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Go fretless? '98 Fender American Deluxe Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by The Thinker, Dec 8, 2005.


  1. The Thinker

    The Thinker Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Hi all:

    I have a '98 American Fender Dlx Jazz--the one with the large-pole pickups. Anyway, I have thought about selling it (I like my modded Hamer Cruise better), but now I'm wondering if I should get a fretless neck for it.

    Does anyone have, or has anyone played, the "large pole" USA Dlxe J as a fretless? Any reviews/comments/etc. would be welcome.
     
  2. The Thinker

    The Thinker Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
  3. I actually owned one (a '97 Am.Dlx. Jazz Bass fretless) for a few years before I traded it to a fellow Pitter. For me, it just didn't tonally work out. I was pretty happy with the solo tone playing things like Jaco's "Continuum" and "Portrait of Tracy," but in a band, I couldn't get it to sit well in the mix. Not for me and not with my current amp setup, at least.

    I've played a few fretlesses since and fell in love specifically with a fellow TBer's G&L JB-2. I think what made the difference was the fact that Fender fretless basses have rosewood fingerboards. Knowing what I now know (just recently looked into it), rosewood is typically considered too soft a wood for fretless. Generally speaking, ebony is the standard and pao ferro is also widely used (EBMM) and very well-regarded as a fretless fingerboard.

    I was also looking into replacing the neck with a Moses Graphite neck, of which I know at least a few people who have been happy with them.

    It was a good bass, but in my opinion, if you like your Hamer Cruise better than your Am.Dlx. Jazz Bass, sell the Jazz and play some fretlesses to find what fits you best. If you buy another neck (which there aren't many options since it's a 22-fret neck and not the standard Fender route), you'll have a neck you probably won't be able to resell later.
     
  4. The Thinker

    The Thinker Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Great info--thanks!
     
  5. If you have any other questions or want any more specific info, just ask - PM or in the thread is fine. Good luck finding the right bass for you!

    As for me, I dream of a dual-humbucker, unlined-fretless Sterling. That's my dream.