Adding to the collection as a home player

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ZonularZonular Frets: 17
Hey guys
I have a ibanez atk400 (four string active bass).
Looking to pick up something a little different and to add to the collection.

What do you think, add a five string or a fretless bass to the herd?
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  • My lad bought a Harley Benton 6 string bass plus one of their 4 string fretless jobs.  He's got a whole new lease of life bass playing wise from them - for the price you could probably get both and let one go down the line without losing much money.
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  • ZonularZonular Frets: 17
    Good shout, looking at some stuff local 
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 11440
    Both are really cool although you can get most of the fun of a 5 string by just tuning down to drop C or whatever so a fretless would be my pick, or better yet an electric upright.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • dazzajldazzajl Frets: 1578
    edited September 15
    Fretless is a lovely instrument and lots of fun. Really hard to find a proper one these days though, nearly all of them have lines on the board.
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  • Steinberger
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  • ZonularZonular Frets: 17
    Really ? To get my 80's on or am I missing something
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  • Another vote for fretless (as distinct from de-fretted) bass guitar. An unmarked fingerboard obliges the player to pay proper attention to intonation. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 49439
    Another vote for fretless. It will make you a better musician, and that's not meant in any way as snobbery against those who only use fretted basses - they are just different, not better or worse. A five-string does the same thing as a four but more of it, a fretless does something distinctly different to your interaction with it.

    I wouldn't worry too much if it does have lines - or simply dots on the side - you don't have to look at them, and they're not actually quite accurate enough anyway, you still have to learn to listen as you play.

    I don't use my fretless to sound like the 80s - despite it being made then, in fact it's one of the most classic of all 80s bass, an Aria SB - I more often use it for synthy sounds with lots of effects, which if anything means that you need to be very accurate with pitch, as well as being able to do big swoopy stuff that you just can't on a fretted one.

    And make sure you get flatwound strings - regardless of Jaco Pastorius. Remember that he had to keep coating his fingerboard with epoxy varnish to stop the roundwound strings chewing it up...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • That reminds me.

    Time to lift the potatoes from the ruts in the fingerboard of my factory fretless Fender Precision Bass.

    I exaggerate for comic effect … but only slightly.
    Be seeing you.
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  • ZonularZonular Frets: 17
    I have a Yamaha bbg5 and im looking at a trade for a fretless Yamaha bbn4f . You guys got any experience with a Yamaha fretless?
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 13462
    Tony Franklin's rules for fretless

    Miss 1 day of practice and I notice
    Miss 2 days and the band notices
    Miss 3 and the audience notices.


    If you really want roundwound sound then half-wounds / pressurewounds / groundwounds do far less damage. DR Sunbeams have a very small diameter wrapwire too - they are popular on fretless for that reason.

    Or get a Status neck / bass and just don't worry about it at all.


    Still - the bass the OP already has is effectively a Stingray (with an extra jazz pickup). One of the better Ray tributes.

    So I'd suggest a Precision.



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  • Zonular said:
    You guys got any experience with a Yamaha fretless?
    I have an old, semi-pointy headstock,  RBX200F. It was a thrift store find worthy of Harry Seven. I fitted my usual upgrades - Gotoh 201B bridge, American pickup and active EQ. Result - a recorded sound to embarrass my 1978/79 Fender.

    Even unplugged, this example does the Jaco/Pino neeeooinggg. Either I got lucky or all Yamaha bass guitars are this well made.
    Be seeing you.
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