In 1973 Jolana luthiers in Krnov decided it's time to design a Telecaster. The first step was Vikomt guitar and bass - they both had one neck pickup. Vikomt was a great success so it was followed by an upgraded Iris guitar and bass. Two years later, in 1975, the Telecaster line was completed with Altro guitar and bass which featured some minor upgrades (adjustable bridge, no f-holes etc.)
Jolana Iris is one of the most popular models and it was produced in very large numbers. Both guitar and bass were made either with AlNiCo magnet pickups and fake ebony fretboard or with Ferrite magnet pickups and rosewood fingerboard.
The bass is relatively light, the solid body is not very thick, much thinner than a Telecaster should be. This results in a serious lack of sustain. The body is actually a "sandwich" with the f-hole in the upper layer, but the body is not hollow. The neck is rather chunky but still playable. It joins the body only at 17-18 fret and the access to upper frets is easy - but that's not a good idea to play high solo on this bass.
The sound of the bass can be described as "thin" - single-coil pickups produce clear but not really impressive tone with no sustain. It is also not a good idea to plug it into distortion or fuzz or overdrive - you will start hearing radio, noises and annoying "bzzzzzzzzz" tone on the background. There's also a microphonic effect - you can speak into pickups and hear your voice from the amp speakers.
Despite all the problems, the bass is playable. It can handle McCartney-type lines in alternative or rockabilly band. It looks much better than plays, and - although Shechter and other brands produce tele-shaped basses - it's the coolest looking Telecaster bass I've seen.
Body: - solid, undefined woods (glued 3-piece), undefined top
Neck: - beech, bolt-on, rosewood fingerboard or fake ebony fretboard, 20 frets, dot inlay
Headstock: - tele-style, but not angled and slightly different shape, with "Iris bass" and "J" logos.
Tuners: - Jolana tuners with round heads
Nut: - white plastic
Pickups: - two single coils, "rail" type, the neck pickup is angled. AlNiCo or Ferrie magnets.
Controls: - two volume knobs, one chickenhead switch
Bridge: - some sort of tune-o-matic/stop bar variation, with chrome covers.
Finish: - 3-color sunburst.
These are pictures of the Iris bass from ebay.de - someone wanted to buy it, but after seeing our site realized he'd better not, so he sent us pictures.