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TRADED ZON Legacy Elite Special Lined Fretless 5

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by 31HZ, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. 31HZ

    31HZ Supporting Member

    • Y
    United States
    TONE MONSTER! There aren't many basses that can cut through the dense mix of my 9-piece band, but this is one of them. Mwah for days, rich mids, round lows, sparkling highs. The B-string is unusually clear and piano-like, and harmonics ring with sustain. I am sure that this bass would be a BEAST in the studio. And the "Special" pickup spacing seems to especially flatter the fretless versions of Legacy Elites.

    However -- and this is an increasingly important "however" for me, as I begin to pass well into middle-age -- I'm more comfortable on my other fretless basses -- the reach to the low end is a little longer than I'd like, and the relief is a touch higher than I'd prefer (right about at .030 according to my StewMac gauge). I'm used to my dead-flat, short-reach BNF5 and 534-24, and it's quite a change to go back-and-forth -- and I'm not ready to stop playing those. Last in, first out and all that. I'll be sorry to see it go.

    The finish, ESPECIALLY on the fingerboard, is in surprisingly good shape. There's almost no wear on the fingerboard -- the finish that they use must be as hard as a rock (which would explain the propensity of Zon basses of this era to develop finish cracking). So, yes, as with so many Zons of this era, there are some finish cracks (EDIT: and a chip in one of the cracks described below): a spiral on the back of the neck between the nut and the 2nd fret with some hazing around it (EDIT: this crack leads into a small chip below the underside (treble side) of the headstock where it curves back into the neck profile, which I didn't see until I took some additional photos of the crack, see Post #5), and a fairly straight one from the edge of the control cavity to the underside near the serial number. (I can't feel the neck crack when I am playing.) Some light finish chipping at the headstock edges, and a few small dings along the edge of the body. Surprisingly there is no cracking at the neck joint!

    There's a bit of scratching in the mid-range control pot, but it never affected the playability or the tone so I didn't pursue eliminating it with DeOxit etc. Strings are what came on it (I generally prefer more wrap around the posts!), maybe D'Addarios, and are tuned B-G, probably a .45-.130 set.

    From a previous FS thread, here is a thorough video made of this bass and the tones available from it. It remains in similar condition as it was when the video was made.

    Ships in what appears to be an unbranded Zon case. Note that the bass photographs more vividly "red" than it is in real life.

    Copied from a previous FS thread:

    "The string spacing is between 17.5 mm and 18 mm. It has a 34" scale and weighs 9 pounds, 9.2 ounces. It has a graphite neck (no truss rod) with the perfect amount of relief to nail the Zon fretless sound. The body looks to be Cocobolo. Pickups are custom Bartolini and the preamp is an active 3 band Zon ZP-1. ... If you were to have Joe Zon build this bass today it would cost in excess of $7K."

    I'm inclined towards a sale but I might be up for a trade for another 5-string; I generally prefer 17-18mm spacing, 34" scale, mid-forward tones with a bit of growl, nice craftsmanship, good balance on a strap, low action, translucent finishes, not too much of a reach to the lowest frets.

    Thanks for reading, and feel free to reach out if you have any particular questions or would like additional photos.


    IMG_7010.JPG IMG_7015.JPG IMG_7020.JPG IMG_6980.JPG IMG_6983.JPG IMG_6985.JPG IMG_6987.JPG IMG_6993.JPG IMG_7003.JPG IMG_7005.JPG
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  2. Chad Michael

    Chad Michael Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2001
    Pacific Northwest USA
    That bass is so cool, it hurts o_O
    31HZ likes this.
  3. RCEdwards

    RCEdwards Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    I have a like new Muckelroy lined fretless, 33 inch scale, 4-string HMC model that I would trade you. Let me know if this interests you.
  4. 31HZ

    31HZ Supporting Member

    You know, if that was a fiver I would totally be interested. I recently picked up a 34" fretted Muck fiver, and not only is the tone quite good but it's the *most comfortable* bass I've ever played.

    You should send me a few pics anyway (or post them in the Muckelroy thread), because it sounds like an awesome bass. Thanks for offering it as a trade.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
  5. 31HZ

    31HZ Supporting Member

    I took some (very) close-up photos detailing the cracked finish and dings described above to share with an interested party, and in the interest of complete disclosure I am posting them here as well. :thumbsup:

    20201207_170015.jpg 20201207_170037.jpg 20201207_170116.jpg 20201207_170240.jpg 20201207_170416.jpg 20201207_170515.jpg 20201207_170903.jpg
  6. retroXvertigo

    retroXvertigo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2017
    I have a 33" 5 string Muckelroy. 17.5 spacing. It's set a little under 17 at the moment. IMG_20201204_224431.jpg
    31HZ likes this.
  7. Justyn


    Jun 24, 2002
    Richmond, VA
    G&L L2500 (Blueburst w/natural wood binding) plus a wodge of cash?

    Attached Files:

    31HZ likes this.
  8. RCEdwards

    RCEdwards Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    I have a JCR SJ5 Spalted Maple five-string fretless that I would trade you. Let me know if you are interested. This bass has now become available again. You can see pictures in my ad here on TB.
    31HZ likes this.
  9. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    What a killer bass.... Also, fantastic job on the video, I wish all bass FS ads had a vid that comprehensive!
    FilCo likes this.
  10. 31HZ

    31HZ Supporting Member

    That video was a big part of why I bought it -- partly because it answered a lot of my questions, and partly because I knew that if the bass didn't work well for me (you never know until you play it) it could be helpful for the next buyer.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
    FilCo likes this.
  11. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Contributor- Bass Musician Magazine
    Fretless Zon's are unbelievably great. Ones with "Special" pickup spacing and bubinga tops are even moreso. This bass is on my bucket list. But at the moment, the bucket is empty :)
    31HZ likes this.
  12. Flipper


    Jan 11, 2005
    Spring, Texas
    PRS GG5?
  13. 31HZ

    31HZ Supporting Member

    Trade pending. :woot:
  14. 31HZ

    31HZ Supporting Member

    Very tempting! I've got a trade for something else in the works, though.

    Those are very nice looking, and I'm surprised to not already know more about them.
    Flipper likes this.
  15. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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