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tone question (Tale of two 6-ers)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eastcoasteddie, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    I got these 2 six string fretless basses (both inexpensive, yet both feel SO good to play)


    The Douglas bass (top one) has an Ash body & maple neck
    the Brice (bottom) has an Alder body and maple neck.

    The Douglas' electronics are made of 4 pots with a teeny-tiny circuit board on one of them and a 9v battery. The tone is pretty good and has a bright presence with a good amount of growl.

    The Brice actually has an on-board preamp (little black box with no name on it) a 9v battery and a lot of wires.
    This one sounds pretty smooth, a very Jazzy.

    Question is, what make up more of the bass' tone? The wood it's made of or the electronics? How can I get the brice to growl like the Douglas?
    would a bart preamp help?
  2. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    anyone know the effects..?
  3. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    Those basses look pretty nice for the price. Fretless bass is a great instrument, but one that takes a long time to master. The main tone factor is your hands. Electronics and woods have some to do with it, but it's mostly how the strings respond to your fingers. Fretless takes a little lighter touch than a fretted bass. I think of it as caressing the sound out of the bass rather than choaking it.

    If you want that signiature growl ala Jaco, solo the bridge pickup, boost the mids (on your amp if there's no mid control on the bass) and pluck over the bridge pickup.

    Setup has a bunch to do with it too. Make sure the neck is almost perfectly straight and bring the pickups right under the strings, so that your finger hits it when you pluck. This is what get's you that mwah effect.

    I use Bartolini electronics because I think they sound very warm and natural. They are not a cure-all, but will make your bass sound more polised and woody.

    If you go to my Myspace page I have a clip called Pentabuzz. (www.myspace.com/stevebassman)
    That clip is me playing my Pedulla Pentabuzz, just messing around with different techniques, slides and harmonics. It'll give you a good idea of what a fretless can sound like if set up properly and used with a light, accurate touch.

    Let me know how it goes, Steve
  4. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I don't know the answer, but I would like to dd some more information, on the assumption (bad practice I know) that your fretlesses have the same electronics as my fretted versions of those basses.

    1. The Douglas has center detented tone pots, the Brice does not. I actually like the tone control of the Douglas better.
    2. The Brice can be played passive. The Douglas can not.
    3. The Brice is a 35" scale length, the Douglas is a 34" scale length.
    4. The Brice is strung through the body. The Douglas is not.
  5. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    The Brice (at least mine) does have center detented pots.

    The 2 basses do sound so different from each other, and I really like them both. Sometimes I don't know which one to play...
  6. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD

    Hmmm, mine is different, the only center-detented knob on my HXB is the pickup blend knob. :(

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