Fujigen or American professional jazz bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Direwoof, Nov 24, 2021 at 1:44 PM.

  1. Direwoof


    Nov 8, 2021
    Fullerton CA
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  2. musicman556

    musicman556 Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2019
    Nashville, TN
    Hm. So I just bought an American Performer P bass yesterday over the Japanese Boxer bass. Based on the three examples on the wall at GC that day (2 Sherwood Green Boxers and the blue Performer I bought) the American had better fretwork and a better overall feel to me. Electronics on all were fine, though obviously voiced differently. Hardware seemed similar in quality, but maybe a slight edge to the American's tuners. I got a deal on the American Performer which brought the price to just below that of the Boxer so it was kind of a no-brainer at that point.

    I did play an American Professional II Jazz they had as well and if it were a color I liked, I may have tried to make that happen. The fretboard on the Pro was rolled more than the Performer and felt even better. Both Boxers were experiencing a bit of fret sprout, and the fact they didn't have rolled fretboard ends exacerbated the issue. Yes, that's correctable, but just an added expense I would have had if I bought one of them. All the basses, Performer, Pro II, and Boxer, had a somewhat similar C shape profile and satin finish, with the Americans having a tighter radius than the Japanese. The rolled edges and tighter radius just felt better to me.

    I also like the upgraded bridge on the Pro II, but I have no problem dropping a $50 Hipshot Kickass-style bridge on a bass myself. (Already ordered one for the Performer. Should be here Monday.) You are correct in that the Miami blue is GORGEOUS! I am from Miami as well, so I like it just that much more because of the name, haha!

    I have a thing for satin Fenders, with my #1 guitar being a 2004 Highway 1 Texas Tele in a satin blonde. I've been keeping my eye out for a reasonable price on a nice older Hwy 1 J or P, but haven't seen one near me in years. The satin Lake Placid Blue on this thing is just fantastic in my eyes and I'm still deciding on what pickguard to throw on there beside the boring old black.

    Pardon my ignorance, is Fujigen making the Fender Japan stuff, or does Fender actually have their own factory over there? I really don't know. Also I understand that it's not fair to judge one model from a giant factory vs another brand name from the same factory that may be spec'd differently with different finish/quality level goals. I'm sorry I don't have direct experience with the Fujigen bass you're talking about, but I hope this might have been somewhat relevant/useful. Of course, every bass is an individual instrument and we all know that two of the same model can feel/play/sound VERY different from each other.
  3. Direwoof


    Nov 8, 2021
    Fullerton CA
    Pretty sure Fujigen does their own thing now. Ive heard really good things about them. Left handed models are very rare however and much more expensive than the same model in right hand. Also I never get to try basses before I buy due to being left handed. I went to GC teh other day, not a single left handed bass.
    musicman556 likes this.
  4. musicman556

    musicman556 Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2019
    Nashville, TN
    Yea, sorry man. It's tough being a lefty in a righty world.

    One thing I saw in the pics on the reverb listing was what looked to maybe be a pretty good size neck pocket gap on the bass side. It could just as easily be the lighting or angle of the pic, though.

    I looked at the Sweetwater site and their pic isn't quite taken from the same angle, but even theirs shows what looks like a little air on the treble side. Fender American Professional II Jazz Bass Left-handed - Miami Blue with Maple Fingerboard | Sweetwater

    Neck fit on my Performer seems nice and tight by picture comparison.
    signal-2021-11-24-150541_001.jpeg signal-2021-11-24-150544_001.jpeg

    I've never bought from them myself, but Chicago Music Exchange should be a pretty reputable dealer if you find any issues. I do like buying from Sweetwater as they've been great the two times I've had issues with a product. They'll usually work with you a bit on price you may end up getting a brand new bass for not too far off that price of a used one.

    You linked the Professional II you are thinking about. Do you have a link for the Fujigen? Are we talking like a $900 bass vs a $1,400 bass or closer than that in price?

    I guess the other thing I'd take into consideration would be potential resale in case you keep it for awhile because it's "good enough" but you don't really love it over time and move it on. I'm not up on my used Fujigen values. It would seem to me that they are more rare than USA Fenders... does that mean they are desirable and hold their value better, or lesser-known and harder to sell?
  5. Direwoof


    Nov 8, 2021
    Fullerton CA
    s-l1600.jpg teh Fujigen I was talking about. s-l1600.jpg s-l1600.jpg It was listed for 1050.
  6. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    My take on Ash v Alder.
    Ash has a desirable grain so works if the paint is such that it shows off that grain.
    Hence choosing the body blank is important.
    Alder works on Solid paint, but can be nice grain if a little 'bland'
    However, I feel Alder is more condusive or forgiving
    in matching with other woods, like birdseye necks and AAA body facings. Nothing scientific, I just think Alder works in my experience, so it is really for the aesthetics that you pick Ash over it...unless you hear Ash 'better' but for me, that will be for snap or bite and Actives tend to colour over that..?

    I find the woods therefore as equal but no doubt Ash has an interesting grain.
  7. Direwoof


    Nov 8, 2021
    Fullerton CA
    I just like Ash better because generally it is heavier. I'm a big strong ogre and I like a bit of heft in my instrument.
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  8. I'd say Fujigen. Never had one in my hands, but I'd definitely love to. Especcially their weird neo jazz, it's a beauty. As for Fenders ... well, they surely are beautiful ;)
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    For me, in a Japanese vs. US , Japanese will almost always come out tops.
    I liked all FGN basses I have tried but can't say that about all US - Fenders.
    Ymmv, of course :)
    crobasster likes this.
  10. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    4A2E7126-4C68-496D-AA3B-5CBC14352FF5.jpeg I have a FGN classic jazz ultra or some such nonsense description that I bought in 2016, I think. I bought it because my Jazz Specials and my MIJ Jag Deluxe (Fuji stepped in on the contract) feel and play better than any American Fender I have touched. That's NOT an insult To the Fenders.
    mine is ash body, maple neck and board and two FGN jazz pickups. The neck is slightly different feeling than the Fenders and I can't tell you why. I like it.

    I've gigged and jammed it a lot and I love it. It is nothing but quality. You will likely be happy with either, but don't be afraid of the FGN.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021 at 6:57 AM
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  11. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    You might want to consider stepping it up a bit.
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  12. Krizz


    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
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  13. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I have a 1986 MIJ/FGN Fender Jazz….and really like it. It’s every bit equally effective as a “Jazz Bass” as an Am Pro is. I upgraded the bridge, nj4 60’s nords, and had the neck/frets leveled. It plays and sounds great, biggest difference for me is the MIJ is very lightweight and has a smaller/different neck profile.

    Attached Files:

  14. LoTone

    LoTone Clean as an Entwistle... Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Quebec, Canada
    I wonder. Why do you think ash is a better body material than alder?
  15. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    The Fujigen instrument will be better built that any comparable American made instrument. That’s just a sad fact of life. The Japanese makers sweat the details, and the details make all the difference.
  16. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I definitely think this is true in the past, those 80’s FGN’s had higher quality standards than the American made ones, and imo constantly better instruments. However I wonder if this is still the case? Fender has really stepped up their game, than there is Ernie Ball:)
  17. temmrich


    Jan 29, 2012
    Columbus, Ohio
    I have a recently made fujigen made CoolZ pbass (I believe this is made for the Japanese market) that is exceptionally well made and was incredibly inexpensive. I've upgraded parts to suit my own tastes, but it was amazing right out of the box. I definitely appreciate the quality of the fujigen factory.
  18. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    ....because it's heavier. See post above...
  19. dopejohnpaul

    dopejohnpaul Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Bonaire, GA
    Sorry, but I’m gonna mention a third option-

    II bought both of my American Originals used for around $1200-1300 on Reverb. I see them listed and selling for that regularly. At that price point, it’s a bit silly to not buy one. They are a perfect blend of vintage and modern builds. I love both of mine. My AO 50s P is my number 1 bass out of a stable of 13. The quality is outstanding. The sound is perfect. Just be prepared to drill your own holes for pickup/bridge covers, because for some reason Fender doesn’t pre drill them like they did the AVRI series.
  20. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    There is quite a market for light Ash bodied basses.
    Mine is spec'd at 3.8kg for a 5st 34" Jazz.
    The body is US ash caliber...whatever that means but it is premium wood with a flame top.

    I also had a U S maker offer me a light weight ash body...my other one by the same guy is noticably on the light side... but the lighter weight carried a price premium but for a Californian made bass, the price was very reasonable for a 'custom' build.
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