Switch Innovo Fretless 4-string Reviews 3

I usally play small ensemble, even just duo, in small venues. Generally no drums, so I can really hear my tone, and I don't worry about 'cutting thru the mix'. This particular Innovo is fretless which is my preference for small ensemble tone. As per my usual, it is tuned DGCF [2 semitones down]. It's finished in Uglee Black Sparkle and is riddled with Uglee Little Styling Touches, but is otherwise a fairly conventional P-J 4-string, but made of unconventional materials.

I swapped some other Weird Bass for it at Daddy's Junkie Music Shop in Albany NY. I saw this used, blank plank, FL was hanging on the wall and so I hadda try plugging it in. It has a tone with 'substance' and resonance, and it's not expensive [made in China], so I bought it.

http://www.daddys.com

Very cool FL tone, different than a wooden bass, but not weird. Very rich. Being non-wooden it's low maintenance ax.

It's NOT a bolt-on. I prefer bolt-on, especially for FL where I may want to adjust the neck angle. Has some neck dive, and requires relocating the strap buttons to reduce that. Overall it's a bit heavy, prolly over 10 lb.

It's a completely non-wooden bass, of conventional shape and layout. PUs and hardware are conventional. Tone circuit is passive with volume, PU balance, treble cut, and bass cut [4 knobs total]. It's not bolt-on, but it also cannot be described as set neck or nech thru. It's just 'all one piece', like a Steinberger XL, except it's not made of graphite, it's made of 'Vibracell'. This is some sort of expanded synthetic inside a resinous outer shell. There surely MUST be some sort of reinforcing elements also hiding inside, but they are a mystery to me. It has a conventional truss rod in the neck. The fingerboard is some sort of black synthetic, but without the 'whiney' tone of Ebanol. Maybe it IS the same as Ebanol but the Vibracell structure around it cancels the whine ?

These don't cost very much, and sound cool. Being non-wooden, they should not require seasonal neck adjustment and tuning should be very stable. If you see one hanging somewhere, it's worth plugging it in to see how it hits your ear. It makes my ear very happy. It's such a mixture of positive aspects and niggling tribulations that I'm rating it a '3' ... but it's not some boring ho-hum all-average kinda '3'. It's a clash of elements worth a '4' and others worth a '2'. So, it's an affordable fun trip !

Golem rated this unit 3 on 2010-03-09.

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