Fender Japan run frequency?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dwagner, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. I've noticed places like Chicago Music Exchange and other dealers get some Fender Japan basses from time to time. It isn't consistent, and it almost feels like Fender Japan must go through stages of doing runs of a certain kind or series of bass and then they lay off. I really like the alternate color ways they were putting out for the left handed models (as I am a lefty) and was hoping to snag one sometime.

    Anyone know how that stuff works? They seem like such a great middle ground between the Player Series and the American line but you get some uniqueness since it's a Japan model.

    I tried to find some Fender timeline that tracked releases of guitars and stuff to see if I could deduce this myself, but I didn't have any luck. I'd love to score a MIJ P. :)
  2. taconeko


    Mar 13, 2020
    Tokyo, Japan
    dwagner likes this.
  3. Elusive1


    Jun 21, 2018
    I know what you mean about the colours, lefty models tend to come only in black, white or sunburst

    Try buying second-hand from Reverb and Arnis Lefthand Bassplayer Community, they get some nice lefty Fender Japan basses from time to time. I scored two CIJ Fenders from there, a lefty 5-string Jazz (yes, Fender 5-string lefty, ultra-rare) from Arnis, and a lefty '62 reissue Jazz from Reverb. The 5-string is sunburst (normal), the '62 has a dark red colour that I think might be CAR, only it's darker and not as vibrant, but still nice nonetheless (not to mention rare for a lefty)

    IMG_9765.JPG IMG_9766.JPG IMG_9768.JPG

    The reason I suggest second-hand is because from what I've noticed, the original Fender Japan line (pre-2015) was more lefty-friendly than practically every other Fender branch, and they did have some nice colours for their lefties. The new Fender Japan line (2015/2016-present) is basically like Fender USA, they only make standard models for the lefties and only in basic colours.

    You want a Japanese Fender for uniqueness? Look for the older ones
    mindwell, rufus.K and dwagner like this.
  4. Thanks for those links! I checked them out and they do have quite the selection!
    Do you know around what time of year Fender Japan tends to do a domestic market run? Otherwise I might have to get something from one of those sites if the shipping situation seems like it would work
  5. They build all year round.

    The problem you face lies with FMIC, to protect the US built image only a tiny number of Fender Japan instruments are allowed for export. The top tier goodies stay in Japan.
    dwagner likes this.
  6. that’s kind of what I was afraid of :(
  7. Think that's been the policy since the mids 80's.
    dwagner likes this.
  8. taconeko


    Mar 13, 2020
    Tokyo, Japan
    I would recommend checking the webpages linked above periodically to see if there’s anything that you would like to import :thumbsup:
    dwagner likes this.
  9. I would rather say since the mid 90's, when Fender Mexico started to play the role, Fender Japan had before. During the early 90's, before Fender Mexico started to produce the classic series that replaced the MIJ vintage models, even top tier goodies were available for a short time like the Duck Dunn '58 and the Noel Redding '65 Jazz.
    Fender Japan didn't stop to export instruments with the Fender logo in the mids '80s, they started in the mids 80's after the Squier JV and SQ series.

    But it is true, that the high-quality instruments with nitro finish etc. or the early 1982 JV instruments with US pickups and electronics and a Fender logo never were officially exported and part of what Fender offered outside of Japan. But this didn't stop in the mids '80s - it never started.
    Fender Japan was what Fender Mexico is today. Now only few are exported for higher prices or just single runs like the very high quality second version of the MIJ Fender VI bass a few years ago.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020