How do you feel about Japanese Fenders?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sam Marshall, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Sam Marshall

    Sam Marshall

    Nov 2, 2011
    Austin, TX

    I really wanted a new Fender Jag, but was bummed about the fret feel. Anyone else feel like the frets are uneven and the necks too slim on the Geddy Lee and Jag basses coming out of Japan? Wish they felt more like the Mexican Jazz basses.

    Or rather, anybody own one and made it feel better? How do you like it? I would reckon that the basses would get better with age. Anyone had one for a few years?

    Thanks for your input!
  2. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    Slim necks...yeah, can't argue there. A lot of people really like the small necks...I can't say that I'm one of them, but to each his own, I suppose. But the "uneven fret" thing sounds like you may have gotten a lemon or two.
  3. Wannaflea


    Jun 7, 2011
    Jersey, CI
    My Jag plays great, I guess it's just a question of preference though
  4. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    IME, Japanese Fender usually exhibit really good quality control, often rivaling MIA.

    As far as narrow necks go, it depends on the model. Geddys are very narrow, but some of the other Japanese Jazzes have chunkier necks. My Noel Redding is wide for a Jazz.

    It's a drag you found the frets to be ratty. I think that's the exception, not the rule.
  5. bassburner

    bassburner Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2008
    I wanted a Jag and tried several out but they always had mucked up frets. They were uneven or sticking out of the sides of the neck.
  6. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    I am just getting into Fenders. I have been able to sample a MIM J and a CIJ Jag. I am impressed with the materials, fit and finish with both, but especially the CIJ Jag.

    Electronics noise is another issue on the Jag, which are very solvable
  7. Dostradamas


    Jun 7, 2011
    My MIJ 70's Precision has fine frets. Small & smooth. I am very happy with my first MIJ Fender.
    Beats all the MIM's I've had and is light years nicer than a USA JP-90 I had. I cannot believe what Fender USA was putting out late 80's!
  8. My main player is a 1986 Japanese Precision and it's the best Fender i've ever played, including MIA's ('09-'12 models). The neck is perfect, the frets are all even and have minimal wear for a 26 year old bass. My only problem with mine is the EMG pickup and subsequent battery box that was installed by the original owner, i would be much happier if it was all stock.

  9. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    Somewhere in time
    I have a 1996 MIJ Jazz Bass that is ugly as sin, and if you want it, you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers. I've bought and sold a bunch of basses, but I've kept this one along for almost 15 years. DAT TONE!

    I defretted it about 10 years ago and regretted it. Finally did the smart thing and got it re-fretted with a local luthier, who did an excellent job. Now I have a Jazz Bass with great tone + 12" radius board and small wire frets. I LOVE IT!
  10. Lennard III.

    Lennard III.

    Aug 21, 2008
    Endorsing Artist : Fodera Guitars , Harvest fine leather bags & straps
    I have a MIJ 5 string - fine workmanship, great B string, Alder body, Rosewood fretboard - the stringspacing is pretty tight - but the rest feels like the american basses (I have Fender CS basses as well ;))
  11. I personally love the MIJs...they're the best Fender's got to offer from what I've tried IMO
  12. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    how can you guys tell how even the frets are just by playing it?...
  13. Premierbass

    Premierbass Commercial User

    May 26, 2011
    Superior, Colorado
    Owner, Premier Bass Guitars
    This is a usually a sign of a bass needing maintenance, not an original QC issue. Colorado is very dry, and protruding frets is common here. Get it fixed when its dry (typically the cold winter) and you likely won't have the problem again. Any competent luthier can do this for a nominal charge.

  14. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    I own two mij Fenders...a pb70 reissue and a Steve Harris signature (2001) and they are both great basses. The neck on the pb70 is not as wide as the U.S. precision and I really like it alot. Haven't noticed any fret problems with either bass.
  15. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i like them just as much as any USA fenders.
  16. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    About two weeks ago I bought an MIJ P first Precision bass! IMHO the workmanship is every bit as good as that on my AM STD 5 string Jazz bass that I bought last year. Like my STD the MIJ needed no setup what so ever. Fret work was top notch with no string rattle or buzz anywhere. Light weight, great action and a joy to play.
  17. I would pit my 2 mid-80's Jazz Bass Specials against ANY Fender that I've ever played. 80's Japanese Fenders absolutely smoke. Highly underrated instruments.
  18. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
    Naples, FL
    MIJ and CIJ Fenders have now lasted the test of time and are right up there with MIA's - in my opinion. MIC, MIM and MIK seem to be on another plain, but the MIC's are moving up quickly.
    The real unspoken issue with the MIJ/CIJ basses is how well the necks would hold up and they have long since passed the test of time with few warping. The finish and electronics seem to be of a higher quality also. MIM and MIK's have had issues since the early days and it's witnessed by the quantities of bodies for sale without necks and full units for sale with changed electronics.
  19. Sam Marshall

    Sam Marshall

    Nov 2, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Pic please? Of the bass of course!
  20. Sam Marshall

    Sam Marshall

    Nov 2, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Hard to explain, but it's as if the frets in the upper register feel "taller" than the lower ones. Not actually, because that would cause dead frets. It's just the way they feel.

    Also what bassburner said, where they stick out of the sides o the neck. Makes it harder to quickly change positions for me.