Jaco-inspired 5-string fretless J-bass

newmexstrings

Active member
Messages
58
Hi all. I finished this bass about 6 months ago, but haven't had a chance to post pics until now. When I was planning this project, I got a lot of inspiration from this board, so I'm happy to finally be part of it. I was thrilled with how this bass looks and sounds. Enjoy the pics.

A couple of notes about this bass: pickups are Bartolini, bridge is the TK-5 (sold by Warmoth). Swamp ash body is finished in tobacco sunburst, neck is vintage tint. I ordered a standard ebony fretboard and was pleasantly surprised at how black it is (absolutely no streaks). Also, I ordered a standard birdseye neck (not AAA) and was psyched with how figured it is.

I just ordered the makings for a mahogany/maple Thinline Tele, so look for pictures of that one in about four months. Rock on!

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newmexstrings

Active member
Messages
58
Yes, the Bartolinis are active and the preamp/pre-wired assembly was very easy to install. All I had to do was solder the pickups to the assembly. I had this thing together in about 3 hours out of the box. It certainly helped that the only holes I had to drill were the screw holes for the tuners, the strap buttons and the string tree. Everything else was done by Warmoth. The Bartolinis sound like butter. Definitely not a rock tone at all, but It's got "the sound" for funk/jazz. I was worried about the low B sounding 'flabby' on a 34" scale (this is my 1st 5-string and I discovered that it's conventional wisdom that 35" works better for a 5-string) but I think the low B sounds great, and completely balanced with the other strings. I ended up spending about $1100, not bad for this quality of instrument....you can't really touch an American made 5-string fretless for under 2k. And Fender doesn't even make 'em!
 

SlingBass

Senior member
Messages
609
Swe-e-et!  Well thought out and executed build!  You can't start teaching them any too young, either  :icon_thumright:
 

nathan a

Senior member
Messages
1,836
The kid's got two hands on the neck already... sounds like a trailblazer  :icon_jokercolor:

Also, sweet flannel shirt. I tend to look like that too, all winter long.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
Excellent built! :icon_biggrin:

I don't want to sound condescending, but i don't see any Jaco influence at all other than the maple neck and jazz bass style pickups...


 
Messages
8,318
line6man said:
Excellent built! :icon_biggrin:

I don't want to sound condescending, but i don't see any Jaco influence at all other than the maple neck and jazz bass style pickups...

The color, the body style, no pickguard, and it's fretless.  It's inspired by, not a replica of Jaco.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
Again, not to sound condescending, but just about any fretless bass with a Jazz style design would be considered as "Jaco inspired"...
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
Unless it wasn't inspired by Jaco's...  :icon_scratch:

I guess the guy was inspired by Jaco's, and build a somewhat similar one. My tele has differences from Keef's, but it's still inspired by his.
 

Soloshchenko

Senior member
Messages
430
line6man said:
Again, not to sound condescending, but just about any fretless bass with a Jazz style design would be considered as "Jaco inspired"...

Yeah but Jaco was famous for non pickguard sunburst jazzers like this one. I can certainly see the the Jaco influence.

Learning Jaco stuff note for note at the minute. Brilliant.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
For a third time, i don't want to condescend whats being said, as this is a great build in its own right.

The bass is fretless. It has no pickguard. It has Jazz style pickups. It has a maple neck.
Those are the "Jaco inspired" details.
But...

The body is a different wood.
The finish is different. (Jaco played a 3 tone)
The electronics are active.
The fingerboard is not rosewood.
The board is unlined.
There is no epoxy.
The bridge is string-thru-body.
 
Messages
8,318
line6man said:
For a third time, i don't want to condescend whats being said, as this is a great build in its own right.

You obviously know your Jaco, and for all the similarities, there are the differences you mentioned, but apparently we just have different personal definitions for the word "inspired."  I see it.
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
Jaco's my hero...
I spent alot of time researching him (The Bill Milkowski biography was very informative) and his instruments.

I guess that it sort of changes your view on the key details of what a "Jaco inspired" instrument is, versus just another fretless bass that seems "Jaco" because its fretless.

I think the key details for a Jaco inspired bass should include epoxy, rosewood, and a fully passive electronics.

I guess what i am saying is that this is an excellent build, but in terms of  "Jaco-ness", its just another fretless bass.

 
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