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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassamatic, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I was very surprised to see a huge Fujigen booth at NAMM, showing their own line of "FGN" guitars. While the guitars were all very nice, this might be a BIG mistake on their part.

    It will surely make their OEM customers very unhappy - it is like biting the hand that feeds you. Also, making and marketing are 2 very different things.

    The basses were very nice -jazz types with 2 pickups. They do get my respect for changing the pickguard and control plate to look different than a Fender - something that even the high end makers don't bother to do. I have never understood this.

    They were all priced around $1000 MSRP. It will be interesting to see if anything develops around this.



  2. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    They look great. Do you know what pickups they put in them? Really like the last natural on with the finger mark "dots" ala Sheehan scoops.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Dunno. It doesn't seem to hurt Cort and Samick.
  4. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I saw FGN basses and guitars in a local store last saturday.

    While I didn't care for the basses, the guitars were pretty cool. My guitarist is looking for a new toy and instantly fell in love with what looked like a Gibson ES copy (don't know under what name FGN carries that one). He wasn't sure whether to take the FGN or Gibson though as you'd basically buy a copy for the same price as the 'original' (I dunno if I had thoughts like that with all the boutique basses around - a fender jazz and a boutique jazz are two different beasts after all). Dude said the FGN have one of the best build quality he ever witnessed (and he's a total GAS victim)

    The FGNs apparently incorporate a feature called 'curved frets' if I recall right, meaning the frets are not totally straight but curved more and more towards the higher frets. I think the idea is actually pretty cool but a bit of a step behind fanned frets, though I wonder if fanned frets would make much sense on a guitar (with playing chords and all)
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I tried FGN P basses and liked them very much!
    If I was going for an 'off the peg ' P or J it would be theirs.
    Very nice indeed!
  6. maybe the reverse: more curved toward the headstock and flatter as you go toward the body. "Compound radius" neck...

    Stewmac take on the subject
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Oh yeah, you may be right. I didn't actually play them, so I must have gotten something mixed up.

    The compound radius neck is a really nice touch, wonder if that'll be the next big thing?
  8. naaah: compound radius is around from ages but none really took notice of it until now... with this thread!!!

    ;) V.
  9. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    I don't think the timing of this is coincidental. fender is transitioning a lot of the manufacturing away from Japan. people perceive the Japanese stuff to be very high quality, so I just think FGN is striking while the time is perfect.
  10. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    You assume FGN is a response to Fender. It could be that Fender pulled back after learning that these were coming. Difficult to say, but I can't imagine Fender caring about another clone. Or that Fender scaling back on Japanese imports opens any big doors for anybody.
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Fujigen doesn't have that many customers anymore. I think it's smart to start their own line.
  12. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    correct, I've got no inside line and it's educated speculation on my part. 15 years ago, guitar makers went to Japan for offshore manufacturing at a lower cost, or Korea for LOW end stuff. fuel costs, rising standard of living, earthquakes and tsunamis have all changed the cost structure associated with Japanese manufacturing. Fenders got pressure to stay profitable so I'm logically thinking, based on decisions I've observed them making over the last couple of years (moves from Korean to Indonesian, to Chinese manufacturing) and concluding that the Japanese pullout is purely a cost decision (I've been wrong plenty of times though).

    the poster mentioned that fujigen doesn't have many customers anymore, but it not a result of the quality of their products, it seems like it's just a cost thing. No longer do they make sense as an outsourcer, the costs cut into profits, and fender an American brand still has to deal with a public that generally feels that 1200 bucks should buy them an American instrument.

    Fujigen can jump in now, cut out the middleman (fender), capitalize on the reputation it's earned by word of mouth and maybe make a splash here.
  13. I never understand why manufacturers are so obsessed with copying Fender designs.

    Sure Fender is the benchmark in basses in terms of units sold, but surely you can come up with something more original than a revised scratchplate and headstock.

    I would never ever buy something that would constantly remind me that it's a copy.

    I should add IMHO, just in case I've upset anyone!

  14. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    manufacturers are so obsessed with copying Fender designs because it sells...
  15. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I've seen this exact same thing happen in other industries.

    An American company has an overseas manufacturer make products for them, then the manufacturer later bypasses the American company and sells direct into the US with very similar (or the same) product. And usually under-cuts them price-wise.

    Happened in the RC hobby industry I used to work in.
  16. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    So true.

    My previous company (hi-voltage electrical equipment) is in the same boat currently: trying to underbid its former Chinese subcontractors...
  17. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Any PJ 5's there?
  18. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Didn't see any P or PJ types there at all. A bit surprising.

    Their brand better sell - no OEM is going to buy from them now since they are a competitor.
  19. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Yamaha, Fender, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc!

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    The moment I saw this it reminded me of the Ibanez basses from the early-to-mid 80's, like the Blazer and Roadstar, also made by Fujigen. That in itself is awesome enough to warrant a look to me. The ash basses look really nice.

    While I'm not totally sold on just these J-style basses, I'd love to see what develops out of this. The price isn't so crazy either for MSRP. Who will get them first?

    P.S. The point about them not being contracted due to them having their own brand is flat, because as mentioned earlier, Cort and Samick do the same. Besides, I thought Fender hasn't contracted Fujigen since the mid-late 90's?
  20. More J copy's! Yay!