A fretless 4 string (just like my first Bass, but fretless)

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Bass 3

My First Bass Design - revised

A versatile fretless modern 4 String.

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I am still waiting for my wood supplier to sell 35" scale slotted fingerboards. In the meantime, I will start on my next project..what..do I want to make next. After chatting with Steve Lawson (of Bassist Magazine Fame) who said he'd like to try my 4 String as a Fretless...fret lined of course. I have turned my hand to build a simular bass to "Eve" but this time, she'll be a fretless. While I am about it I can try out a few design improvements.

The bridge I chose for Bass #1 was a Gotoh through body unit. An Excellent (and cheap) unit. Steve Lawson and I were discussing the virtues of Top Load and through body, so I thought that I should look for a bridge that could do both. This will allow us to do an objective comparison while keeping all other elements the same.

The bridge I have chosen is made by Hipshot and allows both Top Loading or through body string anchoring. I have ordered it in Chrome.

I am going to Stick to the Shaller M4/2000 Tuners, I like them and I think they are a part of the "look" of the bass. I could use the Hipshot Ultalites, but they aren't neccessary because (in the original design) I carefully designed it's proportions to have superior balance so it isn't head heavy. Also the Shallers are a lot cheaper.
The wood I have selected is a little more unusual than it's fretted cousin. But I wanted to retain the look and feel of my first bass, but slightly different and a little more exotic. So I chose Paduak for the body but I am keeping Maple for the neck- it's heavy but has good tone. The centre stripe will also be Paduak.

The whole point of Bass #1 was an attempt to try out the many wiring/tone options that a wide spaced Humbucker Pickup can achieve, this liked to the excellent Kent Armstrong 2 Band EQ gives this bass it's killer tone and sonic flexibilty. It can be used Active or Passive. I love this Pickup, it's only down side is that it isn't very powerful, it has about half the output of Kent's Jazz! One of these days I will make a Bass with one of these Pickups and a Kent Jazz, but I will have to ask Kent to custom wire the Jazz so that they have the same output. Then again, do I really need it?

While I was on Holiday in Derbyshire I dropped into Craft Supplies and selected the body wood for this Bass, in fact enough for my next three basses! I bought 2 fingerboards, one is a stunning marbled Ebony which had amazing figuring, the other is Cocobolo which has a lovely tap tone. I'm not sure which one to use first!

Wood Choice

Diary Of Construction

Spec Page


I bought a maple 2 piece body and a really spectacular AAAA grade maple guitar back, which I'll use for a top plate. These will form the body of my next project, a 5 string chambered fretless (with the highlander pickup). I think I'll use the Cocobolo fingerboard for it. That leaves the very exotic marbled Ebony fingerboard for this bass...Hmmm nice. Because it's a fretless, I will fill the slots with veneer strips as fret line markers, black I think.

I also bought two sets of Bookmatched AAA grade Cocobolo 1/4", originally intended for use as acoustic guitar backs. Duncan tempted me with them and I just couldn't resist. Their grain patern is stunning, he hand selected them to be photgraphed for the next catalogue and had put them aside for a few days incase he needed more pics. Luckily for me I was there at the right time. I also bought some wenge for the body wings (a 6 string fretless I am planning).