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Jazz bass Special fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tbirdbassist, Aug 4, 2005.


  1. I ive been considering getting a fretless bass, And this one bass has caught my eye.

    [​IMG]

    Has anyone played or owned the FRETLESS version of this bass? The only fretless basses ive really liked playing, Are the Warwick Thumb, Corvette, And the Jaco Jazz bass. I like the fact that the Jazz special has no fretlines. Do these basses play good? Whats the max price I should pay for one? Should I look at a different bass for a fretless? Do these basses have good stock pups and can i get the fretless "mwa" out of it?

    -Tbird
     
  2. I bought MIM standard jazz bass, and I get mwah with stock flatwounds and sucky pups, but you gotta fret it a bit differently. I fret with point of fingertip for clean sound, and a bit sloppy with underside of finger for mwah, and just dig in a lil more on bridge pup, nothing violent, and the mwah is there =)

    Since the bass you are getting is much better, I dont think you'll have any problems digging out the sound you want.

    Its a lot about how you play it, tho, and I wouldn't want every note to be mwah either.

    That being said, I never played fretless until few days ago, so people that can play it proper can prolly answer better =)
     
  3. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    I've owned the fretted version of the Jazz bass special (in the same color!) and did not like the stock pickups/controls one bit. Not bad, just dull sounding. I can't imagine it would sound great as a fretless either. I've owned two plain MIJ Jazz basses (one fretless) that sounded much better stock, and the fretless particularly sang (it had an epoxied board though). I'd keep looking...just my opinion though.

    Marshall
     
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you look in the GTG link in my sig you'll see a picture of me playing that bass in black. There's also a picture of Dancehallclasher holding it with owner JessRobinson looking on. Personally I liked the bass, it played and felt wonderful, and the hardware and costruction is first rate. I am not a big fan of the P-J pickup configuration, but this one sounded nice to me. Hopefully Jess will answer.
     
  5. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I have two fretless Jazz Specials - one with stock pickups & one with Barts. The one with barts is my main player....I love that bass. The stock pickups aren't bad, but I prefer the warmth of the barts. It's hard to beat that bass for the $$$.
     
  6. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Actually now I remember that my bass had an all black neck...I wonder if it was slightly different sounding than the bass your considering. So I'm no help.

    Marshall
     
  7. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.

    Actually, sometimes basses sound better fretless than fretted with not so great pickups. I defretted a cheap ibanez gsr200 and it sounded 10x better fretless. Could just be my mind playing with me though.
     
  8. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    A local bassist around here gigs with one bass, a fretless Jazz Bass Special, with barts and he swears by it. Makes enough money playing a single gig to replace it because he's in high demand, but he still insists on running his JB Special through the house rig all the time. And he gets it to sound amazing everytime.
     
  9. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    In my experience the Jazz bass Special sounds great fretless. I know i wish i had picked one up that was in a local store. I really enjoyed playing that bass. A local doubler in a jazz trio in the area uses one pretty often and he sounds fabulous.
     
  10. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    No, that's a good point. My limited experience with Lightwave basses is similar (not 10X, but much better IMO).

    Marshall
     
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm about 90% certain that this is the bass that Andy Fairweather Low plays in concert with Roger Waters. (Featured on his fantastic "In The Flesh" DVD).

    From Roger Waters Online
     
  12. Thanks for the great feedback :)

    Now I have a couple more questions, That werent answered.

    Is the neck like a Jazz bass or a Pbass?

    What is the max price one should pay for this bass in goood condition?

    -Tbird
     
  13. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
  14. JessRobinson

    JessRobinson Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Fairfax, VA
    My fretless Jazz Bass Special is identical to the one in the picture, except it’s all black (and looks mighty cool I might add). Mine’s MIJ, 1987. I have no basis for comparison to other basses since it’s the only fretless I’ve held (been playing for about 7 months now).

    It plays very well. The unlined fingerboard has a great feel to it, especially with flatwounds on board. It has a jazz neck, slim and fast. I like the PJ configuration for varied tonal options. The pickups on mine seem to have a lower output than my Reverend Rumblefish, but I think the tone is good - you’ll get a pretty healthy mwah. I bet upgrading from stock to something like BassLines would be killer.

    I was very lucky and picked mine up for $200 used. The owner was selling his whole collection and moving to an apartment in China, so he wanted to move everything. He sold me a 1984 MIJ Squier P-bass for $50. Very lucky. My guess is you get one of these for under $400 on the web.

    All my bassist friends who have played it really love it, not a single lukewarm comment. And I also agree with the review link above.

    Below are a couple pix.

    Buy one and tell us how you like it!

    Jess
     

    Attached Files:

  15. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    It's a Jazz Bass neck. P-bass body, Jazz Bass neck. Great instrument, though I'm still not quite used to a Jazz neck... :(

    I see them go constantly around $350-400. Don't go above this.
     
  16. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    I have a fretless '87, red. I have her set up as a mwah machine: filed the nut slots down closer to the board, very slight relief, very low action. I like the tone from the pickups a lot, even it they are a little lower output than others. Great, great neck on mine, very comfy. Got mine at West LA Music, I remember I paid $500 for it new in the spring of '87, with HSC, strap, stand, and cable and tax included. They had just brought it out and nobody had had their grubby hands on it before me!

    The one in the pictures looks to be in great shape, I've heard from others that the black hardware has a tendency to get mottled (and mine is no exception), but that one looks super.
     
  17. Thanks for the great feedback, I'll definitly consider this bass, Since Ive really benn gassing for a fretless, And looks wise, This baby is really up my alley, I just love the yellowish tint with the black hardware and headstock. And if I dont like the pups, I can get a deal on some barts :D .