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Fender Precision Tony Franklin Fretless or Fender Precision/Stingray with Status Fretless Neck?


Linus27
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As I pretty much only play unlined fretless these days and have moved on all but one of my fretted basses, I'm looking to buy myself a really nice main fretless bass. However, the options available are somewhat limited. I'm pretty much down to a couple of options, either the very expensive Fender Precision Tony Franklin fretless or buy a US Fender Precision, either a Standard or Performer and then buy a Status fretless neck for it. Other option is a Stingray and buy a Status fretless neck for it.

 

My question is, are the Tony Franklin fretless basses worth the money? They are over £2k which is a hell of a lot of money for a fretless Precision. They are also pretty rare so they don't really come up for sale second hand. As for the other option of the Status fretless neck, I've never played one so what are they like, a bit marmite or the best thing since sliced bread? Do they sound or feel any different to a wooden fretless neck?

 

Would be interested in any thoughts.

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As a previous owner of two(!) TF's, I can say IME the build quality is a cut above your standard Fenders... probably closer to CS.

 

The circuit works really well, in that the balance between the P & J is spot-on... albeit switchable rather than blendable.

 

That said, it took me two to realise I don't really like the J Fretless thing, so I sold 'em both and stuck with P-only fretlesses.

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3 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

As a previous owner of two(!) TF's, I can say IME the build quality is a cut above your standard Fenders... probably closer to CS.

 

The circuit works really well, in that the balance between the P & J is spot-on... albeit switchable rather than blendable.

 

That said, it took me two to realise I don't really like the J Fretless thing, so I sold 'em both and stuck with P-only fretlesses.

 

Thank you, my current fretless is a Fender FSR 70's Precision, the one that came out a few years ago. I got Shuker to make me a maple fretless neck for it and it sounds wonderful but I should really use flats on it having a maple neck. However, I do really like the fretless tone on a Precision which was why I was thinking of another fretless Precision but a rosewood or graphite neck. What you say is interesting as I can't see me using the J pickup on it's own, so either a P and J combined or P only.

 

Thanks for your thoughts, more food for thought.

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23 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

Ok thank you. Will go look now. Do you know if it will it fit most Fender Precisions?

 

Yes, and building our own is the way to go, my two FLs are the match of FCS but both cost IRO £500

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51 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

As a previous owner of two(!) TF's, I can say IME the build quality is a cut above your standard Fenders... probably closer to CS.

 

The circuit works really well, in that the balance between the P & J is spot-on... albeit switchable rather than blendable.

 

That said, it took me two to realise I don't really like the J Fretless thing, so I sold 'em both and stuck with P-only fretlesses.

 

Funny thing but the P/J thing has the same effect on me. I like JJ and I like P, so @walshy will (I hope) soon be building me a JPJ body so that I only need the one bass.  

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4 minutes ago, Beedster said:

image.thumb.png.2bfbe80c54bc9e0ae49211d0d0ae31bc.png  image.thumb.png.57336c2e9b9c3bba6f0653b3089de0a0.png

 

Both very nice and cheap by the standards of similar quality basses at retail price. Need a hybrid of the two however :) 

That second one is stunning, absolutely gorgeous.

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21 minutes ago, Beedster said:

 

Very nice, could you talk me through the Shuker neck? 

Sure. It's an all gloss maple neck with sunk stripe on the back. The shape is the same dimensions as the original neck that came on the 70's FSR Precision minus the frets. The gloss finish also matches the gloss of the bass body. I basically sent the whole bass to Jon Shuker and told him exactly what I wanted which he made for me. He needed the whole bass so to set it up etc. The whole bass is also a replica of what Sting used to play in the 70's. It plays absolutely beautifully.

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11 hours ago, Beedster said:

image.thumb.png.2bfbe80c54bc9e0ae49211d0d0ae31bc.png  image.thumb.png.57336c2e9b9c3bba6f0653b3089de0a0.png

 

Both very nice and cheap by the standards of similar quality basses at retail price. Need a hybrid of the two however :) 

While everyone else lusts over the jazz may I just say that the fretless P is a slice of 70s inspired magic. 

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I had a TF fretless a few years ago when trying out fretless and I stupidly sold it. I ended up missing it quite a bit, having fond memories of most comfortable (fretless) neck I ever played.

 

So when a used one in lake placid blue popped up locally a couple of months, I jumped on it. The neck is as perfect as I remembered. The tone is awesome, with the three way switch. I enjoy so much playing it that I played our last rehearsal fretless only and I will continue doing so.

 

I never tried a Status neck but for me the TF is hard to pass on. Plus it looks so amazingly cool 😀

Cheers

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13 hours ago, Linus27 said:

Sure. It's an all gloss maple neck with sunk stripe on the back. The shape is the same dimensions as the original neck that came on the 70's FSR Precision minus the frets. The gloss finish also matches the gloss of the bass body. I basically sent the whole bass to Jon Shuker and told him exactly what I wanted which he made for me. He needed the whole bass so to set it up etc. The whole bass is also a replica of what Sting used to play in the 70's. It plays absolutely beautifully.

 

Lovely, thanks, dare I ask how much you paid? Perhaps PM me if you'd prefer?

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Thanks for the comment re my two FLs folks. To add to the above I much prefer a good wooden FL neck to graphite, but if you need to play FL with low and reliable action, the latter is a winner every time, especially if you're moving around a lot and temperature/humidity are issues. TF is a great instrument but the retail price is ludicrous, you can build a bass of equal quality using off the shelf or custom components from the likes of Warmoth for far less money, the only downside being the resale value is rarely as high. 

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38 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Thanks for the comment re my two FLs folks. To add to the above I much prefer a good wooden FL neck to graphite, but if you need to play FL with low and reliable action, the latter is a winner every time, especially if you're moving around a lot and temperature/humidity are issues. TF is a great instrument but the retail price is ludicrous, you can build a bass of equal quality using off the shelf or custom components from the likes of Warmoth for far less money, the only downside being the resale value is rarely as high. 

 

I tried the Warmoth route, picked up a beautiful piece for my fingerboard but in the end I much prefer the TF neck. I agree the new prices are a bit exaggerated, but if you can find one second hand for like 1500e, I would strongly recommend it 🙂 It gives me so much more satisfaction than the Warmoth I had built. YMMV of course!

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2 hours ago, gregouille23 said:

Btw, I just found a LPB Tony Franklin sold new for about 1800 pounds on one of the main UK music stores. That is not a cheap bass by any stretch but it's quite a good deal compared to their standard new price.

Can you say where?

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