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Is Jaco Pastorius signature fender jazz bass (non relic) really worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Diego Rivera, Jun 7, 2017.


  1. Diego Rivera

    Diego Rivera

    Jun 7, 2017
    Peru
    Hi! I was thinking of buying a fretless bass and i have been checking all music shops in my country (Peru) and the only 2 fretless models that ive found are the jaco fender signature and the fender jazz bass (fretless version).

    I have the budget to buy the jaco fender bass but i would like to know if it is really worth the price. I know that the price increases a good amount of money because of the "signature condition" but appart from that, ive checked the details of the bass and i havent found specifications so impressive to make the bass cost more than the double of the price of the fretless standard jazz bass. Im not an expert so i can be missing the importance of something and the quality of the materials and electronics, so id like to know the opinion of other people about the sound and their opinion in general about the jaco signature bass.

    I was also checking the ibanez portamento 6 string model (with the active option, piezo pickups, etc) and is like nearly half the price of the fender signature model; so i dont know what does the other model have to be more expensive without that many specs and electronics like the ibanez. I really like the jaco signature but i dont want to use that amount of money if the bass is not nearly worthy.

    Thanks for your time :D (sorry for bad english)
     
    kcolyar likes this.
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Your English is great.

    But you're the only person who can decide if it's worth it.
     
    gebass6 and Son of Wobble like this.
  3. Naah, you're paying for the name, they're pretty much identical to their regular fretless jazzes I'm pretty sure except for cosmetics although I don't see that they are double in price, check out a Tony Franklin fretless. My wife is from Lima (Pueblo Libre) and I just got back from there a few weeks ago and I had brought my Tony Franklin fretless Precision, que coincidencia!.
     
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  4. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I've put together Fender fretless Jazz Basses from parts that are much closer to what Jaco played. Fender charges waaay too much for that signature model, and it doesn't even have the right finger board finish.
     
    craigie, Gunga Din and bobyoung53 like this.
  5. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    How you digging your Franklin fretless? I think that is one of Fender's finest, both in looks and construction. OP is urged to consider this model, too.
     
  6. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    Que precio alto! No tiene valor como el precio. Salve vd. su dinero . Mire vd. para un otro bajo. Bajos con firmas generalmente significa de nada para mi. Halla vd. un bajo que siente bueno in las manos. Por supuesto, IMO. Buena suerte.

    What a high price! It is not worth the price. Save your money. Look for another bass. Signature basses generally mean nothing to me. Find a bass that feels good in your hands. Of course, IMO. Good luck.
     
  7. I know you posted this 2 years ago. The Jaco Pastorius Signature has a finish on the fretboard so round wound strings won't eat the neck. The standard Fender fretless doesn't & using round wound strings could eventually damage the neck.


    [OTE="Diego Rivera, post: 20117016, member: 309629"]Hi! I was thinking of buying a fretless bass and i have been checking all music shops in my country (Peru) and the only 2 fretless models that ive found are the jaco fender signature and the fender jazz bass (fretless version).

    I have the budget to buy the jaco fender bass but i would like to know if it is really worth the price. I know that the price increases a good amount of money because of the "signature condition" but appart from that, ive checked the details of the bass and i havent found specifications so impressive to make the bass cost more than the double of the price of the fretless standard jazz bass. Im not an expert so i can be missing the importance of something and the quality of the materials and electronics, so id like to know the opinion of other people about the sound and their opinion in general about the jaco signature bass.

    I was also checking the ibanez portamento 6 string model (with the active option, piezo pickups, etc) and is like nearly half the price of the fender signature model; so i dont know what does the other model have to be more expensive without that many specs and electronics like the ibanez. I really like the jaco signature but i dont want to use that amount of money if the bass is not nearly worthy.

    Thanks for your time :D (sorry for bad english)[/QUOTE]
     
  8. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    If you really want that Fender/Jaco vibe, look at the Fender Japan version. You can find them on the used market much cheaper then the US version. The model number is JB62 FL

    Like the US version, it does not come with the pickguard installed. And the bass is every bit if not better then the US version. I had one around 10 years ago, here is me playing it.

    68FF305C-9CAF-499E-956E-83E1700CEF46.
     
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. I used to have one of the American models. I really wish I had kept it longer. There isn't much I can say about it other than that it was a really nice jazz bass and had a really burpy, distinct tone.

    Would I trade my current Pedulla Pentabuzz to have it back? No, I wouldn't.
     
  10. The OP has not been on TB since June 26, 2017 I hope a decision has been made by now.
     
    BrentSimons likes this.
  11. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Yeah, two year old thread. Also a lot of unfortunate replies to the OP.

    The correct answer would have been to go play the two basses in question, and then make up your own mind. Hope that’s what the cat did.
     
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I don't know where you got this idea from but the Jaco fretless is quite different from other Fender offerings. The neck radius is different (I'm pretty sure the profile is too), the fingerboard is coated, the finish is nitrocellulose lacquer, the tuners are reverse-wind, and the bridge is period-correct threaded saddles. The Tony Franklin fretless is a totally different animal.

    But yeah, always play both and see what you, as an individual, prefer.
     
    bucephylus likes this.
  13. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The fingerboard is not coated correctly, though. My Jazz fretless has an epoxy coating, and the Jaco model doesn't feel like it has that.
     
    bobyoung53 and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  14. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    The board is coated with a thin layer of polyurethane, not epoxy. The Jaco Relic has a thick pour epoxy job, like 1/8" thick. I had my current Jazz epoxied with a similar thick coating. Cyanoacryltye (superglue) is commonly used (Carvin, Chris Stambaugh) as is polyester (Pedulla). I have never dabbled with different coatings but they all produce a similar sound.
     

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  15. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The type of epoxy Jaco used is the most durable. Only two people in the world know exactly what brand and formula that epoxy is, and neither of them work for Fender. Poly chips off eventually (I've seen it happen to Pedulla basses in the past). I've never tried the superglue, but the tech I use advised against it in favor of epoxy. Oh yeah... he's one of the two guys who knows the Jaco formula. It is 1/8" thick. At least Fender got that part right.

    On a related note, why doesn't Fender reissue a fretted Jaco signature? He had a Jazz Bass that was nearly identical to his fretless that had frets. He used both with Weather Report.
     
  16. I think the Jaco is based on the RI '62. The necks are coated with polyurethane, very different from the boat epoxy Jaco did his basses up with, maybe the CS offering has the epoxy, don't know but that was the big difference at least for me. I still don't think they are very different than the American J fretless basses, maybe the radius is different, Fender doesn't say, reverse tuners as you say but basically the same, it's a Jazz. I wouldn't trust the neck surface with RW's though and the bass ships with flats on it. I've had the Tony Franklin for over two years now with round wounds and the neck is still perfect. The TF is the best fretless bass I've ever tried or owned.Fender doesn't say though
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    joebar likes this.
  17. I did basses in both epoxy and superglue, I think the superglue is better, the epoxy changes the tone and feels like plastic IMHO anyway, the superglue is rock hard and doesn't really change the tone, it really stinks though when you are putting it on, you need a lot of ventilation. It is difficult to do too especially for a beginner like me.
     
    Lownote38 likes this.
  18. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    FYI, Pedulla fretless boards are coated with a Polyester. Polyurethane is a COMPLETELY different animal.

    You are correct that the Polyester used by Pedulla tends to be brittle, and has wear issues. Pedulla actually recommends using nickel and not stainless strings to minimize the wear. The Pedulla philosophy is that they will just scrape the coating off and redo it when the it gets worn.

    Polyurethane, OTOH, is MUCH more wear resistant, and MUCH less brittle. People use it on floors. It is a GREAT fretless board coating, producing a much warmer tone than polyester and holding up way better. I believe Pat Wilkins, among others does this coating. I’ve done it myself with Minwax on multiple boards with great success. It sands and finishes very nicely. Great stuff.

    The epoxy that Jaco used was a marine grade epoxy. There are a bunch of epoxies out there; but, his was not particularly anything special. It was a good choice, if you are set up to do it.

    I find cyanoacrylate (superglue) to be somewhat painful to work with. Hate the solvent exposure with that one. I’ve used it to fill in and repair other coatings, where it works well enough. Most formulations are not designed to make nice coatings.

    I know, TL;DR; but, FWIW.
     
  19. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Gotcha on the difference between polyester and polyurethane. I always use nickel wound strings anyway, so if I had a Pedulla, I probably wouldn't wear out the coating as quickly as some. I love the way the specific brand of boat Epoxy Jaco used feels and sounds. It really changes the tonal quality. Plus, when it's done right, it's nearly indestructible, AND I can use it as a mirror in a pinch (I don't, but you can see your reflection in it). I've had people offer to do the super glue treatment on a fretless I had, but I never tried it out. It seems like that might be a little bit brittle as well.
     
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    The Jaco Artist neck is coated in polyurethane, the body is nitrocellulose. Those are two different materials with two very different grades of durability. The poly would likely be stronger than the ebony but they would have very different tones. I understand the Jaco is not worth it to you but it is incorrect to say it is the same as any of their standard fretless offerings. The coated board alone makes a significant change in tone from wood.

    I have had several basses with epoxied necks and I have never noticed a difference in terms of performance and tone. I would be genuinely surprised if anybody could tell the difference be it from tone, appearance, or performance. Pedulla's sound exactly like an epoxy coated board, same with a Carvin. Even epoxied boards get chewed up with rounds, it just takes longer.

    As far as the fretted goes, I think it mostly has to do with perception. People think Jaco played the fretless all the time when, in reality, most of his famous recordings are done on a fretted bass.
     
    gebass6 likes this.

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