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Your favorite fretless?


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Nice high school orchestra picture, ATM.

 

I own a MusicMan Sterling fretless, but I wouldn't call it my favorite fretless. I don't own my favorite fretless yet. The Sterling is the third one I've owned...I'm working up to my favorite by trial and error.

 

The nicest ones I've played lately were a Nordstrand and a Roscoe. They were both really, really wonderful instruments.

 

I haven't played a Dave Wendler fretless yet, but judging from the recorded sounds that I have heard, it is going to be a great experience.

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A fretless Sterling is my #1 bass. I've had is for three or four years now. It's my favorite so far. The Sterling is a nice bass IMHO, and it sounds grrrreat live. It replaced a fretless Kubicki that I really wanted to like, but never did (I still think it looks kool, and the drop D tuner thing was pretty clever as well as useful.)

 

I've been waiting to bump into several fretless basses for a while, but the're rare to find for sale locally.

 

Lakland seems very interesting, On paper it seems like a Sterling with, of course, the neck PU.

 

G & L L2000 is a cousin of Sterling, sorta, by way of the MM Sabre. I liked the Sterling so much that I frantically bought a fretless Sabre on E-bay. My take on the Sabre is that it might be good for someone trying to emulate an upright, but it's not my cup of tea. The L-2000 was Leo's favorite bass, or so the website says. People who have fretless ones swear by them and they can be had fairly cheap used. One kinda neat feature is that they're active or passive and have passive tone controls in that mode.

 

I played a fretless Modulus VJ in a store and that was quite nice. The neck had absolutely no relief and played like proverbial butter. And I thought the Sterling had a nice neck!

 

My absolute favorite fretless was Jack Read's (a Mass. luthier) personal custom bass. A single Bart MM humbucker closer to the bridge than a Sterling/Stingraylike the bridge PU of a J bass. Passive with a Mahogany neck. There's a picture of it one his web site. I'm not crazy about the shape of the body, but it played and sounded wonderful. Wonderfully smooth, warm but bright sound. Light too, less than 8 lbs if memory serves.

 

Jack says he'll build my dream bass for about 2 grand and some day I may take him up on it. It would have the same neck as the above mentioned bass, but with alightened J-bass body and two Bart MMs. Jack claims that the body has little affect on the tone, so the J shape shouldn't alter the sound of what I played in his shop. The neck will be Mahogany which supposedly has the greatest sustain. I could believe this as my first fretless was a 13 lb solid Mahogany monster of a Hagstrom Big Swede. Even with a 31" scale, that thing had fantastic sustain.

 

That was fairly long winded, but I guess I ponder the favorite fretless bass question fairly often myself. I still wouldn't knock the Sterling though, it's the best I've ever had. What are you looking for in a fretless?

 

Hope I spelled everything right :)

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I have a Sterling fretless as well, and I'm very happy with it. It's very versatile; you can get a lot of "mwah" out of it, although of a warm rather than glassy variety. I played it at a practice tonight, and I could use it on a lot of songs--the ones where I wanted a distinct fretless character, as well as the ones where I just wanted the sound of a big-ass humbucker bass. I doubt it's the fretless bass than-which-no-greater-can-be-conceived, but I like it & see no reason to go looking for another. The first time I played one, that was it. THAT was the one I wanted.

 

I'd also LOVE to get my hands on a Wendler. A different type of fretless, I think, but from what I've read & heard, it's a thing of beauty.

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I've played a couple of veillettes, both 5 string, and loved them very much. They were very easy to play, and very easy to play in tune. And they had this amazingly round warm sound that really hit you in your just and ontto your fretting hand.

Right now I'm trying to find a way to play a rob allen, jsut to know if it is appreciably better given the higher price. I feel that by the time I make my decision I'll have saced enough to purchase one of the said basses and playt into the sunset...

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 Dr. Sweet Willie:

My Stingray5 fretless.

 

However, that's mainly because it's mine and not because I think it's better than others on the market.

 

Peace.

--s-uu

You stole my post Dr. S U-U! I love my Stingray 5 fretless. I got it with the piezo pickups in the bridge, and it's just a sweet sounding fretless. It sings, I tell you. :wave:

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G & L L2000 is a cousin of Sterling, sorta, by way of the MM Sabre. I liked the Sterling so much that I frantically bought a fretless Sabre on E-bay. My take on the Sabre is that it might be good for someone trying to emulate an upright, but it's not my cup of tea. The L-2000 was Leo's favorite bass, or so the website says. People who have fretless ones swear by them and they can be had fairly cheap used. One kinda neat feature is that they're active or passive and have passive tone controls in that mode.
I have a fretted sabre with L2000 Pickups, and a fretless L2000 w/ ebony fretboard. I love them both.

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

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Originally posted by Jimbroni:

I have a fretted sabre with L2000 Pickups,

Did you put the L2000 PUs in the Sabre on purpose, or did you get it that way? Or is it a FrankenSabre made up of leftover parts.? Just curious if you liked or disliked the Sabre in its original form.

 

Is it the Sabre in your Avatar? They are handsome devils, especially in that Sunburst color scheme.

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I gotta say my favorite FL was the one I defretted years ago. It was an 80's model Yamaha BB300 that I popped the frets and sanded the black gloss body. I also dropped PJ EMGs in it. The guy who routered out the placement for the J PU made me some beautiful purpleheart knobs with dots of glow in the dark paint for markers. This bass had the most wonderful action I have ever played, sure there were dead spots, but it was a beaut. If I could only get it back somehow. I see it every once in a while around town with it's new owner. Kind of like seeing your ex with her new boyfriend.

 

:(

Nothing you do in life is ever wrong, some things just aren`t exactly right. Or some crap like that.

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While I love my fretless '71 Fender Jazz w/EMG's, I've played two otheres recently that really got me excited (not THAT way):

Godin A5: if only it had a magnetic pickyup, too, to get some extra growl, it would be THE one. Neck was the best I've played; fit in my hand nicely, and the hash-mard fretlines on the side were just enough guidance for me.

G&L L2500: Played a couple at Bass Palace last year; great sound; beefy neck; quite enjoyable.

 

Or should I just rip out the frets of the Lakland Darryl Jones when it arrives?

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band

 

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Nothing beats homemade cookin'...

http://www.jawireless.com/pigroast2003/images/DSCN5433.jpg

The ingredients:

-Maple 5-string neck w/rosewood fretboard

-Modified P-bass body

-EMG P5/J5 pickup set

-EMG BTS active EQ (vol/balance/stacked treble/bass) powered by 9V lithium battery

-Schaller bridge

-Gotoh tuners (recently switched to a no-name brand resembling Schaller mini-Fender tuners)

-6 neck bolts with ferrules

-D'Addario Chromes (.045-.130) flatwound set

 

Plenty of love and home assembly required. :love:

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I have had quite a few fretless basses over the years: a couple of defretted Jazzes (I still kick myself for selling a defretted 72...) a few fretless P's (my fav being a 77 P Bass elite with maple board...very nice, tho there was a very cool, and beautiful sounding 69 P bass with a rosewood board and Baddass Bridge and a very old Bartolini PU...so old it was still called "Hi A"), and four and five string MusicMan StingRays.

 

By Far my fav is my current Godin A5. I don't miss the abscence of a mognetic PU at all. In fact, I prefer it not being there. Strung with TI Acousticore Strings I have plenty of mwah and growl. The bass responds so well to touch that finger placement and pressure give me such an array of sounds.

 

BTW, I keep it tuned in fifths (low to high): CGDAE.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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The 1984 Ibanez Musician 940DS I bought new, factory special order. I played this exclusively for about 6 years, but had to sell it to pay medical bills about 10 years ago.

 

I still regret selling it, especially as the cost of a replacement is usually quite a bit higher than I paid new.

 

My current fretless is good, but it's not quite "it" yet. I am still working on it. :)

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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I've tried out a number of fretless basses over the past few years. Finally bought one after I played a Warwick. It just felt and sounded right. A couple months later, one showed up on Ebay in immaculate condition with a BuyItNow that was impossible to pass up. It's now my primary bass for those infrequent times that I now play bass with a group.

 

I guess that makes it my favorite :)

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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Originally posted by Father Gino:

Originally posted by Jimbroni:

I have a fretted sabre with L2000 Pickups,

Did you put the L2000 PUs in the Sabre on purpose, or did you get it that way? Or is it a FrankenSabre made up of leftover parts.? Just curious if you liked or disliked the Sabre in its original form.

 

Is it the Sabre in your Avatar? They are handsome devils, especially in that Sunburst color scheme.

Well the one in the avatar isn't mine, though mine is also sunburst. Frankensabre :D Yeah thats about it. I bought my sabre a long time when I was younger. It came as is, with a leo quan badass 2 bridge and g&L pickups. It was built from spare parts by a local player in Flint, who worked at Bogner's Music. Its unique and sounds as such, definetly not worth any money. Most bass players who have played it dig the sound.

As far as, the standard Sabre sound goes. I've played on few of those, but not enough to get a good opinion. I liked my bass' tone a little better, but that could have been because I'm used to what I have.

 

Those humbuckers seem to have a roar/growl, makes for a nice mwah on the L2000 ebony fretboard. Though I played Zon similar to Ben's once and I was like damn. :D Nice fish, Ben. :thu:

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

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Originally posted by rub_a_dub_stylie:

I gotta say my favorite FL was the one I defretted years ago. It was an 80's model Yamaha BB300 that I popped the frets and sanded the black gloss body...

Hey rub, I also defretted a Yamaha BB300 (Red Finish). I had a luthier friend of mine defret it and fill the slots with cocobolo wood. He fashioned a corian nut to replace the plactic one and also routed a hole for a J pickup. I bought an old J pickup from a local music shop and installed it with the stock P. Wired it volume/volume with no tone control.

 

Sounds and plays great! Just did some studio work with it last week and the engineer and band mates loved it. Can't wait to hear the final product. I don't know if its my favorite, but I've had it for several years now and have been very satisfied with it.

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