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Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precison


wateroftyne
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Hi folks

Postman Pat knocked on the door yesterday, and delivered my new Fretless Franklin P.



[url="http://www.jollybeggars.co.uk/bass"]More photos here...[/url]

I have a '71 fretless P that I love dearly but, although I have no desire to follow in Jaco's footsteps, I've been GASsing for a Franklin for a while to give me the option of dialling in a J pickup.

It's a nice medium weight, the ebony fretboard is lovely, the 'burst is vibrant, it balances well, acoustically it sounds vibrant and lively. I put on the D'addario half-wounds off my '71, and, thanks to the ebony board, they sound like new strings.

Unfortunately, I don't have a gig for a couple of days so I can't say at this time wether it hits the spot in a band mix compared to my '71 but, through my practice rig, it sounds fantastic.

The J pup on its' own is very Jaco - it's a sound I'm unlikely to use. The P pup on it's own sounds massive... lots of growl and mwah. I suspect it has more than my '71. Both pups, as you would expect, the best of both worlds.

Apparently the pickups are buffered so you can switch between the combinations without significant change in volume. This cetainly seems to be the case.

As for the down side... well, it's all down to preference.

I'm used to clubby early 70's necks. The neck on the Franklin is very wide and narrow. It's almost identical to the Elite Precision I used to have, which didn't lend itself to 'digging in'. I find myself backing off when I play the Franklin, too - It could well be that I just need to adjust. We'll see.

Another thing which was entirely expected: It's new. I know, I'm weird. You're all laughing at me now. The thing is, it's very shiny and I'm overly worried about dinging it, which is rare for me. Usually I buy basses that have already have a few bumps'n'scratches and a worn-in vibe. The headstock is very pale, too. I wish Fender would give them a little bit of colour. Obviously, this is just personal preference.

Also, another preference thing is the drop-D tuner thingy. I doubt I'll ever use it and I'll probably swap it for a 'normal' one.

[b]UPDATE[/b]

Since I did this review, I let this bass go. A little silly with the benefit of hindsight, but there you go. Basically, I finally found the tone I wanted using my '71, so the TF was surplus to requirements. Even so, I strongly recommend checking these out if you're after a traditional-looking fretless.

[url="http://www.jollybeggars.co.uk/bass"]More photos here...[/url]

Edited by wateroftyne
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  • 2 years later...

[quote name='wateroftyne' post='719' date='May 17 2007, 07:56 PM']Hi folks

Postman Pat knocked on the door yesterday, and delivered my new Fretless Franklin P.



[url="http://www.jollybeggars.co.uk/bass"]More photos here...[/url]

I have a '71 fretless P that I love dearly but, although I have no desire to follow in Jaco's footsteps, I've been GASsing for a Franklin for a while to give me the option of dialling in a J pickup.

It's a nice medium weight, the ebony fretboard is lovely, the 'burst is vibrant, it balances well, acoustically it sounds vibrant and lively. I put on the D'addario half-wounds off my '71, and, thanks to the ebony board, they sound like new strings.

Unfortunately, I don't have a gig for a couple of days so I can't say at this time wether it hits the spot in a band mix compared to my '71 but, through my practice rig, it sounds fantastic.

The J pup on its' own is very Jaco - it's a sound I'm unlikely to use. The P pup on it's own sounds massive... lots of growl and mwah. I suspect it has more than my '71. Both pups, as you would expect, the best of both worlds.

Apparently the pickups are buffered so you can switch between the combinations without significant change in volume. This cetainly seems to be the case.

As for the down side... well, it's all down to preference.

I'm used to clubby early 70's necks. The neck on the Franklin is very wide and narrow. It's almost identical to the Elite Precision I used to have, which didn't lend itself to 'digging in'. I find myself backing off when I play the Franklin, too - It could well be that I just need to adjust. We'll see.

Another thing which was entirely expected: It's new. I know, I'm weird. You're all laughing at me now. The thing is, it's very shiny and I'm overly worried about dinging it, which is rare for me. Usually I buy basses that have already have a few bumps'n'scratches and a worn-in vibe. The headstock is very pale, too. I wish Fender would give them a little bit of colour. Obviously, this is just personal preference.

Also, another preference thing is the drop-D tuner thingy. I doubt I'll ever use it and I'll probably swap it for a 'normal' one.

[b]UPDATE[/b]

Since I did this review, I let this bass go. A little silly with the benefit of hindsight, but there you go. Basically, I finally found the tone I wanted using my '71, so the TF was surplus to requirements. Even so, I strongly recommend checking these out if you're after a traditional-looking fretless.

[url="http://www.jollybeggars.co.uk/bass"]More photos here...[/url][/quote]



Hi

Great review. Ive had my eyes on this bass. Looks beautiful.

Do you have any recommendations on reputable dealers who stock this bass..


Deaky

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  • 2 years later...

Just a bit of an update and a second opinion.

I don't know whether this is the same bass that WOT had but I took possession of one these yesterday from our own Legion/Jas, which has also been sometime owned by Clarky.

I have had a couple of mid/late 70's fender fretless precisions.

This one compares very favourably, being a nice weight at 8 3/4 lbs and with an ebony board, de-tuner, jazz pup and useful strat-type slider switch controlling the pups.

Highly recommended

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[quote name='wateroftyne' post='1353955' date='Aug 27 2011, 10:55 PM']I've had two of these and sold them both. What a fool I am...[/quote]
Substitute one for two and thats me. Gutted that I missed buying back Jas' TF but Wal fretlesses (I need to sell mine to pay for any incoming bass) seem to be as much in demand at the moment as yeast infections (6-12 months ago couldn't buy one for love nor money).

Enjoy your new bass Gareth and I will almost certainly be annoying you with random PMs nagging you to sell it to me :)

Edited by Clarky
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  • 9 years later...

After foolishly selling my first one I was lucky enough to buy another one today in time warp condition 

Along with the Roscoe Beck 5 and Mike Dirnt these must be some of the best signature basses Fender have ever made

DFCF6821-0928-4D4D-BF34-85332B7CBAA5.jpeg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Starting to wish I had ordered a different color (don't buy a bass 'cause your daughter likes the color! I would have preferred a traditional burst.)Yours are sweet. 

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  • 1 month later...

Gorgeous looking basses. I'm considering getting one of these as options on buying an unlined fretless bass these days is so slim. You cant buy an unlined fretless Jazz and a fretless Stingray is impossible to find so it looks like getting hold of one of these is my only option.

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