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Jaco Pastorius Artist Series Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dave44, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. HI Folks:

    I have been mulling over the thought of expanding my guitars to include a fretless. I think I've made a decision on the Artist Series Jaco Pastorius Jazz Bass and I was wondering if any souls out there have had the pleasure or not of playing one. I live in Calgary, Alberta and the only way I can feel and hear one is buy ordering it first. Any criticism of this recent though of mine would be very much appreciated.

    Thanx Mo

  2. Hey Dave, what's up? I played the fretless version of it over the summer. It's very well made, and it sounded pretty good, but, it didn't overly impress me.
    It was just another Jazz bass. If you can return it easily, I'd say go for it. I just remember playing it for a few minutes and saying, "What's so special about this?" You may or may not agree.

    Good luck,
    Mike J.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I dug the one I played. Yeah, it's nothing special, but it feels good, sounds good and is nicely put together. The fingerboard is nicely inlaid and buffed to a high shine. If it were, say, $700, I'd buy it in a second. Unfortunately, it lists for twice that, so it's off of my radar.
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Hey Dave, Unlike the previous two posters, I have owned and gigged with a Jaco fretless for quite some time now. It's WAY special, in just about every way. It couldn't be more different from an American Jazz. Fit 'n finish is more like a custom shop bass than a standard production bass. Tone is vintage all the way. Even compared to a '62 reissue, it has a considerably different feeling neck profile. I have owned approximately a dozen Fender basses in my life, including three pre-CBS instruments and currently own a great '74 Jazz. The Jaco fretless (and fretted model, which I also own) is the best I've ever played. Period.

    Here's a pic of my two. The fretless is on the left:

  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I also have a Jaco fretless. It is simply the best sounding Fender bass I've ever played. Mine is killer. Worth every penny.

  6. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I have the fretted version and I think that it's a super bass. I'm real finicky about fit and finish. Mine looks like somebody took some pride in building it. I've compared it to a very nice '64 Jazz and it was everybit as toneful and playable. The neck profiles were very, very close. The real reason I wanted it was because it was a really nice piece of alder with no pickguard.:) Mine was cheaper than a J reissue and mine just seems to have a better finish and feel. Plus there's nothing on the bass that indicates that it's a Jaco bass other than the neck plate. I'm thinking about getting a Warmoth fretless neck so I can run the bass fretless for awhile.

    Search around, they turn up used occasionally.
  7. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    One thing to keep in mind with these artist series basses is that there's no guarantee they'll stay in production forever. My advice is: if you want one, grab it while you can still get it for a reasonable price. A good discounted street price on a fretless (new) would be about $1100.
  8. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I've tried several of these basses and I concur with Chuck (and others) ~ it's a great bass and nothing like the standard jazz bass. If I were starting over and was looking for a fretless bass I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up. You might want to consider looking for one used ~ they occasionally come up on ebay. The Jaco bass and the 62 reissue are far and away the best instruments that Fender puts out IMO.

    (Pedro still shaking his head at Fenders decision to put flats on a Jaco bass.)
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    Why don't you get a less expensive fretless to see if you like playing one? I think $1000+ is a lot of moolah to lay down for something you're not sure you'll like. It's not like these basses are going to go out of production, are they?

    Also, since you're in Canada, take a gander at Kinal's basses, they're killer and around the same range, methinks.
  10. I played a frettless for about 3 years but for some unknowen reason I sold it and have wanted another one ever since. The more I read about all the various experiences with the Jaco bass the more I'm intrigued.

  11. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    Jaco was the greatest fretless player out there but...I don't see any reason to buy that Fender bass. I guess it is more of a collectors thing. I don't know maybe its just me. There are other options out there...
  12. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I guess not.

    The reason to buy one is that it's an excellent bass at a good price, especially considering its sound and playability. The fact that it's designed on a known "template," namely a vintage Jazz without a pickguard with P bass knobs is totally beside the point.

    Look, I'm not trying to be Jaco or emulate him. He sure knew what constituted a good electric bass, however, and that's exactly what this "artist" bass is. I purchase instruments based on their quality and the suitability of their tone to my style. These basses are superb. I don't have any Jaco wannabe hangups about playing them because, for the most part, the drunks in the joints I play have never heard of Jaco, anyway!
  13. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    There's one up on ebay now. Mush!
  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    This one failed to meet reserve about a month ago. I don't know what the reserve is but I'm guessing around $1K. It would be worth every penny if it's as mint as it looks. Low serial number, too. I'm almost tempted to buy it myself but I already have two! This bass is a bargain up to about $1100, that's for sure.

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