#1
I'm looking around for a high-end fretless bass to serve as my primary gigging axe, but the shops where I am in the UK have limited to no range of fretless manufacturers.

I was thinking at first of a Fender JB fretless but I don't want to be paying extra for the AM when the advantages to the MIM aren't significant enough to justify the price(don't hate just my opinion). Then again I'm looking to go all in on this one so I want to be going for the AM price range, which is +$1000.

Can anyone recommend any good high-end fretless basses or brands that have fretless lineups? I don't know any other brands that make good fretlesses apart from Fender.

Thanks in advance
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#5
Sorry the GWB1005 is too pricey for me. I have come across the Ibanez fretless but never really tried it. I only overlooked it because of the price mark..though I know Ibanez makes quality affordable basses.

How sturdy is the construction on the Portamento? For some reason the price tag takes away my confidence in its build quality. And can you recommend any good fretless warwicks you've tried other than the thumb?
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#6
IIRC the SR700 series, which the Portamento is in, is from S.Korea so you're in safe hands there.

TBH you can't really lose with any Warwick. Personally, I'd go for a Star Bass (choice of Lee Sklar).
#7
I played a fretless Corvette, I think a standard in a shop not long ago. I was impressed with it for the price, it was $800 iirc, maybe 700.

spector has a few fretless also. never played any of them but I'd like to.
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#8
i play a godin a5 ultra acoustic fretless and i enjoy it quite a lot, but that's a bit out of your price range

comes with piezo, electronic, and midi inputs tho so good bang for your buck if you wanna swing the price for one. they're a little hard to find used unfortunately
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#9
I currently own a MIM Fender Jazz fretless, and I am very happy with it. They cost about $600 new in the US.

Have you considered an Ernie Ball Musicman? The standard stingray fretless is a great bass, as are the Sterling (SBMM) Ray 34 series. The standard stingray costs about $1300 and the SBMM is about $750. My understanding is that the SBMM Ray 34 series is produced and assembled in Indonesia, but the final quality check and setup is done in California.

I chose a MIM Fender because 1) I am a Fender fan, and 2) In my opinion the Jazz is more versatile - but the Stingrays are great basses too.
#10
I know Musicman and Stingrays are praised for their top of the line basses, and it's stupid but aesthetically they never appealed me so I haven't looked into them.

The godin looks beautiful but you're right it's a little overpriced for me. I don't think I'm gonna go big on the fretless yet, it's mainly gonna be for personal enjoyment if I'm playing alone. I'm leaning more towards the 5 string Portamento or a MIM Fender fretless. I'm only considering the fender because I like jaco though it seems I'd be getting more from the piezo and 5th string on the portamento. plus I get a hard on with neck thrus
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Last edited by arvarna at Jan 3, 2016,
#11
the portamento also has 30 "frets"
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#12
Quote by arvarna
I know Musicman and Stingrays are praised for their top of the line basses, and it's stupid but aesthetically they never appealed me so I haven't looked


Well there goes my recommendation. I love my fretless Stingray...
#13
Quote by Spaz91
IIRC the SR700 series, which the Portamento is in, is from S.Korea so you're in safe hands there.

All Workshop series instruments are Indonesian like the Premium series instruments.
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#14
Quote by arvarna
I don't think I'm gonna go big on the fretless yet, it's mainly gonna be for personal enjoyment if I'm playing alone. I'm leaning more towards the 5 string Portamento or a MIM Fender fretless. I'm only considering the fender because I like jaco though it seems I'd be getting more from the piezo and 5th string on the portamento. plus I get a hard on with neck thrus


I started playing fretless and purchased my first fretless bass about one year ago. It was an Ibanez SR370F, and I eventually traded up for the new MIM Fender Jazz after about 8 months. The Ibanez was a nice bass and I have owned others, but after 8 months I realized I couldn't get the tone I wanted out of it. If I ever purchase another Ibanez fretless I would also get the Portamento. I played one in the local music store and they are very nice (and nicer than the SR370F).
#15
Quote by anarkee
Well there goes my recommendation. I love my fretless Stingray...


I've always wanted a Stingray and I may eventually buy one. Since my budget for gear is always limited it's hard to justify the more expensive EBMM. This is why I have looked at the SBMM Ray 34 - as far as I can tell it is the same bass except that it is made in Indonesia.
#16
I'm not that picky when it comes to tone, though I admit it's more satsifying when you get the exact sound you want. I just thought it'd be really cool to own and play on a fretless bass for a change. Aside from jaco's material I really liked the sound Steve Digorgio got when playing with the metal band 'Death', which is what I want to bring to in my band. Plus for solo play it seems you can add more 'feel' to your playstyle. This may sound stupid in a fretless discussion but my only issue with the portamento is it seems like it'll sound too much like a double bass. Granted it's awesome if that's the sound you're going for but from the youtube reviews I've seen it has a much warmer, softer jazzy tone. And it looks like I can get a 'brighter' jaco sound with the fender. I can't say for sure on this though I only thought it's the case because of the reviews I watched.
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#17
I use a couple of different Fretless basses. I have a Modulus Genesis 5'er that I just love, but would prefer a Quantum instead. A bit beefier tone for me. I also have a 1982 Peavey T-20FL 4 string that I so love to play. The Modulus was nearly $2,000 US and the Peavey was about $100 US.. Quality is in every price range
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