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The Fretless Club (Part IV)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Engine207, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    No, doesn't sound copied at all. Sounds like something I would listen to because I'm a big fan of most of those peeps.

    Saw Crimson at the Ryman in Nashville last month. Brand X Earlier this year in Cincy and last year went to see Jimmy Herring and John Mclaughlin in Indy. Each band did their own thing then they regrouped and played a complete Mahavishnu set. It sounded like the live recordings of Mahavishu I've heard complete with vocals and weirdness. It was really, really cool.
    loopee, P_Robyn and Matthew_84 like this.
  2. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    ok very cool! Would have loved to see that Mahavishnu set. Also Percy Jones. Although from the videos I have seen I didn't like it as much as the previous Brand X versions.
  3. I haven’t listened to much of the other bands mentioned (some I haven’t heard of at all), but King Crimson is one of my favourite bands (top 3) and I could hear some influence there. Definitely didn’t sound copied though, and definitely sounded awesome!

    Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely come back to that and maybe listen to more stuff of some of the other bands mentioned too.

    Thanks guys!
    Les Fret and rutrho like this.
  4. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Pings to my GWB35 brother and sister @kirkdickinson and @rutrho :

    Just gonna put a little tinkering note here, so anyone can dissuade me if I'm being crazy. I'm happy with the wider string spacing on the MTD Kingston Z4 I've moved to after my GWB35. What I miss is that fingerboard-to-pickup ramp, so I've been toying with the idea of removing the neck pickup altogether and getting a ramp made that'd go all the way from the end of the fingerboard to the bridge pickup, covering the route for the missing pickup. Willis-izing my Kingston is basically the gist of the concept!
    kirkdickinson and rutrho like this.
  5. BakedMaple

    BakedMaple Banned

    Oct 6, 2019
    MIJ with Warmoth neck, MG, and a converted Hohner Jack.

    My converted Thunderbird is done but I’m contemplating a refinish while she is out of action.

  6. srayb


    Oct 27, 2010
    Question about the ebony fingerboard of the GWB35: I saw one in a store but had string scratches into the fingerboard. Is there any way to get rid of those marks? Thanks!
    rutrho likes this.
  7. Some of the Gary Willis’s are ebonol. Were the string scratches a white or light greyish colour?

    If so, then the board is ebonol, and you are aren’t getting those out without either sanding the board a little bit, or maybe re-painting it or something. Ebonol also scratches easily. I had a Mighty Mite ebonol board and sanded it like three times because I hated those scratches. In hindsight, the best thing would have been to sand it once and then put a CA (superglue) finish on it.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
    rutrho likes this.
  8. rutrho


    Mar 29, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    I uhhhh don't think its that crazy.
    I've been thinking about something similar On my SR370F... The GWB35 and my stingray are my two main basses and I pretty much only use the bridge pickup on the SR370F, so it might be cool. I've been plotting doing a ramp for that bass anyways....

    I play mine SUPER hard and uh, I've been learning to live with em :p
    4StringTheorist and Matthew_84 like this.
  9. The GWB35 board is lined right? To be honest, if my Mighty Mite neck was lined, I don’t know if I’d bother either, but it was unlined and broke the clean look of the completely glossy, black board.

    I also have OCD-ish tendencies and let little things gets to me.
    rutrho likes this.
  10. rutrho


    Mar 29, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Yeah, with dots in the wrong spot :p
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  11. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks Matthew! Definitely check out Brand X. Percy Jones is one of my heroes.
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  12. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    the mahavishnu thing was pretty mind blowing. We figured they would do a few tunes but not a full set.

    BrandX was great but Goodsalls antics got distracting pretty fast. Any chance to see Percy play is well worth the ticket price.

    +1 to this. Percy is an amazing player. You can hear him on most BrandX albums and a few others. Brian Enos “Another Green World” is a great example.
    Les Fret and Matthew_84 like this.
  13. I had an ebonol fingerboard on my first GWB35, it marked up a lot and I eventually had it sanded to smooth it out. The luthier said it was a horrible job, black dust everywhere. The fret markers were plastic strips and some hadn’t been glued in properly and “crept”.
    My second (replacement) one has an ebony fingerboard, no problems with it, minimal marks - presume the fret markers are still plastic strips but they’ve stayed exactly where they should.
    equill and Matthew_84 like this.
  14. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Percy is the reason I play fretless. I got UB when it was released in 1976, and saw Brand X for the first time very shortly thereafter. :bassist: I ripped the frets out of the '73 Telecaster Bass I had at the time. :woot:
    kesslari, Les Fret and aproud1 like this.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

  16. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Got another addition to the family. I’ve added this new G&L JB fretless to my Fretless Stingray 5. The TI’s go on it tomorrow and then the weekend off with no gigs will be spent slippin and sliding all around on this beauty.
  17. I started playing again over the last three days, after a 6 month or so break.

    Everything I had been playing was pretty low down on the neck and I was feeling pretty good about my intonation.

    Last night I started to relearn the Staples Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and the beginning of the bridge has a pretty high note (my first high note in many months) and it sounded terrible. I could not get it to sound right during the first playthrough.

    I was honestly debating picking up my fretted. I realized how off I likely was on the lower notes as well, but just couldn’t tell. I was devastated...

    On my second playthrough, I realized I was playing a semitone too high, then nailed it perfectly, and it sounded beautiful.

    I love this instrument.
  18. srayb


    Oct 27, 2010
    Fretless is a lot more work ;) but also a lot more satisfying when it goes well!
  19. RyoCanCan


    Oct 8, 2019
    I used to play a defretted Ltd F-105,
    but disassembled it for parts to use on a school project which is a 25.5'' fretless 5 string tuned to EADGC.
    The neck and body are one piece. The basic shape was done on the school's cnc and rest is either hand routed or carved. All finnish birch. It's not excellent and definitely not a pro piece, but for my first whatever-it-is, I'm quite happy. Needs some new parts though.

    I'm saving for a proper fretless come next year so I can get back to the land of mwah in full force!

    Attached Files:

  20. That’s a cool bass man! Seems like it should actually play pretty well with the neck like that.

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