Japanese Bass Brands?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Persona87, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. Persona87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I've been getting into some Japanese music recently, and it got me thinking about Japanese-made basses. I was wondering what was out there, modern and/or vintage, as well as people's thoughts on them. I know there's Fender CIJ/MIJ and they supposedly have a good reputation. What else? Obviously pictures/people's experiences are welcome!
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  2. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
  3. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Check out STR guitars. Very high quality builds with great electronics for a low price.
    Afc70, BassNugget and TolerancEJ like this.
  4. Persona87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    Thanks for the link! I'm really more curious about modern builders over the vintage models, to be honest.
  5. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    I’ve always liked the looks of Moon basses. Especially the LARRY Graham model.
  6. Sean150


    Jul 18, 2018
    Yamaha is Japanese and the BBP is actually made in Japan. That’s my number 1. Build quality is at least as good as American Made Fenders and MM at almost half the price.

    Ibanez makes some basses in Japan, my Indonesian made one is a beautiful guitar, designed in Japan.

    Takamine makes ABG, I have a Japanese made one that again is beautifully built and completely different than what you can get from the other big brands.

    I love Japanese basses, designed or built. And all of these were bought new in the last few years.
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  7. Let's see, some modern Japanese builders. STR Guitars & Moon were already mentioned.

    Miura Guitars (Hiro Muira, born in Japan & moved to California in 1986. He was with Xotic before going solo.)

    Sugi Guitars

    Freedom Custom Guitar Research

    Atlansia builds some pretty wild designs

    When I think about Yamaha, John Patitucci's models immediately come to my mind.
    Basses - Yamaha - United States

    For me, Ibanez always manages to be one of the stand-outs at every NAMM show. They always shoot for something new and step out of their comfort zone.

    As a side note, my wife and I had a vacation in Japan a few years ago. I researched ahead of time and learned that I must visit the Ochanomizu area, with several blocks of music stores in close proximity. At one of the first stops, I pressed an incorrect elevator button and it opened at a luthier school. I only saw a few instruments (very cool designs) but I was impressed. Later, when I returned to the guitar shop below, they told me that most of that school's graduates will go on to work in ESP's custom shop.
  8. StevieMac


    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Another vote for Yamaha.
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  9. Krizz


    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
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  10. Aria Pro ll.
    Started making copies of American guitars by the 60s. In the 70s, they started making their own models, which were very high quality instruments. Still making great basses.
    SB-1000B – Aria Guitars. Made in Japan
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  11. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019

    I wish I could find one.
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  12. LightForce104

    LightForce104 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Bacchus is a solid contender, depending on what you want. I have one, and for about $1500, I have a 5 string J style that was handmade in Japan and blows essentially everything else in its price bracket away.
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  13. Tune Guitar Maniac.
  14. The lesser known, but good ones are:

    Moon, History, FGN, Atelier-Z, Fernandes, Grass Roots, ESP, Bacchus, Deviser, Headway, Riverhead, Brian, Tune, SGC Guitar Craft, Dragonfly Bass, Crews, Momose, Navigator, Van Zandt, Guyatone, Seymour Duncan.

    Anything on that list is pretty dang good. Grassroots, Brian, Riverhead, Fernandes are lower quality than the rest. The others are pro-level.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  15. I should also point out that the Lakland Shoreline and the MusicMan Stingray EX were built in Japan. Another few interesting basses there.
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  16. lowendrv


    Dec 12, 2007
  17. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
  18. Bleecker

    Bleecker Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2006
    Etown NY. USA
    There are a bunch on rverb right now.

    This is a great thread!
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  19. Dabndug

    Dabndug Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2017
    Somewhere in Oz
    Great list! I can only add Crews Maniac Sound, Zeus Custom Guitars, and Edwards (an ESP brand).

    Tokai, Gretsch (G6xxx bass models such as the Broadcaster) and Sadowsky Tokyo/Metro pre the Sadowsky/Warwick deal are better known makers that may not have been mentioned.
  20. Fender MIJ/CIJ, Ibanez, Greco, ESP. Along with countless others.

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