Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - Black

4-string Electric Bass with Alder Body, Maple Neck, Fretless Ebony Fingerboard, and 2 Single-coil Pickups - Black
5/5 10 Write review Item ID: PBassTFflBlk
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - Black image 1
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - Black image 1
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Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass - Black
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A "Best in Class" P-Bass Goes Fretless with Unique New Features!

Leo Fender designed and built the world's first electric bass guitar in late 1951 and every electric bass made since then is unquestionably a direct descendent. Although the Precision Bass, as it was eventually called, was almost flawless in its design, some players, like Tony Franklin, wanted the unique sound of a fretless bass plus the expanded tonal range available with an extra pickup. Not surprisingly, Fender was more than happy to build Tony a fretless P-Bass, and now you can own a Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass, too.

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass Features at a Glance:
  • Lightweight solid alder body and Hipshot Bass Xtender
  • Maple neck with modern "C" shape
  • Unfinished ebony fingerboard
  • Two specially voiced pickups
  • Black tolex hardshell case

Lightweight solid alder body
Bass guitars are big and that can mean heavy, too. This Signature Series Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass has a solid alder body, which is resonant, but relatively light, which you'll appreciate after two or three hours up on stage. The sunburst version has a brown shell pickguard, while the Black version comes with a three-ply black vinyl pickguard. The Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass is equipped with the Hipshot Bass Xtender for "Drop D" tuning on the low E string.

Maple neck with modern "C" shape
Leo Fender wasn't a guitar player, so he didn't really know that guitars weren't supposed to have maple necks. Eventually, the blond maple necks became a Fender trademark. The Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass has a nicely balanced maple neck with a modern "C" shape.

Unfinished ebony fingerboard
While Fender became quite famous for its blond maple necks and fingerboards, Tony Franklin wanted something more in keeping with the old traditional upright basses. So the Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass features an unfinished ebony fingerboard, which is the perfect complement to the maple neck and helps give this bass its distinctive sound.

Two specially voiced pickups
While the P-Bass has traditionally come equipped with just one split single-coil pickup, Fender equipped this Signature Series bass with an upgraded P-Bass American Series pickup plus a Tony Franklin Signature Series Jazz Bass bridge pickup with hex screw lugs and ceramic bar magnets. This delivers a wide range of bass voicings, from vintage to modern.

Black tolex hardshell case
Naturally, when you build a bass guitar that's as classy as this one, you want to be absolutely certain it will make it in total safety from gig to gig. So the Tony Franklin Fretless comes standard with a black tolex hardshell case with black plush lining.

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass Features:
  • Color: 3-color Sunburst
  • No. of Strings: 4
  • Body Wood: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale Length: 34"
  • Machine Heads: Vintage '70s Fender open gear with Hipshot Bass Xtender
  • Fingerboard: Unfinished ebony
  • No. of Frets: N/A
  • Pickups: Two specially voiced single-coil pickups
  • Controls: Master tone, master volume
  • Pickup Switching: Three-way switch
  • Bridge: Vintage single groove
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Case: Black tolex plush-lined hardshell case
The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless P-Bass true P-Bass vibe and modern features!

NOTE: This product is available in the United States only - no international sales.

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Bass Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Body Shape Precision
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 4
Color Black
Body Material Alder
Body Finish Polyurethane
Neck Material Maple, Bolt-on
Neck Shape Modern C
Fingerboard Material Ebony, 9.5" Radius
Number of Frets Fretless
Scale Length 34"
Nut Width 1.625"
Bridge/Tailpiece Vintage-style Bridge
Tuners Vintage '70s Stamped Open Gear Tuning with Drop D Xtender
Number of Pickups 2
Middle Pickup P Bass Single-coil
Bridge Pickup Tony Franklin Signature J Bass Single-coil
Controls 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone, 3-way Switch
Strings Tony Franklin spec'd Hex core, (.045-.105)
Case Included Hardshell
Manufacturer Part Number 0190085806

Customer Reviews

5/5
Based on 10 reviews
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5/5

Extremely versatile instrument

This is my second fretless bass, after a Spector Legend 5 Classic, and my third Fender bass, after an American Elite Precision and an American Deluxe Jazz Bass V. I have two other basses. The Tony Franklin is rapidly becoming my favorite of all. It's very easy to play, with a wide variety of sounds available. As one of the other reviewers commented about finding new voices, I find that the more I play this bass, the more expressive it becomes. I will be trying flatwounds on it in due course (my Spector has Ernie Ball Cobalt flats which are superb) but for I'm really enjoying the versatility of the fitted roundwound Fender NPS strings it comes fitted with. The neck is a joy, pretty slim, modern-C shape and feels very slick under my fingers. The instrument is slightly neck heavy, but not a problem at all. Of course, it came beautifully set up from Sweetwater and almost perfectly in tune. Usual great service from my Sweetwater SE Andrew Plassman.
5/5

Fantastic bass

This is the 2nd fretless bass I've owned and by far the very best. Playability and tonal variations seem endless. I had Sweetwater change the stock strings to half-rounds (thanks Charlie Davis) it arrived in perfect pitch and setup. I would highly recommend this bass to anyone thinking of making the transition to fretless. I've had nothing but praise from other musicians on its unique sound and the fact it doesn't get lost in the on stage mix. Thanks Fender! Fit and finish are flawless. My Warwick is now officially retired.
Music background: Semi-pro active live performances and recording.
5/5

best bass ever owned

Best customer service. Wonderful bass, was a demo but great guitar. It sings. thanks
5/5

Tony Franklin Fretless P- Bass

This bass is hands down the smoothest playing bass I've ever tried. I decided playing fretless was something I would like to get into, and research led me here. I was a bit concerned a P-bass wouldn't suit me, I really wanted a J-bass for the versatility, however, I have not found this to be an issue at all, I am still able to get varying tones, all with a fantastic sound. The action on this bass is remarkable, and I highly recommend it. Sweetwater did an awesome job with the inspection and even made a photo album of my bass for me! This is now my favorite instrument, it is a quality fretless bass and I am in love with it. Also love the black color, it is very unique and stands out from the typical sunburst look many basses have.
5/5

Tony Franklin fretless PBase

This Bass is awesome. the action is terrific all the way down the scale I would recommend this bass to anyone people think a fretless might may be hard to play but this one is just awesome it's definitely one of my go to basses.
Music background: Weekend bass player
See also: Fretless, Fender, Fender 4-string Bass Guitars, Fender Fretless Basses