Japanese Copy Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KablesP, Nov 27, 2013.


  1. KablesP

    KablesP

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Does anyone else here have a Japanese copy? I have a Univox Stereo Bass which is a 4001 copy and although it looks really nice (birdseye maple natural) the action is really high up by the 10th and up frets and the pickups feedback when I use dirt. I have used it live but prefer not to as its pretty hard to play. Love the tone though so I won't sell it.

    However, I do own a Tokai Les Paul copy from 1979 and its the best Les Paul I have ever played.

    There are a few good brands to remember
    -Tokai
    -Burny
    -Greco
    -Univox
    -Ibanez
    -Orville (Gibson Japan)
    -Fender/Squier
    -Aria


    Most of the best copies were made in the Matsumoku factory in Japan.

    I have heard that a lot of these copies were as good, if not better than their American counterparts.

    Check out a few.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1980-TOKAI-JAZZ-SOUND-BASS-3T-SUNBURST-MIJ-vintage-64-Reissue-/271332521607?pt=Guitar&hash=item3f2cadb687
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tokai-Hard-Puncher-Bass-Lawsuit-Era-Japan-P-Bass-Style-Rare-Black-/271326842542?pt=Guitar&hash=item3f2c570eae
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ibanez-Vintage-Silver-Series-Jazz-Bass-Sunburst-Lawsuit-1977-4-string-Hard-Case-/291016153573?pt=Guitar&hash=item43c1ea19e5
  2. sonicblue62

    sonicblue62

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    I have an Ibanez "Silver Series" Precision copy from 1979. It's a fantastic instrument in terms of build, sound, and playability. A perfect backup for my '62 Fender P.
  3. Brian Jeffries

    Brian Jeffries

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    pennsylvania
    I have a Carlo Robelli jazz bass copy made at the fuji-gen plant in august 1975, if I'm reading the serial number correctly. It's exactly like the pre-silver series Ibanezs' that I've seen and played even has the exact same yellow lined aluminum trimmed hard case. It's a solid performer.
  4. Alex J

    Alex J Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    Sheffield
    I've got a Univox Eagle bass and it's the best P-bass I've ever played, by far. Think it's 1976 or thereabouts. For no apparent reason the paint on the knobs started flaking almost immediately after I got it, but aside from that it's right up there in terms of quality.

    [​IMG]
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  6. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Wow, I like that Eagle bass!
  7. KablesP

    KablesP

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    That Univox is beautiful! I have seen a few on ebay and they are always out of my price range. They do a Dan Armstrong copy too which are usually around 1,000.

    There are some really nice looking Aria Pro basses out there too. For some reason I like having instruments that are copies. Every time I play my Les Paul live I see people trying to look at the headstock because it doesn't say Gibson on it. Plus it only cost me 900 shipped :)

    Those MIJ Fender and Squier instruments are really nice as well.
  8. ttt

    ttt

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Just got a beast called "Fairmont". Previous owner says it's been made around 1976-77 in Japan. A Matsumoko maybe? There is not much info about the brand on the web.
    Anyways it sounds and plays good, though the output level is rather low.

    Sorry for lofi pic, have no descent camera at hand.
    [​IMG]
  9. back_to_bassix

    back_to_bassix

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Location:
    Central Calif.
    I have a Japanese P-Bass copy that I got when I was 15 in 1974 for a 9th graduation gift from my grandparents.
    My grandma asked what me and my brother wanted for our 9th graduation gift - - my brother asked for a dirt bike - - i wanted a bass & amp.
    It's my very first bass and kept it cuz it's a reminder of how my grandparents supported my music habit!
    Thanks Mo-Mo & Po-Po!
    Can anyone identify the brand? It doesn't have a name anywhere and I've looked ALL over the net and can't find one with similar pick ups. Please help me all you experts.
    It still sounds great and I play it every once & a while.
    Thanks

    [​IMG]
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  10. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I have a Cortez jazz bass made sometime in the 70's. I have found a little about it on the web and I do think it was a Matsumoku made bass.

    [​IMG]
  11. garmenteros

    garmenteros Junkyard Scout Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Location:
    Dominican Republic
    I own 6 ibanez copies. A precision, precision fretless, jazz, ripper, thunderbird, and a rick copy. Excellent basses all around. They play and sound better than the real thing and I've owned a lot.
  12. bigswifty1

    bigswifty1

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    My '70's Ibanez "P" copy. Apart from loving it myself, I know it must be good 'cause everyone who tries it says "Let me know if you ever want to sell it" Bought from a local music store here in Sydney for a couple hundred bucks in, I think, 1979.

    [​IMG]
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have a Sadowsky Metro UV70.
  14. RyanJD

    RyanJD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have a '76 Rick copy that has the same neck plate.
    I was told it indicated that the bass was made in the Matsumoku factory in Japan.
    Apparently it could have been any of a dozen names, inluding (but not limited to) Univox and Greco.


    [​IMG]
  15. back_to_bassix

    back_to_bassix

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Location:
    Central Calif.
    Thanks....You're serial number is 764291 and mine is 1023069.
    I wonder if the number can point to any dates or manufacturers? Your plate is SO MUCH cleaner than mine.
  16. msact

    msact Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Location:
    Bucks Co, PA
    I just recently picked up this 70's Ibanez Ric copy. It plays and sounds fantastic.

    [​IMG]
  17. excelzzer

    excelzzer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    I have a 76 Ibanez ric copy I am looking to get rid of. I need a head so this bass has to go, possibly trade for a head. I can send pics if interested.
  18. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    You'd do better to get a supporting account and post this in the classifieds. With pics. And a price.
  19. mazareth

    mazareth

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    I own a Univox Hi-Flier. It's a copy of the Mosrite bass. It has a three piece laminated neck, and is rock stable. If I EQ the amp right, I can get a nicely overdriven tone.
  20. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    I have a Univox 335 bass copy in red burst. It's pretty sweet.
  21. vmabus

    vmabus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Location:
    central Colorado
    I have a short-scale '72 Fuji-Gen EB-3 copy with slotted head in cherry. Plays o.k., but doesn't sound that good. Not much on the E-string due to the short scale.

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