Been offered a bass... should I bite 'is 'and off?

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DLMDLM Frets: 1823

90s 5-string Ibanez ATK 305, made at FujiGen, converted to fretless, passive electronics. Used, obvs.  

€250

Can I get yays or nays?

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15695
    Fretless five? Cor you are a brave man! ;)

    250 euros is a good price for one of those...
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823
    @Bridgehouse Stoopid, more like! :lol:
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 3161
    Dems good basses innit!
    ( I got the four string and it's brill)
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15695
    I really like ibanez basses - good quality for not much coin, and good used prices as not so popular as a fender etc.


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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823

    Oh, I forgot: currently set up as a Lord of the High Cs. (No low B on the bottom, a high C on top.)

    I thought it might be a laugh for not much dosh.

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32706
    Depends how well the de-fret has been done. 

    Well = good price.

    Badly = factor new fingerboard into cost...
    "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."
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  • Try the bass for a good while. The string spacing could be pretty tight, especially at the nut end.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823

    @ICBM I know the seller quite well, he's gigged it in the past but has largely moved over to double bass. He's a proper player with really good kit, so I'm not expecting trash. What should I look for in a de-fret apart from neat, smooth work?

    @Funkfingers That's a good point, though I'm sure I'd notice as I like a broad spacing. I might have gone for an Ibanez SR when I got my Sandberg were it not for the spacing, which was tight on all the 5-string SR models I tried at the time.

    With a view to getting a clue, I might go and terrorise a downtown store by trying whatever fretlesses they've got in.

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  • DLM said:
    I might go and terrorise a downtown store by trying whatever fretlesses they've got in.
    Risky. They might have an old WAL Custom. ;)
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15695
    DLM said:
    I might go and terrorise a downtown store by trying whatever fretlesses they've got in.
    Risky. They might have an old WAL Custom. ;)
    What? One of those old lumps of dead wood? :)
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  • @Funkfingers ; where do you live that there's a chance of encountering a Wal?!
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823
    @Funkfingers :) Last couple of times I was in, they had an old Ken Smith built by Vinny Fodera before he set up shop on his own. There was a customer playing it really nicely, too. He was more into the reliced Ps, though, and in fairness, I thought they suited him better, too.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32706
    DLM said:
    @ICBM I know the seller quite well, he's gigged it in the past but has largely moved over to double bass. He's a proper player with really good kit, so I'm not expecting trash. What should I look for in a de-fret apart from neat, smooth work?
    Just that really - no big chips of wood lifted out either side of the fret slots, slots filled with proper wood veneer (matching or contrasting) not filler, and the top surface smooth and without dead spots or sunken wear patches (often caused by using roundwound strings on rosewood boards).

    Basically *not* everything Jaco did to his Jazz :). Genius player, appalling instrument tech…
    "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."
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  • Talk to the organ grinder rather than the monkey. http://walbasses.co.uk
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823

    Thanks, @ICBM This chap's been using flats on it, I'll be giving it a good look over whatever happens.

    I told him that he'd likely get more than €250 for it around here, given the popularity of fretless in the (death) metal scene around here, largely due to Obscura, who are "almost local". I initially thought it was a bit odd when long-hairs with cut-offs and bullet belts started showing up in youth centres with Gary Willis sigs. :confounded:

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  • BucketBucket Frets: 7607
    I like Obscura. The use of fretless really sets their sound apart, especially as it's so high in the mix.



    I know they're big Cynic fans - a band who were using fretless bass in prog/death metal as far back as 1993:


    - "I'm going to write a very stiff letter. A VERY stiff letter. On cardboard."
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  • DLM said:

    I told him that he'd likely get more than €250 for it around here, given the popularity of fretless in the (death) metal scene around here

    Most death metal bassists I've seen play around could get away with a five-string fretless bass too, as all they seem to do is chug the open low B...
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823

    @MattBanshee Aah, but this is *technical* death metal! \m/ :lol:

    http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/d3/d3c35b30c279d16af46a615eb0b43351e971afcaa8e77d537238eb70bdbdb07f.jpg

    In all seriousness: There are some good players out there. I preferred Thesseling to Klausenitzer (on fretless) in Obscura, but I only have a very casual interest because of personal connections and am nowhere near as into it all as @Bucket.

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  • BucketBucket Frets: 7607
    DLM said:

    I told him that he'd likely get more than €250 for it around here, given the popularity of fretless in the (death) metal scene around here

    Most death metal bassists I've seen play around could get away with a five-string fretless bass too, as all they seem to do is chug the open low B...
    Stephan Fimmers laughs at your assertion.


    - "I'm going to write a very stiff letter. A VERY stiff letter. On cardboard."
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  • Bucket said:
    DLM said:

    I told him that he'd likely get more than €250 for it around here, given the popularity of fretless in the (death) metal scene around here

    Most death metal bassists I've seen play around could get away with a five-string fretless bass too, as all they seem to do is chug the open low B...
    Stephan Fimmers laughs at your assertion.


    Fine pick there @Bucket. ;

    Really enjoyed listening to that and a few other of their tracks.  Immense creativity and totally bonkers.
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  • BucketBucket Frets: 7607
    Fine pick there @Bucket. ;

    Really enjoyed listening to that and a few other of their tracks.  Immense creativity and totally bonkers.
    I've gone off them to an extent - it really is too full-on a lot of the time, but in small doses they are still very enjoyable. The playing is beyond belief - among the most complex and involved death metal I've ever heard - but they manage to retain their melodicism... I suppose that's the classical influence coming in.

    That album has Christian Muenzner on guitar, who would go on to join Obscura. I think he has some kind of hand condition now which makes it difficult for him to play, which is a real shame. He was a truly monstrous guitarist - my favourite solo of his comes in at 2:38 in this track.


    - "I'm going to write a very stiff letter. A VERY stiff letter. On cardboard."
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  • DLM said:
    currently set up as a Lord of the High Cs. (No low B on the bottom, a high C on top.)
    Gotta wonder why the ATK is strung that way.

    It is possible that the current owner needs the high range for the music being played. It is also possible that BEADG tuning was tried and found unsatisfactory. i.e. The low B string felt floppy - relegating it to becoming a flexible thumb rest. It is also possible that, without recourse to active EQ, the low end lacked definition. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32706
    Look on the bright side, at least it's probably not like a Washburn 5-string I had to repair once… which was tuned EADGC.

    But strung with standard BEADG strings :).

    To its great credit, 'repairing' it consisted simply of tuning it back down and setting it up - there was actually nothing wrong with the neck, even though it had looked like a bow and arrow when it came in.
    "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."
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823
    Update: The bass is now in the country. I believe it comes with a hard case. And apparently I can bring it home to try, buy only if I want it, no questions asked. Wikkid! If this comes off, I'll post pics...
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15695
    Do it! Do it!
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15695
    Looks amazing, apart from the fact it appears to have an extra string on there??!
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1823
    All the reddish surfaces are where a previous owner has covered up plastics and metals with sticky-back wood-look plastic. It's very neatly done.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32706
    The de-fret is also *very* neatly done - no evidence of the usual chipping where the fret tangs have come out at all.

    You need to cut off the thread windings from the strings to behind the nut, or it will deaden the sound of the open strings. (Although you might not notice much on a fretless.)

    Nice to see flatwounds on it too - or maybe groundwounds, I can't quite tell. Roundwounds will wreck that nice fingerboard in a matter of minutes...
    "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."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15695
    ICBM said:

    Nice to see flatwounds on it too - or maybe groundwounds, I can't quite tell. Roundwounds will wreck that nice fingerboard in a matter of minutes...
    Blue thread windings are usually Chromes
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