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60's/70's "Ventura" Lawsuit era P-Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GregBass1979, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    I need help identifying the age of this bass a little more. Has a lower 5 digit serial number, made in Japan well before the 70's funky ugly Japanese basses came out of Matsumoko I think. Based on the overall look and feel, I would be surprised if it was made as late as the 1970's. Thorough Google searches come up with nothing like this bass..I am stumped.

    It's a "Ventura" P-Bass literally identical to anything Fender from that era. If I told you how much I paid for it, you would kill me. The old owner told me it sat in his parents' closet for 20 years basically and before that his friend's uncle owned it and gigged with it. Has all the Relic one needs for sure! Photos do it ZERO justice...

    If any of you have one like it or can elaborate on it's origin or build year, etc..by all means post away your thoughts and ideas and photos of similar ones..again..if you knew what I paid for it you would die. lol

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
    Carl320 likes this.
  2. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen

    Sep 19, 2016
    Since it has a serial number it's from after 1975, as that's when the Japanese makers seemed to start using serial numbers.(Although some stuff still apparently still didn't have serials after '75.) What is the beginning of the serial number? A lot of the Japanese instruments used the first or the first two numbers of the serial number to indicate the year ie 701234 might be from 1977, while 791234 might be from 1979. Ibanez stuff indicated the month it was made with a letter before the numbers, with A=January, B=February and so on. Other systems were used, so that's not always reliable for dating. And the fact it doesn't have a truss rod cover makes me think it's from '77 or later, because everyone seems to have stopped using truss rod covers on Fender copies by then.
  3. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    It's no fair when ad headlines say "LOOK", it's like some kind of sales magnetism that I'm completely powerless against.

    Stop cheating.
  4. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    Fixed it, you happy now?;):thumbsup:
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  5. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    Got an e-mail back from Fuji-Genn company saying they cannot tell me anything due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement. wow.
    Papalampraina likes this.
  6. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    0181 are the first 4 numbers..but who knows. It has the truss rod in the heel of the neck like the old school Fenders.
  7. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    I'm not so sure they were making lawsuit guitars before 1970. I know they had a lot of their own budget models which were Fenderesque or Gibsonesque, but kind of their own thing, and usually kind of awful and cheap.

    It was the early to mid 70's, if I remember correctly, where they really began to nail the Fender designs with decent quality knockoffs that brought lawsuits. So I agree yours looks like it's from the 70's.
  8. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    That makes sense, because those ones with the lipstick cover pickups and hokey head stocks were probably more the design you're talking about from the 60's until they got their CNC machines up and running in 70?
  9. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    Almost, can you please change the title to "Ventura P-suit law"?
    madjazzbass and Bugeyed Earl like this.
  10. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    I think it's fine where it's at since we haven't determined without a shadow of a doubt when it's from. Thanks for your concern.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    I am going with mid to late seventies on this one.
    GregBass1979 likes this.
  12. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Ventura was a US import brand owned by C. Bruno & Son in Atlanta, GA. Going by the neck plate, this one is Matsumoku-made for sure, not Fuji - and going by instinct I'd guess 1976. Before about 1975, Japanese tuners and other hardware didn't emulate Fender parts, and as said, truss rod covers were commonly used, which Fender never had. The years 1976 to ~1980 were when the really good copies were made - and then, of course, came Fender Japan.

    The "lawsuits", btw, are mostly myth. In fact, there was exactly one: Norlin Corp. (Gibson) vs. Elger Co. (Ibanez USA) in 1977. It was over a headstock detail, and the parties settled out of court. But many sellers still like to describe e.g. Fender copies of the time as "lawsuit", even though no such actions happened.
  13. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    CDEF thanks a bunch man...Great info!
  14. I have in my possession a Ventura acoustic Marin knockoff that is my brother's. It's awesome!

    Just say what you paid already. Lemme guess. $75.
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Looks like one of the many multi branded Japan Fender clones of the 70's. Some of them were fantastic basses as good as Fenders from that period.
    GregBass1979 likes this.
  16. GregBass1979


    Feb 26, 2008
    Indeed it is, resonates and vibrates for minutes after plucking strings. Incredible pickup tone as well.
    bassbully likes this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Haha...yeah, those 40-year-old NDA's could get them sued :D Well, kudos to them for keeping their word.
    Bugeyed Earl likes this.
  18. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    yes but how does it sound?....I bet flat wounds on it would be killer
  19. Back around 1972, the rythem guitarist in my very first junior high band played a Ventura sunburst copy of a Gibson 335. I remember it being a fairly well made instrument. It sounded pretty cool through his Sears and Roebuck amp!
  20. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    You may not believe me but I have seen ALOT of those 70's law suit era basses and some were made with plywood bodies....I had 2 of them that were...BUT for that price who cares if the neck is good...
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    GregBass1979 likes this.

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