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I got a fretless bass


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  • I got a fretless bass

    It's an older, inexpensive, Yamaha RBX 200F. 

    It's in pretty good shape, but it had round wounds on it.  The seller said it should have flat wounds, so I got sucked into buying a set for it, and I'm glad I did.  They feel good on the fingers, and I don't know if it's my imagination, but they sound smoother too.  Almost to the level of a stand up bass.

    The round wound strings left some shallow markings on the fret board, and I was told they would worsen over time, if I didn't change strings.

    The fretboard has interaval lines on it, and the standard dots on the side, otherwise I'd probably be pretty lost with it.  Still in the learning process.

    I picked it up for several reasons - the other bass I have is a short scale and I wanted to see how I could do with a standard size.  I was curious about the fretless sound and feel.  And it was nice and cheap, and seemed to be in pretty good shape.

    It's a very simple bass, with equally simple sound shaping capabilities. Volume and tone knobs, and the tone one doesn't seem to do much - ha ha.

    But I really like the sound and feel of it.  Extra nice and smooth when doing slides, and it sounds 'warmer' than my other bass.

      Doesn't really work for doing 'tapping' type playing.  People say they don't work for slapping either, but I don't know how to do that anyways.

    I have a couple minor concerns about it, but can't really complain for the price.  One thing is it seems to have a kind of low output.  I've read other comments about it though, so I think it's just normal for this bass.

    The other thing is the truss rod.  It's got a slot towards the bottom of the neck, I can see the rod, but it looks like it's got a flush end on it instead of a slot for an allen wrench.  I've never adjusted one though, and it seems to play nice, so I don't know if it's something to be concerned about.

    Anyways, just thought I'd post about it and see if anyone has ideas or advice about it, or thoughts on fretless in general.




  • #2

    I think the truss rod on that bass should adjust with a phillips screwdriver instead of a hex wrench. Should definitely be an easy way to adjust it.


    • mildbill
      mildbill commented
      Editing a comment

      lz4005 wrote:

      I think the truss rod on that bass should adjust with a phillips screwdriver instead of a hex wrench. Should definitely be an easy way to adjust it.



      After doing a lot of research, I think it uses a special 8 millimeter wrench that Yamaha originally supplied with the bass.

      Something like this:

      The original wrench is probably long gone, and if I ever need to adjust it, I'll have to pick one of these up and see if it works.

  • #3

    Congratulations and Happy New Bass Day. You're definitely braver than I am. I'm mostly a guitarist and I've never played anything that didn't have frets.

    Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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    • lz4005
      lz4005 commented
      Editing a comment

      I love playing fretless. For certain kinds of music at least.

      It really helps develop your relative pitch, and allows you to do things you can't on a fretted instrument.