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Fender CIJ/MIJ: tell me your experiences...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deckard, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. deckard


    Apr 4, 2003
    Greetings to all -

    I'm new here so please forgive any faux pas.

    I'd like to hear from people who have purchased CIJ/MIJ Fender basses (esp. Jazz Basses) directly from an online shop like GuitarJapan - but would also like to hear from those who may've purchased one here in the States.

    Do they come with hardshell cases? (Can't tell from the GuitarJapan site whether they do or not, or how to order one if they don't);

    sound quality on a par with U.S. made?;

    workmanship? (incl. pots, pups, woodwork, etc.);

    are you/were you happy with your purchase? If so, why? If not, why not?

    You get the idea... more (even too much) info is better than little or none so feel free to elucidate at length...

    I'm very interested in getting a lined-fretless J-bass but am balking at the prices I see for U.S.-made.

    Ok - thanks!
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Marcus Millers are CIJ, but I assure you the sound quality is on par with MIA instruments as is the workmanship. My fretwork is impeccable, all the hardware is quality (I did replace the tuners in favor of Hipshots because of the ratio) and frankly, I'm not sure if I can justify the price for a MIA Fender anymore.
  3. tkozal


    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    My Marcus was impeccable - out of the box. I took it out of the box along with the clerk at a not to be named 48st place. No case. Bought a SKT case that was a great fit.

    However my main bass is a Fender Am Deluxe Jazz.
  4. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    My recent CIJ 62 Jazz Fretless is hands down the best Fender I have ever played.....or owned. The construction, quality and fit and finish are flawless. Plus I love the wood inserts they use for the fretlines. The overall construction is far better then most MIA models (not including custom shop models) I have tried. Even the Gotoh vintage reverse tuners on mine are of high quiltity. The pickups in mine are Fender USA vintage, and sound great. If I do another Fender, be it a Jazz or P-Bass, it will be from Japan. A no-brainer for me!

    I got mine from GuitarJapan.com. Paid about half that you would for a USA model. Mine did not come with a case, just a cheezy Fender gig bag. You can get it with a Hard Shell Case for extra. That was not a issue for me since I had some extra cases.

  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    They're damn fine basses. I have both a 62 Jazz re-issue, and a 51 Precision re-issue. I bought the 62 from Ishibashi, and the 51 here in the US.
    Search around here, there's plenty of info.
    ClassicJazz, I knew you'd be here;) I love that bass, and have come real close to ordering one. I may yet...though I don't see that one on the guitarjapan website anymore...

    Some details on my 2 here:
  6. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I bought a Fender Jaguar Baritone Custom 6 string here in the States last year. I am very impressed by the build/component quality and setup. The only other Fender I've owned was a '90 Japanese Squier Jazz Bass. I like the new Jaguar Bass (though the active electronics are noisy) and the rest of the CIJ line seems to be getting "at least as good as MIA Fenders" reviews here on TB.

    I find new MIA Fenders to be hit and miss. Whether trying them at small local stores or GC, maybe one in five feels/sounds great to me, the rest are OK but not something I'd want to buy new--there are so many good basses in the ~$1200 range these days. The S-1 series/parallel switch is a good concept, but a number of the S-1 equipped basses I've tried have had glitchy switches. The FMT, Zone and Victor Bailey basses I've tried were all impressive contenders in the ~$1500 range.
  7. I can speak to the quality of MIJ Fenders in general. Over the years, I've had 2 hardtail 50's Strats, 2 fretless Jazz Basses (unlined), a Standard P-Bass, 2 Standard Jazz Basses and a Standard Tele (when the standards were MIJ, before Korea and Mexico). They were all fine instruments...they looked, played and sounded great. I (needlessly) replaced the pickups on the first fretless I had with Duncan Vintage Stack humbuckers but I didn't bother with the second one because the stock pickups sound good.

    Have you tried any of the MIM fretlesses? They have lined boards and the ones I've seen and played were very nice. The necks on the MIMs are a bit thicker (front to back) than the MIJs. My MIJ fretless has (and my old one had) a gloss finish on the neck while the MIM's have the satin finish. This is an issue to some people. I will also say that I just (Wednesday) bought a (MIM) Classic 50's P-Bass and if it is representative of the quality of MIM stuff in general, they are doing extremely well; it's flawless.
  8. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I take any chance to show it off! They don't have the sunburst listed on their site for some reason. Even when I got mine. I had emailed them to see if they had that color, and sure enough they did.
  9. telekaster


    Feb 14, 2005
    San Diego
    I've got a Marcus Miller that I bought used. I love this bass! I'm not sure if there is a difference, but mine says "made in Japan" and not "crafted in Japan". The fit and finish is superb and mine happens to be lightweight.

    One of my main complaints about a lot of import guitars is that the frets can be a little sharp on the edges. My marcus doesn't have this problem because the fret ends stop where the binding starts, therefore the frets have no chance of sticking out and being sharp. I also have a MIM 60's classic jazz which is highly regarded here on TB. It's a fine bass, but the MIJ Marcus Miller is built better. I plan to get rid of the 60's classic and get a Sterling someday...
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I've played quite a number of CIJ Fenders and have always been impressed with them. The best thing about the CIJ fenders is the features that are restricted usually to higher priced MIA instruments: Block inlays, matching headstocks, and more exotic color options, etc. So you can own an instrument that will stand out a bit from the usual fender offerings without bruising your pocketbook or sacrificing quality.

    Most recently I borrowed a friend's MIJ "foto-flame" 1996 50th aniversary p-bass so that I could set it up and fix an input jack. It looks and sounds so good, I don't even care that it is a "foto" It has serious vintage mojo, and I want it.

    It has been my experience that even with MIM quality getting better, CIJ is better still, and many have been on par with comparable MIA instruments.
  11. chiplexic


    Apr 21, 2004
    I've been exchanging email with Ishibashi about a JB62 and have come very close to entering the credit card number a few times. What has stopped me...1) quite a few are heavy weights. 2)The majority of CIJ buyers have said they ended up changing the tuners reducing the cost advantage. 3)Some have changed the bridge and some the pickups further reducing the cost advantage ...But the main concern is having a situation like a fellow TalkBass member told me about via email. He got a bass thru Ishibashi that he said was a beautiful jazz in all areas.But the neck was delivered to his house in U.S. with a bowed neck. This meant shipping it back around the globe to Japan. Not for a new bass but for the same bass after Ishibashi tried to straighten it . It was better but never straight. THIS is definately a rare case but can happen to any of us. If it was a bass bought from the American market Fender line up at least you'd be dealing with either the store down the street where you bought it or at least in our country. I try to ignore stories like this and just place my order but I just can't bring myself to order from the other side of the world and it kills me because I know how beautiful these basses look and feel!!!

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