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Japaneese P-Bass opinion pls.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by davidchampoux, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    I'm seriously thinking about buying a Japaneese Fender P Bass. There's many models available:





    For each one, there's a 'US' version, which means a US pickup if I understand correctly. Is a US pickup really 'better' or is it just a teaser for JPN market?

    The 70 is also offered with alder or ash body... Don't know what to choose...

    Any opinion on what's the 'one' to choose?
  2. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    my personal opinion is that Japanese fenders are the best fender instruments made.
    At least of the fenders I have tried , the japanese usually won hands down.
    I would not worry about the pickup just yet. Get what you like ( ash, alder or whatever else is on your mind) and then see if a pickup change is going to dramatically improve the bass. I'd play it a good while first-before changing anything though.
  3. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    I've had a 51 classic PBass... It was a fantastic bass! I want to try one with a split PU though... I'm interested in the 70. Don 't know if the US pickup is worth the extra $ though, and if I should go with ash or alder...
  4. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Love my MIJ P bass. It's light and sounds great plugged in or not. Played a lot of newer Fenders MI Everywhere that are all pretty good. Always a couple of duds though. Saw one with no side dots. None.

    If it were me I'd buy a used 80's MIJ P bass. Really really great basses and can be had for around $500 give or take depending on condition. And they are killer. Some of the electronics can be iffy but for the most part they are good, not great but for less than $100 you can trick out the electronics if you want.
  5. So what is exactly the difference between Fender Japan Basses and the MIJ Basses available here?
  6. makaspar

    makaspar Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I think we only get a few models - 51, 70s, and the Japanese made signature models.. The rest of their line isn't imported by Fender, so i think you have to order it special..
  7. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    There's lots of dealers in JPN who ship to Canada/USA via EMS. It only takes about 5 business days to have your instrument to your door, and their support/contact via email is very good!
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    The quality of Fender Japan instruments has, IME, always been extremely high. The quality control and materials are first-rate.

    As far as choosing a model goes, things start to get highly subjective. I, personally, don't care for basswood bodies so I would steer clear of those, myself. Other people love basswood bodies, so it really comes down to what you like. If you decide to order a Fender Japan bass from overseas, I would suggest going to as many dealerships as you can and playing every Fender Japan bass you can get your hands on so you have an idea of what your purchase will be getting you. It's always risky business buying an instrument you can't play first.
  9. I have bought 3 used Japanese Fenders, from Japan. All have been superb. My experience is that the quality control of the Japanese instruments is much higher than the US made ones, so feel confident buying without being able to play them first. Personally I wouldn't go for the basswood bodies either. I'd go for the models with the US pickups, as the whole instrument is better.

    My '91/2 P-bass was part of a P-bass shootout, with about 13 basses, of all price ranges. From Mexican Fenders, through to Lakland and Sadowski. It tied for first place with a Nash.
  10. schmig


    Nov 30, 2008
    My experience has been as follows. Purchased a Japanese Geddy Lee Jazz bass. Nice, but heavy..and on the two times it took minor knocks, the neck was twisted, the lacquer broken on back of neck. Strap button nearest bridge has also worked its way out. Also have a American made Precision, which is my workhorse now...lighter, feels more solid, though it might be my imagination. I loved the Japanese instrument, but it doesn't feel "right" the way the Precision does. Maybe just the fact that its a precision. Am Irish so have no bias towards either country.
  11. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Ok, I'm more into the 70's anyway, so that excludes basswood. Now should I go for ASH or ALDER? Never really know the difference, tone wise...
  12. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Ok, ash or alder?
  13. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Ash if you're getting a transparent finish or burst. Alder if solid color because it doesn't really have anything special for grain.
  14. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    I mean tonewise... I don't mind the look, just looking for a tight bottom and clear high end (as much as possible on a PBass).
  15. A buddy of mine has a Japanese P Bass in Alder (62RI) and it is every bit as good (in every respect) as my MIA 62RI.

    Very, VERY nice bass!

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