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so my fretless jazz came on saturday . . .

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by narcopolo, Oct 24, 2005.


  1. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    and i love it. the sounds i'm getting are pretty unbelievable. i knew the strings were going to be tighter, but i didn't realize how much tighter. will lowering the action help that at all?
     
  2. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Lowering the action may make it feel a bit easier to play (many fretless basses are set up higher than fretted), but if you've got flatwounds on it, you'll have to get used to the strings being a bit more rigid. What strings are on it, and what kind of bass did you get?
     
  3. AGCurry

    AGCurry

    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    "Tighter"?

    Do you mean higher tension? If so, the only thing which will give you lower tension is lower-tension strings, i.e., smaller gauge.
     
  4. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I dunno... I've gotten new basses before with really high action. Lowering the strings and adjusting the relief can make a world of difference, including apparant stiffness.
     
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Agreed. What kind of strings are on there? Flatwound strings are high mass strings and they do have a "tighter" feel than roundwounds IMO. If the strings are rounds, try switching them out for your favorite brand and guage of roundwound strings for a better feel for how this bass reacts.

    Congratulations on the new bass, that's a nice one, enjoy it! And post pictures if you have them!
     
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I agree with this also!!!! A "setup" is an important step for any new bass in your home, new or used.
     
  7. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    it's a purple MIM jazz. yeah, the strings are flatwound, and the string tension is doing a number on my plucking fingers. plus, the "mwah" isn't as pronounced as i'd like - i'd like to go to a lighter gauge, but those badboys cost a bit more than i have to spare (maybe next paycheck). i'm going to drop in a badass II ASAP, so i'll wait till then to have it set up.
    as for pictures, i'm going to wait on that till i'm done hotrodding it (also, i don't have a camera).
     
  8. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Sounds good, I had a MIM jazz that I had the strings almost touching the board, but I also play fretless with rounds for added mwah. More of a Jaco tone,.
     
  9. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    You need roundwounds to maximize the mwah. The traditional Jaco-esque fretless tone is a combination of rounds, a coated board (I believe I recall reading that his tech coated his board)and of course, his technique. You can get two of those variables for sure- the third, if it comes at all, will come only with time, practice and hope.
     
  10. if you really want a more defined fretless, epoxy and roundwounds for you! the flatwounds are deeper, but you loose some of the definition that you get from the brighter roundwounds. then again, i've heard you can pop on some tape wounds to get the best of both worlds minus the epoxy.
     
  11. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Fender flats are known for being hi-tension. I have them on my Precision MIA and they are quite stiff. I have heard the TI's are the "softest".
     
  12. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I have TI Jazz rounds on my Fretless Modulus Jazz and they are awesome! They are a very light guage and tension nickel round that Mwahh like there's no tomorrow!

    They took a bit of getting used to, and they have a break-in period, but they are simply a joy to play. I highly recommend them!!
     
  13. BuffaloBob4343

    BuffaloBob4343 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Actually, before going to the jazz rounds, I had some Labella tapewounds on my modulus jazz that came with the bass when I bought her.

    They had surprisingly nice sound to them, but they were hell on my fingers to play LOL! But the Jazz rounds are even more articulate and they play like butta! But what suprises me most about those jazz rounds is there bottom. For as light and loose as they are, they have awesome lows as well as highs.
     
  14. narcopolo

    narcopolo

    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    i'm definitely sticking with flats - i'm pretty sure the action just needs setting, and maybe a lighter gauge.
    thanks!
     
  15. ii7-V7

    ii7-V7

    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Bingo!
     
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'd personally recommend against the badass bridge. That money is much better served with a professional setup. Try roundwound strings to get the "mwah" you want.
     
  17. skewh

    skewh

    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    If you use roundwound strings, they are going to chew up the fretboard after a decent amount of use. If you really want roundwounds I'd recommend getting some sort of coating (epoxy is most common) on your fretboard, otherwise it'll get wrecked eventually.
     
  18. I've heard that, but I'm not sure about it. I have played fretless for about 12 years, using both flats and rounds, and have never torn up my fingerboard. I've never seen a fretless fingerboard that got chewed up from using rounds. I currently have Rotosound flats on my MIJ fretless Jazz and they seem to be sort of a compromise between "normal" flats and rounds. The Rotosounds have a more gritty, roundwound feel and they growl and mwah very well.
     
  19. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Fingerboard damage results from a variety of factors, some of which include the board material, types of strings, style of playing and frequency of playing. It's difficult to make a blanket statement that "x" type of string causes damage or that "y" type of board material will deteriorate faster than "z".

    I have a fretless 6 with an ebony board, I only use Labella flats on it, my action is set medium low and the bass gets played just about every day of the week. I'm an old DB player so I have a tendancy for a heavier hand then some others might have. I do a lot of the little vibrato things you'd expect to hear on a fretless (the same things that can rip some boards up). The ebony board is fine, shows some wear but nothing that impacts playing (yet ;) ).

    I also have a '68 Goya J fretless 4 that I just installed a new rosewood neck on. I have 1/2 wounds on the bass, and after approximately 20 hours of playing the neck is still clean as a whistle. However, this bass is only used for private practice and at 2 rehearsals so far ... I'll see how things are looking after a little more time goes by.

    If the bass is heavily used by someone with a hard touch, expect to have to get the board resurfaced at some point. It's the cost of owning a fretless. Other than that, get the strings that give you the sound you want, and keep an eye out for any wear on the board and give it some love when it needs it ...... :cool:
     
  20. 7thbass

    7thbass

    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    Lets say you want roundwounds, don't like the idea of epoxy, and have a plain-jane rosewood unlined fingerboard. Let's also assume it takes some number of years to wear down the fingerboard to the point where it might effect playablility.

    The Question: How cost effective would it be to have the fingerboard removed and replaced? I don't know anyone who has done that to a bass. If it is not too expensive, and you really like the bass/neck, then maybe that is an option.

    When it becomes a problem, maybe replace with a more robust material?