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Fender Jazz Bass Special Japan

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hugh Hopper, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Does anyone know anything about these basses?
    It's the kind that Duff McKagan of Guns'n'roses used back in the days. Often with matching headstock colour. The pickup-configuration is a hybrid between precision bass and jazz bass.
  2. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    We just had a thread about them I think last week. Check this thread, and there are also many others about them.

    MIJ Jazz Special
  3. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    There are several guys here on TB that have and use these basses. I have an '86 Special, TBer nysbob has a bunch (4 I think), and Tber Groover also has a lot (3??) .......

    Excellent basses, very solid construction, wide range of tones available, some were active (Power Jazz Special) but I think most were passive .... both nysbob and Groover are pretty well versed in these basses .... :cool:

    Check back a few days ago in the posts for this thread

    you'll find a few pics posted there .......
  4. CWK


    Jun 9, 2005
    South Centeral Pa.
    I have one from '89 i think.It has a satin white body black head stock/neck and it's passave.The bridge has been changed to a BadassII and the P/J pups are DiMarzio. also it's been de-fretted.
    It's nice and lighter than my older jazz but I just don't play it any
    more(I like my Ric's.).It's still a nice player.
    (Had to edit my post,it didn't look proper)
  5. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I had and MIJ 82 jazz special. Gray with rosewood fret board, I just remember it always sounded good, just plug and play. Sold it to a freind and Ive been trying to buy it back for last 10 years. He wont sell it, so I found a 87 MIJ P bass last week. Played it at a big show friday night. I cant remember when I got so many compliments with my sound. And deep down I knew this bass was going to work for me, maybe b/c is sounds and feels so similar to my 82 and thats kinda what I grew up on, I dont know?
  6. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    As pointbass pointed out, I am a one of those people who happens to be a big fan of them :)

    The bass you mention though could be the Fender Precision Lyte though, beucause of the matching headstock thing you said.

    All the MIJ Jazz Bass Special (either active or passive), as far as I know, all come with Black Headstocks. The Active ones, like Pointbass's one have a painted graphite-like pattern on the heastock, whereas the passives are just plain black.

    They also come in fretless, and also some have all black painted necks.

    Not sure what the radius on the fretboard is, but if I had to guess, it would be 7.5 radius, but I could be wrong.

    The fretboards are all rosewood, and I believe the bodies are all Basswoood.

    They come with a graphite nut and all black hardware, and rubber grips with an "F" plate on the knobs.

    Some of them come with quick release cast bridges and some come with the plain fender type bridge.

    Not familiar with the electronics on the Power version, but the passive comes with 1 selector switch where you can select J or P or both pickups.

    There is 1 volume control for each (p and J), and a TBX (tone) control that applies to all.

    As far as colors go, this is what I've seen to this date:

    White Pearl (Sometimes these turn yellow-ish with age)
    Candy Apple Red
    Sonic Blue (I have one of these)
    Pearl Burgundy Mist (I have one of these)
    Pearl Pewter/Green? (I have one of these)

    These are the ones I have:


    Hope that helps.
  7. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I have a black one I bought new in '87 that I fitted with Seymour Duncans in '92. Needs a fret job. (All that slapping/popping.) I have some great memories with that bass!
  8. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I've got a metalic red one with matching headstock in the smaller beveled cutaway body style and the active electronics, which just also happens to be an almost impossible to find medium scale model! (short=30", medium=32"). :cool:
    Planning on selling both it and a standard black Jazz Bass Special as soon as I get back stateside.
    Also have a black medium scale which I put Barts in which isn't for sale. :)
  9. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I could be wrong, but I think that one is from the Lyte series (or something like that). Don't know much about them, but I do recall some details on them such as the beveled cutaways on the body and smaller tuners I think.
  10. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    You're right about it looking like the Lyte series, except that the Lytes were called Precisions and were a US issue, and were available only as a long scale.
    The ones I have were only available in Japan as both a long and medium scale and not many mediums were made.
    They also have gold colored hardware instead of the chrome, which all except the Deluxe Lytes have, but like you said, they've got the bevels, sealed tuners and the Fender labeled pickups and active electronics, hence 4 knobs and no pickup selector switch.

    I've searched high and low for more of them and they are unbelievably impossible to find!

    By the way, I just love your family photo! But, don't you need a white one and a black one to fill it out! :D