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The direct, pure sound, fingers pressing the strings on the fingerboard, no frets in between ...

An alder body, rosewood fingerboard, passive HotWire soapbar with coil-tap - that's what you need for the fretless sound. Not more. Just listen to Simon Zauels: he knows how to do it.

A very traditional fretless in the sense of Jaco has an alder body, a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and the right pickups, such as our Vintage Jays. Also important is the "Bent Bridge", which ensures the official tone and sustain.

We have fretless fingerboards for every taste: ebony is used on the classical double basses. It's tough and offers many years of playing fun. I, on the other hand, prefer rosewood, it sounds a bit warmer in the low mids, but it's not as hard and resistant as ebony. (If required, we can also make a maple fingerboard, protected with extra hard boat varnish.)

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Jaco Pastorius took out the frets of his 1962 Fender Jazz Bass and filled up the gaps with contrasting wood filler in the early seventies. He applied several layers of boat laquer on the neck and sanded it to a smooth surface. The rest is history.

In this tradition, we can make lines for better navigation and intonation on the fingerboard, which are embedded in the wood instead of the frets. Light or dark lines are possible. On request, we apply special boat paint on the fretless fingerboard. This gives a super-nice feel, and the fingerboard lasts longer.

But there are variations on the topic: For a particularly fat finger sound, we do not make the body of alder, but of mahogany. Sounds really incredible. This is where our double jazz pickup comes in: a fat-sounding vintage HotWire humbucker switchable to single coil for "traditional" sounds, passive volume and tone knobs - nothing more than super fretless tone.


CITES papers for protected timber at the border crossing require a rethink: If the desire bass gets an East Indian rosewood fingerboard, we will provide the appropriate papers to go with it. Alternatively, we also like to use PAU FERRO as grip wood today. Looks good, sounds good, and is not on the list of protected woods.

Send your questions to:

or call the Hot Wire Hotline: 0049 6753 94571