Fretless Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Funk, Oct 25, 2001.

  1. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk

    Oct 10, 2001
    Hey Guys,

    I was thinking about getting into a fretless and I came across a MIM Jazz yesterday. It was really pretty and the price was right (349.00). Is there a big difference between these and the MIA Fenders?
    It seemed to play OK, but I have no fretless experience to go by.

  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Somebody wanted to sell me a fretless MIM jazz that they never used for $100 a few months ago. The bass looked brand new, I"m sure he hardly if ever used it, but the electronics were all screwed up, the pickups had some serious hum, the neck didn't feel so great - I played it for 5 minutes and gave back to the guy. There are a lot of cheap fretless basses out there, I don't think this is the best of em. I'd either find a cheaper one, make the investment and get a MIA one - or buy a cheap acoustic fretless (if ya just wanna check out fretless). That way you'd be adding an acoustic and a fretless to your collection. I only say this cuz I have an acoustic and often wish it were fretless.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    If you want to dabble, there are better alternatives. The MIM Fender has the name, but the quality and sound are subpar, IMO. For roughly the same price, you can pick up a better-built Cort Curbow or Yamaha. Scam Ash's fretless Carlo Robelli is even cheaper, and plays very nicely.
  4. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    I have a MIM Jazz Bass Fretless. It feels and plays as good as any other fretless jazz bass. But the pickups are crap. I got a set of DiMarzio UltraJazz pickups a couple of weeks after I bought the bass because I couldn't stand the noise. I put Thomastik Jazz flats on it at some point. I really like it now. The only other upgrade I have considered is a gotoh-201 bridge. Maybe for christmas.
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I have a MIM Fender fretless and I think it's a great bass. If you look around at a few different basses, you can find a MIM that is very well constructed, and the tone as-is is excellent. IMHO, the Jazz is "the" fretless sound. The other nice thing about the MIM Jazz is that every component can be upgraded, and realatively easily. Replacement parts are easily availalbe should you ever decide to upgrade the bass. I myself have thrown on a new bridge and will be installing a set of pickups by Christmas.

    The MIA has better electronics, without a doubt. I'm not sure what year the bass you tried out was, but I think Fender has cured a few of the problems with MIM Jazz basses for quite a while. They are known to hum a bit, but I don't think it's as bad as everyone says.
  6. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    SuperDuck, you're right. My stock pickups were not that bad. They hummed a lot. At the time when I bought it I had moved back to my parents' house for a few months and the neighbours were really anal, so I used headphones a lot. And when you use headphones the hum is really annoying. That's the main reason I upgraded.
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Man, the worst was when I experimented with nylon tapewound strings, which basically means I had no ground. I had double the normal hum! I had to use my backup bass because the hum was going to the mains and it was just too much.
  8. I have one and I like it a lot... the pick-ups do hum more than some other fretless basses in the same price range, but the tone and feel make it worth all that. I have found that turning the volume down at the bass (on both pick-ups evenly) will minimize the hum. Someone also mentioned that you can upgrade pickups and most other parts easily as well.

    It seems to me that Bass Player did a "best 4 fretless under thirty bucks" (I might be wrong on that $$ amount :D ) and it scored favorably all around.
  9. Yum, i played one once and I really liked it.
  10. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I just bought a used fretless MIJ Jazz for $350. It's a 1982 model. Sounds great with three small chips in the body.