I have been looking for an entry level fretless bass to see if this is the direction I want to take my playing in. While a Squire would fit the bill, I also was looking for a precision pick-up to play with as well. My current main bass is a G&L JB-2, so the Precision body of this 214 along with a neck that is very similar to that Jazz profile on mine made this especially attractive.
I bought the bass new online for $235 plus tax. I wasn't going to get a Squire fretless for that price so I took the plunge. I am not disappointed!
I've been playing for 35 years, so I know my way around a bass. The instrument came well packed from the factory. The strings were D'Addario roundwounds. The set up was excellent. I didn't have to touch the truss rod, string height or intonation. I had to give some screws on the pick guard and the screws that hold the bridge down about a 1/4 turn (be gentle!). The rosewood fretboard needed a bit of a cleaning and some conditioning. I used my typical inexpensive fretboard cleaner/conditioner with great results.
The pickups are hot! My other passive pickups don't have this output. The produce unexpectedly good tone considering the price point. I had planned to use this as an experimental bass platform and eventually make it into a bit of a Frankenbass as I customized it. However, I find that either I will slowly upgrade as needed or leave it as is and flip it for a higher end bass with the same configuration (i.e. G&L SB-2 fretless). I do a lot of gigging, so perhaps in time I might swap out the pickups. If it starts going out of tune in the future, perhaps it is time to change the tuners.
To sum it up, this is a very good instrument for under $300. I am presently playing it more than my other instruments that cost 4x more. I give it four stars simply because I have been spoiled by more expensive instruments that I have loved.
ESP/LTD Vintage 214 Fretless
An affordable unlined fretless P bass clone.