Fender Jaco Pastorius Fretless Vs Musicman Sterling with piezo Vs Warwick Thumb

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by malabito, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. After doing some research, here at talkbass, (which has help me a lot in my search for a fretless), I have narrow my search to the following 3 basses, but still not sure which one to get, although I am pretty sure the warwick is at the bottom of the list:

    -Fender Jaco Pastorius signature bass Fretless

    -Musicman Sterling Fretless with piezo upgrade, is it worth the piezo sytem, i also may add a hipshot detuner at the the E string

    -Warwick Fretless thumb bolt-on, not quite sure about this one, since I have read a lot about the neck diving problems and that it is really heavy.

    Regarding the jaco bass would it be worth it to upgrade it with a j-retro preamp, that way I could have the passive sound going on at the passive mode, and if I needed that extra boost I ´ll turn the active mode.

    I´ll really appreciate your advice and help since I´ll be buying this bass without trying it first. :help:

    Also if you have any soundclips of these basses that you could email, (alejandroilukewitsch@yahoo.com) or post here, I will be greatly thankfull. I am into jazz, R&B, funk,soul, etc.

    PD: pardon me for the long post and questions but buying a bass without trying it first its a hard thing to do.

    Thanks in advance for your replies. :)
  2. You would have to pick 3 awesomel nice basses to decide between, wouldn't you? lol
  3. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Take this with a Grain of salt but IMO the Sterling blows em all away!

    I've never heard a Warwick thumb fretless, The fretted have a sweet tone that I don't think is for everyone, I love the tone but unfortunately I find them hideous so I would not purchase one.

    When I was looking for my first fretless I was considering the Jaco sig model and at the store I was quoted for about 2000$ (CAN) which is about 500 more than a Sterling and the only reason I could see the abss costing that much is because its "Jaco Bass!" more of a gimicky thing... (I eneded up buyign a Carvin I'm delighted with)

    The Sterlings are tone machines! and if you like the tiny necks and overall smallness they are wonderful! IMO the best mass produced bass out there. You can listen to some Dave Larue to get an idea of how they sound. As for the PIezos the only time I've tried them was on a Spector Core 5 and wasn't impressed.

    Good luck and hope this helps you.
  4. You find the thumb hideous? you think a sterling is better looking than a thumb? :eek: :scowl:
  5. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    Nick, we know you love your thumb... Please, just stop talking about it.

    To the original poster:

    I'd go with the Jaco. Those basses are so sweet. Its definitely the fretless i'd buy from your list. Get the aged one!

  6. I happen to agree with him personally.

    Goes to show you...whats good for the goose isnt always good for the gander. ;)
  7. Well, I reckon when he's performed a gig/concert with a thumb, he'll udnerstand why I love mine. It may be heavy, but that isnt really a consideration for me, but it fits round your body so nicely! I've never heard a fretless one, but I imagine the growl will be immense. If you want a fat, punchy, gorwly sound, get it.
  8. sjm


    Sep 30, 2004
    just bought a jp signature and it stinks - deadest of dead notes on G string at C, C sharp & D - currently awaiting response from Fender
  9. I was considering the jaco signature the one that costs around 1350$, not the aged one. The aged ones seems to be a little bit to expansive for what your are getting, and its also out of my price range.

    thanks for the reply. :)
  10. That'll probably happen with some big makers like Fender, they'll have the odd few slip through quality control.
  11. Thats one of the main reasons i am scared about getting the fender, although almost all the reviews I have read about the jaco signature are positive, I know fender aint very consistent in its quality, and sometimes the fender you buy is not as good as you expected. I am sorry to hear about your negative experiance, I hope you solve it. :)

    Thanks for the reply. :)
  12. I know the thumb sounds really nice and has a lot of growl, but the weight issue might be a problem for me, since a suffer from lower back problems. Is it really that heavy? Also, i have read that the neck is kind of similar to a precision type neck, i mean, it´s really thick, and that would be to my dislikes. Right now I have a atk300 as a backup bass, and although its a really nice bass the precision type neck aint easy to handle for me, its really uncomfortable. I prefer slimmer necks.

    Thanks :)
  13. If you have the money get the Jaco relic.

    I wouldn't really suggest a Warwick or a MM for a fretless, they kind of deserve to be fretted, but a J bass is great, fretless or fretted.
  14. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    I've always found german Warwicks to be heavy, with wide and deep necks - maybe this isnt one for you.

    Have you considered Pedulla, they make some killer fretlesses, but you'd probably have to go second hand to get something within your budget.
  15. I was hearing some of the sound clips that dave larue has published at his web site, as you advice, and men the fretless sound at the song called "juanita" is really beatifull, by any chance do you know what bass was he using, was it a sterling or a stingray?

    thanks :)

  16. Yep considering my back problems i think the warwick is definitivebly not for me. I did check out the pedullas, and specially the Roscoes, but even second hand they are out of my budget. The used ones I seen dont go lower than 1500$. Which is the higher I can go , including the shipment fees, (of course not to Venezuela but to miami, that will leave me with aprox 1460$ as a top to spend on the bass).

    Thanks,, :)
  17. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    A quick search of www.bassnw.com provides:

    Jaco Lined Fretless - $999

    http://www.bassnw.com/Used Basses/fender_jaco_pastorius_fretless_4_st.htm

    Sterling fretless 4 - $999

    http://www.bassnw.com/Used Basses/musicman_sterling_fretless_4_st_natural.htm

    Rob Allen fretless 4 (maybe a little pricey for you) $1599

    http://www.bassnw.com/Used Basses/rob_allen_mb2_fretless_5_st_myrtle.htm

    this rather spectacular Roscoe LG-3000 Fretless 4

    http://www.bassnw.com/Used Basses/roscoe_lg3000FL_4_st_Figured_Redwood.htm

    And www.basscentral.com used section

    80's EB StingRay Black + Maple Lined Fretless

    Toby Pro 5 Fretless - $875

    Modulus Q4 Fretless - $1899 (oh man - you must be able to save $300 dollars for this beaut)

    Note to mods: im not sure if im supposed to be doing posts like that^ But since i actually live in the UK and dont have any affiliation with either retailer... its ok? If its not; first of all, im VERY sorry, just delete it, and PM me and ill never do it again. m'kay?
  18. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    LaRue, Palladino, and Levin get beautiful fretless sounds with MMs, but my heart goes to the Jazz.

    But the real answer is play examples of each, then choose the individual instrument that speaks to you.
  19. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    I just played a fretless sterling last night. I found the playability much nicer than the fretless warwick I played. Soundwise I prefered it too, but that's your deal, not mine.
  20. I wish I could try any of this instruments before buying one, but here in Venezuela their aint any music store that has does basses for sale. :meh: