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Which mid-range fretless should I choose??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rickreyn, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. Carvin LB75PF

    5 vote(s)
  2. Cirrus Fretless 5

    7 vote(s)
  3. Yamaha TRB5F

    2 vote(s)
  4. Stingray 5 Fretless

    16 vote(s)
  5. Lakland 55-02 Fretless

    16 vote(s)
  6. Lakland 55-01 Fretless

    2 vote(s)
  1. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Got these in mind. Which is best?

    My thoughts:

    Carvin LB75PF (with MM pickup) Everything you'd want on a bass, but it still may not sound good.

    Cirrus Fretless 5 Great styling and neck thru, but output is limited.

    Yamaha TRBIIF Powerful output. Tweakable. Heavy. Noisy.

    Stingray 5 Lots of variables. Pickup in right place. Very well made. Very expensive, even used.

    Lakland 55-02 Will match well with my 55-94 fretted. Great pickups. No graphite in neck. Expensive.

    Lakland 55-01 Doubt sound will match any of the above. Good pricing. Well made. Neck inferior.
  2. I'd go with the Stingray 5. I don't like the neck--it's too thin for my tastes--but it has three excellent sounds before you touch the EQ, and it's built like a tank. Another important thing is the scale length: unless you normally play 35" scale basses, going from a 34" fretted to a 35" fretless is a nightmare.
  3. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I've been frettin' about this:p . I had been on the fence wrt ordering a Hanewinckel fretless 5 or picking up a 55-02. Just when I'd made up my mind to go wiht a 34" scale Hanewinckel, a killer deal on a 55-02 came up so I bit. Hopefully it'll get here within the next few days and hopefully I won't find the transition to be such a nightmare. I've played a couple fretted 55-01 and 55-02, but not a fretless. Even with lines I think I'll be challenged to adjust to the scale length difference.


  4. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    If I had to spend much money for a fretless, I'd go with a StingRay 5.
  5. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    My poll will not be statistically valid without some votes. In other words "bump."
  6. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I think that stingrays are cool, but I love my Carvin LB75f, I just wish that the "P" option was available when I got mine. It sounds great.
  7. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    In the price range that your looking, nothing beats a good Jazz bass. Lots of great tone choices there. You could even put together a nice Warmoth (and go with some nice top choices) for under $1K.

    As far as the basses on your Poll, I'd go with the Carvin. I've only played a few but they all sounded and played amazingly well.
  8. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    You can't go wrong with a Fender Jazz or a Musicman Stingray. I have fretless versions of both and they both sound different, but great.

    Both well made and can take the road.

  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I don't know if Lakland makes this, but I'd get a Joe Osborne Fretess. 4 string for me, 5 string for you. :)
  10. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    Yep, Lakland offers fretless Skyline JoBo's in both 4 and 5...
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Cirrus 5. And not just because I own a Cirrus.

    When I was looking to get a very good fretless 5, I played a lot of basses. Narrowed it down to a Lakland 55-94, a Zon Sonus Custom, or a Pedulla PentaBuzz.

    A week before I made my decision, I found a fretless alder/maple Cirrus 5 fretless locally.

    In tone and feel(IMHO) it blew away the Pedulla and the Lakland. I almost bought it over the Zon.

    As much as I love my Zon, in the long run I would have been just as happy with the Cirrus.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Stingray 5. I've been very impressed with the ones I've played.
  13. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I voted for a StingRay5 fretless. I haven't played many of the above so i can't give you a justification of one compared to another but i can say this. With my fretted Ray5 i've been able to get nearly every tone that i want out of it and i can get it to work/fit/cut like i have heard in the styles/situations that i play in. I think a Ray5 would be a nice bass in that like was said above you've got 3 preset tonal options without adjusting the preamp.
    The only complaint/problem to me with the 3 way toggle is that when i have it set to the neck [i forget if that's series or parallel] the output is lower. That's all
  14. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I voted for the 55-02. I own a Stingray 5 fretless and it is a fine bass, however, I believe the electronics in the Lakland are much better for a fretless bass than the MM electronics.

    I have fretted and fretless SR5's, Lakland 55-94 and 55-63 fretted basses and another fretted 55-94 is coming my way this week. I may be wanting to trade one of my 55-94's for a fretless 55-94 and the Stingray fretless will be for sale if I do.

    By the way, I owned a fretless Zon Sonus Custom with a 35" scale neck and had no trouble adapting to the scale length. I have small hands and even 1st position was no problem for me. I believe that the difficulties adapting to the longer scale length are exaggerated and that most players have no problem adapting to a bass with a 35" scale.

    Perhaps my point of refrerence is colored by the fact that I also play upright and have no trouble switching between electric and acoustic bass.

    I've played quite a few Skyline and USA Lakland basses. I do not care for the electronics or PUs in the 01 Skylines. The 02 Skylines are indeed very close to the same as a USA made Lakland. The figured tops are very thin veneers, there is no graphite in the necks and they tend to vary more in weight than the USA Lakland basses.

    IMO the USA Laklands are worth the additional cost, if you can afford it. The US made necks seem to have less hot or dead spots and the basses consistantly sound wonderful. The Skyline basses have more dead spots (not bad but still there)and vary quite a bit in weight and tone. They are still a very fine bargain.

    Remember when Japanese instruments were of inferior quality? MIJ instruments improved to the point where about 20 years ago they became fully accepted as quality basses. Seems that we are seeing the same trend with the Korean made basses. Can the Chinese be far behind?

  15. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The Carvin or the Cirrus. Good sound and excellent playability.

    The others are too heavy and/or don't have fast necks. You don't want to fight a fretless instrument.
  16. Zharlon

    Zharlon From Ice Station Zebra....to Deep Charch 9

    Apr 19, 2003
    Northwest U.S.A.
    I hope not to make a stink here by recomending a bass that is not on your list of basses, but(crosses fingers) I am going to do just that......I have tried some of the bases that were listed, and even owned a cirrus 5(although fretted)..playability wise, I have never personally played anthing that beat the cirrus in terms of playabilty, weight, and neck speed...BUT I wasn't impressed with the Cirrus sound, and the gentleman TB'er that I traded the Cirrus to(for a SUPER sweet custom warwick) also liked the playabilty and design of the Cirrus, but didn't care for the tonal qualities(though again that was fretted)....anyways, what I have is a fretless 5 WARWICK fortress one, that I got offa Ebay , and I payed UNDER 1K and ..MAN! It's extremely fast with smoothe action and EXELENT tone..I have been using it for small combo jazz gigs(along with DB) and I have decided that this is one bass that I will NEVER sell..I have seen em around on the used market(Bass guru was selling an almost identical one recently) for around or less than what you are thinking of paying...might check one out before you decide, just my 2cents but pricless to me..
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I've had the 55-02 fretless for a few months now. I'm lovin' it. I've used it at church a couple times. Big time "mwah" tone here. I have had absolutely no issue with it being 35" scale (all my other basses are 34"). It's very light. At least compared to my other basses. It is about the same as my Marcus Miller Signature. I love the feel and speed of the neck.

    I've never spent more than 5 minutes with an SR5 fretless, so it's hard for me to say how they compare. This bass is well worth more than I paid for it (approx $850). If the SR5 is in the same price range, then I'd say they'd be worth an A/B comparision.


  18. Basho

    Basho Guest

    I've got to say the Stingray 5.
  19. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    My bass teacher has a Cirrus fretless five. Its the walnut bodied version. He let me play it for a lesson a while ago. My intonation was painful, but the tone!!! I love it! If its a thick, rich, smooth sound you are looking for you must check out the cirrus. Just fooling around with the EQ, i got some pretty diverse tones.
    In short, give it a look.:D