I have had 40 basses in 8 years. I've liked some more than others. A Peavey Grind 5 string, Hohner 6 B Bass, and Fender MM P bass stand out. But my current one is the best, yet I came by it largely by accident.
Irked by my blues crowd taking the michael if I played anything wider than a 4 string, but wanting a B string, I thought I'd buy a cheap 4 string and convert it to BEAD stringing.
So I went on Fleabay to find a dog I could experiment with - and came across a Revelation P bass. The pictures were very fuzzy and indistinct, but the price was good at £150. So I bought it. Only to find too late it was an unlined fretless. Eeek...
Any road, it arrived and it seemed straight out the egg. And the quality was impressive - almost as good as a Sire (sans 18v electrics) for half the price even new.
I did the nut slot file thing to cater for bigger strings and strung it with the lower end of a 6 string La Bella nickel rounds set. It played OK, but very deep and thuddy and I couldn't get used to it. So I reverted to EADG stringing with the flatwounds it came with (Picato? dunno). And - possibly critically - I added an old KiOgon loom I had kicking around from another project.
Result? Bass heaven. Totally my sound, handles great. and the smaller strings don't seem to mind the slightly widened nut slots. Most of all, with a fair few hours hard practice, I find playing unlined isn't that hard.
I think this puppy was meant to be. Who knows, it might actually stay.