Best 5 string fretless bass guitars

Best 5 String Fretless Bass Guitars (2024): From Cheap to Top-Tier

Looking for the best 5 string fretless bass guitar? Discover my top picks and find the perfect instrument for your playing style, budget, and preferences.

These are my top three contenders for the title of the best 5-string fretless bass.

So, whether you’re a seasoned bass player or just starting out, dive in and discover some fantastic options that won’t break your bank.

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Best 5 String Fretless Bass Guitars Quick Glance

ESP LTD B-205SMFL: Best under $700

First up on our list is the ESP B-205SMFL, earning its spot as the best 5-string fretless bass under $700.

What sets this awesome bass apart? Well, for starters, ESP’s LTD series has a reputation for crafting instruments that combine quality and affordability with no problems.

The B-205SMFL is a perfect example of this, and boasts a stunning spalted maple top, providing not only visual appeal but also a resonance that adds warmth to your tones akin to a traditional standing bass.

And the fretless design enhances your ability to achieve those smooth, gliding notes, making it an excellent choice for jazz, fusion, rock, and beyond.

Plus, with its versatile active ABQ-3 EQ system, you have the power to create your perfect bass tone.

If you want to sound like Jaco, then I suggest you check out the ESP LTD B-205SM.

Ibanez SR375EF: Best under $500

Now, let’s talk about the Ibanez SR375EF, which I crowned as the best 5-string fretless bass under $500.

Ibanez has long been known for delivering instruments that cater to a wide range of players, and the SR375EF does just that.

The bass features a sleek maple body, contributing to its somewhat lightweight character.

And the bass’s thin, fast neck profile is a dream for those who love to navigate the fretboard easily, and without fret-hand exhaustion.

As for electronics, this bad boy is equipped with Ibanez’s PowerSpan Dual Coil pickups and an active 3-band EQ, making sure the SR375EF gives you a broad and versatile set of tones, necessary for any aspiring fretless bass player.

All of these features come together to create a fretless bass that not only sounds fantastic but also looks great and won’t break the bank.

Tario Fretless: Best under $200

Let’s check out the budget-friendly bass with the Tario Fretless, earning the title of the best 5-string fretless bass under $200.

Yes, you heard that right – under $200! Tario might be a lesser-known brand, but don’t let that fool you. This bass has some surprises up its sleeve.

With a simple yet elegant design, the Tario Fretless offers a great entry point for players looking to learn fretless bass without breaking the bank.

The maple neck and ebony fingerboard provide a comfortable playing experience, and the passive pickup system makes for less of a maintenance hassle, without sacrificing too much clarity or tone.

But at the end of the day, it’s only $200, so don’t expect the quality of a Fender Precision bass or anything similar.

Overall, it’s truly a fantastic option for beginners or those looking for an affordable second instrument without compromising on quality.


And there you have it – the ESP B-205SMFL, the Ibanez SR375EF, and the Tario Fretless, each claiming its spot as the best 5-string fretless bass in its respective price range.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting your bass journey, these basses offer a blend of craftsmanship, playability, and affordability that make them stand out in the crowded world of fretless bass guitars.

As always, I encourage you to try them out for yourself, listen to their tones, and see which one resonates with you.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep those low-end frequencies coming!