Best Fretless Acoustic Basses

By Sherman Kelly | Last Updated on Nov 14, 2021

In Hurry? Editor's Choice:

Harley Benton Kahuna CLU-Bass Ukulele FL
TOP 1
Harley Benton Kahuna CLU-Bass Ukulele FL
TR score rating icon 9.9
TR Score
Gold Tone Micro Bass 25 Fretless w/Bag
TOP 2
Gold Tone Micro Bass 25 Fretless w/Bag
TR score rating icon 9.9
TR Score
Takamine TB10
TOP 3
Takamine TB10
TR score rating icon 9.6
TR Score
How To Choose Fretless Acoustic Basses: Methodology

The best Fretless Acoustic Basses ranking is based on our detailed evaluation and analysis of over 1,137 consumer satisfaction surveys. We have come up with the top 3 Fretless Acoustic Basses you might be interested in and rated them on factors such as Sound Quality, Simplicity, Value for Money, Easy to Use and Giftable experience.

* Our experienced editors are constantly reviewing the latest news, looking at data analytics in order to recommend only products worth your time and money. As Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

A Detailed List of Top 3 Fretless Acoustic Basses in 2021

#TOP 1

Harley Benton Kahuna CLU-Bass Ukulele FL


Sound Samples

Impro Amp
Impro Pickup
Groove Amp
Jazz Pickup
Groove Pickup

Features

Scale: 534 Mm
Suitable Gigbag: Article Number 198578 (not Included)
Dot Fretboard Inlays
color: Natural Matte
Fretless With Fretlines
Pickup: Pro-pickup System With Built-in Tuner
Black, Open Machine Heads
Top: Spruce
Body: Mahogany (swietenia Macrophylla - Origin: India/ Indonesia)
Bridge: Blackwood
Neck Profile: C
Nut Width: 42.0 Mm
Neck: Mahogany (swietenia Macrophylla - Origin: India/ Indonesia)
Fretless
Fretboard: Blackwood
Scale: 534 Mm
Suitable Gigbag: Article Number 198578 (not Included)
Dot Fretboard Inlays
color: Natural Matte
Fretless With Fretlines
Pickup: Pro-pickup System With Built-in Tuner
Black, Open Machine Heads
Top: Spruce
Body: Mahogany (swietenia Macrophylla - Origin: India/ Indonesia)
Bridge: Blackwood
Neck Profile: C
Nut Width: 42.0 Mm
Neck: Mahogany (swietenia Macrophylla - Origin: India/ Indonesia)
Fretless
Fretboard: Blackwood
#TOP 2

Gold Tone Micro Bass 25 Fretless w/Bag

Reviews for Gold Tone (TA Score)

TR score rating icon 9.9

Features

Controls: Volume, Basses And Treble
Butterfly Bass Style Machine Heads
Nut Width: 42.9 Mm
Stringing: Aquila Polymer
Saddle: Bone
Dot Fretboard Inlays
Back And Sides: Okoume (palaquium Spp.)
Gig Bag Included
Fretboard: Walnut
Bridge: Walnut
2-way Adjustable Truss Rod
Fretless
Scale: 635 Mm
Top: Ergo Glide Mahogany (entandrophragma Cylindricum)
Electronics: Built-in Active Piezo Pickup Including Tuner
color: Natural Matte
Neck: Okoume (palaquium Spp.)
Controls: Volume, Basses And Treble
Butterfly Bass Style Machine Heads
Nut Width: 42.9 Mm
Stringing: Aquila Polymer
Saddle: Bone
Dot Fretboard Inlays
Back And Sides: Okoume (palaquium Spp.)
Gig Bag Included
Fretboard: Walnut
Bridge: Walnut
2-way Adjustable Truss Rod
Fretless
Scale: 635 Mm
Top: Ergo Glide Mahogany (entandrophragma Cylindricum)
Electronics: Built-in Active Piezo Pickup Including Tuner
color: Natural Matte
Neck: Okoume (palaquium Spp.)
#TOP 3

Takamine TB10

Reviews for Takamine (TA Score)

TR score rating icon 9.6

Sound Samples

Jazz
Groove

Features

Fingerboard: Ebony
Built-in Pickup With Cool Tube Preamp
Fretless / Without Frets
Extendable Spike
Design: Jumbo Body With Cutaway
color: Red Stain
Includes Takamine Special Case
Arched Maple Back And Sides
Arched Sitka Spruce Top
Stringing: D'addario .050 - .105 (article Nr. 193230)
Fingerboard: Ebony
Built-in Pickup With Cool Tube Preamp
Fretless / Without Frets
Extendable Spike
Design: Jumbo Body With Cutaway
color: Red Stain
Includes Takamine Special Case
Arched Maple Back And Sides
Arched Sitka Spruce Top
Stringing: D'addario .050 - .105 (article Nr. 193230)

Best Fretless Acoustic Basses — FAQ

Is it easier to play a fretless bass?

Fretless basses are, indeed, harder to play. It takes a while to get used to playing without frets. At beginning, it is hard to press the string on the right spot, as there are no frets to show you where to press, exactly. However, once mastered, fretless bass becomes as easy to play as fretted bass.

Then, are fretless basses good?

However, they couldn't be more wrong especially when it comes to a fretless bass. Known for their smooth vocal-like tone and demanding a peculiar technical approach, fretless basses are perfect for bassists who are keen to expand their playing horizons.

Next, why does fretless bass sound different?

Fretless Expression
Play vibrato by adjusting the note's pitch up and down while it sounds. Move smoothly between notes rather than hopping between their pitches.

Thus, do fretless basses have fret markers?

Fretless basses with NO fake fret lines have the dots placed EXACTLY where the frets would be. So by playing On THE DOT that's on the side of the neck you're placing your finger right where the fret would be. In other words you'll be playing with the proper finger intonation.

However, what is the point of a fretless bass?

Their purpose is to accurately divide up the notes on each string when you press the string down. Without frets it is up to the player to accurately find and play the notes up and down each string making sure they are in tune.

Indeed, how does a fretless bass work?

On a fretless bass, your fingertips become the frets. The fingers press the strings directly against the fingerboard, as with a violin. This results in a vibrating string that extends from the bridge to the fingertip. The fretless fretboard has a different feel from the fretted boards of standard bass guitars.

Also, who plays fretless bass?

9 of the best fretless bass performances

  • Rick Danko (The Band)
  • Dan 'Freebo' Friedberg (Bonnie Raitt)
  • Rand Forbes (The United States Of America)
  • Bernard Odum.
  • Jack Bruce.
  • Pino Palladino.
  • Sting.
  • Les Claypool.

On the other hand, why is a double bass fretless?

The sound on a fretless bass is much smoother due to a dampening effect the lack of fret height results in and you can glide between notes effortlessly. You also must press the string exactly where a fret would have been on a bass with frets rather than you normally would in between the frets.

Nonetheless, can you make a fretted bass fretless?

Before you start!
Going fretless is a reversible mod, but the way back isn't as easy and it's not cheap. To reverse it, the fretboard first has to be cleaned from all paints, then the fret slots have to be sawn, and finally you have to re-fret the necknot as easy as pulling frets out.

Our Verdict

With so many Fretless Acoustic Basses available, it's difficult to know which one is best. Fortunately, our research team compiled an unbiased list of 13 best Fretless Acoustic Basses that will fit every budget. During this study there were over 87896 products across 13 brands. Our verdict: most customers choose Fretless Acoustic Basses with an average price tag of $120!

Sherman Kelly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherman Kelly is a music enthusiast who has been playing the guitar for over 10 years. He loves to write and perform his own songs on stage, as well as performing cover songs of other artists. Sherman is happy to help others choose the perfect instrument that suits their needs.