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Please help me choose a fretless bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JayAmel, Jan 9, 2003.


  1. Conklin Groove Tools 4-string (1230 EUR)

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  2. Cort Curbow 44 (556 EUR)

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  3. Fender MIM Jazz Bass (710 EUR)

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  4. Warwick Corvette Active (1017 EUR)

    6 vote(s)
    31.6%
  5. Carrot (aka "Other") - Please specify

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Hi,

    To complete my collection, I think I'm gonna get a fretless.

    What I like in fretless basses is their "lyrical singing". You know, something like Pino Palladino in the Paul Young years...

    I don't really care whether the bass is active or passive, and I will essentially use it in my recording studio.

    I don't want something "budget" (low-end), but I don't want a very expensive bass either (the StingRay, at 2000 EUR, is forbidden here :D ).

    I have made a pre-selection of 4 models. By strict intuition, I'd go with the Conklin Groove Tools, but I'd like to get your opinions. Any other suggestions are welcome.

    Ah, just one last info : I have no way to test these basses before purchase.

    Many thanks to all !
     
  2. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Chicago
    Someone will probably shoot me down for this, but I say, Carvin. A carvin four string will probably put you back a less than a warwick, but more than the others. In looking for my frettless, I tried out all the basses you mentioned except the grove tools frettless, and I've played the fretted version and it's a good instrument, but it didn't impress me much. You can select the finish/color, pickup configuration, wood, scale length, lined/unlined/inlaid fingerboard, and hardware finish and other features. They have great mwah, and construction that is second to none. I am not sure what the euro comparison will be, but I got a lb75 5 string neck-through, with active electronics and a mm/j pickup configuration, in a greenburst finish for 880 dollars.
    Check out www.carvin.com
     
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Check out the other Cort, the Artisan B4FL.
     
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    What Brad said. The Artisan B4FL is a killer fretless for the price.
     
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Look at Deans. I am very very happy with my Korean Dean Edge 5, it is a wonderful bass. The new ones are great, too, and you can get nice quilt tops for not a big investment. If your local dealers have them, check out the Czech made Deans. Made side by side with Spectors using many of the same parts they are very impressive, and modestly priced.
     
  6. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    MIM Jazz cost 710E? Dang. That's a lot of money.
     
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I made myself a really wonderful fretless out of a Squier Precision 5 Special.

    Found a nice new one on sale for about $180 US.

    The conversion was quite easy although I've been doing woodworking projects and adjusting instruments for many years.

    Don't let the low price fool you either. A friend that loves his Groove Tools 7 string can't believe what a great bass this one is.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I thought that US dollars to euros were about at an equal level right now, like $1 US was about 0.92 euros. If that's still the case, 1230 euros for the Groove Tools is horribly overpriced, and 1017 for the Corvette is fairly overpriced as well.
     
  9. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    You're right, USD and EUR are approximately equal. By these days EUR is superior, but that kind of thing is subject to many variations...

    This is an opportunity to say that I believe that most of you American people don't realize that in Europe, the price of musical instruments goes from 1,5 to 2 times the price in the USA (and sometimes even more). For example I paid my StingRay 5 2325 EUR, and my Ampeg B-100R 950 EUR. I let you compare with US prices.

    That's one of the reasons why there are very few Laklands, Sadowskys, MTD's, etc. here...
     
  10. Demonfish22

    Demonfish22

    Jul 31, 2002
    Bath, England
    I agree with Brad. The Cort Artisan B4FL is what I'm playing now, ad I don't think I've ever played a nicer bass - at least not in the same price bracket. I've played my friends (fretted) Jazz, and I, personally, don't much like it.

    Between the Curbow and Artisan, there are a few differences - the Artisan has active circuitry and two pick-ups, and I reckon it's definitely worth having them. The tone you get with the active circuit is unbelievably rich and deep, and the variation you can get between the two pick-ups is great. Also, aesthetically, the Curbow looks wierd - it kinda looks like it's got some kind of tumor, and it's not even made of real wood. The prices are similar, so it just comes down to which one you like best.

    My local guitar shop has a £1400 warwick, which I've played, and personally, I prefer my Cort B4FL (£500).

    Still, it's your choice.
     
  11. Curbow

    Curbow

    Aug 1, 2002
    Tumer, My God Man!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    :D :D :D
     
  13. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Jaylan, I'm going to give you another option: Esh basses.

    They have atleast couple models around 1000-1200e for 4-string fretless, for example the Notorious II which is Jazz-styled. They also are handmade in Germany and I hear they have excellent workmanship.
     
  14. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    You also might want to call or email Gard or someone at Bass Central, or similar places that ship internationally, and find out what the shipping/custom costs will be. Even if they are high, the total cost will probably be less than the cost of some of the basses there.