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Will changing the action affect my fretless' sound?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by superbassman2000, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Well,
    I've got a fretless fender MIM jazz, and i was wondering if raising the action would take away the fretless "mwah," or will it enhance it? or will it not change it at all? anyways, i want to try to take away that slow attack that usually comes with a fretless, if its at all possible. also if there's something else i can do, let me know.

  2. the "mwah" comes from the sound of the string vibrating against the fingerboard. the higher the action, the less a string contacts the board when fretting (or fretless-ing?), so yes, raising the action will decrease your mwah factor.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's exactly right - I did this on my electric upright bass. So, with low action it had a lot of mwah and sounded a bit like the classic fretless BG - but raising the action, made it sound thumpier and more like a Double Bass.

    I wouldn't say it makes mwah impossible - just harder and more like the way an acoustic bass plays. The higher the action, I find, the more you are getting of the acoustic sound....?
  4. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    I raised my action coz I hate the mahwa sound
  5. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    You play a fretless but hate muah?! Ah soo much wrong with that!
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - like I was saying - you might well want a sound more like Double Bass and it's the type of mwah that definitely gives away that it's BG and not DB! ;)
  7. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    to me mahwa sounds as good as fret buzz I like to dig in and bring out the string overtones
  8. the action on my defretted Hohner ABG is pretty high- it gets a quite convincing pseudo-DB thump with flats.
    it requires a harder plucking technique- which is good for producing acoustic volume.
    and lots of effort to hold down notes high on the neck.

    but I've set the action on a Yamaha RBX270F fretless low, and play it fairly softly.
  9. I've seen this thousands of times. I have a Musicman Stingray fretless with TI Jazz flats. I've set the action as low as possible and I get NO Mwah whatsoever.

    However, when I raise the action, I can not only hear the MWAH but feel that oh-so-nice vibration of the string buzzing against the fretboard. ESPECIALLY if I pluck the strings right below the end of the neck.

    Also, on upright bass, the action is pretty high, and there's lots of mwah on that thing...

    When you talk about low action = more mwah, does that only apply to roundwound strings? or strings with higher tension?
    on my TI jazz flats, when the action is real low, the tone just cuts out after the string flops into the fingerboard and cuts its sustain off.
  10. Can we have some "Mwah" of that? :p