The acoustic bass guitar is already an intriguing concept on its own, so why not make one that's fretless? That's when it gets really interesting! Go ahead and add a pickup, too, just in case you might need to plug it in.
Tacoma was founded in 1991, and for 17 years, they offered good-quality, reasonably-priced acoustic instruments proudly made in the USA. In 2008, Fender purchased the Tacoma brand and closed their Tacoma, Washington factory. That was a real shame, too, because since then no American-made brand has been able to offer instruments on the same level at the same price point. Fortunately, used Tacomas can still be had, and in today's market, they are often some of the most approachable all-solid-wood American-made guitars you're likely to find.
The Thunderchief CB10C is the low-end authority of the Tacoma Wing Series. It features a 34" scale, a solid Spruce top, and solid Mahogany back and sides. Where many acoustic bass guitars fail is their internal bracing; built and voiced like a regular guitar, they just can't produce good tone in the low register. The Thunderchief CB10C is an exception. Like many of Tacomas models, the Thunderchief bass features two carved longitudinal braces with one intersecting tone bar. Since the soundhole is located on the upper bout, this lightweight, A-frame design lends plenty of support for the wide top. Plus, it's properly voiced to deliver optimal projection of the low end.
This 2004 Tacoma Thunderchief CB10C is the fretless iteration of the model, and the previous owner installed an after-market LR Baggs Element pickup. It shows some bumps and bruises (see photos), but it's in nice shape all around. The top center seam has separated between the bridge and end block, but it's stable and shouldn't be an issue long as the bass is properly humidified. This Thunderchief plays nicely, too. The action teeters on the high side, but without frets, that just gives you more to work with for slides and vibrato. Hardshell case included!