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Robelli @#%$& stupid fretless side dot positioning...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eli, Aug 22, 2001.


  1. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I've posted before about the Carlo Robelli fretless 4 at sCam cAsh. I really like the sound and feel of this thing, and at $250 I have been recommending it as a good "starter" fretless for anyone who wanted to test the water without laying out a ton of cash. Nice mwah and growl, comfy slender neck, nice light weight, even a nice setup. My only concern was that they put *only* a 12th "fret" marker on it and no fretlines or other markers -- kind of silly for a bass that is obviously priced for beginning fretless players.

    So I go into my local cAsh store last night and was pleasantly surprised to see one hanging on the wall WITH side marker dots at 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, etc. SO I take it down and start play ing it -- and I discover that the dots are in the positions they would be IF THE BASS HAD FRETS -- that #$@! in-between position. D'oh!

    I'm sorry, but I have to rant that this is just plain STUPID. On a fretless with fretlines, it is my preference to have the side dots AT the "fret" positions, but at least I understand the reasoning of putting them at the in-between location, and then it's a matter of taste (and sometimes economics). With no fretlines, however, the in-between dots are meaningless and actually make the instrument HARDER to play -- you have to *miss* the dots rather than play on them!

    I guess Robelli is trying to respond to the marketplace, but as Maxwell Smart would say: "Missed it by THAT MUCH."

    OK, OK, rant over...
     
  2. Mr. X

    Mr. X

    Mar 29, 2001
    USA
    Was that a factory fretless model? It sounds more like one that someone defretted.
     
  3. agreed, that is pretty darn stupid.
     
  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Heavens, YES, it was factory. A very glossy, pretty composite finish, same as he one I saw a few months back on the one with only the 12th fret marker. No excuse there.
     
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    My sentiments exactly:D

    Very nice bass, especially for the price. The dot situation is stupid, plain and simple but it is easily remedied. Of course Sam Ash should remedy this but it can be fixed, by any repair guy for probably $10-$20. For $270... it's still a pretty good deal;)

    I recommend this bass, the Cort Artisan and now the MTD Kingston for serious bang for the buck fretlesses.
     
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    IIRC, the dots on the Cort Artisan are the same way.
     
  7. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Another market response they made with this bass: 6 months ago, I'm pretty sure it had a black gloss finish on the back of the neck. Those have always been OK with me, but i know lots o' players prefer a matte finish. And the new one has that. So they are obviously paying attention and trying to react. Pretty cool.
     
  8. I'm abit lost here. So what you guys are saying is that, for a fretless, the dot side marker are suppose to be on the fret rather than in between frets like fretted bass are? But how about lined fretless?

    Cause mine is lined, and the dots are in between.
     
  9. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Robelli isn't the only ones who have done that. After playing a fretless p-bass for a few years (which had the dots where the frets would have been) I bought a fretless Gibson Ripper in 1976- it also had the dots positioned same as a fretted neck. I had the dealer black them out and put them in the right places.

    Duh! is all I can say.
     
  10. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Well, "supposed to" is a matter of opinion and taste. *I* prefer 'em on the fret position. When I said before "a matter of economics", I was referring to production-line instruments; putting side marker dots in a different position is a production cost, and some companies choose not to bother. Gary Willis likes his in between because he says he fingers both his fretted and his lined fretless Ibanez signature basses in exactly the same spot (see his website at www.garywillis.com for his explanation), so he like the dots in the same position too. Many have known nothing but lined boards with in-between dots, so that's what they're used to. My first fretless was a P with a Fender factory replacement unlined fretless neck, and it had the dots AT the fret positions. So maybe I got hooked that way, but I still don't think I would have liked it if the dots were in between.

    Always trying to present fair air time to the DUMB side (tough, though, when a monster like G. W. is over there :eek: ).
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    On a lined fretless, I wouldn't have an "extra" problem with the dots positioned between the fretlines. You have the lines as reference points. On an unlined fretless, with the dots in the same position you'd have to play ahead of or behind the dot, not on it.

    I'm pretty sure the Cort Artisan B4FL has more than one dot... then again, I am getting old;). I think I'd remember something that dumb.

    Then again IMO it's a tossup as to what's more doofus, only one dot; dots in the normal fretted position on an unlined bass or what I seem to remember seeing on a fretless Ric... a dot for every fret position.
     
  12. Ahhhh....so that's the reason that makes people play fretless so intune without the lines. I always wonder how the heck people do that. Now I know.
     
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I think you might have misunderstood me, Arvi. Doofus = stupid;)

    My unlined Zon has dots at the 3,5,7,9,12 etc. fret position... the trick to playing in tune is practice. As much as I don't like lines if I had one with lines I could play it.
     
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    ...and as much as I like having lines, I can play my unlined fretless 4 in tune also.
     
  15. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago

    Dude -- what are you doing with a Ripper anyway???
     
  16. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Bought it new in January 1976, was my only electric for most of the following 20 years. It now has a pair of Lane Poor pickups, a 3 band Bartolini preamp, and a pan pot disguised as the varitone switch. Black with an ebony board. A very sweet bass.

    [​IMG]

    Recently picked up its fretted black/ebony twin.

    And what are you doing without a Ripper?! ;)
     
  17. T-birdfan

    T-birdfan

    Jan 29, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    For the fretless that only has the 12th position dot, check out the website www.fretware.com. It sells stickers made of thin abalone that go right on your fretboard that double as inlays( dots, blocks, trapezoids) etc. It even sells microdots that go wherever you want them on the side of the neck for the fretless. Check it out.
     
  18. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I know, I know... been listening to you and Hoyt duke it out on that "other" mailing list... :p