Need some help pushing me to a final decision on this. I will soon be going to look at what appears to be a late 70's Ibanez Silver Series Jazz bass, but the logo has been removed and replaced with a Fender logo. Does anyone have experience with these? I've recently been bit by the vintage bug, but of course can't condone spending the money. This seems like it could scratch that itch, at least temporarily. Also, I don't have a J in the stable, but at the price it seems like it would be an easy way to diversify.
Anyone with experience on the late 70's Jap copies? Anything in particular I should be looking for? These seem to be going for the $5-600 range on the bay, and this is roughly half that.
Check the neck and stuff. Install some upgrade alnico pickups(maybe not, they're probably good Dimarzio's)..keep it for a lifetime.
I'd rather have that than a '01-'07 Fender American Series Jazz.
Check the heel of the neck, the neck pocket, under the pickups. Get it checked out. I've seen some really really good knockoffs out there. Maybe it's just the angle, but the headstock looks a tiny bit off to me.
Looking for a little more help for those who might know Japanese basses. I picked this up Friday after some debate, and I'm feeling pretty decent about it. If it weighs 8lbs I'd be surprised, and the pickups are replacements of some sort that sound quite good (originals included).
Below are some pics. Obviously there are a lot of strange things about this bass, one of which is the headstock logo that is neither original or even period correct if it was (60s vs. 70s). Stranger, however, are the pots. 013446 would usually mean 19*4, week 46, but 013 means pretty much nothing as far as manufacturer goes, and as such I don't put much stock in the rest either. Any guesses? All I can tell so far is that the neck is nice, truss rod is fine, and it's absolutely not a new bass.
No writing in the neck pocket, neck heel, bridge pickup or control route, and no s/n on the neck plate. I was told this was an Ibanez Silver Series from the late 70s, but without any identifying marks and the previous owner not being 100%, it's pretty tough to tell.
(apologies for the off-color iPhone pics...)
All I know is that these were the basses that were eating Fender's lunch in the '70s.
I don't have a picture, but I set-up a friend's Precor? 70's MIJ J bass that looks very much like the one you are interested in (but has white blocks/binding). It was very neglected and I figured I could help get it at least playable. Boy what a great bass! The truss rod nut was finger loose - hence the bowed neck, but once I lubed and tightened it - it went exactly where it was supposed to. I put on some new GHS Precision Flats and it plays and sounds great! The neck is practically straight, string height is super low and no buzzing frets! Part of the reason is they have been dressed to nearly fretless (this bass has been played) but like I said - a super playing bass! Looks exactly dead-on like a 70's Fender J other than the unfortunate name on the headstock (in abalone) and the Made In Japan neck plate. If the one you're looking at is anything like this bass it's going to rock.
It's got a Sen Ash body. All the hardware looks quality. Really, it's as good as a Fender...by the looks of it.
Any guesses on the date? I should probably change the thread title -- I did buy this, so it's no longer an almost NBD, it is in my possession. If I'm reading my history of copies right, they quit making straight up ripoffs by the late 70s, but normal potentiometer dating systems would put this as a 74/84 range (assuming the pots are original, which is possibly not true).
There are some little things that aren't perfect about the bass (neck pocket could be tighter, mediocre binding repair), but it's pretty stellar otherwise. Super playable, and weighed in this morning at 8lbs even.
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