Fretless Foundation

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Kmonk
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:06 pm

Fretless Foundation

Post by Kmonk » Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:17 am

I just purchased this Fretless Foundation. I've searched the internet and cannot find any information on it. I found plenty of sites discussing the fretted version but nothing on fretless. Does anyone know anything about these? How many were made vs fretted models, how rare are they, what is the current value? Serial # 0814xxxx. The seller said he has owned it since 1995. The bass plays well and sounds good even with the old strings on it. It needs 2 knobs and a jack plate. The best part is I only paid $50 so I figured I couldn't go wrong. Picture isn't the best due to the light reflecting off the black finish. Thanks,
Peavey Foundation.jpg
Peavey Foundation.jpg (985.15 KiB) Viewed 2927 times

kodiakblair
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Location: Scotland

Re: Fretless Foundation

Post by kodiakblair » Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:59 pm

@Kmonk

Congratulations on your $50 well spent.

What can I tell you about it ? Should you sell, you'll make a profit

For starters I'd say later than 1995. The single coils hidden under VFL shells appeared in late 95/early 96. The change from a 5/16th TR nut to the 4mm hex screw, definitely 96.

Fretless Foundations had quite a long run, 1985 to 1998. I doubt they built more than 2500 per year, 20,000 in existence ain't exactly rare.

Had it been an earlier model you'd be looking at a value of $400 easy, reduced demand on the later model drops the price to $2 to 300.

Replacement knobs are of the metal dome type, push on variety. Football jack plate. 3 matching knobs + the plate, maybe $12 outlay.


Bottom line.

Not retiring money but a very health return for $50 :)
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Kmonk
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Re: Fretless Foundation

Post by Kmonk » Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:31 pm

Thanks for the response. I have several American Fenders, Alembics and Spectors. The only I reason I bought this one was to sell it. I figured it would be worth it for $50. I already replaced the jack plate and knobs. I also cleaned it up. Looks pretty good. I'll probably list it online for $400 to $450 and see what I get for offers or I might just keep it. It actually sounds good and plays well.

Alf
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Re: Fretless Foundation

Post by Alf » Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:28 pm

Excellent price. When I bought mine new I paid 600 CAD probably in 1996 or so.

Something that I found is that there will be a certain place on the fretboard where notes will just fall flat. It is only a small area and I took it to the dealer who tried everything to fix it but no joy. Have spoken to others who say it is just a feature of fretless and is probably related to some harmonic thing going on. Other than that it is a joy to play.

kodiakblair
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Location: Scotland

Re: Fretless Foundation

Post by kodiakblair » Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:59 pm

Alf wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:28 pm
Something that I found is that there will be a certain place on the fretboard where notes will just fall flat. It is only a small area and I took it to the dealer who tried everything to fix it but no joy. Have spoken to others who say it is just a feature of fretless and is probably related to some harmonic thing going on.

The "others" are partly right.

What you are experiencing are called dead spots. It's not a "fretless" thing, just common on basses with 4 in line pegheads.

Back in the 70's there was a brass plate sold to counter dead spots on Fender basses.
fathead.jpg
fathead.jpg (37.35 KiB) Viewed 2744 times
As you can imagine sticking a brass plate on the peghead invited neck dive so it was redesigned as a clamp called the "Fat Finger".
Axcelerator,B-90,B-Quad,Cirrus,Dyna,Dyna/Unity,Foundations,Forum,Fury,Gbass,Grind,International,midibase,Milestone III, Millenniums,Patriot,Resolite,RJ-IV,Sarzo,3 T40,T45,T20,TL-5,Tragic,Unity,Void,Zephyr5,3 Zodiac.

southburning
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Re: Fretless Foundation

Post by southburning » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:55 am

Since it is a harmonic thing, there are a few simple things you can do that may fix it. Change strings; a different brand or gauge. Don't feel married to just one. Tweak your torsion bar just a little. This will change the distribution of tension throughout the neck. I have played a Foundation fretless since, probably, '85 and I LOVE it. I'm so spoiled I can't even bring myself to play fretted. So, goog luck.

jascharl5
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Re: Fretless Foundation

Post by jascharl5 » Sun Aug 21, 2022 9:53 am

I've never played a fretless bass, but I learned on an upright and I still play one regularly. I like how smooth and sleek the fingerboard is on one, so I'm hoping if I buy a fretless it'll be like that.

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