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I'm going to Japan and China, what should I buy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jonas_24112, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. jonas_24112


    Jul 11, 2011
    I've had GAS for a while for a MIJ Jazz (something light), but wanted to do a project. A MIM is my regular gigging bass. So, maybe pick up a used one, then bring home and refinish? Or I could just get some odd color you can't find in the U.S. What do MIJ jazzes run in Japan cost wise?

    China- I know I can get a Ric copy for $175, but not sure I could legally get it back into the country. Been wanting one for kicks and giggles, but just don't know........sigh

    What do my fellow TB'ers think?
  2. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    When I was in China, I was offered the following for sale:

    Rolex (often loudly, frenetically, and repeatedly until I almost had to run away from the peddler)

    Cheap plastic crap that I couldn't identify

    Chairman Mao books

    Fake jewelry (others bought it, and it fell apart almost as soon as they got to the hotel)

    A Sanxian which started at $50, and got exponentially cheaper the further away from the peddler I walked.

    I think the last guy could tell I was a musician . . . I have that look.

    Also, right outside Tienanmen Square we were witness to a 'bust' when several of the peddlers were set upon by the cops. I learned then that in China, they only obey the law when the authorities are literally breathing down their necks. Otherwise, they do whatever the hell they want to.

    The irony: someone else bought the sanxian after I ran away from the seller, and gave it to me as a gift. Their final price $5.

    Anything you buy there is likely to be fake, or junk. I somehow got the sanxian back through customs although we noticed later on that it appeared to have a . . . "head" made of snake-skin. That could have been fake snakeskin, but considering that they were selling small lizards shoved onto wooden spits, roasted in the open market, I have a feeling the real snakeskin was pretty easy to get. Oh, and they also cooked and sold bugs. I did this trip with a Korean Tae Kwon Do grandmaster, and his big laugh that day was to go buy about six or eight bugs and lizards on sticks, and bring them into the bus to see if any of us would actually put one in our mouths. They smelled frakkin' horrible. Lots of yuks.

    I couldn't tell you about Japan, but I also went to Korea on the same trip and got me a nice suitcase that I still use to this day.
  3. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Go to Ochanomizu, in Tokyo (if you're going there).

    There's an entire street of music stores. I've been there and bought a couple basses.


    You should be able to haggle with the prices, try and get the MIJ Jazz for $850 or so. The JB-62 reissue.
  4. kb9wyz


    Sep 8, 2008
    A bodyguard?
  5. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Asian chicks?
  6. +1!!
  7. Steveaux

    Steveaux Safe-Guardian of the Stoopid

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Updated shots.
  8. real Chinese and Japanese food. Buying a bass would be at the back of my mind if I could travel there....
  9. rhino333

    rhino333 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Western NY State
    Isn't "real Chinese and Japanese" food just "food" there?
  10. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
    Japan and China are very different. Japanese are very friendly and always want to help you. I think they want every chance to practice their english with Americans. Tokyo is like NYC but more crowded. The countryside is beautiful. That hb jazz would be my target.
    China is not the place to buy instruments. All of their best are saved for export.
    Have a great trip!
  11. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    What about the new Japanese reissue of Fender Bass VI?
  12. American.
  13. haha yes.
  14. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
  15. sevdog


    Mar 2, 2008
    As far as basses go, I've always wanted a Moon Jazz. I don't have any idea how readily available they are in Japan though. They may be just as easy to obtain here for all I know.
  16. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
  17. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    What's your budget?
    What kind of sales tax or VAT do they have in Japan?
    Do you have to pay tariff if you leave with a MIJ Fender?

    I see Japanese eBayers selling 'used' Aerodyne Jazz Bass guitars in the 750-800 range. :confused: You can get a new one for that much when there's a sale at MF.

    I would be curious to know how much a higher-end ESP or Ibanez Prestige bass is over there.
  18. arsie


    Jan 19, 2011
    Used stuff in Japan does not drop price the same way it does in the US because many items there are limited production runs. Once they are out they are out. So don't be surprised of the used stuff gains value. And I'm talking 90s 00s stuff not 60s stuff

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