#1
So I've owned a Squier VM Fretless for the last 3 years. I absolutely love playing fretless, it's what I've become known for among the musicians in my age range (18-23, I'm 20). I've swapped out the stock pickups for a pair of Dimarzio Model J's, very bassy pickups not your standard Jazz sound, however, as I evolve my rig the sound just does not fit in with what I like.

When I think of iconic bass playing on fretless basses, my favorite tones always come from fretless precision basses, In My Time of Dying (Led Zeppelin), Obsolete (Mutemath, live), Hey You (Pink Floyd), and the fretless work in The Mars Volta. I still like the Jaco tones out my bridge of course, but the neck pickup always seems a bit out of control, massive volume boost but less defined tone. I can't get fretless precisions out my head. I've looked into the Tony Franklin Fretless Precision bass, however there are a two things that I don't like about it: 3 way switch instead of VVT and of course the $1700 price tag. While I'd love to get a high end fretless, I am unemployed at the moment and can't justify spending my entire tax return on the TF.

So what's a great Precision pickup which won't completely over power the bridge pickup, rather just change the tonality, for around $100 USD. I have a guy who can route it out, and I can order a P routed jazz pickguard from warmoth. I prefer vintage style tones. If you can justify the cost for a new P/J set let me know what you recommend for fretless.

I am running a Markbass LM Tube 800, Korg Pitch Black, Boss OC-2, Way Huge Green Rhino, Boss DD-7, into a SWR 4x12. I play in style of bands like Radiohead, As Tall As Lions, MuteMath in my main band. Portugal. The Man, Built to Spill, and Fugazi in another. The Mars Volta, Sonic Youth, Ataxia, and La Dispute on my own projects. And then there are miscellaneous other musicians I jam with.

TLDR; Precision pickup, under $100 USD, going into a fretless Jazz bass, equal output to Dimarzio Model J bridge pickup, or a P/J set up for $160 USD. I do not mind used, but I live in Boise, ID with GC as my main supplier of music equipment, and CL is relatively poor in bass gear.
Gear:1991 Fender MIJ Jazz/Squier VM Fretless Jazz -> Pitchblack -> Way Huge Green Rhino -> Boss OC-2 -> Boss DD-7 -> Markbass Tube 800 -> SWR 4x12.

Flat wounds. Flat wounds on everything. Everything is a little fatter when it's flatter.
#2
It doesn't sound like you've actually played the Tony Franklin, so before you go chopping your bass to pieces to put in a pickup you're not even really sure you'll like try buying yourself a simple push/pull pot and doing the series/parallel wiring mod. It will be close-ish to a P sound so then you can decide if you whole to go the whole way from there. Or just like, try a fretless P.
Why did you change your pickups? I've always thought the Duncan Designed pups they chuck in the VMs aren't bad at all.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#3
My issues for the Tony Franklin aren't necessarily functionality issues, the three way switch can be changed for a VVT, simple wiring job. It's the fact that it is $1700, which being an unemployed college student is pretty far out of my range. I quit a job which paid well so I could attend college, other wise I would certainly be saving up for the TF. As to trying a fretless P bass, I live in Boise. There is not a great selection for bassists here, guitarists barely have a decent selection as is. Fretless basses in my local stores are rare, the only other one I've found is a Fender Jaco Pastorius Fretless. Also looking online it seems that used fretless P basses run as much as the Tony Franklin.

The Duncans were decent but the 60 cycle hum was a make or break for me. I can't quite stand it. I will take a look into the series/parallel wiring mod though. Thanks.
Gear:1991 Fender MIJ Jazz/Squier VM Fretless Jazz -> Pitchblack -> Way Huge Green Rhino -> Boss OC-2 -> Boss DD-7 -> Markbass Tube 800 -> SWR 4x12.

Flat wounds. Flat wounds on everything. Everything is a little fatter when it's flatter.
#5
Quote by dragonkidkoga
SD Quarter Pounder...i think.


You know, I'm really falling out of love with that (not that I ever really loved it--just thought it was pretty darn good for the price). I think I might have to start on a new p-pup quest.
#6
Yeah... I've tried the quarter pounder in my buddy's precision bass. I don't care for it at all. Much higher output than any jazz pickup on my bass, too modern, and too much of a grind. Good for punk and rock I'm sure, but it's not quite what I'm looking for.
Gear:1991 Fender MIJ Jazz/Squier VM Fretless Jazz -> Pitchblack -> Way Huge Green Rhino -> Boss OC-2 -> Boss DD-7 -> Markbass Tube 800 -> SWR 4x12.

Flat wounds. Flat wounds on everything. Everything is a little fatter when it's flatter.
#7
Wire a passive series switch in your existing bass, and/or buy a dirt cheap used squier affinity p bass/P copy, and look up a good tutorial on fret removal, you could probably do that under or around $100 if you looked in pawn shops/begged on craigslist/asked a friend who gave up bass for his, and did the series mod in the meantime.