Sunday, 28 March 2010

Fender Precision Bass with fretless maple neck from 1978
This fretless Fender Precision Bass from 1978 is a thing of beauty, and I'm saying that even as a non-fan of sunburst finishes. However, I always do a double take when I see a fretless bass with a maple fingerboard instead of the more usual rosewood or preferably ebony. It looks totally weird to my eyes, which isn't to say that it's unattractive.

I think I'd upset a few Fender collectors if I ever got my paws on a bass such as this because the very first thing I'd do would be to rip off the dreadful flatwound strings that people insist on putting on fretless basses and replace them with proper roundwounds.

I know WHY fretless basses got saddled with flatwounds - it's so as not to mark the fingerboard. However, they totally kill the tone. Put roundwounds on and the bass will sing and sound glorious. I'd rather have a bit of fingerboard wear rather than a bass that sounds dead.

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

1 comment:

  1. I agree 100%! You simply won't get that sweet, singing "mwah" with flatwounds. However, a fretless P-Bass is actually the only fretless bass (known to me, at least) that sounds surprisingly decent with flatwound strings.



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