curious. Why does Fender sell the Jaco Pastorius bass with flatwound strings?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by trickyric, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. trickyric

    trickyric Supporting Member

    May 21, 2017
    South Florida
    Jaco famously played round wound Rotosound swing bass strings.. so why does Fender sell the signature bass with flats?
    sonojono, Chrisk-K, Artman and 5 others like this.
  2. Nosnmad


    Jan 22, 2022
    Honestly I have no clue. My guess is that most Fretless basses come with flats as a standard(due to board wear), or that J-basses in the 60s came with flatwounds so theoretically it is period-accurate or something lol. It would make more sense to ship with Roundwounds though as you said.
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    There are those who are obsessed with "mint condition Fender"

    Although roundwound wear is exaggerated,they don't want to try to sell a bass with fingerboard marks after in store customer demos.

    After you buy it,you can do what you want.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
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  4. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    ^^^^^^^ That makes sense, like plastic wrap on the pickguard. I have pressure wound on my fretless, most of the high end, but easier on the fingers than rounds.
    nixdad, DJ Bebop, RocknRay and 2 others like this.
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    nixdad, thunesBARROW and Dr. Cheese like this.
  6. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    I have two Jaco artists and both are still wearing the original Fender flats that came on them. I suspect Fender ships them with flats for the tone. They give the typical giant-rubber-band-on-a-rural-West-Virgina-washtub-bass kind of sound you tend to expect on a 1962 Jazz bass replica, frets or not. It's actually a lovely tone, especially if you're into vintage P and J tones.

    I've tried roundwounds on one of my Jacos and it was lousy, to me. Thready and shimmery and about 1/2 the lows/fundamental gone.

    That said, with the flats it doesn't sound even remotely like Jaco, even plucked hard over the bridge PU, with the front PU turned all the way down. My favorite tone is actually the front PU soloed, plucking directly over that front PU. Basically sounds like a P bass with a nice, papery kind of clopping sound over the top of it, especially with a low action.

    I don't know why rounds sound so weak on it where you'd expect they would sound great. The flats really make the bass IMO.

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  7. Citizen Lyfe

    Citizen Lyfe

    Feb 6, 2009
    I believe someone that thought most of the customers would change them to flats anyway.
    TN WOODMAN, JonathanPDX and trickyric like this.
  8. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    Didn't they make two versions of that bass?
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Tribute models are only suppose to look like the real thing, if you want that tone look elsewhere.
    Artman, Lownote38, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  10. trickyric

    trickyric Supporting Member

    May 21, 2017
    South Florida
    why would a bass built to the same specs as the fender that Jaco played sound different?
    Ace Of Bass, DJ Bebop and J_Bass like this.
  11. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    They also don’t rip out the frets and fill the slots with boat epoxy. It’s a tribute bass, not his bass.
  12. Roto Sound Swing 66 for all my fretless basses.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    If I could only own 36 basses what would they be?
    that is the question for the ages!
    Lackey, Coolhandjjl, P. Aaron and 3 others like this.
  14. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    If you're looking for Jaco tone, you're gonna have a bad time. Passive fretless J with vintage pickups (which is what the USA sig is) will get you the closest, then the rest is up to you.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  15. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    One of them didn't have the epoxy 'board. That's a major contribution to JP's tone
  16. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    The USA sig is quite a bit different to his actual bass. The Custom Shop is closer.

    But the USA sig is an amazing fretless J, which a lot of people forget cause they get all caught up in arguing about it.
  17. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    Because they won't make money out of installing strings from a competitor.
    Lackey, Mili, james condino and 2 others like this.
  18. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    The more accurate and pricey custom shop Jaco does have an epoxy board and round wounds
    nixdad, 12BitSlab, DJ Bebop and 7 others like this.
  19. nattiep


    Sep 16, 2008
    Buffalo, NY
    This. Mine is a parts bass with a Jaco neck but I've tried my usual RS66 on it and it's just ok. With TI flats on it it sings. I have to put paper in the nut since the strings are so light but there's practically no tension and the action can be low as possible. Never taking them off.
    TN WOODMAN, DJ Bebop and luciens like this.
  20. trickyric

    trickyric Supporting Member

    May 21, 2017
    South Florida
    I get that. But they could install fender round wounds like he used. That would seem closer to authentic...
    gebass6 likes this.
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