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What's your favorite rig for fretless?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by junglebike, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I'm in the throes of a passionate affair with my "new" Pedulla pentabuzz, and am seriously considering making playing fretless almost exclusively due to the quality and versatility of tones I can pull out of it.

    So I'm curious what you guys look for in a rig for fretless bass, as opposed to fretted?

    I've got an Epifany 2x12, and a 1x12 coming, so I've got the cabs covered :D

    I don't feel that my Trace V-type (into Peavey DPC1000) is quite up to the task though, due to a somewhat difficult EQ. It sounds great, though. I'm thinkin':

    I-amp 800

    Leaning towards the former, due to the possibility of grit. I'm playing now in a latin/reggae/afro-cuban band (www.radiolachusma.com)

    Any ideas?
  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    With fretless, you need (or it really helps) to have the ability to boost the midrange and to be able to choose the center frequency.

    My fretless fanatic friends have added parametric eqs to their rigs. Behringer makes a nice 4 band semi-parametric eq for under $100. You can switch in and out each of the four bands individually allowing you to have patches set up for fretless (boost in the 800 to 1K Hz range) and/or slap (boost the highs and lows, notch the mids) etc.

    Prior to buy his Behringer, 7 string maniac (and TB member) Eli used a SansAmp Acoustic DI (not the bass version) because it has sweepable mids.

    I have two preamps with variable mid freq., a Pearce BC-1 and an AMP SL-1. Both work quite well for fretless when I go that route.
  3. tripwamsley


    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    The Glockenklang Soul + Fretless = Wow.;)
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    In a small room, this rig is killer with fretless:


    One of the advantages of the EA iAmp600 (in addition to its clarity) is its "tweakability" as to EQ. It also LOVES that Bergantino 12 and would probably like your 12, too. It's Epifani with an "i," BTW. I've also used this amp to drive an Epi T212 and it's very, very good.
  5. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    An Aguilar DB-680 preamp, Stewart World 2.1 power amp, Bergantino 2x12 and the best cable you can afford. The Aguilar DB680 preamp is the real deal!

  6. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the responses, guys! Anyone used a Fafner with fretless? I have a line on one for a fantastic price ($650!)

    I believe it's got a parametric or semi-parm. eq
  7. tripwamsley


    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    Fafner is good unit. I played one in Germany. 'Twas nice.
  8. Yep! I'm with you Trip. I love my Fafner, with the fretless especially. Currently I'm using a pair of Acme Low-BIIs with it, but I wouldn't mind trying a Bergy 322.

    JungleBike... all controls are boost/cut and the mids are sweepable. Also, there's bright, bass and treble boosts and a switchable character for the tube drive circuit. Lots of control right at your fingertips.
  9. has anyone tried an acoustic rig? like the one jaco used with the big 18" speaker and tweeter? must be the ultimate for fretless
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I use the same rigs I use for fretted. Add a great fretless and mission accomplished.

    I have both Nahas and Euphonic Audio cabs. Both sound great with fretless. I use an AMP BH-420 head and don't have to boost anything.
  11. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    i love my roscoe fretless thru my Acme pair. i guess its kinda like going direct. if i pull up the front pickup, and set my amp relatively neutral, has a nice upright'ish quality. very sweet.

    not sure if Jaco went mostly into the board, but with my bud's fretless jazz, avalon U5 setup and my Acme's, we get some pretty kickin' tones that sound great and alot like his eponymous debut's tones. literally floors me when my bud plays "Portrait of Tracy" or "Continuum". woulda prolly made Jack proud. :cool:

    course, i couldnt play my major scale runs in alternating 3rd's and 2nd's, half as fast as Jaco does... :rolleyes:

    but bottom line, a good amp/cab setup should sound great with whatever you use.

    btw, i'm prolly in the minority here, but i cant stand toooooo much "mwahh". sometimes, i'll press too hard and the "mwah" will sound when i'm merely sustaining a note. very annoying. i like it for the slides, etc., but not all the time. some guys raise the upper mids for that, but i do the opposite and try my best to get rid of 'em!
  12. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Well, my ideal is to have controllable "mwah" -- Sometimes huge mwah is great, but if I'm going to be playing a diverse setlist on one bass, I've gotta be able to make it sound like a fretted bass as well. I think the parametric midrange EQ will be ideal for that -- figure out its frequency and then dial it up or down as needed.

    Looks like I'm gonna get that Fafner!
  13. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Well, I must be the white trash in this thread. My rig prolly cost the same as your cabs. :)

    I play an Ibanez BTB into a Hartke3500 which powers a 215.

    In about a week, I am switching to a Eden 410XLT, which I am told will be a serious improvement to my sound.
  14. Starrchild


    Nov 10, 2000
    The Bay.
    Fafner for $650.00,buy it already.