Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass vs Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass

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Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass
Playability
68
Sound
81
Build
77
Value
65
Score
75
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Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
VS
Playability
68
Sound
81
Build
70
Value
73
Score
73
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Reasons to Get
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass over Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass

Number of Frets
0 vs 20
Warmer neck pickup
Neck Profile
Bass Modern C vs Bass U Shape
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Nut Width
1.625'' (41.3mm) vs 1.5'' (38.1mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Paint Finish
Nitro vs Poly
Thin finish that creates aging marks faster

Reasons to Get
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass over Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass

Release Year
2023 vs 2022
From a more recent year
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Neck Profile
Bass U Shape vs Bass Modern C
Comfortable neck with more grip
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Number of Frets
20 vs 0
Allows to reach higher notes
Nut Width
1.5'' (38.1mm) vs 1.625'' (41.3mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Paint Finish
Poly vs Nitro
Resistant paint that ages well
Value Score
73 vs 65
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass vs Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass

Bridge Pickup
Fender DiMarzio Model J DP123 vs Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass
Different Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Fender Tony Franklin American Split Single-Coil Precision Bass vs Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass
Different Middle Pickup
Body Wood
Alder vs Basswood
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Ebony vs Maple
Different Fretboard Wood
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone vs Bone
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass vs Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass

Neck Wood
Maple
Same Neck Wood
Headstock
4
Same Headstock
Strings
4
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Pickups
SS
Beautiful cleans
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
34'' (863.6mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm)
Same fretboard comfortability
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Type of Frets
Fretless vs Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • From a High-Quality-Standards Country
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Retainer Bar
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Prices

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Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass Prices

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Which One is Better?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass is probably the better product overall with its final score of 75 compared to the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass's 73 score, although not by a lot.

The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass wins when it comes to build quality. On the other hand, the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass has the upper hand when it comes to value for the money.

If you got small hands, none of these instruments will make a big difference when it comes to comfortability.

Which One is Better for Beginners?

If you're looking for your first bass to learn how to play, the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass is the better choice.

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass meets 4 out of our 6 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass meets only 3. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players.

New Player Friendliness

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Comfortable neck
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

New Player Friendliness

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2022 Precision Bass series
  • Tony Franklin Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Select Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender DiMarzio Model J DP123 (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: (/)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • 4-Saddle American Vintage Bass with Single-Groove Steel "Barrel" Saddles bridge
  • Bass Modern C Bolt-On neck
  • 0 Fretless frets
  • Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear tuners
  • Weight between 8.875lbs (4kgs) and 9.188lbs (4.2kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass Overview

  • From Fender's 2023 Made in Japan International Color series
  • Made in Japan
  • 4 strings
  • 34"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Basswood body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: (/)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 4-Saddle Vintage-Style bridge
  • Bass U Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 20 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Vintage Style tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in Both

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Woods Used in the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass

Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

Ebony is a high-end wood, so it is not cheap. It's only used for fretboards because it's also very heavy. It does an excellent job as a durable material while looking elegant. Find out more about Ebony.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany. Find out more about Alder.

Woods Used in the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass

Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
Basswood

Basswood is a lightweight type of wood that isn't as expensive as other popular choices for guitar building. It gives more power to the mid-range frequencies. Its color can vary from pale white to light brown. Find out more about Basswood.

Winner: Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass.

Pickup Configuration

Both pickup configurations are SS. SS is the classic Telecaster configuration. It's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion, and it's very popular for the country genre because of their brightness. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

Pickups Quality

Both come with some of the top pickups on the market. You can't go wrong with either of them. You'll probably never need a pickup upgrade.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Preamp Circuit

A preamp in an electric bass functions as an electronic circuit that acts as an interface between the bass's pickups and the amplifier. Its main purpose is to amplify and customize the bass's initial signal before it reaches the amplifier, offering enhanced control over factors like tone, volume, and sound attributes. Preamps typically come equipped with tone adjustments, equalization options, and sometimes built-in effects, empowering bass players to fine-tune their sound to suit their personal preferences and the musical environment.

Both basses have a Passive preamp.

Passive: A bass with a passive preamp lacks an onboard electronic circuit for tone shaping and signal boosting. Instead, it relies solely on passive pickups and basic tone controls, typically consisting of volume and tone knobs. Passive preamps don't require an external power source like batteries, making them low-maintenance and dependable. While they offer a simpler and more straightforward tonal character, passive basses are appreciated for their warm and vintage sound, often favored in genres like classic rock, blues, and funk. They are an excellent choice for musicians who value the simplicity and timeless appeal of their instrument's tone without the need for active electronic components.

Winner: Tie.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass gives you 3 switch options while the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass gives you 0. This means that the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass's switch options

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass doesn't come with pickup switching options.

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 81
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 77
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 81

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass compares to the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass is built in United States while the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass is made in Japan.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Japan has a long history of high-quality guitar building. Little has changed in terms of their manufacturing and quality control over the years. Many guitars made in this country can be compared—and even beat—others made in the US.

Winner: Tie

Nut Material

If you want your bass to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass has a Synthetic Bone nut. Bone is the best natural material for guitar nuts. However, its tonal properties can be inconsistent. That's the problem that synthetic bone fixes. This is much better than using a plastic nut because the nut is more slippery—which helps with tuning stability—, and it gives your open strings rich harmonics.

On the other hand, the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass comes with a Bone nut. It's a type of nut found in high-quality instruments. They sound similar to Ivory since they give a lot of sustain and a bright sound (at least when striking open strings). The only problem they can run into is that you may get a bone piece that simply doesn't sound as well as others because that's just how natural materials are.

Winner: Tie.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass's are Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear while the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass's are Vintage Style

Winner: Tie.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a bass is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

Both have a Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Tie.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Active Preamp
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
  • Made in Japan
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Active Preamp
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass
Quality of materials 66
Features 70
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 77
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
Quality of materials 56
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 70

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a bass might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a bass feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Nut Width
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Nut Width
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass Nut Width
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass has the wider nut with 41.3mm (1.625'') vs 38.1mm (1.5''). This is a 3.2mm (0.125'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass and Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass's Scale Length
Both have the same scale length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

In this case, both have a scale length of 34".

This is a scale used for baritones and guitars with more than 6 strings. Since the scale is so long, the tension of the strings will be higher. This means that bending will require a lot more strength than with a shorter scale. However, it also allows you to use really low tunings without causing fret buzz and without needing to increase your string gauge too much.

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Neck Profile
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass's neck profile
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass Neck Profile
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass has a C type of neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass, on the other hand, has a U neck. This is also referred to as ''baseball neck'' because of its shape. It's usually thick, which is why some people with big hands like it. However, they can also be thin, similar to a C shape, but with more shoulders for a better grip.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Fingerboard Radius
Both Guitars Have The Same Fretboard Radius

Most bass fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

Both the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass and the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass have the same fretboard radius of 9.5". This is the most common radius for Stratocaster guitars. It's considered curved when compared to most other models. This allows you to play chords very easily without muting strings accidentally and gives you more space between strings for fingerpicking. However, this curve also gives the guitar less allowance for lower action. If you bend too hard at the high frets, some of your notes might get muted because the curve will make the string fret out.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a bass before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a bass favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison favor large hands .

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Frets Size
Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass's Frets Size
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass Frets Size
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass's Frets Size

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass has Medium Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass's Fretless frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 60
Playability 68
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 50
Playability 68

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass vs Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
General Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass Made in Japan Limited International Color Jazz Bass
Brand: Fender Fender
Year: 2022 2023
Configuration: SS SS
Strings: 4 4
Made in: United States Japan
Series: Precision Bass Made in Japan International Color
Colors: Black, Blue Blue, Yellow
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Select Alder Basswood
Bridge: 4-Saddle American Vintage Bass with Single-Groove Steel "Barrel" Saddles 4-Saddle Vintage-Style
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender '70s Vintage-Style Stamped Open-Gear Vintage Style
Fretboard: Ebony Maple
Neck Material: Maple Maple
Decoration: White Pearloid Block
Scale Size: 34" 34"
Shape: Bass Modern C Bass U Shape
Frets: 0 Fretless Nickel Silver 20 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 9.5"
Nut: Synthetic Bone Bone
Nut Width: 41.3mm (1.625'') 38.1mm (1.5'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender DiMarzio Model J DP123 (Single Coil / Passive) Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Tony Franklin American Split Single-Coil Precision Bass (Single Coil / Passive) Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Jazz Bass (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup:
Switch: 3 Way 0 Way
Knobs: Dome Bell
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 1