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opinons in fretless components...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by adrian garcia, Mar 2, 2003.


  1. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    I am going thru a phase... i am keeping the exotic boutique basses i own-- the Roscoe 6 and th F bass 5- but putting together a 70 style jazz 5 has awakened more desire!!:rolleyes:
    so i am seriously considering putting together a fretless Jazz 5-
    two questions-
    1- have any of you had any experience with stabilized wood fingerboards? i want the fingerboard to be very hard and resilient-

    2- I am trying the j retro ont the 70s fretted- what would you use on fretless? bartolini? emg? i am trying to nail that j sound ( read, Jaco ) for all the newfangled basses out there- Jaco's tone on a J bass is unsurpassed- i know, i know, it was in his fingers.... but i realyl like that back pickup j sound- for the record the fretted has Dimarzio ultra j's-
    sorry if this has been discussed before- thanks for your help again-- peace, A.
     
  2. Adrian, you could go with stabilized wood but it's gonna be hard to find except from Curbow. I've noodled briefly on BassMonkee's Curbow fretless 8 and it was very nice. My choice would be to go with ebony. You won't find a more resilient natural wood and you could easily have Warmoth put together the neck of your dreams for a J. Fer instance, I just saw an ebony/ebony neck in the thrift shop. Prettiest neck ever!!

    Don't discount the J-retro in a fretless. The boys over on the Dudepit shout about how good they are for the growl. I also wouldn't discount how much Jaco's rig (Acoustic 360's) helped with his tone. That said, I think the J-retro will get you closer than most anything else.
     
  3. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    well- THAt's goo to hear , because i believe i just became a j retro dealer!
    if it doesnt work out- i will make bids on that Wishy fretless!!:eek: .. NOT!!!
     
  4. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    this is the body i was looking at - dont know if its still there...
    [​IMG]
    i didnt see an ebony/ebony neck for a 5 string- i dont know if id go with the Warmoth neck- i hear the steel rods are heavy- lots of choices... maybe ebony with the coating Jaco used- some type of super hard epoxy or something- what do i know??
     
  5. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    My vote would be to go passive to get the Jaco sound....he did ;)

    Otherwise, an all Bartolini setup would be very warm and musical and in the same vein that you're trying to get at, IMO.

    I've never heard a J-Retro so I don't know what the difference would be with that.

    :bassist:
     
  6. bassmanjones

    bassmanjones

    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Oh yeah, if you're going for Ebony, you don't really need an epoxy coating for protection or anything. If you just want the epoxy for the sound then you can choose any wood type to be the fingerboard (mostly) and just add epoxy and be good to go.
     
  7. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    whatever pre i go with- it will have a passive switch with passive tone- if i go with reg wood as opposed to stabilized- it will surely be ebony.
     
  8. How is it that you've become a J-retro dealer? I thought that was the sole domain of Vintage Bass Trading Co. and Steve Barr. :confused:
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The two basses I have that nail the Jaco sound are my Zon Legacy Standard with phenolic fretboard. The other is my Brubaker Custom with Ebony board with gloss finish. Both are Bart pickups and preamps and I just solo the bridge pickups.
     
  10. I've got a j-retro in a jazz, cant be beat!
     
  11. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    i killed Steve and now i have them!!:)
    Steve is the distributor- i will be a dealer
    im thinking barts on the fretless, brad
     
  12. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Adrian,

    I have a J-Retro in a bass that Steve Barr put together for me. It is a jazz 4 with a Moses neck. The J-Retro is a very good preamp and I'm planning on using one on a fretless that I'm planning to build using another Moses neck.

    Jaco's tone was really in his hands. I've owned a lot of fretless basses and I always sound like me. I owned one of the Fender Jaco production basses and, although it sounded great, it sounded less like Jaco than my Pedulla Hexabuzz. So my experience is that active basses are just as likely to help you get that tone you are looking for.

    The J-Retro can also be used in passive mode.

    Chuck
     
  13. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    Adrian, for fingerboard woods, if you don't go with the Ebony( I wouldn't get the ebony, hate it on fretless) or the stabelized wood which I'm sure you know you can get from gallery hardwoods(this is what Roscoe uses and I think it's incredible for fretless) I would go for jatoba(Brazilian cherry). It's an extremely hard wood, harder than ebony, but has a warmer sound with great singing sustain and a very present midrange that suits fretless well. Very Jaco like. Most people use it for hardwood flooring but I've played it on a bass or two and it was great. I'm currently building a bass and will be using it.
     
  14. Ham, pretty sure it's on the up-and-up. Adrian's a good guy, and while Steve is the sole importer, he does have official dealers as well, BassNW being the only other current one as I recall.

    mike
     
  15. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    That's because you're confusing "Dealer" and "Distributor" Hambone.

    I am the exclusive US importer and distributor of the J-Retro and related products made by John East in the UK and up until now have been selling them direct as well as having two dealers (R-2 Musical in NYC & Bass Northwest in Seattle).

    They're really taking off and it's becoming hard to keep up with the demand so I'm opening up the distribution channels a bit this year and adding a few (very few) retailers around the country and I've asked Adrian to become the 3rd dealer here in the US. I will still continue to sell them myself to my established customer base in the interim but I will eventually just be the distributer selling to my network of retailers and discontinue selling them direct myself.

    We're working on expanding the product lines as well as taking custom orders for non-production and OEM units so I will handle those myself (J-Retro Custom Shop of sorts) while I let the dealer network market the production models.

    So I was very pleased to offer Adrian a dealership and even more please that he accepted!
     
  16. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    ps: Adrian,

    Have you considered either a Moses or Stautus graphite neck?
     
  17. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    exactly what i was going to say. i highly recommend the moses neck, with the stabilized rosewood board. and i personally wouldn't go with barts, just cos i don't feel like they have that nasal quality that is characteristic of the 'jaco tone.' i'd go for some aeros or duncans personally.
     
  18. I switch back and forth between a fretless MTD with a superior grade of ebony fingerboard, and a pentabuzz with the dipped in plastic stuff. I love them both, but if I were to have only one, it would be ebony. Of course the premium stuff Mike T. uses is very different from the lower grades, which is softer. I like the organic feel and sound of ebony, and the epoxy sounds and feels a bit glassy and harsh to me. I can get more mwah than I want with either of them, depending on setup and how much mids I boost.

    I had a moses neck jazz and got rid of it. It felt dead compared to a good wood neck.

    It takes a really well made neck and setup to get consistent fretless tone all the way up and down without any sourness (which I believe equates to fret buzz).

    I have humcancelling Barts on my fretlesses, and I am happy with them. I could understand why you might want a more traditional single coil, though to me the difference is more than offset by the absence of hum in any setting.

    I would prefer the J-Retro to the Bart preamp, it's a fine unit and has a bypass, though you cannot fine tune the pickup blend in passive mode. I'm not sure if there is really a reason to use passive mode with these great preamps.

    I tried for a while fooling with parts fretlesses, and never got it close to right. The total package you get with a fretless from Pedulla or MTD or Sadowsky or Lakland (USA) or even a Stingray may work better and cost you less in the long run. I'm finding that it's the small details that count with fretless.

    Aloha,

    Jonathan
     
  19. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    Jonathan,

    Bro...Dan loves your old Moses/'62 RI Jazz bro...that bass rocked...shoulda kept it myself for one reason. Everyone needs 1 graphite necked bass in extrame humidity conditions...you on Maui in a friggin rainforest and me out here in the Arizona desert where I hear my necks tweaking in the dry air.

    Adrian's in Vegas and should have one stable (eg: graphite composite) neck.

    If not a Moses then a Status but they are really two different animals.
     
  20. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    Dude, youre up late-
    i was at the Moses site and though intriguing, the prices were pretty high for something im not sure is the answer for me- add $150 for diamondwood or phenolwood-
    I managed to swindle Keith Roscoe out of a diamondwood fretboard to use on this fretless. I am not sure if USA Custom Guitars want to experiment with it , i will ask today. I was a Modulus endorser and though very stable ( the reason i got one was i was on the road all over the world- and my neck thru Toby would freak) the tone lacked depth to me -
    I was thinking about bart 9js on this bass, i dont need the hum and i have the dimarzios on the fretted- i dunno, maybe i should use dimarzios here again.
    i hate paying extra $ just to paint the peghead black, though- and the extra wait - i sound like a cheap bastard, dont i?