Napoleon Fretless



The concept here is to make the best sounding fretless possible. In order to do this we have established simple rules: One pickup only, a 2 band preamp and off you go, in 4, 5 or 6 strings. It’s simple, it’s beautiful… It’s all you need.

So where lies your choice? The pickup, obviously, and the preamp… There is also one more option: coating your fretboard with a thin layer of epoxy… or not… As it is a deeply personal choice, we will simply say that the epoxy option allows you to play roundwounds, whereas we will provide flats or nylons for the purist.


Single Coils

Single coils in Jazz Bass or inverted PB configuration.

The powerful Big Blade single coil by Nordstrand Audio

Split Coil Humbuckers

A pure active split coil humbucker, home made, but with limited inventory available.

The split coil humbucker by Nordstrand Audio: The Big Split


The Dual Coil, by Nordstrand Audio, offers the biggest versatility via a 3-way switch.

The Dual Ceramic Bar by Aguilar ignores constraints in string spacing.


The 2 band preamp by Glockenklang, with the active/passive push/pull switch our classic choice for fretless.

Another German alternative, still 2 band and with the active/passive feature by Noll Electronic.

A pure active 3 volt, 2 band preamp, very transparent and dynamic, by Duvoisin.

Please notice the possibility of using a 3 way switch with the Nordstrand Audio Dual Coil, giving optimum versatility to your fretless bass. The switch allows you to choose single coil, double with parallel wiring and double with series wiring.

Other Options


Allows you to play with all types of bass strings, including roundwounds. Often players refer to it as the “Jaco sound”, but we need to point out that our fretless are “naturally fretless and not defretted basses. The epoxy coating of the fretboard is a deeply personal choice, there is no accounting for taste.


Basically it is all about dots and lines (full or partial). The big debate is how and where to place them…! Here are our suggestions:

  • Basic: dots on the side, on the fret.
  • Octave: dots on the side, on the fret; dots on the right of the fretboard, second octave.
  • Partial lines: dots on the side, in the middle of two frets; Fret lines visible on the side and 2mm on the left of the fretboard.
  • Lined: lines instead of frets, dots on the fretboard.


We generally offer to make the body and neck either with mahogany, for a rounder, warmer tone or with walnut, for a faster attack and wreckless precison. Again, it is a simple matter of taste, and if you contact us , we will build a fretless to your specifications.

Lined 5 string fretless

Nordstrand Audio Big Blade

Glockenklang 2 band

Walnut neck

Mahogany body

Curly Red wood top

Napoleon Deluxe 6 Fretless - Quilt Maple Greenburst

Octave 6 string fretless

Nordstrand Audio Dual Coil

Glockenklang 3 band

Zebrano neck

Walnut body

Quilt maple top


Napoleon Deluxe 4 Fretless - Koa

“Basic” 4 string fretless

Duvoisin split coil humbucker

Duvoisin 3 volt 2 band

Walnut neck & body

Koa top

Macassar fretboard