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Linus27

What is considered the best fretless bass?

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I should also mention my Sabre "Special" custom bass here. This is a great one too: lovely fat Sabre neck, beautiful woodworking, great SD pickup and preamp. Fantastic for fat, burpy funky bass tones. It doesn't see as much playing time as the Alembic but it is a nice one to fall back on when I just want to play a 4 string. bagged it for £500 too, quite the steal!

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The Ibanez Gary Willis model is a great fretless,as is the Fender Jaco model.
Obviously you have to mention basses like the F Bass Alain Caron model,Pedulla Buzz,Zon Sonus....in fact most of the high end makers make great fretless basses.

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[quote name='Doddy' post='935833' date='Aug 25 2010, 12:10 PM']The Ibanez Gary Willis model is a great fretless, as is the Fender Jaco model.[/quote]

I tried a Fender Jaco the same day I bought my Warwick, and I was distinctly unimpressed. It was nicely made, played well, and sounded pretty good, but just didn't [i]feel[/i] right (in the way my Warwick does). That could just have been my playing style, of course. or because I don't much care for lined boards.

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Wal Mk1 Custom
Pedulla Buzz

I've owned both (still own the Wal) and I bought them because they 'spoke' to me more than any other fretless.... tried Stingrays, Jazz's etc and though very good they didn't come close to the Wal & Pedulla....

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I'd still love to sit down with a Fender Jaco signature and have a proper go of one, rather than just 10 minutes in a shop. I fear though I might be disappointed given that the other fretless basses I like are all high tech, hand made affairs. IIRC Guitar Guitar in Newcastle had one a couple of years ago, one of the most beautiful fenders I've seen!

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[quote name='51m0n' post='935534' date='Aug 25 2010, 12:00 AM']That is properly pornographic and no mistake, mind you I'd feel a bit of a t*t getting it out for a jam at the dog'n'duck :)[/quote]



The owner of that used to be on Talkbass when I used the site. IIRC it has a diamond or some sort of jewel embedded in the board around the 12th position. Not the sort of thing you'd take down the Dog and Bollock for fear you might lose it!

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This one.
[attachment=57515:5_4.jpg]

Wals have always floored me and a Ken Smith fretless has a great tone.

There's a lot of Wal fretless on these 2 free CD downloads.

[url="http://LaurenceCottle.com/buy/"]http://LaurenceCottle.com/buy/[/url]

I think any fretted that sounds good sounds good fretless.

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[quote name='Chris2112' post='937739' date='Aug 27 2010, 01:35 AM']I'd still love to sit down with a Fender Jaco signature and have a proper go of one, rather than just 10 minutes in a shop. I fear though I might be disappointed given that the other fretless basses I like are all high tech, hand made affairs. IIRC Guitar Guitar in Newcastle had one a couple of years ago, one of the most beautiful fenders I've seen![/quote]

Yes, I would also even to just clarify what tones I can get from it. A stingray fretless is another I would love to try especially to compare tonally against a fretted Stingray.

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[quote name='Linus27' post='934186' date='Aug 23 2010, 09:18 PM']Probably not a right or wrong answer to this question due to personnel preferences, but however, what is considered the best fretless bass? Musicman Stingray, Fender Jazz, Status or even something older like an Ibanez Musician or Aria Pro? Any thoughts?

Maybe a better question would be what are the best fretless basses?[/quote]


Pedulla Pentabuzz!

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If you don't have a lot of money to spend I would say an Ibanez Musician...I think it's up to the same level as very expensive basses. I've owned a couple of them and for around 350-400 £ you get an excellent instrument.
I have owned four fretless Wal basses (two MKI, two Pro basses) and though they sound amazing with a tone of their own I was often disappointed by the sustain. I took a fretless Wal MKI to the studio once and I had to play a ballad in 3/4 and the notes died before I wanted them to. Luckily I had another fretless with me which did the job.
I've sold all my fretless Wal basses, used a fretless Lefay bass for a long time (best sustain ever) but sold that one too.
Now I stick to the Pedulla Buzz which I bought here on BC for 900£.. plenty of punch and a character of its own.
My advice : if you have to think about your budget, an Ibanez Musician or a good Fender Jazz MIJ or MIM and if you have a bit more to spend : a Pedulla.
But plenty of options left..

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[quote name='wombatboter' post='937865' date='Aug 27 2010, 10:08 AM']If you don't have a lot of money to spend I would say an Ibanez Musician...I think it's up to the same level as very expensive basses. I've owned a couple of them and for around 350-400 £ you get an excellent instrument.
I have owned four fretless Wal basses (two MKI, two Pro basses) and though they sound amazing with a tone of their own I was often disappointed by the sustain. I took a fretless Wal MKI to the studio once and I had to play a ballad in 3/4 and the notes died before I wanted them to. Luckily I had another fretless with me which did the job.
I've sold all my fretless Wal basses, used a fretless Lefay bass for a long time (best sustain ever) but sold that one too.
Now I stick to the Pedulla Buzz which I bought here on BC for 900£.. plenty of punch and a character of its own.
My advice : if you have to think about your budget, an Ibanez Musician or a good Fender Jazz MIJ or MIM and if you have a bit more to spend : a Pedulla.
But plenty of options left..[/quote]

Did you ever try a Stingray?

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If you want a fretless Stingray I'd recommend you try playing it first. When I was trying every fretless bass I could find I wasn't really impressed by it. For me I couldn't get the fretless tone I wanted out of it and if I had it would definitely have needed a thumb rest fitting as the fingerboard was too short to use the end of it and the pickup too close to the bridge. Your needs might be different which is why you have to try first.

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[quote name='Linus27' post='937899' date='Aug 27 2010, 10:43 AM']Did you ever try a Stingray?[/quote]

Yes (I'm a huge Palladino fan), I had one but I sold it.. the humbucker missed those midtones a bit too much for me, it sounds mellow and I need to have that punchy sound which you hear in Jaco's sound. But again : tastes differ and just look what inspires you the most.
Recently I borrowed a Fender Jazz MIJ fretless of 400 euros and I thought it was one of the best fretlesses I ever heard.

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Best fretless I've ever played is my Warwick Corvette. Just done a gig with it earlier on with brand new strings, and now they've settled it sounds absolutely immense! Feels nice (they're flats), sounds great and the action's just spot on, so it's fast but accurate. My dad used to run a Guild B302F which he said was bloody nice, but he maintains that my Warwick's also the best he's played.

Personally I reckon it's down to personal preference. Whilst someone can love a bass, others can hate it. My dad loves his Ashbory to bits and I love it to an extent, but I can't see why he loves it so much. I play it a lot, although I struggle to get my head around it. It's like with my Jazz. I love it, he hates it. And we both love the Warwicks and Wal :)

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quality for money ratio... the aria I'm selling! :) or trying to sell......

sorry, ill go now!

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Thanks again for all the advice and feedback. Based on budget, I think a Wal is out of my league and rather exessive for my needs. At least for now anyway. I guess top of my list is a Stingray especially after hearing this beautiful, wonderful sounding Ray.

[url="http://www.youtube.com/user/pertybass#p/u/27/fCd2h6KPgL8"]http://www.youtube.com/user/pertybass#p/u/27/fCd2h6KPgL8[/url]

Edited by Linus27

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[quote name='Linus27' post='947343' date='Sep 6 2010, 04:16 PM']I guess top of my list is a Stingray especially after hearing this beautiful, wonderful sounding Ray.[/quote]
Embedded for you :rolleyes: :


Yep, that's the fretless Ray tone I love. He obviously loves it a lot too... that's why he keeps a bog roll on the desk as he plays. :)

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[quote name='BottomEndian' post='947349' date='Sep 6 2010, 04:21 PM']Embedded for you :rolleyes: :


Yep, that's the fretless Ray tone I love. He obviously loves it a lot too... that's why he keeps a bog roll on the desk as he plays. :)[/quote]

Thanks for that and yes, I may need to get a stock of toilet roles myself. I've listened to that clip about 20 times now in the space of 4 hours.

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