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History of Aerodyne Fender Jazz Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by napabass, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Hi - anyone know the history of the Aerodyne Fender Jazz bass made in Japan? I'm looking for information on what led to its design and manufacture, why Fender decided to manufacture it in Japan, how popular it has become, etc. Thank you.
  2. seventhson

    seventhson Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I have one of the CIJ ones. You can't get this one here. I think it looks much better than the all black ones they import. I love the carved top and binding on it. Also, the metal top hat controls have this very solid heft to them. The rosewood board is the darkest/richest i've seen on an import. Oh, and it's light too. Sound-wise, she is awesome.

    As to why they came out with this line, Fender sells aerodyne strats and teles as well. My take on it is that they wanted to have some quality import models that showcased some modern, unique stylings and features as an alternative to their traditional models.

  3. I think the overall scheme of the Aerodyne bass was taken from Fender's Jazz Special, made in japan. These were in production during the late 80's. I think they ran from about 86/87-89/90 or something like that. They had a jazz style neck on a p-bass body, pj pups and I think all of them had black hardware(which is a little different for Fender, but IMO they should bring the black back):ninja:

    Anyway, if your curios, ebay usually has a few of em.

    By the way, seventhson, thats a really cool looking bass. good find.:D
  4. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I love the looks of the solid black that they sell here, especially with the cream binding it has. Probably the best looking bass I've ever seen, even though it is kinda plain to some. I am a big fan of the no pickguard look on Fenders though. Some day when I get the cash I'll own a couple Jazz bass Specials as well as an Aerodyne, or at least assemble one from Warmoth parts. I hate being a broke college student!
  5. TorontoGene


    Jun 11, 2010
    Hi there....

    I too am curious about the history of the Fender Aerodyne Jazz. Wikipedia has their start date around 2004 but I think that's incorrect by quite a bit.

    My understanding is they started with the all black (no pg/ cream binding) in the mid-late 1990s. They were in production for a few years and then discontinued...only to be reinstated around 2004. Understand that I'm going strictly from memory and will update this if I find any additional info.

    The first run in the 1990s had a straight-in jack on the front which was replaced by the strat-style jack. From what I can see that is the only difference on the newer version.

    I have one of the older ones and LOVE IT. I was after one for a while and got a killer deal on ebay (with an SBK hardcase).

    As mentioned, they are very light, shorter in scale, and a slim jazz neck for those of us with shorter fingers.

    They look menacing in all black and the stock pick-ups sound decent though i do plan to add some EMGs (new solderless P/J models) and a Badass II bridge. The pick-ups are a tad thin but do the job.

    If I'm not mistaken, the Fender Frank Bello signature bass is exactly this..a modified Aerodyne with a Badass II and active pickups but much more expensive.

    Further to another post, I've had three pearl white Fender Jazz Specials (Power). These are what Duff (G&R) used, were produced from the late 80s into the early 1990s, and have recently been reintroduced as a WAY overpriced signature model. The Power (active) version of the Jazz Special have monster pickups (Lace Sensors I believe but don't quote me) and give a ton of range and growl. The one thing lacking is an active/ passive switch because when the battery starts to go, they sound like crap. My 88 Jazz Special was my main bass until I got the Aerodyne which is now #1 due to its light weight.

    I paid around $300 for each of my Jazz Specials and the Aerodyne was around $400. I noticed they have at least doubled since I bought mine but even around $700 is a good price

    If you want a cool looking (no pickguards and black hardware) workhorse that should be problem free and give you a broad range of tone and sounds, I highly recommend the 80s Fender Jazz Special (Power) and/ or the Fender Aerodyne Jazz.

    I'd love to hear from other owners as well and feel free to correct me on my history since there isn't much out there to be found.