1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Comments on Fender Jaco Relic?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RunngDog, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    So I was Christmas shopping for my kids this evening at GC and I see this beat up fretless on the wall with a $3k price tag -- the so-called Jaco Relic from the Fender Custom Shop. Didn't really want to play it, but I guess the devil made me do it. Man, this thing really blew me away. The neck was absolutely gorgeous -- smoothest, finest jazz neck I've ever played. Tone was beautiful as well. Really -- this was by far the finest 4-string fretless I've ever played?

    What's the word on these? Are they the same as the other Jaco models with $1500 worth of distressing? Is it all a lot of marketing hype? (I know the answer on this last one is no, since I played it -- so maybe the question is "how much of this is marketing hype"?) Do these things seem to hold their value?

    It's hard to imagine being tempted by a $3k bass off the wall at GC, but if I wasn't already broke from Christmas I definitely would have been.
  2. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    I've never had the pleasure to play one, but have read many positive things here about them. I saw one on the used board here for around 2 grand recently.
    I was trying to even trade my zon sonus 5/1 for the regular jaco fretless, and then have that sent off to have the fingerboard epoxied, as I've heard it will bring the gap between the sound of the regular jaco and the relic jaco closer together for a fraction of the price. (btw, still have the zon if anyone wants to trade their jaco ;) )
  3. i like the regular Jaco. it was 1,100 at sam ash in clearwater.
  4. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    That is a great bass. It comes out of the Fender Custom Shop. Alot of what you are paying for is the recreation of the beat up look of Jaco's bass. RIP Jaco

    You probably noticed that the finger board had an epoxy coating on it. That is what gives it a very smooth feel and makes those notes singggggg.

    If budget isn't an issue, buy the bass. it's terrific. If budget is an issue, get a jazz bass either Fender or build your own check out Warmoth for quality parts www.warmoth.com, put in Seymour Duncan Antiquity II pickups (Duncan wound these same PU's for Jaco) Buy a $25.00 worth of marine epoxy resin, coat your fingerboard and pocket the $1600.00 I just saved you. You can also take a hammer and sandpaper to the body if you want that distressed look. Ouch!
  5. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I use to own one.
    Sold it, to by a upright.
    The relic Jaco, was the nicest, new Fender bass I've ever played.
    Playability, Feel, Sound, it had it all.
    If you have the money buy one.
  6. Just make a $1,600 check payable to the Jaco Pastorius Estate. Isn't that the idea behind the $3,000 price?
  7. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    It's a shame they don't make a version of this bass with everything except the artificial distressing. This is a killer instrument (maybe even worth $3k), but distressing is a remarkably costly process -- I'm sure that the same kind of time and effort are put into making this bass look like s**t that goes into making a Nordstrand or Sadowsky look as beautiful as they do. That said, I don't really like the look and hate the notion of having to pay for it just to get the great instrument underneath.

    If it's any consolation, Gibson offers a distressed version of their top-of-the-line Master Model mandolin (distressed to look just like an 80-year-old '24 Lloyd Loar), and just the upcharge for distressing is about twice the price of the Jaco relic.
  8. To the above poster: They do make a Jaco fretless without the distress, for about half the price. They used to make a fretted version, too, and I hear its also quite a bass.
  9. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I have the normal Jaco, and it is a great bass. Would it change the sound if I would coat the fretboard with marine epoxy, or is it already coated?
  10. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    No, I've tried the standard "Artist Series" Jaco fretless and while it's very nice bass, it's really nothing like the "Relic," which comes out of Fender's Custom Shop. I really don't know what all they do to this bass at the Custom Shop, but the difference is not just the resin on the fretboard, and it's certainly not the distressing either. It really feels like they got the neck and fretboard on this thing exactly right, in a way that you can feel and hear with your eyes closed. I read an earlier TB post by someone who said that this bass "seemed to play itself." It's a nutty idea, but it does approximate the incredibly smooth feel of this instrument under your fingers.
  11. I have one. It's the best Fender I have ever played. In fact, it is one of the best basses I have ever played. Fantastic neck, great feel and, above all, beautiful tone. I would prefer it not be "distressed", but I wouldn't trade that neck. It sounds great live and recorded.

    I bought mine new for $1800. For me, there is no comparison between the custom shop model and the artist series. It is easily worth the difference in price.

  12. RunngDog


    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Jeff, where did you get one for that price? Or did you buy yours when they were first released? Current list is over $4k, with a street price a little above $3k.
  13. I know. I lucked out on it. I bought it from a local music shop who had it for around a year. Most of their customers did not know what it was. I offered the manager cash for it and he accepted.

  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    If anyone's interested in the non-distressed fretted artist version, there's one for auction (no relation to me) that's only up to $485. PM me if interested to keep this thread from being spamminated.
  15. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    I played a Jaco relic today, and I have mixed feelings.
    First off, great feel, awesome neck, but the action on this particular one was way too high (I played it at a GC), for this kind of price tag, you think the thing would be set up top notch. Still, you could tell how nicely the bass played. It does seem like the bass could only really do the pseudo Jaco thing, sort of a one sound axe. Really sweet bass though...
    It's been at this store for a long while, and I'm not very good at haggling for a better price, but it's marked $2750...how much would you offer them? (I know, if I want it, pay the money, but we all love a deal...) Any thoughts? Thanks!
  16. I got mine new for under $2100.

    Don't judge the bass by how well GC has not maintained it.

    Good luck!
  17. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Yeah man, still played pretty awesome,
    I was expecting a little more mwah (could be a bunch of things, amp, me,? ). It seems to me that the tone knob and various settings of the two vol. knobs doesn't do much to the bass. Jeff, does yours sound similar? Did you get it at a store for that price? Thanks!
  18. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Lack of mwah is directly related to the setup being too high. Get that thing set up!
  19. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Fender Custom Shop instruments are some of the best around, Jaco or any of your own creations. With the custom shop all the pieces that come out are great.

    If this bass had some other name on it, no one would question the price
  20. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    why dont they make one. a brand new one. to the specs of jaco's bass. i mean everything/. just have it in mint condition. i wouldnt pay 3500 for a bass that has seen better days.

    that would be like me buying a 2500 les paul, and then having someone ruin the finish and look of the guitar.
    hell i can buy a used one for 1100 in the same shape.