Tried a Fender Jaco "Tribute" Fretless Today...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    ... loved it!!!


    was killin' some time before meeting some friends for dinner at the Cherry Hill, NJ GC, and found this beauty along side a sweet Mike Dirnt pbass, and sting tele bass.

    pretty much a "relic'ed" version of the more ubiquituous glossy reissues, but wow, the pre-worn in neck felt sooooooo nice, and the body was light and very resonant. even unplugged i was getting a great sound.

    but the best part were the pickups. i'm sure they were custom wound, cause they sounded incredible thru whatever craptastic rig i sent it thru. much more so than any new Fender i've tried. really meaty tone with a nice chewy edge that sounded especially nice thru the Ampeg SVT & 6x10 Classic. course, the solo'ed bridge pickup tones were all jaco. course, my playing wasnt as much so... :meh: ;)

    was selling for a little over $3k. still, one of the best basses i've played from Fender yet.
  2. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Had the same experience you did. I went to GC to buy my 12-year-old son a couple guitar books and picked what looked like a beater fretless off the wall. Played it for half an hour, totally awestruck, went home, then turned around and went back to the store and bought it.

    Twice the money I've ever spent on any other bass and worth every penny. That neck is truly to die for.
  3. Bassliner


    Mar 15, 2005
    I love the Jaco Relic aswell!
    When I bought my defretted '77 Fender Jazz off eBay, and my teacher told me to refret it, I made myself a promise: 'If the Jaco relic can convince me, I will refret the '77 and buy the Jaco Relic aswell...'
    Loved the Relic, but it didn't convince me to refret the '77... :smug:

    By the way, I think it was on this forum where someone had built an exact copy of it for less than half the price. I'd still like to know who that was. I'd love to have a copy of the fretted Jazzbass Jaco uses on the Joni Mitchell Shadows & Light DVD! PM me if you know anything more please ;)
  4. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I suspect that was Bravewood Guitars in the UK. With the sad state of the US$, that "less than half the price" no longer holds true: Bravewood prices start at £900 (about $1,800), and that's before shipping, duties, case (?) All in, I suspect you'd be out at least $2k for one vs. around $2.6k for a new Jaco and $1.8-2k for a used one. And there seem to be almost no Bravewoods in the U.S. to try or even read reviews of. While the pictures and story on the website seem great, I'd be reluctant to plunk down $2k based solely on how a bass looks in pictures - after all, in pictures, an SX looks about as good as a Sadowsky, and a Fender MIM looks about the same as a Fender Custom Shop masterbuilt.

    The Jaco knockoffs on the Bravewood homepage look sweet (cliick the "P/J Basses" photo on the home page to see them), but you might do better scrounging up a Fender fretted Jaco (they used to make them) and then finding a good luthier to relic it. That you probably could do for less than half of the price of a CS Jaco relic.

    Bravewood Guitars
  5. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    Oooh your lovely description makes me want to try it!!
  6. Bassliner


    Mar 15, 2005
    Very true. luckily, I'm in the Netherlands and a trip to Cornwall, UK wouldn't be the first one I'd make to pick up an instrument and enjoy the area. My mother actually has a handbuilt Celtic Harp, from the same area. I'm having serious thoughts of getting a bass there...
    thanks for the link!
    Cheers, M
  7. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    You're right, bassliner -- not a bad trip and on your side of the pond the price isn't bad at all either (given that I've seen the Fender Jaco's selling for £2k+ in the UK).

    If you do get over to Bravewood, be sure to post about the experience. I too have thought about trying them out, and the descriptions and pics seem great, but it's a lot of money without a bit more verification.
  8. oh man, i live right near cherry hill and i jsut played that thing about a week ago. what a wonderful instrument!!!
  9. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I have one too.
    The best production bass fender ever made.
    The only off the wall bass that sounds and feels like my beloved 1963 jazz.
  10. EddieG


    Jan 19, 2005
    Hi everyone. I'm a long time lurker, and found this page purely by accident.

    I was the first guy to get John Elliot to make a "Jaco" tribute model, and its my review on Harmony Central, which I completely stand by. I'm not connected to John at all, and have no other connections other than my bass, but I can assure anyone thinking of a purchase that there is NO ONE out there making better relic basses and guitars. The Fender stuff is amateurish by comparison, its impossible for me to put down in type just how authentic the wear on the bass really looks. It may sound strange, but it even SMELLS authentic!

    Bravewood was my first experience of having a bass made for me, and I was very pleased with both how John conducts his business and how the bass turned out, as it more than exceeded my expectations. Sadly, John told me about a year ago that he stopped making the Jaco fretless models as he was getting bored with them, but perhaps if you asked him nicely.....;)

    I'm pretty sure he'd be willing to make Jaco's sunburst fretless, the Jazz with the P-Bass neck from the "Modern Electric Bass" DVD, a Roy Buchanan-esque Tele, Jamerson's Precision, Rory Gallagher's Strat, or any other famous Fender you care to mention. Hope this helps.:)
  11. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    i bought the relic for everything but the sounds so sweet and plays so well that i just had to have it. Sure you can try getting to the same place by other means and maybe save a few dollars on the way ...but when its just hanging there ready to go....well thats hard to resist.:bassist:
  12. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    You've smelt Jaco's bass?:D
  13. EddieG


    Jan 19, 2005
    Yeah, it smelled like chicken grease and FUNK!;)
  14. I kinda always thought that Jaco Relic was a novelty thing, I figured you could just buy a fretless jazz bass and maybe replace a thing or two. At least that's what I did, bought a MIM Jazz Fretless, replaced pickups, and so on. I was satisfied but I didn't really have anything to compare it with.

    So sometime in November, I was in france, in Paris, and a friend of mine who lives there and I were going around the town, checking shops and sightseeing a bit. We went into this music shop, and there was this Jaco Fretless (not relic tho). I was curious and had to try it, expecting maybe a decent fender, but nothing special.

    I was actually surprised, the bass was so sweet and vibrant, almost played by itself (you kinda just had to nudge it in right direction, instead of wrestling it).

    Too bad it was out of my budget at the time, but it certainly is a great bass.
  15. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    well whatever you thought positive of the non relic jaco fretless can multiply when it comes to the custom shop version!!:bassist: