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Antique Noel ATB-560 FL (Fretless)

The cheapest bass I ever bought, costing a mere £150 quid.

In need of a fretless for a series of gigs at a time when my wallet was emptier than Paris Hilton's head, I had no choice but to sell my Richard Clayderman CD collection and bite the cheap-bass bullet.

Despite its low price it's not actually that bad. Sure, it's a no-name parts, factory-produced affair that no time-served luthier has ever come within a million miles of, but...plug it in and - with a bit of tweaking - a half-decent sound comes out!

What it lacks in finesse it makes up for in sheer audacious oomph! Turn it up full, overdrive yer amp and "Teen Town" never sounded so good!

If you're currently saving up for a top-of-the-range, made-to-order 5-string fretless that'll leave you penniless for the next few years, then I'll give you the same advice I gave Richard Bona just before he bought his Fodera: "Ricky," I said. "For God's sake, forget about the bass for five minutes and get the beers in, it's your round!"

Sound advice, I'm sure you'll agree.

Antique Noel  ATB-560 FL