1970's lawsuit Jazz Bass
Hi, I'm kevin. I'm new here.
I'm a guitar player, but today I bought what it seems to be a 70's Japanese Jazz Bass replica for 1,800 mexican pesos (arround 135 american dollars). The guy who sold it to me told me that his cousin (the previous owner) sanded the original brand logo off, because he wanted to put the Fender name on it, but never actually do it. He claims it's a Kasuga bass and that they usually sell on Ebay for arround 900 bucks. He also claimed he had to sell it for cheap, because he was desperate for the money (it's a real pain to sell expensive instruments in the south of Mexico, I'll give him that). I found the bass to be an excellent instrument, so even if he was full of crap, the price was too good to be true.
I made some research and my bass looks an awful lot a like to another off-brand Jazz Bass made by a company called "Antoria", except that mine doesn't have what seems to be a truss rod metal plate cover on the headstock. I'm 90% sure that my bass was made in the FujiGen factory in the 70's, since both brands had their instruments made there during that period (I might be wrong, though).
There's no serial number and no brand name, just some old "Made in Japan" sticker. The pickups are very peculiar. I don't think Fender ever made anything like this. Is there a way I could identify this bass' origin? Also, what kind of Lacquer or polyurethane should I get to paint that ugly sand mark on the headstock? Is it a good a idea to get new pickup covers (however you call them) to give it it's original looks back? I'd like to get as much information as possible about this bass just to be sure I wasn't ripped off. Thanks a lot.
Some guy posted pictures of his Antorķa Jazz Bass years ago here. As you can see, they are very much alike, except for the truss rod cover.
Well, it's definitely Japanese, haha. Still, it's interesting.
First off it looks like you're due for a new set of tuners, or at least a replacement for the G. Have you tuned it up/plugged it in yet?
As for the pickups, I doubt you could even take the covers off, and those are definitely not jazz-style pickups. They look like mini-humbuckers, or (more likely) single coils shoved into an oversized housing. I'd almost guarantee that's the "original look."
You definitely have a funky piece of history here, and so long as everything is functional I wouldn't say you got ripped off. Some people do collect old Japanese instruments, but that $900 figure came from a rather unsightly orifice.
If nobody here can give you a concrete answer, you can hit up the guys at guitarz.blogspot.com. This sort of thing is kind of their specialty.
The tuners seem ok, just a bit rusty. I had not problems tunning this baby. I've plugged it on my Tiny Terror head and sounds great. Anyway, any tips for cleaning up the tuners? They're quite rusty (but still working).
This is what I meant with "pickup covers". I don't know how you call them, I just know bass players usually have them removed for playability reasons.
Ok, seems like IT IS a Kasuga after all.
The bass is whatever is on the headstock. Except for aftermarket Fender covers, which I added,
I have the exact same bass, branded as an Electra Long-Necker. No bass in my stable has a lower action that still is playable, and those pickups produce such an uber-Jazz tone that I will not swap the bass even up for a real Fender Jazz.
That's an Electra, I had the same one that had been painted.
I want that special K bridge cover.
With the Japanese clone basses like that one, the best bet is to just play them and enjoy what they do. Not collectible or valuable (I think $900 is 3-4x what it's worth on the market), but they tend to be nice players, kind of light, and as long as the neck is in good shape, fun to play.
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