Thinking about using my tax refund to go fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sgroh87, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I have two basses, both sixes. One is a Pedulla ThunderBolt and the other an Ibanez SR506. I'm getting back about 1200, and though I want to put a big chunk of it into savings, I want to give fretless playing a try.

    I'm looking at a couple options. Firstly I'm considering getting the Ibanez regretted. This would probably be the cheapest option. I could also get a Squier VM fretless P or J, which is a nice option but I'd miss my extra low and high strings. I'm also looking at an acoustic bass for some unplugged jamming, either a Breedlove or a Warwick Alien.

    Any thoughts or opinions? I'm leaning towards either the defretting or the Breed love personally, but I wanted to hear what other people think.
  2. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    I would personally buy a fretless rather than defret a bass I already own and like; if you don't like fretless, you can just sell it stock and make a better return than you could selling a defretted instrument.

    I have the Squier VM fretless, which is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into it.

    If you want the extra string and active electronics like you're used to, the ESP Ltd. B205SMFL (or similar) would be a good choice and is not particularly expensive - around the US$400 mark new, I think.

  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Auto-correct or Freudian slip? Consider carefully what the universe (or your subconscious) may be trying to tell you here.
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    If you like Ibanez, the cheaper Gary Willis Signature bass is a great buy. If you really want to spend that $1,200, the best bet for a fretless is some sort of Carvin. A new one would be $1,200 depending on what you got, and a used one might be $500-$800.
  5. Find a good used lined MIM Fender Jazz for around 400 to try . If you dig it you can always change things out to improve and achieve your personal tone goals. I have 2 heavily modded Fretless jazz and they play and sound as good as any bass I've played or heard.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I would highly recommend avoiding Squier fretless basses, I have yet to see a P in person but every single J I have seen does not have a flat board, they do not radius the fingerboard after installing the fretlines, so you have to do the neck work yourself or never get a good setup. I made the mistake of ordering one sight unseen before I learned this was an extremely common issue.
  7. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Haha, definitely autocorrect. I originally traded a guitar for the Ibanez with the intention of setting up one with flats and the other with rounds, but even with flats the Pedulla sounds quite modern. I'm not even sure I NEED a bass with rounds after hearing this. Without that to distinguish them, there's no real point in having the Ibanez except as a backup. I mean, they're both 34" scale, both have Bartolini pickups, and both have an active EQ (Bart in the Pedulla, standard Ibanez electronics in the 506).
  8. Sgroh87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I'd love a carvin and I was looking at building one of their hollow body basses, but that's going to use up all of the money I was going to put into savings.
  9. cant lose with a used mim jazz. you can buy them between$300-$400 and sell them for about the same.

    The Gary Willis signature is aa good bass for the money.

    I wouldn't go squire mainly because of the cost of used mim fender.
  10. Red_Label


    Dec 1, 2013
    MT, USA
    I sure dig my Sterling Ray 34CA FL, especially since I put D'Addario black Tapewounds on it. Truly a pleasure to play!

    Also, I had a Breedlove acoustic bass last year (Passport series) and it was a very good bass. It wasn't fretless, but I just wanted to speak to the quality of it (I bought seven Breedloves in the space of a year, from the low-end Passport series to the American Masterclass series).
  11. Huge

    Huge Hell is full of musical amateurs. Like me.

    Dec 2, 2005

    I would also suggest, if you find a cheap bass, doing a neck swap. Mighty Mites are pretty inexpensive. Gets you into fretless at a lowish price point.
  12. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    My recently aquired MIM stock fretless is far and away my favorite of the 30 or so basses I've owned, fretted or fretless.
  13. bassRunner


    Aug 10, 2012
    Urbana, IL
    +1 for used MIM fretless. Mine's my main player.

    +1 here as well. IMHO, the MIM feels and sounds a lot nicer in my hands than the Squier did.
  14. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I bought the Squier fretless 2 days before I found the MIM in another GC. I thought the Squier was great till I played the Fender. No contest.

    ....not that there's anything wrong with Squier...
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    If you buy used, you'll probably not be out much more than shipping if you decide that fretless is not for you.
  16. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    Imo, the woods with less weight sound better for fretless bass. Some great sounding one's I've played: mid 90's Peavey Foundation "S"with the frets yanked out(poplar body)/Dean Edge fretless(very lightweight basswood). I like to mod mine with Leo Quan BAII's, and passive P and J pickup configurations.
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    +1 for the used MIM Fender. One of those has been calling my name at a local store for a while!:bassist:
  18. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    I currently play a newer Fender MIM fretless and it is impeccably made. I have higher-end instruments, but find this one especially nice. The newest MIMs are, IMHO, really well-made.
  19. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    My sentiments exactly! Black with new red tort guard. Killer.
  20. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I've got an SR506 and postively LOVE it! And my current GAS is to end up with a pair of them: One fretted and one fretless!

    That would be a dynamite setup! My plan (and I recommend) is to replace the fretboard with an ebony fingerboard. I've done this to a couple of my SX basses and it makes a MUCH better instrument than defretting.

    Another great option is my ESP LTD B206SM which was only a bit over $400 and is a KILLER 6 string. But it only seems to come in fretless in the 5 string version, But otherwise that would be the hands-down winner!

    My choice would still be to find a nice used SR506 and do the fingerboard replacement to go for the pair!