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That fretless sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Low-B-Mundy, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Low-B-Mundy


    May 18, 2005
    I keep trying to get that fretless sound on my fretless bass that (wahaa sound) dose anybody have some suggestions.

    I have a Cravin five string fretless with a BassVamp. Maybe someone has some settings?
  2. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    You're talking about Mwah. It's usually accomplished with very low action, both at the bridge and at the nut. Also, lighter gauge strings seem to do it better, at least for me. The hands also have a lot to do with it as well, instead of the guitar-player type of vibrato, where you're bending the string, try rolling your fingertip back and forth (like a violinist, or cellist would do). Good luck, hope this helps!
  3. I have a fretless stingray, and it sounded great the day I got it but still not perfect. I did some searching and found this site www.epoxyfretless.com. I sent the neck to him and within a few weeks time got it back, and it was like night and day. The fingerboard epoxy really makes a huge difference. It isn't cheap, but I think it is worth every penny. You may want to see if some of the bass builders here could do it for you as well. Check out the luthier forums.
  4. Low-B-Mundy


    May 18, 2005
    Thanks Bassic83 I have also been told that I should change my string from flat wounds to round wounds
  5. Low-B-Mundy


    May 18, 2005
    Jackson here my set up:

    Pickups: Bartolini
    Fret board: ebony
    Strings: flat rounds
    Paned to the back pickup
    EQ has bee all over the place
  6. Ernie ball SR5 mmmm..... mhhwwaaaa,

    I mean,,, low action, great touch on the neck/p pup area, and a proper intonation will be the key. Sometimes a slanted right hand helps. Like laying into the string with two fingers played simataneosly. That can add a little wah as well.
  7. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    To avoid chewing up your fretboard, I'd advise a set of Elixir stings.
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    1) Favor the bridge pickup
    2) Play close to, or almost near the edge of the fretboard with your right (plucking) hand
    3) Don't EQ out your mids
    4) Roundwound strings help (I use regular roundwounds on my Fender Jazz and it hasn't had any adverse effects. Personally, I don't like the sound of Elixirs.)
  9. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA

    I agree with all of the above, except as regards roundwounds on a fender jazz. I got mine used off fleabay, and when I got it there were significant string marks in the rosewood fingerboard from the rounds that were on there. I'd love to get more mwah out of my fretless, but not at the expense of the fingerboard.

    If you have an ebony board, go for it. It can handle rounds. Be cautious with anything softer though. If you're going to try it, check the FB carefully after each time you play and make sure you're not eating into it.
  10. Wow, that's a badass link, thanks!!! So, did you take your neck off to send them, or did you just send them your whole bass?

  11. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    You can send it to them and have them do it for 300$, or you can do it yourself if you are up to it. I am working on an epoxy tutorial that is gona be ready in 2 weeks. This way you can epoxy your bass fretboard for under 50$.
  12. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
    Thanks for the very interesting link. Maybe I will end up with a Fretless Left Hand Fender American Jazz Deluxe afterall. The only difficult part was the the two year wait. Yikes!
  13. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Instead of the fourth one (and I don' mean that roundwouds can't be used, just that flats also work for a good mwah to me) I'd say that making sure that your bass' neck is as straight as possible really helps. Since there are no frets, buzzing isn't an issue here. After that, make sure that your action is set the lowest you can without choking the notes (specially harmonics).

    Another thing to remark is that tip #3 means: If your amp has a "mid contour" button, turn it off.
  14. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I contacted HG Thor, about a epoxy job.
    He does great work.
    Two year wait, till he can start neck.
    One person operation.
    Once he starts, about three weeks to finish.
  15. Jazzguy

    Jazzguy Banned

    May 3, 2004
    Lower the strings, see what you think.
  16. Well.... That freakin' blows. Looks like I'm looking even more foward to that epoxying tutorial!

  17. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    Would an epoxy coat be adversely affected by truss rod adjustments?
  18. Anybody in here have expierience with rounds on a fretless maple board? Does the strentgh of the board effect "mwah" in any way?