NBD: Tony Franklin FL

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by luciens, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    I am kind of building up my inventory after losing all of my basses last summer. I guess the trauma of that is really making the GAS really bad.

    And Dr. Cheese didn't help at all either, with all those videos of his playing that TF.... :)

    So I finally couldn't resist the TF after drooling over it for the last 6 months or so. Don't get me wrong, I love love my jaco jazz bass, but I had to have at least one unlined fingerboard around here somewhere. So got the last blue TF sweetwater had in stock.

    This is actually the first actual Fender Precision I've owned in nearly 30 years. And the only P/J I've ever owned period. Everything else has been a rickenbacker 4001/3, a Carvin, some 6 string out of the dumpster somewhere or a jazz bass. So an actual Precision bass in my ownership feels kind of strange lol.

    I haven't set it up yet, but had enough time to drop the saddles from their usual mile-high setting on a new bass, to play it a little bit (the nut I'll file down this evening after work if I feel like it).

    I really does sound very different from my jazz bass. In fact more different than I was expecting. Even the bridge PU has a honk to it that my jazz bass doesn't. That's probably the 70's positioning and its a different PU. Also, could be the roundwound strings or the fact that, well, it's a P bass.
    The neck is also unexpectedly comfortable. The last few P basses I played either had 2x4 widths or the older "D" shape or both, which always broke my left arm to play. This has a "C" and is really quite thin and comfortable. I can tell the difference between it and my jazz bass, but I'm pleasantly surprised.

    I already don't like the drop-D tuner, but I knew I wasn't going to like it as I've never really liked them. The bass itself is well worth it so I shouldn't complain.

    Finally, the truss rod nut is a hex head and Fender shipped a ball-head adjustment wrench. Yes!


  2. thisheregiraffe


    Aug 24, 2019
    Congrats on the new bass, I'm jealous!
    luciens likes this.
  3. Ant B 2021

    Ant B 2021 Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Atlantic Highlands NJ
    Lovely. Recently got one in Black. Love it. It's a great bass.
    Joshua and luciens like this.
  4. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    I had to flip a coin on the black one too, speaking of that. Normally I don't really care what color or finish my basses are (long as it's a thick layer of gloss), but I agonized a little over the LPB or the black....

    lowdownthump and Ghastly like this.
  5. Damn those are good lookin' basses!
    luciens likes this.
  6. Jakeman

    Jakeman Swamp Thing Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    Currently flipping stuff to fund one of these. I want one so badly! Congrats.
    Joshua and luciens like this.
  7. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    The first fretless I ever played was a black one, like that. Wow. It really changed my mind on fretless. I couldn't afford a Tony Franklin so I bought one that was considerably more budget friendly and have enjoyed it. But if I ever get the coin for another, it's going to be a TF for sure. And I really like that blue. Enjoy.
    luciens likes this.
  8. Ant B 2021

    Ant B 2021 Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Atlantic Highlands NJ
    IMG_0109.jpeg Here's mine. I agonized over all three colors. Everyone is a beauty. More importantly, they are just great basses. I've had Custom Shops and American P's and Jazz basses. This one is my absolute favorite. You acquired a beauty right there.
  9. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    Ooh aah... If I won the lotto I'd get a black one too... :)

    Anthony Barrett likes this.
  10. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Great playing, great sounding, great looking basses. Congrats!
    lowdownthump and luciens like this.
  11. glennonbass


    Jan 29, 2008
    That’s beautiful! Enjoy it.
    luciens likes this.
  12. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    That's a beauty.
    luciens likes this.
  13. Janforth

    Janforth Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    luciens likes this.
  14. moderatelyfunky

    moderatelyfunky Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2020
    That’s gorgeous! Wow. Enjoy!
    luciens likes this.
  15. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    Is the ball head hex wrench bad? I prefer them. Truss adjustment without neck removal.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  16. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    I just got through with an inital setup and I did get to use the ball wrench on the truss rod - needed tightening a little bit. It definitely does work and no need to pop the neck or remove the pickguard.

    I wouldn't want to turn it every day for 10 years like that, as the nut will eventually strip out on the inside. Its inevitable with ball-end hex wrenches and I don't know how good of a metal the truss rod nut is made out of.

  17. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    As for the sound, the bridge PU is a surprise. Has a lot of pop to it - that might be because of the roundwound strings, and I'm used to my jazz bass with flats on it. Sounds very 70's jazz bass ish with it soloed. Everywhere else it sounds like a P bass.

    Can't wait for the strings to die. The zing is crazy. Guess I'll have to play the heck out of it....

    Still working on the nut, but I might not be able to get it down as far as I want with the tools I have....

  18. Barton Lee

    Barton Lee Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2018
    The Lake Placid Blue version wasn't available when I bought mine in March 2019 or else I would've and I already had an all black fretless Jazz (see below), but I do like the like the classic look of the 3TSB TF. After playing it every day including gigs for a year, I decided to try some different strings. I really like DR Sunbeams and have almost always used roundwounds on my fretless (Roto 66s), but decided to give flats a try. I put Roto 77s (45-105) on the TF and after a period of *** was I thinking?, I really like the TF with a well broken-in set of flatwound Roto 77s. The bridge pickup has just as much pop (sounds fantastic playing Jeff Berlin stuff) and the P bass sound is superb. So warm and full, yet more than enough brightness to roll the tone mostly off.

    Whatever your string or color choice, the TF fretless P is a great bass. Congratulations and enjoy!
    Joshua, P_Robyn and luciens like this.
  19. dune

    dune Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2019
    Awesome! Congrats!
    luciens likes this.
  20. I'm not a fretless player, but this bass is sexy and gorgeous. Congrats on a beautiful instrument. Play it proudly!
    lowdownthump and luciens like this.