Japanese Bass Brands?

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


  1. Persona87

    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!
     
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  2. Abner

    Abner

    Jan 2, 2011
    Mississauga
  3. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

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

    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. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump

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

    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.
     
    Obese Chess and songwriter21 like this.
  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.)
    https://www.miuraguitars.com

    Sugi Guitars
    http://www.sugiguitars.com

    Freedom Custom Guitar Research
    http://www.freedomcgr.com

    Atlansia builds some pretty wild designs
    http://www.atlansiaguitars.com

    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.
    https://www.ibanez.com

    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

    StevieMac

    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Another vote for Yamaha.
     
    RumbleBot and 8liter like this.
  9. Krizz

    Krizz

    May 26, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    jbhaugh, Shrubber, Clark Dark and 4 others like this.
  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
    TrevorR, Thegrandwazoo and Dabndug like this.
  11. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka I "heart" pointy headstocks Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    Greco

    I wish I could find one.
     
    Thegrandwazoo and imabuddha like this.
  12. LightForce104

    LightForce104 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Hawaii/Washington
    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.
     
    Thegrandwazoo, 707GK, LoTone and 2 others like this.
  13. Tune Guitar Maniac.
    Atelier-Z.
    ESP.
    Fernandes.
     
  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
    lamarjones, Dabndug and Juice Box like this.
  15. I should also point out that the Lakland Shoreline and the MusicMan Stingray EX were built in Japan. Another few interesting basses there.
     
    Thegrandwazoo, mouthmw and imabuddha like this.
  16. lowendrv

    lowendrv

    Dec 12, 2007
    SoCal
  17. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Ibanez
     
  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!
     
    Thegrandwazoo and WillyWonka like this.
  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.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 18, 2021

Share This Page