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the Best custom build Fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by him666, May 8, 2005.

  1. Im looking for a custom handmade fretless bass.
    Which is in your opinion a good bass builder for a fretless bass? I prefer a 6 or a 7 string fretless. Can't afford more than $2000
  2. Stomniar


    Dec 5, 2003
    Spring Hill FL
    Maybe I've been looking in the wrong places, but I haven't been able to find a custom made 4 string fretless for under 2,000.00. :( I'll be watching this thread to see what developes though. :)
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Sadly, that may be right...extended scale plus custom equals big bucks. You may have priced yourself out of your economic means.

    If money wasn't an issue I'd suggest Ritter. ;)

    But only because I'll never own one.
  4. Check out Chris Stambaugh! His 4 string fretless' start at $1400 and he does not upcharge for most wood combos. You may be able to get very close to your pricerange with him. If you search on Stambaugh, there are some pics posted and some discussion about his work. His website has a few good pics too.
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    check the used market for a HexaBuzz or F. Although I think it may be extremely difficult....
  6. Try this guy. I have a couple of his basses and am very satisfied.

  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    You are in used Zon territory, if you want a six. Unfortunately, there is no Zon seven string(yet), although Boogiebass has been trying to talk Joe into making one.

    A new Zon would be a few hundred dollars more.

    There are lots of great luthiers out there making fretless, but none that I have ever played is the equal of my Zon fretless five.

    Roscoe and F bass get pretty close, but they are in the same price range.

    On the plus side, Keith Roscoe will build a seven string.
  8. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    If you want the absolute best modern fretless tone, there's no way you can beat a Zon. Of course, they're way more money than you're talking about.
  9. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I went through this about six months ago. If you can extend your budget to about $2,500- 2,600 you can get a Zon or Roscoe (and that should be after tax, nice top, and the preamp of choice). F Bass will be out of that price range too. Otherwise, I would go used. It's a great option.

    When I was looking, I tried as many basses as I could. I narrowed it down to Roscoe, Zon and F Bass before I chose the Roscoe. It was a very close call between the Zon and Roscoe, but the Roscoe won out. I just got it Friday and have been loving it. I'm so glad I got what I got.

    Fretless I didn't try were Nordstrand, CB Basses, FBB, Wal. Others that I tried but were not in the top three were Elrick (I would probably call that one #4), Fodera, Music Man, Modulus, and I think a Lakeland.
  10. Zon and Pedulla seem to be very popular choices.
  11. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    May I suggest Norwegian luthier Odd Helge Listerud? His website: http://www.listerudbass.com/ He built me my 7-string bass and I imagine he could build you a fretless 6 or 7 for just under $2000. Wouldn't hurt to ask, anyway.
  12. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    +1 for Zon! Mine is ridiculous! There's no better fretless tone out there! Mine was much more than $2000, but it depends on what you want when you say "custom." If all you mean is a nice wood top and certain electronics, you can probably manage that for around $2500.

  13. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Might check out Pete Skjold too. I posted some clips of another guys fretless in this thread:


    However, for that price range, your looking at probably a 6-string Stage series, not a custom with exotic woods and whatnot. However the Stage series basses are awesome and well worth the money I think.
  14. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works

    FBB fretless 8 - please, please buy it so I stop looking at it :(

    Mat Schmill's basses are incredible, I have the 6 string fretless cousin of this 8


    Edit: I forgot, pricing is ~$1800 USD , look at the used bases section ........ or buy my six and I'll buy this 8 :D
  15. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    What about Carvin?
  16. Kurt Hans

    Kurt Hans

    Mar 17, 2005

    I'm almost positive he could do it within your pricerange, plus, he's a really nice dude.
  17. form52


    Mar 17, 2005
    Look for a used Zon or Pedula. I don't think either of them make a 7 string though.

    If you Absolutely HAVE to have a new one look into Carvin's.
    the BB76 is a GREAT bass, if you want Fretless get it made with either a Walnut or Koa body. They sound REALLY good for the "under $2000" catagory.
    A friend of mine had a Carvin 5 string fretless with a Koa body and Walnut neck and it sounded incredible. Definately not as good as Zon or Pedula, but better than most others.
    If you want to hear what it sound like go to Carvins website and look at the BB series basses and watch the Bunny Brunell video he playes a fretless at the end of the video.

    See the video here
  18. Thanks for the great tips so far! :hyper:
  19. JSCHRO7376

    JSCHRO7376 Commercial User

    Feb 23, 2004
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Owner, Schroeder Cabinets
    Sorry, but that one is sold :p
  20. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Thank God I don't have to stare at that anymore ;) It was making me crazy ..... Now I'll just have to get in line on Matt's list :(

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