Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Questions about Fretlesses.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Chris Brodowski, Nov 28, 2001.


  1. Hi, just got some questions about fretlesses. I have never played one, but I have heard them and think some of them sound amazing (when played well). My question is this: What type of body wood/pickup combination would you want for one? I'll explain if that isn't clear.

    For fretted basses, I like a punchy and agressive but clear tone with some warmth. Here is an example of this: (For basic basses, not using exotic woods) I like the combination of alder body, quilted maple top (I know this doesnt add much to the tone), bolt-on maple neck with maple fretboard, and a Seymour Duncan SJB-2 and SPB-2 combination.

    I'm wondering, what combinations of materials sound good for fretless basses? I know fretlesses have more warmth in the midrange and less agressive and biting tone. To make up for this, I was thinking maybe a swamp ash (clear, punchy, somewhat scooped tone with a "pop" to it) body with a wenge neck (warm lows, strong midrange) and ebony fretboard (bright finish to the note). I have no clue what pickups would be good for the fretless though.



    So, my bottom line of questions are:

    1) What body woods and combinations are good for fretless, and why
    2) What kind of pickups are good for fretless, and why



    Sorry if this is unclear, the two questions above are what i would like answered, the stuff above is my discussion. Thank you:D
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Personally speaking just try a load of fretlesses and see what you like.

    I like a fretless to sound different than a fretted but others here (notably) Brad Johnson prefer to sound like a fretted as well. A lot of this concerns the amp you have. I digress...

    I like twin J pups and having swapped pups and harness for an active pup pasive tone system I prefer the low pass filter over trad treble and bass systems. Some people prefer fretless Wal basses as the para eq works 'better'. Bart make a pup sytem configured for fretless whatever that means. I bought the Alemibic Activator system for my Thumb bass.

    Having said this I fell in love with a Sterling at Bass Central which cannot be further away from my bass in construction pups etc.

    So forget all the above and try a load of stuff.


    If nothing floats your boat take notes and get one made for you. If you go that route start the thread with the magic word "Rickbass".
     
  3. Comakazi

    Comakazi

    May 3, 2001
    Midwest US
    CS, that was an amazing post of self-contradictions! ;) :D Love it.
     
  4. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Sorry I thought I was at http://www.talkb*ll*cks.com

    anything I say re fretlesses is just opinion anyway and saying a load of garbage is more interesting than "try some and see what you like"
     
  5. Comakazi

    Comakazi

    May 3, 2001
    Midwest US
    Couldn't agree more, CS, it does make it more interesting! Don't change a thing.