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Thread: Fretless poll thread

  1. #1
    sitonmybass Guest

    Fretless poll thread

    I recently sold a 35" scale non EBMM fretless 5 with a lined ebony fingerboard which I had strung with flats to minimize wear (I ended up loving flats on it.) My next fretless will be an EBMM 5 possibly unlined.

    Attention Knuckleheads:

    What fretless basses do you own or want?

    What type of fingerboard wood do you prefer?

    Do you like lined or unlined?

    What is the percentage of your usage of fretless?

    What genres/contexts do you use it for?

    Do you prefer the look of lined or unlined?

    What strings do you use/prefer?

    What effects pedals, if any, do you use with fretless?

    Do you find yourself concentrating more or do you feel more "free" on fretless?

    What scale length do you prefer?

    Do you prefer active or passive electronics?

    Do you prefer all magnetic or magnetic plus piezo pickup configurations?

    Are there certain features that you consider a "must-have?"

    If you've never owned one before would you consider or are you considering purchasing one?

    Do you know someone who would let you borrow theirs to try out?

    Were you easily discouraged at your first attempt at playing one?

    Does the thought of playing fretless intimidate you and prevent you from trying it?

    Are the people you play with "open" to you trying/playing fretless?

    Did fretless automatically feel comfortable to you?

    Do you feel you're "missing out" not playing fretless?

    Do you "hear" certain imagined bass-lines in your head as fretless lines?

    What is your emotional response when you hear a well played fretless line?

    Do you feel that you haven't reached your full potential due to not playing fretless?

    Could fretless possibly be your "voice" on bass?

    What is your DREAM fretless bass?
    Last edited by sitonmybass; 12-16-2009 at 02:17 AM.

  2. #2

    User Info Menu

    My "dream" fretless bass is the unlined fretless Dargies Delight II Big Al bass incoming as we speak. I'll keep her strung with Ernie Ball rounds.

    Aside from that, I have a sunburst, unlined, 3-band fretless Stingray 4 fitted with "Acme" flatwounds. I aboslutely love this bass to pieces, but am giddy as Christmas over the arrival of the Big Al.

    I only use a bit of EH small clone theory chorus... I use the fretless for anything and everything. It's helping improve my playing and ear training/accuracy quite a bit.

    Cheers

    Andy
    Last edited by Spanky(Andy); 12-16-2009 at 01:25 AM. Reason: both unlined
    2009 EBMM Dargie Delight II Fretless Big Al 4 SSS
    2006 EBMM 30th Anniversary Stingray 4 H
    1996 sunburst EBMM fretless Stingray 4 H
    1991 natural/maple EBMM Sabre 4 HH

    Markbass LM II
    Markbass 104HF

    Stupidly sold my HH Desert Gold Bongo 5

  3. #3

    User Info Menu

    I like lined fretless boards, I've had both and I'm much better on lined.

    I'm happy with ebony, rosewood, or pau ferro boards

    I use nylon tapewounds or flatwounds usually

    Scale length isn't a big deal on fretless, I've played 30" scale basses that sounded great when compared to 35" scale

    I definitely got frustrated early on, usually that ended when I sold the bass!

  4. #4

    User Info Menu

    I'm considering fretless Bongo Hp, or fretless Stingray Hp!

    Advantage of Bongo is 4 band EQ, and advantage of Stingray is body wood (ash) and vintage tone of alnico pickup, so I need much more time to consider this matter!

    I think that good fretles tone needs only bridge pickup in combination with piezo, even for some bass lines piezo only!

    More, and much more... I think that for average fretless bass lines are enough 4 strings!

    Wish to have ebony fretboard, but not necessary!

    Looks much better without fret lines, but lines wouldn't disturb tone anyway!

    Usability of fretless during gigs that my band is playing could be max. 10% unfortunately, so for now I'm faking that tone using my freted bass with cutting off treble on bridge single coil position and way of playing with fingers, or sometimes when faking doublebass tone using single neck pickup with lots of middle...etc.

    If I decide to buy a fretless I'll use it very rare in live conditions, more for home practice and my soul but maybe I'll have in future some small club gigs and that's I'm looking forward to!

  5. #5

    User Info Menu

    I just entered the fretless world and have 2 basses at the moment: MM Sterling lined and another brand unlined passive. Observations:
    - prefer the passive sound; the MM active is a bit much for me on the fretless
    - the unlined looks cooler but I definately play the lined better
    - the smaller gauge flat wounds play the best for me (EB Group IVs on order)
    - I must be a SansAmp addict because I like it on the fretless a lot
    - I find myself practicing on the fretless more than a fretted - more expressive and fun
    - I bet the 25th Anniversary fretless is really nice (when passive)
    - my Sterling is Single H which, to me, is not the best config for a fretless sound; would prefer an HH -- need the deeper neck PU tone -- this may be why I like the SansAmp with it
    - the Sterling size and neck profile are just fantastic, very playable

  6. #6

    User Info Menu

    Attention Knuckleheads:
    What fretless basses do you own or want?
    DDII Bongo 5HSp, 25th 5HSS

    What type of fingerboard wood do you prefer?
    Ebony honestly, but Pau Ferro does a great frickin' job.

    Do you like lined or unlined?
    Unlined, I'm blind anyways. Side dot markers are there for a kind reminder too.

    What is the percentage of your usage of fretless?
    Once I have one again, probably 75%. I love fretless basses.

    What genres/contexts do you use it for?
    I don't play hard stuff, and not a ton of "fast" stuff, so anything from Reggae to Blues. Primarily Reggae, Blues, Jazz, fusion, and some "Rock" type stuff. Anything

    Do you prefer the look of lined or unlined?
    Unlined

    What strings do you use/prefer?
    Flats

    What effects pedals, if any, do you use with fretless?
    No effects with anything

    Do you find yourself concentrating more or do you feel more "free" on fretless?
    With a new song... concentrating, with something I've played a bazillion times, more free.

    What scale length do you prefer?
    Only ever player a 34"... except for an upright.

    Do you prefer active or passive electronics?
    Don't have a preference really. But probably Active.

    Do you prefer all magnetic or magnetic plus piezo pickup configurations?
    Can't say yet.

    Were you easily discouraged at your first attempt at playing one?
    Nope. But when I picked it up after a while I found my intonation a bit lacking... but seriously after about 1 hour of practice I was as good as new.

    Are the people you play with "open" to you trying/playing fretless?
    Yes.

    Did fretless automatically feel comfortable to you?
    Yes.

    Do you "hear" certain imagined bass-lines in your head as fretless lines?
    They develop in the fingers for me. When I play fretless... my fingers play fretless.

    Do you feel that you haven't reached your full potential due to not playing fretless?
    I don't think this is a fair statement. Fretted and Fretless are both great... one does not equate to the other.

    Could fretless possibly be your "voice" on bass?
    Possibly.

    What is your DREAM fretless bass?
    Right now.... see question 1.
    -Matt the "Manfloozy"

  7. #7

    User Info Menu

    What fretless basses do you own or want?
    I own a 30th anny. SR. By far the best fretless I've ever played.


    What type of fingerboard wood do you prefer?
    No preference really.

    Do you like lined or unlined?
    Unlined..with dots above every "fret"

    What is the percentage of your usage of fretless?
    I am a one bass at a gig guy. It either goes and is played all night or it stays home.

    What genres/contexts do you use it for?
    Contemporary Church band and a blues band. Usually any situation where I don't need ear plugs.

    Do you prefer the look of lined or unlined?
    I like the look of unlined fretless basses. Never owned a lined one.

    What strings do you use/prefer?
    EBMM Group III flats

    What effects pedals, if any, do you use with fretless?
    None...Plug and play

    Do you find yourself concentrating more or do you feel more "free" on fretless?
    Watching the board more than the girls dancing.

    What scale length do you prefer?
    34"

    Do you prefer active or passive electronics?
    Definately active for fretless.

    Do you prefer all magnetic or magnetic plus piezo pickup configurations?
    Single H

    Are there certain features that you consider a "must-have?"
    4 string..If I had to go 5 I would go high C instead of low B. Flats with as low as I can go action.

    If you've never owned one before would you consider or are you considering purchasing one?
    Always owned a fretless

    Do you know someone who would let you borrow theirs to try out?
    If you live in Cincinnati Ohio you can play mine.

    Were you easily discouraged at your first attempt at playing one?
    No but my band mate made me play my fretted until I had some time with it under my belt.

    Does the thought of playing fretless intimidate you and prevent you from trying it?
    No it never did.

    Are the people you play with "open" to you trying/playing fretless?
    Yes nobody cares now. One you have played one a little while you can make it not sound like a fretless. I played one as my only bass back in the late 80's

    Did fretless automatically feel comfortable to you?
    Yes, once the innitial "Where did the frets go shock wears off"

    Do you feel you're "missing out" not playing fretless?
    No

    Do you "hear" certain imagined bass-lines in your head as fretless lines?
    Sometimes

    What is your emotional response when you hear a well played fretless line?
    Well I like it I guess.

    Do you feel that you haven't reached your full potential due to not playing fretless?
    N/A

    Could fretless possibly be your "voice" on bass?
    It's a voice but not the only one.

    Dream Fretless
    I already have the best fretless ever...But maybe that Michael Roades Big Al in a fretless version.
    Last edited by kylierider; 12-16-2009 at 06:33 AM.

  8. #8

    User Info Menu

    -Tom
    Fret more, worry less.

    Bongo only bass in Tom's life.

    Blank-Plank Egyptian Smoke Bongo4H "Nefertiti"

  9. #9

    User Info Menu

    My dream fretless is a Bongo HSp, unlined.

    I had a fretless Ray and I used it around 50% of the time, it sounded superb and played like a dream. The active electronics on EBMM basses give you a vast array of usable tones, and all MM basses seem to work as fretless models.

    I love unlined boards, and it really really isn't as difficult as it may look - however my first bass was a fretless Jazz, so the first 4 years of my playing was fretless...I may be slightly biased.

    As for wood, I LOVED the Pau Ferro on my old Ray. It is an increibly beautiful wood, and it showed minimal wear - impressive as it was a good 15 years old. However, you definitely can't argue with ebony.

    Quote Originally Posted by maddog View Post
    You just use that picture as an answer to every question about fretless basses don't you, love it!
    1994 Sterling The INVADER Bass
    My short films can be found on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEyeballKids - feedback always appreciated!

  10. #10

    User Info Menu

    What fretless basses do you own or want?
    - Bongo 5 Hp, 07 LE, lined

    What type of fingerboard wood do you prefer?
    -No preference

    Do you like lined or unlined?
    - Lined
    What is the percentage of your usage of fretless?
    - At the moment about 5 percent, but that's because I'm in a gigging band right now. It was about 20 percent before the current gig.

    What genres/contexts do you use it for?
    - Ballads, torch songs... slow quiet stuff where it stands out.

    Do you prefer the look of lined or unlined?
    - No preference

    What strings do you use/prefer?
    - OEM Slinkys

    What effects pedals, if any, do you use with fretless?
    - None

    Do you find yourself concentrating more or do you feel more "free" on fretless?
    - Concentrating on getting the right intonation and tone

    What scale length do you prefer?
    - I've only used 34" scale, so I don't know

    Do you prefer active or passive electronics?
    - Active

    Do you prefer all magnetic or magnetic plus piezo pickup configurations?
    - Mag/piezo

    Are there certain features that you consider a "must-have?"
    - Piezo, lines

    If you've never owned one before would you consider or are you considering purchasing one?
    - Not applicable

    Do you know someone who would let you borrow theirs to try out?
    - Not applicable

    Were you easily discouraged at your first attempt at playing one?
    - No, it was easier than I thought it would be because of the lines (my first fretless was another brand, which also had lines... I didn't make the big jump into an EBMM right away)

    Does the thought of playing fretless intimidate you and prevent you from trying it?
    - Not applicable

    Are the people you play with "open" to you trying/playing fretless?
    - Yes

    Did fretless automatically feel comfortable to you?
    - Yes

    Do you feel you're "missing out" not playing fretless?
    - Not applicable

    Do you "hear" certain imagined bass-lines in your head as fretless lines?
    - Yes, definitely

    What is your emotional response when you hear a well played fretless line?
    - Drool

    Do you feel that you haven't reached your full potential due to not playing fretless?
    - Not applicable. I haven't reached my full potential, but not for that reason. It's more because I'm lazy and don't pay enough attention to being on time and tight in general.

    Could fretless possibly be your "voice" on bass?
    - Part of it, but not all of it.

    What is your DREAM fretless bass?
    - I already own it!
    bongoBbongoObongoNbongoGbongoObongo

    AL AL AL AL ALALALALALALA LA LA LA LA

    Desert Gold F13843 05 Bongo 5 HHp
    Blue Dawn F11199 07 LE Bongo 5 Hp fretless
    Candy Red F23343 08 Bongo 5 H
    Tangerine Pearl F28251 2011 Big Al 5 SSS

    http://www.coolshoesband.com

    BP: "I am very proud of many of the creations at ebmm but none more than the Bongo. Every day the cult grows and it makes it all worthwhile."

  11. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Duarte View Post
    You just use that picture as an answer to every question about fretless basses don't you, love it!
    Not to trivialize the OP's request but why starve the eyes with all that text when you can feast your eyes on a picture or two.
    -Tom
    Fret more, worry less.

    Bongo only bass in Tom's life.

    Blank-Plank Egyptian Smoke Bongo4H "Nefertiti"

  12. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by maddog View Post
    Not to trivialize the OP's request but why starve the eyes with all that text when you can feast your eyes on a picture or two.
    Good point.

    bongoBbongoObongoNbongoGbongoObongo

    AL AL AL AL ALALALALALALA LA LA LA LA

    Desert Gold F13843 05 Bongo 5 HHp
    Blue Dawn F11199 07 LE Bongo 5 Hp fretless
    Candy Red F23343 08 Bongo 5 H
    Tangerine Pearl F28251 2011 Big Al 5 SSS

    http://www.coolshoesband.com

    BP: "I am very proud of many of the creations at ebmm but none more than the Bongo. Every day the cult grows and it makes it all worthwhile."

  13. #13

    User Info Menu

    Meh, Why not!

    1994 Sterling The INVADER Bass
    My short films can be found on http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEyeballKids - feedback always appreciated!

  14. #14

    User Info Menu

    I've played fretted SR5's as my main bass since 1993 and was finally able to swing a fretless SR5 purchase a couple of years ago; the familiarity of sound and feel made a big difference in my fretless playing. Previously I had owned 5 different fretless basses over the years from various manufacturers, and while they were OK instruments on their own, I never felt comfortable with them.

    My actual percentage of fretless playing time varies. I play with a local singer-songwriter and play fretless on some of his stuff and play it occasionally at church.

    I'm fine with either lined or unlined, but I will admit that the unlined boards look cool.

    I put used-but-cleaned rounds from my fretted basses on my fretless (for purely economic reasons).

    I often play fretless though a chorus pedal.

  15. #15

    User Info Menu

    What fretless basses do you own or want?
    Own: squier vintage modified fretless jazz bass
    Want: stingray 4 or 5 fretless

    What type of fingerboard wood do you prefer?
    Anything with epoxy coating on it.

    Do you like lined or unlined?
    Unlined for the view, lined for my head.

    What is the percentage of your usage of fretless?
    about 5%, don't use it in a band context - except some weddings

    What genres/contexts do you use it for?
    Pop, funk

    Do you prefer the look of lined or unlined?
    Unlined

    What strings do you use/prefer?
    Roundwound

    What effects pedals, if any, do you use with fretless?
    Chorus, from time to time, not much.

    Do you find yourself concentrating more or do you feel more "free" on fretless?
    More free.

    What scale length do you prefer?
    34"

    Do you prefer active or passive electronics?
    Active

    Do you prefer all magnetic or magnetic plus piezo pickup configurations?
    Never tried the piezo's

    Are there certain features that you consider a "must-have?"
    3-band EQ for the mids

    If you've never owned one before would you consider or are you considering purchasing one?
    I have one, but I want another one

    Do you know someone who would let you borrow theirs to try out?
    Yes

    Were you easily discouraged at your first attempt at playing one?
    Yes

    Does the thought of playing fretless intimidate you and prevent you from trying it?
    No

    Are the people you play with "open" to you trying/playing fretless?
    Very open

    Did fretless automatically feel comfortable to you?
    No

    Do you feel you're "missing out" not playing fretless?
    /
    Do you "hear" certain imagined bass-lines in your head as fretless lines?
    Yes, pino is in my head

    What is your emotional response when you hear a well played fretless line?
    Something like "horny"

    Do you feel that you haven't reached your full potential due to not playing fretless?
    /

    Could fretless possibly be your "voice" on bass?
    Absolutely. I feel like it's something that my ears always wanted, but my head and hands didn't dared to.

    What is your DREAM fretless bass?
    EBMM Stingray 3EQ HSp - natural color - lined
    or a lefay....
    Basses: EBMM Musicman Stingray 4 Honeyburst, EBMM Musicman Stingray 5 black sparkle, Fender squier vintage modified fretless, Maya Precision bass
    Amps: GK 1001RBII
    Cabs: GK 410 SBX, MarkBass 102 Traveler

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