Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass (3-Color Sunburst) Reviews5.0/5.0 based on 3 customer reviews
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from San Diego
January 7, 2013Music Background:
Sweet Bass!!This is an instrument that you can grow with. I'v been playing bass for 30+ years, and am not easily blown away. This bass does that for me. The more I play it, the more voices I find. I own several basses. This is by far the most expressive that bass I own. Plays great, sounds great, and is still confortable at the end of the night. It is wonderful in the studio, too. I am a very happy owner.
from Goshen, Ohio USA
November 2, 2012Music Background:
semi pro musical hobbyist
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass...Wow!I wanted this bass strictly for the Fret less action. I own 2 other basses which are fretted. I was amazed at the smoothness of the fingering. I do have plenty of "adjusting" on my part to get this down, but with this neck action so smooth, I can't miss. This is also my first Fender owned bass. I love the way it feels. Not as heavy as I had imagined it to be. I love the sound it produces and I guess Tony Franklin knew what he was doing when he set out to help with Fender to design this bass. Awesome! I may change out the strings to experiment with the sound and more smoothness than the stock NPS strings that come with it. If you want a fret less bass, and no lines, then this is it. Love it! Sweetwater staff are great to organize and ship this baby fast too. :)
August 12, 2009Music Background:
Great 4-String FretlessI started to lock in on the American Standard Jazz Fretless, but I wasn’t quite sold. I found the Tony Franklin Fretless on the Sweetwater website, and I ultimately decided to go with it instead – it had a lot of nice upgrades over the MIA Jazz Fretless for not much more money.
Switchable P/J pickups vs. J/J pickups
P Bass Neck is a little wider (to me, this is a plus)
Hipshot D-tuner installed
Chrome Knobs vs. Plastic
Ebony Fingerboard vs. Rosewood (Ebony is more durable)
Unlined Fingerboard vs. Lined (to me, a cosmetic plus)
Nitro Finish vs. Urethane
To me, the pickup upgrade is a real plus. This bass can sound just like a P bass or just like a Jazz bass. It can be played in a way that is punchy and almost does not sound like a fretless (P pickup). It can also sound very fretless (J pickup).
Also, the nitro finish is another big plus. I was a little worried that it would be sticky like a gloss urethane finish, but the nitro finish is extremely fast and smooth, and not at all sticky. This is now my preferred finish.
The bass is much better made than I expected it to be (maybe I didn’t have a fair opinion of Fender). There were some tiny cosmetic blemishes on the fingerboard and at the bottom of the pick-guard, but the overall construction is great – the nitro finish was done really well. For a P bass, this is surprisingly light and well balanced. It is very easy to play and sounds great.
I had Sweetwater install GHS heavy gauge brite-flats and strap-locks. They did a great job with these items as well as the overall setup.
On the downside, this is still a fairly expensive instrument that you will likely have to buy before you try. Still, I would highly recommend this bass if you are interested in a 4-string fretless.