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Share your Fretless opinion!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Groove Tools, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. I'm looking for a good fretless 5 I need help from you TBer!! I have around 1500-2000 any recommendations?? also share your comments opinions about the fretless factor, sound clips,videos,PICS,etc... thanks!!!
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Fretless Warwicks sound sweet. Id look into one of those.
  3. AndroWal


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ojai, CA
    1. Wal
    2. Pedulla
    3. MM 5

    99.5% of my playing is on my Wal Fretless 5. The remainder is on my Wal Fretted 5 and MM Fretless 5. I had a Pedulla Pentabuzz for years and should not have sold it. A used Wal Fretless, a used Pentabuzz or a new MM Fretless would be in your price-range. All three have great growl if set-up correctly and all are solid instruments.

    Good luck.
  4. Don W

    Don W

    Jan 30, 2004
    East Bay, CA.
    I just bought a Warwick 5 String fretless Thumb a week and a half ago and the tone is awesome. Its the first fretless I've ever owned and I'm very happy with it.
  5. kmacleish


    Nov 19, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks, Groove Tools. I am engaged in the same search for a similar budget, and will be following this thread and shamelessly taking advantage of the wisdom posted here.
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    If you can find a Roscoe in that price range get it!! Sweetest "MWAH" I've ever encountered...

    **You know.. A Conklin 5 New Century bass would probably be a realistic option... ;)
  7. are they for sale already???
  8. I second this - fretless Zons sound excellent!

    I don't know if you like Music Man basses, but a fretless Stingray 5 shouldn't be more than $1,500 new; about 1/3 less if you look for a used one.

    Good luck in your search.

  9. anyone knows where I can get a fretless Zon or Roscoe for less than $2000?? I'm farting now!!
  10. Pause


    Jun 4, 2003
    Miami, FL
    ... i want a fretless Thumb or Corvette... :bawl:


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL

    from conklinguitars.com
    Solid Swamp Ash Body

    5 String
  12. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    You should be able to get a MTD 535 (plain top) or a F-Bass if you look around a little.

    Dan K.
  13. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Fretless I have tried (not owned) in order of preference:

    1. Roscoe: Sweatest mwah as previously mentioned, great feel and action, nicely diverse with sound. I own a fretted Roscoe 6 so I'm biased somewhat.

    2. F Bass: Also great mwah, and feel, playability and sound.

    3. Zon: Mwah to die for, but I think that the sound is a little more sterile than the previous two mentioned. Others like Gard at Bass Central will disagree with me, but OTOH I played his Zon fretless one afternoon. It was the best sounding fretless I ever played. Simply amazing.

    These top three are all very close in preference in my book. Depending on the particular instrument, the order can change. These are just generallities based on what I've tried over the last 2 years.

    4. MTD: No elite bass experience is complete without mentioning anything built by Mike Tobias. Possibly the best playability of all the others I've tried; they practically play themselves. But the sound is not as much to my pleasing as the others. I also prefer the narrower strings spacing like the Roscoe especially for fretless.

    5. Pedulla: Nice playability and sound. Not as much mwah and a little freaky in the looks department for me. I like beefier horns.

    I would like to try these fretless , but have not: Wal, Fodera, Elrick and Sadowsky fretless basses.

    I don't like these fretless: Music Man 5 (love the 4), Warwick, Fender, Alembic.

    Good luck, Bob

    PS: I know many of these basses are more money than you requested. My advise is to keep saving until you can afford what you want, or buy used what you want. I'm sure you've seen plenty of guys here buy and sell a lot of basses until they get what they really want. Do it once. It's usually a lot cheaper.
  14. I fully agree with Androwal and am in the same situation (99.5% playing on my Wal fretless 5). Given the scarcity of used Wal basses and the major expense and waiting period for new ones I would not hesitate to recommend:

    2: Roscoe
    3: F-Bass

    Unfortunately I have no first hand experience with the Zon or Pedulla, but I am certain that they would both make the "A list".

    Good luck to you.
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Since you live in Maryland, consider giving Craig Muller a shout. You could get a nice bass from him for probably right at the top of your figure. I haven't played any of his fives, but the fretless four he built me last year is flat out great. I've played quite a few fretless basses, none nicer than this one. I know he has a four string fretless himself, so you should be able to try that if you're interested.
    Crescent Moon
  16. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    That line has always been available.. A quantum leap above the Groove Tools line.. Custom shop quality for quite a bit less than the custom shop price.. Your available options are limited but that's the way Bill keeps the prices down.
  17. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
  18. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have owned the following freltess basses:

    Early Fender Jazz
    Carvin's top of the line bass (don't remember model #)
    Fender Roscoe Beck V (converted to fretless)

    The Roscoe is the best fretless I've ever played (both in sound and playability). The F-Bass is next, followed by the MTD.

  19. As long as we're producing opinions....

    Zon - Just amazing. And Bob, thanks, she's special (and a Special too! ;) ), I call that bass you refer to my "cold dead fingers" bass.

    F-Bass - There is a Tobacco Sunburst BNF-5 at the shop that almost makes me think of giving up my Zon....almost!!!

    Roscoe - A bit less "mwah-y" than the first two, but still wonderful. Keith makes a great bass.

    MTD - Mike T is a genius, everything he touches is magic.
  20. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Northern MA
    I really want to try a Thumb (Neck thru) 4 string fretless. I don't know why, I've just had a craving to play one.

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