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Which fretless do you suggest I get?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brlottermann, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. brlottermann


    May 14, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Hello fellow lubbers of the low end!

    I've been saving up and I'm looking into buying a fretless electric bass. Either a 4-string or (my first ever) 5-string, as I am enticed by the idea of being able to play a low E flat without needing to tune down. My price range is around $1000 to $2000. Also, I would prefer a relatively lightweight fretless, as I usually play longer shows (3-4 hours) and I always play standing up. Really heavy basses would wear me out too much. So, preferred weight would be no higher than 4.4kg or so. Lastly, I'm not so interested in so-called "generic" brand basses like Fender or Ibanez (partly because I already own one and am interested in expanding my horizon). I feel like smaller bass companies have more of an identity. I base this off nothing at all, just my gut feeling.

    So, please suggest some cool fretless basses :)

    Brian L.

    P.S: I live in the DC area, if anyone knows any cool custom bass builders that are on the east coast and could build me a nice fretless.
  2. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Tom Clement in Florida builds amazing, awesome fretless basses. And fretted ones too!

  3. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    If you're interested in a top notch botique level 5 string fretless, Pedulla makes about the best sounding fretless I've ever heard. You can pick them up used for between $1000 and $2000 depending on the condition and the options. A beautiful blue one just sold on the TB used gear forum a few days ago and you can find them on eBay frequently as well.
    The 5 string version is called the Pentabuzz the 4 string version is called a Buzz bass (the fretted version is called an MVP bass). The epoxy coated fretboard really gives this fretless a distinctive sound with tons of the Mwah that fretless players crave.
  4. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I really like my G&L L2500 fretless. Very nice construction and quite tonally flexible. Additionally, a new one looks to be in your budget range. I guess the only drawback is that the bass is somewhat Fender like.

    Have fun with your pursuit.

  5. Used Pedulla Buzz is my hands down pick upon reading your post. Besides the tone and quality, the neck and action makes it a breathtaking playing experience.

    For an offbeat lighter bass with P-like feel and a piezo to really mix things up, consider a late 80s MIJ Fender A/E.
  6. LaBassGuy

    LaBassGuy Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    I have a Pedulla Buzz and indeed it plays awesome, though I've never owned any other fretless.
  7. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
  8. MyMusic


    Jun 1, 2010
    Dover, De
    Carvin. They are not on the east coast, but for your indicated budget, you can get something really nice. I've seen four strings available for under $800.
  9. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

  10. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Godin's A4 and A5 have hollow bodies so they would be light, I had the precursor 'Acoustibass' fretless and it sounded amazing, had issues with neck dive though so try one on a strap before you buy to make sure they've fixed this in the newer model.
  11. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    Try out an Ibanez GWB35. It was by FAR the best fretless I've ever played, although they only have a bridge pickup.
  12. Carvin and Clement would be great in your price range. I suggest you look around both of those websites.
  13. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Carvin makes several models .
  14. RoeyHaviv


    Apr 1, 2011
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Vigier guitars, Pigtronix Effects
  15. Throckmorten


    Aug 3, 2006
    Central NY
    Another vote for Pedulla. If you know fretless is where you want to be.

    You might also look at the Ibanez Gary Willis. The two are very different animals though. If you're lucky enough to have a choice, IMO the Pedulla is the way to go.
  16. mtb777

    mtb777 Serving bottom for the Most High. Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Sunny South Florida
    Pick up a used Pedulla PentaBuzz. You will never, never be disappointed.
  17. Ronen


    Feb 9, 2003
    Milky Way Galaxy
    This might be right for you but bad advice for someone else. Lines or not has nothing to do with being serious.
  18. tjnkoo


    Apr 19, 2011
    Metro Atlanta
    Check out the Fender Tony Franklin signatures. They come with a hipshot D-tuner so you can reach the E flat, and its (to my knowledge) Fender's only unlined fretless.

    Warwick does some nice stuff as well, but I just can't deal with their absolute baseball bat necks.

    Try and play the Pedulla first though if you go that route, because I've played two before. One the epoxied fretless, and it was terrible sounding, and didn't play well at all. The other (fretted) one didn't really stand out in a good or bad way.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    So, I guess Gary Willis and Mark Egan are not serious since they play lined fretless. :meh:

    Oh yeah, Pedulla!!
  20. mtb777

    mtb777 Serving bottom for the Most High. Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    Sunny South Florida
    But Victor and Marcus are! But don't play their fretlesses very often at all. Maybe they would play lined more often?