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Super cheap fretless recommendation, please (UPDATE)


zeronyne

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After hearing my bass teacher's Veilette through an Accugroove cab on Saturday, I think I'm going to take a stab at fretless. I don't want to spend any significant amount of money because a)I have a Nordstrand on order that is a significant amount of money and b)if I do get into it, I'll order a scary one.

 

So I looked around, and I came across these. I'm hoping that someone has either some experience or recommendations on these. Thanks.

 

Ibanez SR300DX for $279.00

 

Yamaha BB404 for $199.00

 

Dean Edge for 350.00 (a little more than I want to spend)

 

EDIT: What do you guys think it would take to get this up to playable condition?

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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On a recent trip to music row, I found at Manny's a Rogue fretless for 189.00. Almost ridiculously light weight, something like 30 fret positions, pretty sure the fingerboard was phenolic (or similar). Very playable.

And it's black, for added loudness.

Had I not a fretless, I might have yoinked that one.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by wraub:

On a recent trip to music row, I found at Manny's a Rogue fretless for 189.00. Almost ridiculously light weight, something like 30 fret positions, pretty sure the fingerboard was phenolic (or similar). Very playable.

And it's black, for added loudness.

Had I not a fretless, I might have yoinked that one.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

Hmmm...intersting! I think that one is like 99.00 on MF...I'll have to check it out! Thanks, Wraub.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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http://www.rondomusic.net/Bassguitarfretless.html

 

Really, really cheap fretless with Alder wood bodies. I know several people who have purchased these and seem quite happy with them.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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I think wraub is taling 'bout a carlo robelli, not a rogue.

O-9, can you post a picture of a scary fretless bass.........im curious, and also how bout a nice description of that veillette!

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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About that mtd,somethings fishy. That much fretwear and it's now strung with flats. Someone made a conversion and obviously had to change the nutslots depth for better intonation, so why is it painted white? And isn't this series from mtd fairly recent(i don't really know..just a guess) It looks like it was a beater bass with an owner that didn't like the sound and figured it would sound better fretless....so he converted it..didn't like it and is now trying to sell it.

P.S. people do these things, I recently was looking at a phase 90 at gc and i picked up a used fretless american jazz to play through it. Then the nut practically came off, I told an employee about the problem and he said

"nah man, don't worry about it...it's a floating nut...it's supposed to be that way, that's how it is"

 

Um either gc was had by the seller of the bass, or they're intentionally selling an inferior product....yo.

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Originally posted by musicfiend:

...also how bout a nice description of that veillette!

It was this one:

http://www.veilletteguitars.com/guitars/bass-5-fretless-smoke.jpg

 

But with an amber finish. 34" Scale, completely floating bridge/tailpiece, 18v D-tar pre, and a single bolt neck joint.

 

When played in a slightly exaggerated fashion, it was indistinguishable from an EUB. Low end sustain for days. When played like a traditional fretless guitar, hte mwaah was quite impressive. The definition in the upper register was something I have never experienced when listening to a fretless. I got to hear only a few minutes of it, so I can't give an in depth review, but I imagine it's worth its gazillion dollar price tag.

 

Originally posted by musicfiend:

O-9, can you post a picture of a scary fretless bass

Well, there's this one:

http://www.ritter-basses.com/ritter-basses---bilder/ritter-basses-album/0423.jpg

 

Or this chambered 7

http://www.conklinguitars.com/facebass/7gallery/7whiteblack3.jpg

 

But the scariest one I've had the pleasure to actually touch (I would not exaggerate and use the word "play") is HERE. That's my bass teacher playing the Nordstrand Spruce Goose at the last NAMM show. You can ask Adrian how that one plays...I saw him noodling on it too, although I was too enamoured with the fiber optics on his Nordstrand to hear him play the fretless :D .

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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I'd actually have to vote for the Dean Edge. Look used...I found my Dean Edge fretless 5-string on Ebay for $300, had to solder one wire and BAM! (or would that be MWAH!), it worked perfectly. It has tons and tons of mwah, lots of low-end growl, and a little mid-range honk...exactly what I was looking for in a fretless. You can hear it here on this song I was working up a bass line to:

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/other/HL_KingYouAreWorthy_BassAndDrums2.mp3

 

Just make sure you actually get something which you like the sound of, or it'll seriously stunt your fretless growth!

 

HTH,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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I think they are made by the same manuacturer...

Originally posted by musicfiend:

I think wraub is taling 'bout a carlo robelli, not a rogue.

I have the Robelli 4 with frets, and for a cheapo bass it's pretty good. I've also played the fretless version and found it to be a good value.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Yup, musicfiend and coyote are correct, it was a Robelli. Sorry about that.

 

But I think coyote is correct x2, same factory of mfg.

 

Thanks for the correction, mf. :)

 

And is just me, or does that Ritter 7 look

f$#%^&' awesome...?

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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I vote for the Yamaha. However, if you would like a narrower neck I would recommend a MIM Fender Jazz, Ed Friedland had one for a while and it sounded really nice.

 

As for the Veillette, it is very pretty, but I prefered the body styles that they made back in the 70's/80's, like the one Tina Waymouth used on the "Stop Making Sense" DVD. I never had the opprotunity to play one but they sure looked cool.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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I'd go with the Dean with the EMGs. It looks better and if you wanted to go active you could drop/fit them in with no routing. The Yamaha is a close second but I think the Dean has a better market value, in case you decide to keep playing fretless and want to sell it to move up.

 

Have you heard of Brice basses? The hardware's a little cheezy but they don't sound bad and if you run through the store's inventory you might find one that sounds really nice; I've been tempted on several occasions to get one and drop in a set of EMGs. Price range between $100-200 USD. They're better built than the Carlo Robelli/Rogue basses IMHO. Someone in the Second City area has to carry them. You can also find them on eBay and online at Rondo Music .

:wave:

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The price tag on the veillette isn'y as scary as you'd expect. It's around 1300 from guitar asylum with a gigbag and free shipping.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, so after my third lesson on Saturday, I was chomping at the bit to try fretless. I tried some really cheap ones at various music superstores in Chicago and Indiana, but I feel like this motivation streak is going to last a while. So I ordered this:

http://www.kensmithbasses.com/KSD/images/KSDvLFj5.jpg

 

Or, more specifically, this exact one:

http://bassnw.com/images/New%20Basses/Ken%20Smith%20KSD%20J5FL.jpg

 

Ken Smith Design Proto J 5 string lined fretless. Korean-made, alder body, maple neck, ebonol fingerboard. Passive J p'ups, 2 band active eq with a push/pull defeat. If only the headstock was black...

 

Anyway, it was a phenomenal deal, and the staff at Bass NW are the best bunch of guys! They do a setup before shipping, and the shipping was incredibly reasonable. They stress the 3 day return period...it really seems like they want you to get the right bass.

 

Now I just need the matching Nordstrand.

 

Oh, and about 5 years of practice.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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So I received the Proto J V Fretless today. HEre are some initial impressions.

 

Heavy (not Warwick Thumb heavy, but heavier than a Fender Jazz V), but well-balanced on a strap. Typical Fenderish neck dive when seated.

 

It came out of the box with the stacked tone knob wiggling. It was just the nut under the knobs.

 

A single "must be an import" issue. The pickguard, while extremely high quality material-wise, is pulling away ever so slightly at the corner closest to the bridge but away from the controls (lower left if the bass was on a stand). Not a deal breaker, but obviously not a luthier custom job (but then again, it was well under $700).

 

The polyester finish is flawless. The only thing I like better is a matching headstock, but again, beggars can't be choosers. Nice screwless battery comparment. Overall, it's a well made quality bass guitar.

 

The neck is 1.75" at the nut, but it's definitely chunky. The spacing at the bridge is 19mm...a little wider than the the Thumb but nothing I consciously notice. The 35" scale is not noticeable yet either, probably because of the novelty of fretless. My 35" Schecter was very overtly long scale.

 

I have to hold off judgement on the playability a bit because this bass has been through a couple drastic environmental changes in the last 5 days. The action ended up being a little too low, as the notes were bottoming out. It needs a bit fo a setup tonight.

 

Plugged it into the bass pod set to just be a preamp. Open strings sounded great...maybe a little anemic. Again, because of the action issue, I will reserve judgement on the mwaah factor.

 

Stay tuned.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Good luck with the new toy. I'm glad to hear that the weight isn't an issue - the one's I tried in the store felt "bulky" - both oversized and heavy. Partially that's me - I usually go for smaller/lighter basses (despite my Kinal being a decent sized bit of wood).

 

After you get your action and relief in shape, check your pickup height. It may help that "weakness". And does it have a battery? You might change it for the fun of it.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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