fretless precision

mellow yellow

New member
Messages
4
Hi from Italy, I'm new to this forum so I'll introduce myself.
I'm a bass player with a little recording studio. Ok nothing special.
I'm very interested in Warmoth stuff, I wish to build a fretless precision. 
Swamp ash body and maple neck with rosewwod fingerboard, nothing new here, a fender clone.
I'm very confused about pickups (passive vs active, P or PJ), I'm pretty sure I want a P, I'm not very interested in Jaco sound (I like Jaco music but I prefer a more robust and full sound, something nearer to a contrabass)
Any thoughts?
Many thanks in advance and sorry for my little english.
Ciao
Roberto
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
The classic P-bass utilizes passive pickups and passive tone control. It's a total no frills workhorse.

You should know that almost all pickups are passive, with EMG and a couple other companies making active pickups that require a power supply for the pickup (usually a battery) in order for it to produce a singal level large enough for a typical bass amp to amplify. Not all EMG pickups are active.


I've built a couple P-basses with active tone control, and while it was great to have the added flexibility in shaping the sound it wasn't something that was needed. If you're doing studio work, you'll definitely want your P-bass to be passive - that is the tone. If you're thinking active tone, you have the small issue of where to add the extra controls and have it still look like a P-bass - a classic P-bass has two knobs and a jack in the pickguard ... not three knobs and a side jack.

I would suggest you manage your tone control tweaking at your amp or outboard pre-amp, since the main frequency range you need to modify on a fretless is midrange

These are just my opinion on the topic. Feel welcome to ask any specifics about these comments or others you may have. I'll reply as I am able

all the best,

R
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
To expand on what Skuttlefunk said, most basses these days use passive pickups in combination with a powered preamp.  All of the mid boost and panning between pickups is generally reserved for the powered preamp style basses.  The EMG's are the exception where both the pickups and the preamp are active.  I am sure that there are other pickups that are like this, but for my clarification this will do.  The original P-bass was all passive, no powered anything.

I am not sure if you have had a fretless before, but I will make a point about neck wear.  The strings grind on the finger board and wear on it.  It requires dressing and work to maintain.  There are several solutions, the one I use is elixir strings.  The coating on the strings keeps the finger board from being marred.  Sounds like a fun build
Patrick

 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
I have no issues with a hard maple fretless board if it's properly finished and the player does not suffer from clamp hand. this said, Rosewood works even better than Maple, and Ebony is better still - from a wear perspective.

as seen in other threads here, I really prefer a stabilized fingerboard, and that allows you to utilize just about anything for the fingerboard wood.

and by all means utilize the Elixer strings. I have one set that is well over 10 years old now, and they're just as bright and snappy as when they were first installed

all the best,

R
 

mellow yellow

New member
Messages
4
Many thanks to everyone for the replies. The clarification about EMGs is very useful for me, I wasn't understanding this difference.
I'm thinking to a simple instrument, swamp ash P shape  body, a maple J neck with lined, but with no face dots, ebony fingerboard, and the usual simil fender hardware (Schaller BMFL, Gotoh bridge).
I have a P fralin that is sleepin' in a closet  of my rec studio, I can try to use it.
On a jazz fretless I'm using sadowsky flat strings, they seems good. On a P bass (fretted) I'm using Thomastik flats with very good results.
For this P fretless project I'm thinking to use nickel flat strings, I wish to check something in the standard area, fender why not? Or maybe I'll use the sadowskys.
Ciao
Roberto



Patrick from Davis said:
To expand on what Skuttlefunk said, most basses these days use passive pickups in combination with a powered preamp.  All of the mid boost and panning between pickups is generally reserved for the powered preamp style basses.  The EMG's are the exception where both the pickups and the preamp are active.  I am sure that there are other pickups that are like this, but for my clarification this will do.  The original P-bass was all passive, no powered anything.

I am not sure if you have had a fretless before, but I will make a point about neck wear.  The strings grind on the finger board and wear on it.  It requires dressing and work to maintain.  There are several solutions, the one I use is elixir strings.  The coating on the strings keeps the finger board from being marred.  Sounds like a fun build
Patrick
 
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