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Search for a new 5 string fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pafriend, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. pafriend


    Sep 21, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    This year I finally decided to take my playing seriously, and am taking lessons weekly. Problem is, my bass is driving me nuts.

    I have a Carvin LB75 Fretless. I finally got the thing set up correctly, but am having issues with areas of the neck sounding "flat". I also find that the neck tends to move around a lot, so I have to fiddle with the truss rod fairly frequently. I have decided to start looking for a new instrument.

    I am left-handed, so there is NEVER a left-handed fretless in stock anywhere, and typically the only lefty basses around are the cheapies. Whatever I end up getting will be special order.

    Some things I would like:

    1. I have small hands. The Carvin I can play comfortably, so I'd like to avoid anything with a wider neck.
    2. I can't stand active electronics. I prefer passive only.
    3. A neck that stays where you put it (most of the time).
    4. A bright clean tone

    I have found some right handed Pedullas which sound nice, but the price is a bit crazy, and the neck feels funny, I think the radius may be different.

    Been looking to try a Thumb 5, but it looks like there is no passive option for those basses. Why is it that the passive option seems to only be available on the 4 string models?

    Experiences and suggestions appreciated.
  2. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I've heard from multiple people that Carvin's customer service is very good - you didn't say how old the bass is, but I'm thinking if it's less than 1 year you'd have a good chance at getting a replacement "rebuild" from Carvin especially with the problem being next warpage/movement. If going this way, I'd recommend upgrading to their 5-piece neck option - I'm of the school that believes that the multiple laminations help a great deal in next stability.

    Pedullas do have a slight "V" shape to their necks, but personally I don't find them too distracting or annoying. They're also top-notch and every bit worth their price, but it is a high one. IMO, Pedullas should be considered on par with Sadowsky, Lull, and other builders on that level.

    Instruments that come to mind are Peavey Custom Shop Cirrus (the build program has no option for lefties, but lists "Don't see an option that you want? Call us at 1-866-787-5150 ext.1302 or contact your local authorized Peavey dealer"), a Sadowsky NYC model (which is a $300 upcharge), Mike Lull, Modulus Genesis and VJ 5s, EB/MM StingRay or Bongo, Spector (who are running a sale on lefty Euros for 5% upcharge as opposed to their normal 15%) or a custom Valenti. You didn't specify a price range, so there's a wide variety above.

    I honestly think your requirement for passive electronics would be the hardest to find along with everything else, and easy to fix: gut the standard pups and install your own. You could even help the financial aspect by reselling decent electronics (EMGs, Barts, Basslines, etc.)