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Fender Jaco Pastorius J-Bass....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Raymondn1, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Just wondering if anyone around has tried the new Jaco-Bass from Fender. Either the "normal" or the "relic" one. I want a fretless Fender real bad, and I've got a feeling the jaco-bass is a real mother of basses... Am I right? -And if anyone knows how much I'll have to pay for it, I'd be thankfull...

    I own a '74 Jazz bass and I need something that matches it. Been thinking about defretting a bass, but it seems like a lot of work, so I might just get one that's already defretted...

  2. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I've tried the less expensive one, and it was...eh. Nothing special. Sounded like a (surprise surprise) fretless Jazz. For what it cost, it didn't sound great. Played pretty well, though.
  3. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The non-relic Jaco basses are most definitely special. They sound markedly superior to other fretless production J basses. For what it costs, it sounds downright stunning. I own two of 'em, fretted and fretless. Do a search, there's a recent thread here.
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Interesting! Very different opinion. I didn't like it much.
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Right. Well, all I can say is my opinion is based on 100+ hours of gigging with them through top-notch rigs.
  6. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    If you want a fretless fender jazz, i would recommend getting a fretless MIM and upgrading it. You can probably find a used fretless MIM jazz for around $200. You can also find them on steroids. IMO, upgrading a MIM is a lot better of a deal than buying a MIA or a sig. bass.

    You may want to think about Warmoth. Putting a warmoth bass together will be more work and more expensive, but they are much better, IMO.

    There are also tons of high-end j-bass style basses (pedulas...)

    You could also get the real jaco bass (stock pre-cbs defretted jazz w/ the 2 volume one tone knob configuration.)

    These are just some other fretless j-basses you could tryout. Find out what you like best.
  7. DeepBlueBass


    Apr 28, 2000
    Dallas TX
    I kind of agree with Tracy...I wouldn't get a fender jass fretless, I would go with a much better brand. Fender just never has played well or sounded good to me, I like Warwick's fretless four, that thing is like butta'. I took my old Warwick fretless and refinished the neck, added an active EQ, and strung it with piccolo bass strings. And I love it, it's so fun to play fretless chords. SO the point is that you could either buy or build a much better fretless than a fender.
  8. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Now there's a practical suggestion that should only cost you about 7 or 8K...if you're REALLY lucky. :rolleyes:
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'm not a fretless player or a Fender person BUT I played the Custom Shop Relic Jaco Bass (the ones that look old, really looked like Jaco's real bass) & the bass just played itself!!!!!! Sounded incredible, played like a dream. I played one about 2 years ago when I worked @ Sam Ash & I played it just about every day I worked. The bass cost about $2500 but if you're serious about buying one, this is it. I haven't played the non-Custom shop Jaco basses.
  10. Thanks for all well meant suggestions. -Didn't make me that much wiser, though... I don't want a Pedulla, or a Lakland or such. I want a bad, old, growling and dirty Fender bass, like Jaco had, like I said; something that matches my fretted '74 Jazz bass, which is awesome !!!
    I just hope I can rely on you, Nino-Brown !- Your description is exactly what I wanted to hear (read, nevermind...).

    -Here's a pic of my bass, so you see what I'm after... [​IMG]
  11. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I've played a few of the Jaco relic models. Each one was very special. Had the best of neck of any Fender I have played, the action was very low and the tone was simply beautiful. I would own one if I could find the right price on a used one (there are too many other great choices for $2500, IMO). Besides, if I could get one used, it really wouldn't matter if the previous owned added a couple more scratches!

    If you're looking for a Fender that nails Jaco's tone, I don't think you could get much closer than the relic.

    Good luck!
  12. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    As usual, I totally agree with Jeff and Nino on this as well as most other things. I've played a pro-CBS Jazz basses and the Relic was very close if not right on.

    BUT, get a used(?) one. Look on Ebay. They show up there.;)
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I've not had the pleasure to try out the Jaco Relics and, as we all do, I tend to justify my purchases, I suppose. However...a good friend of mine who has inside contacts with Fender recently toured the Custom Shop and had the opportunity to play the relic and production basses back to back. His observation was that the production basses were surprisingly close in feel and sound to the relics. Considering the cost differences, it was a sobering comment. When I bought mine, I couldn't believe that a production Fender could be that good! Fit, finish, sound, playablity, you name it.

    I should hasten to add that I'm not too concerned with the appearance or "authenticity" of the basses, merely the sound and playability. Obviously, the relic will look a lot more like the real thing, if that is a strong consideration for you.

    Bottom line: a new relic will set you back at least $3K. You can buy a new production Jaco for about $1150 or thereabouts. Assuming that the production instrument is essentially as good (without the cosmetics), is the relic worth the extra money?

  14. -No! Hopefully, the bass will "relic" as I use it... The description "cosmetically aged" is not cool at all...
    Even though an old, hard-worn looks great, it's not the same when a new bass looks old... That's "street-wise-wannabe" -ish... :cool:
  15. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yer right, Raymond.
  16. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    You really should bear in mind that there are differences in the artist sig model and the relic besides appearance. The artist model has a poly coated pao ferro board and the relic has an epoxy coated rosewood board. That and the relic is a custom shop instrument and the artist series is a production model. Whether or not any of that is important to you or not is a matter for you and your wallet to decide.
  17. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I own one of the Jaco production fretless basses and it is the best sounding Fender that I've played and I've played more than a few. It is a killer bass for a great price considering the tone and the feel.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I am looking to buy a fretless Fender in the spring....I have been considering American and American deluxe Jazz basses. Do you think that the Jaco artist series Jazz basses are that much better? If they do in fact feel better than the American Standard or Deluxe, I will probably end up ordering one of them instead. Just a question!
  19. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    Mind you, I have the fretted Jaco sig. version and I have never found another production Jazz bass nearly as well built, toneful and playable as mine. As I said before, it's very close to any of the pre-CBS basses that I've played. This is MHO for what it's worth.;)

    Now I've not tried out the new FMT's. I've got it on good authority that they are incredible. They sure look pretty.

    I did notice in the new Fender Frontline that the shape of the neck is listed as a special profile.
  20. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yes, based on my experience with the two I own, the answer is: absolutely.
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