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Fake or real Fender?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ashtray, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Another one of these threads - but with a little twist. Just got a “Fender Japan” Jazz bass (standard). It has a U+6 digit serial number on the face of the headstock. Does not say “Made in Japan” anywhere. “F” neck plate (4 bolt), and Stratocaster knobs.

    The “U+6 digits” seems to have been used a few times by Fender Japan. Haven’t taken neck off yet.

    Has anyone seen a Fender Japan bass without a “Made in” or “Crafted in” label anywhere?

    Bass feels and plays great. Needs new strings. Pickups have good tone but are noisy. They might be ceramics, if I trust my ears.

    Will be pulling the neck later when I do full cleanup/setup, and hope to find some answers...
  2. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    A picture or several would help an awful lot.
  3. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Do the pants I’m wearing right now make me look fat?
  4. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    A picture or several would help an awful lot.
  5. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    No...your giant ass makes you look fat.
  6. 729FF258-6965-45F1-B494-B2F92351357A. 729FF258-6965-45F1-B494-B2F92351357A. 83024ADA-76C6-4EFC-A4D1-EE3F0E76767E. 5A197F02-562B-44D1-9D3A-C1E289900D69. 187D61D2-9A21-4472-A8D8-9897A803F46E. 631BF954-79E2-4017-8036-AC06DD353354. F2723E1F-8352-4609-8FEA-0085C490A44B.
    Not really - as I described all the tells you’d see in a pic, but here you go. What would help the most is pulling off the neck - which I will do next.
    bobyoung53 and Toolmybass like this.
  7. What ever it is it is nice. Love the grainy looking neck. Bass looks forein to me. To me.
    bobba66 likes this.
  8. 7E5F70AE-E8E3-4E1D-8B58-1EA545A94F69. 73EB4B3C-7E6A-41A7-B0E1-8CCFBB7347BE.
  9. 7CD13383-22D5-42A7-ADFC-D51BFB164BC2. 8FA0CEA7-45DB-4034-90F3-4269D7CCE7A2. Ok - under the pickguard got a little weird...

    So, this bass has 3 colors on it: blue, covered by gold, covered by black. There’s many areas of sanding where you can see the 3 color gradient.

    But under the pickguard, there’s a giant “3” in some sort of tape. Probably put there before it was sprayed black and meant to be removed, so a giant golden “3” would be there with no pick guard? But never removed??

    Keeps getting weirder...
  10. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dale Earnhardt Standard Jazz Bass Special Signature Edition® (1988-1991)
    AndrewTaran, basscapes, leto and 25 others like this.
  11. Doesnt look to have typical intials from a qc department. This could be a kit build at one time. Does not appear to be japanese quality but chinese. The soldering on the pots looks to be a diy job. Not sure what the 3 is there for. Maybe it was a 3rd attempt.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i hope you get things sorted out --- maybe you'll find a winning lottery ticket! :D

    in the meantime, you've got this going for you:
  13. JDLowEnd

    JDLowEnd Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2010
    Norwich, CT
    The MIJ models that I have seen either say made in Japan or crafted in Japan on the rear of the neck towards the neck plate area.

    Attached Files:

    Al T., ShirazBop and InhumanResource like this.
  14. jd-ns


    Sep 28, 2010
    It was definitely made somewhere.
    Templar, Fletz, AndrewTaran and 10 others like this.
  15. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Then, what difference does the true origin of the bass make? The bass is not collectible. Just play it.
  16. It has 3 coats on it. no doubt.
    I would have liked it better without the fake wear.
    No clue where it was made.
    Maybe someone will recognize the tuners or some other feature.

    One thing is for sure, if it is a copy it can be very Fender like,
    if they copied it closely enough and didn't try to cut too many corners.
    slobake likes this.
  17. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Something's wrong. The neck pocket and neck stamps do look legit though. Those tuners aren't original. Japan never used those MIM style tuners. And it looks refinished. The pot codes are early '96 CTS, which wouldn't be used on a MIJ. And they've obviously been sloppily resoldered. Pickups are probably not original, or at least have been resoldered to the controls. The knobs and bridge are also not MIJ.
  18. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Are you certain it was manufactured in Japan?
  19. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Some of the features of this bass are not what I'd expect from a Japanese Fender... the serial number dates it to 1995-1996. The hardware, specifically the tuners and the control knobs are similar to what would've been found on a MiM Fender of that era. The bridge is nothing I have ever seen on a stock fender.

    The mix of hardware and the absence of a "Made In" or "Crafted In" decal leads me to think that it is a fake.

    But it looks like a decent bass anyway.

  20. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Of course the serial number is meaningless if it's fake.

    Also, I don't think Japanese Fenders ever had the truss rod adjustment at the headstock either.
    Jim Carr and Vinny Vincenzo like this.

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