless?


    Funny how a strange looking bass doesn't look quite as strange when it has killer sound. With this composition and what I've heard of Matt I'd think it should be a winner.
  8. If it sounds as cool as it looks, I'd buy it in a flash...
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    can you go out and play it? that's how i figure out if a bass sounds good or not.
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Angus and Brad are correct. It is a Schmill. I guess the Pedulla-like horns are part of his signature? It's his bass of the month if anyone is interested in buying it. He has more details and pics available through his website, he says.

    That Spanish cedar is inexpensive, from what I've found. It's usually used on necks but pops up once in a while on Spanish guitar backs. Actually, it doesn't come from Spain but from Mexico to Argentina. Since Angus and Jeff say Roscoe uses it, it must be good stuff. All the other components would leave me to believe it has every reason to sound good. Hopefully, he'll have more blems when I'm ready. If they don't play/sound good, I imagine he would take returns.

    I guess the scent would be the thing to get used to. It's most common use is cigar humidors. Sure wouldn't have to worry about moths at outdoor night gigs :D
  11. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Eye of the beholder I guess. I'd be afraid of breakin'
    off them horns. Pedulla-esque, like you said. Maybe
    with a touch of Dali? No doubt it's balanced. French
    curves and a few art classes can be a dangerous
    thang :( .
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The horns do get thin, don't they? For that price, if the looks appeal to you, I think it's a bargain.
  13. Hi Rickbass1. How's things?

    Hmm. Not for me, this one. It looks sorta...well...OK but...........And I, too, would be (very) affraid of the horns breaking.

    What does it sound like? Have you got $525 to spare? If so can you send some to me instead, please!?!?!?

  14. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I don't think can go wrong for the money. The price of the parts alone would cost you more than that bass. I think it looks alittle like a Carl Thompson.
  15. Seems like a bass I wouldn't mind buying.. especially for a price like that.
  16. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    anyone got that url?
    i suppose it's long gone, but that's just what i'm shopping for!
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    xush - I'm surprised - It was his June Bass of the Month but he extended it to July. Just scroll down past the July Bass of the Month. The url is http://eksl.cs.umass.edu/~schmill/fbb/pages/

    Let us know if it really is a winner. (His fretted bass for July doesn't sound like any slouch either, except that the cocobolo fingerboard either isn't much of a piece of cocobolo or else the digital camera didn't do it justice).
  18. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    thanks very much for the link, i'm on it...
  19. As the owner of one of Matt's 6-string fretless' lemme shove in a good word for his work... AWSUM!
    Mine is #20 under the 'In use' section of his site. It's been my mainstay since I aquired it in February. Very playable, plenty of growl and mwah and I'm in love with it. Concerning the fretless 5'er he has for sale, if I may be permitted a Buellerism, 'If you have the means, I'd highly recommend one.'

    On his site he has sound files of him playing some of his basses. That might give you some idea of how they sound.

    But email him if you have questions. Matt's a great guy to deal with.
  20. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    this one?
    Curly maple top, honduras mahogany back
    5 piece maple/bloodwood/mahogany neck, 35" scale lined fretless ebony fingerboard
    abablone octave markers
    6 string fretless B-E-A-D-G-C
    Bartolini P56 pickups
    Chrome ABM bridge, gotoh tuners

    wow! very nice.
    I'm talking with matt today about taking that 5f off his hands. he says the neck is a little 'thick'. Any comments on yours?
    How 'bout the Mwah factor, any comparisons? ( i know that's pretty subjective , but "pedulla-ish? fendery(hope not)", anything might help...

    thanks for the reply john

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