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Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - 3-Color Sunburst Reviews

5.0 stars based on 7 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - 3-Color Sunburst?

Questions about the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - 3-Color Sunburst?

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  • from Hamilton, NY April 26, 2017


    Got this a while back! P Bass, Fretless P Bass, Jaco... what can't this little thing do? I was afraid the thicker P neck would get to me but you quickly get used to it (it might be slightly thinner). The ebony is holding very well against my nickel rounds and I play quite hard! Hardware is all solid except for the bridge which I might have replaced due to a problem with one of the poles. Other than all of that, it's an instant classic that is EXTREMELY versality, the three-way and PJ config is definitely more desirable than a standard Fretless Jazz. Rock on! Special thanks to Tom and Dakota for all the help regarding this beaut!

  • from Ringgold, georgia March 19, 2017

    Tony franklin bass

    As the previous reviews before this bass is amazing. I was a little afraid at first but I had no problem finding my way around the board. Pickups are amazing and the bass plays so easy. I recommend this bass highly. Brian at sweetwater was fantastic. As in my other reviews the service there is just the best. There is no competition for sweetwater and fender as well. Both of you keep up the great work!

  • from Ocean City, NJ December 20, 2014Music Background:
    Advanced amature, Play guitar and bass for over 40 years, live and in a studio.

    3 Great Tones

    This is a lot of money for a P/J Fender bass....BUT.....this bass kills. Wanted to buy an upright bass for about the same money but we did not have enough space. I tested this bass with a Roland DB-500 and was completely blown away. Been playing for over 40 years. The TF Bass can do Jaco, upright bass and a very solid P Bass. The lack of lines was a concern, however I found intonation to be very easy....easier than a lined fretless. Read on the web that unlined basses are easier to play and it is indeed true. Pickups are a little noisy so I used a Boss NS-2 and all was well. The 3 position PU selector switch allows quick access to the major tone groups. Plenty of "Mwah" sounds, particularly around the 12th fret (octave up). Part of the test was with my wife playing jazz piano and the TF tone was to die for. No adjustments out the box were required...in fact it was still in tune from the Sweetwater evaluation! I also own a mid-70s fretted P-Bass and this is a nice alternative. Bass is so good I am selling my Warwick Corvette, Ibanez Gary Willis, and Carvin LB-76F....all fretless 5 and 6 strings. Not really a rock and roll bass. Only con is the noise from the bridge JB pickup. This is an excellent bass which will expand your creativity...can not stop playing it! Also, I will only order from Sweetwater because of their excellent customer service.

  • from San Diego January 7, 2013Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    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. :)

  • from Dallas August 12, 2009Music Background:

    Great 4-String Fretless

    I 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.

  • from michigan November 23, 2016

    tony franklin fender

    Just got it,and I'll say first of all the sweetwater's customer service is awesome! great fretless bass, can get fretted and fretless sounds out of it, light weight and the sunburst is beautiful,the stock rounds are a bit harsh on the fingers, but a switch to halfrounds should fix that,thanks again sweetwater!

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