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Japanese basses... in Japan!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Marcus, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. I had the opportunity to travel around Tokyo over the past few days and I've had the chance to try out some killer gear I had never seen in the states. Before you guys ask for pics, I did take a few, but I cannot upload them until I get back to the states, and that won't be until August 3rd/4th!

    First, I checked out the Big Boss/ESP Guitars shop and they had tons of stuff. The most impressive by far was this singlecut 5-string bass by a Japanese company named Dragonfly. It had two singlecoil jazz pickups, and a Fodera style knob layout. The preamp was incredibly flexible and it really could nail the Jazz tone and everything in between. I loved it, but the asking price was a little too high at about $2700.00 USD for a brand I was unfamiliar with.

    I also sat down with Japanese Laklands and they were killer. Having owned 2 Skylines and loved them both, I was really impressed when I found the quality of the Japanese builds to exceed that of the Korean line. I checked out a Bob Glaub and a few KILLER 55s and 44s. There was a 44 with a quilted maple top that was remarkable in every tangible aspect.

    There were tons of Atelier Zs in the ESP shop as well and I can attest to what many here have mentioned before... they are heavy as a mother! They sound O.K. - not really my cup of 70s jazz tea. There was an interesting A.Z. that had a stealth motif going on with a black bound and blocked (literally, black blocks) on a rosewood board. Really neat touch, but a little too black for me.

    One thing that I was surprised to see throughout other smaller shops throughout Tokyo was the excessive number of Music Man basses, specifcally the new limited edition quilted top MM. I thought those were a bit more limited. I was also shocked to see about 15 Rickenbackers (in total) throughout my travels.

    In Shibuya (IIRC) there was a bass speciality shop that would make the guys with even the deepest pockets sweat. There were high-end American basses from the who's who of luthiers. I was most impressed with the handful of Elricks that were in stock. I had never seen/played an Elrick but I was incredibly impressed with shortscale fretless I played. In that shop, there were quite a few beautiful MTDs (including a 7 string), a Fodera Victor Wooten, the aforementioned Elricks, a Pino Palladino Fender Precision, a number of beautiful Zon basses, and an Alembic that did not even have a price tag. It was pretty much a bassists heaven.

    Again, sorry for the lack of pics for now, but soon I will upload what I took when I was not too buys drooling.
  2. All that and no Bacchus? :p I'd really love to go to Japan one day. Sounds like gear central!
  3. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under

    Oct 26, 2002
    Sydney, Oz
    Endorsing Artist: Fender; O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    Did you try any of the ESP Edwards RE (relic) series? There are a couple on ebay, but I have yet to see one first hand, or find anybody who has.
  4. One of my Sons jam buddies has a new Edwards Les Paul. His parents spent a week tracking one down and finally ordering the one they wanted. IHMO, it's the BEST Les Paul I have ever played. The damn thing is perfect in every respect. If their basses are anything like it, they would be amazing!!
  5. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England
    Basically my dream holiday is to go and see Japan, go to the city and also to the lovely countryside, and of course take in some basses along the way.
  6. i'd love to go there and snap up a couple of CIJ Fenders..they look much better than the MIA/MIM series.And they have an inexpensive maple fingerboard option!
  7. Yes, do yourself a favor and play a Fender TNB-110 SPL. It's a CIJ hollowbody P with a bridge jazz and neck bucker pickup and a tele headstock. Amazing bass, I just picked one up.
  8. I did have a chance to try a couple of Edwards Relic basses.

    Honestly, aside from the aesthetic, they sounded average. I only played a few Jazz basses and inspected a Precision. The neck on the jazz felt nice, but again, very average sound.

    I also played a few Bacchus jazz basses. I was actually really let down with these as well! I lusted after these basses from online photos for a long time before actually having some hands-on time with them recently. Fit and finish were good, but the weight on the few I tried was a bit much, and the tone was nothing inspiring. I checked out a few of their woodline classic, and custom 24 basses. They felt okay, but again... not for me.

    One other brand I got to check out was the really low-end ESP line - GrassRoots. It was pretty shabby.
  9. Different strokes! :)
  10. Shouldnt this be in the "you know youre a bass player when..." thread.

    ...when you go on vaction to JAPAN, and check out all the bass stores.
  11. Japanese axes FTW!
  12. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada

  13. FenderP

    FenderP Supporting Member

    May 7, 2005
    I just sold my Tokais, and a CIJ P a few months back, but the Japanese basses are great quality basses. Better bang for the buck in a lot of cases - not all though.

    Having been to Tokyo, it's a lot of fun. Expensive, though ...
  14. Klisk


    Oct 7, 2005
    My main bass is from Japan. Had to have it imported through Ishibashi -- It's a "Killer KB-Simmony." Yeah, the company is actually called Killer. Really nice though, I must say. :) It's like a reverse ricky with jazz pickups. Most comfortable bass I ever played, and sounds just as good.
  15. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    No pics....no......well you know......:D
    Does it look like one of these?

    Actually, Killer has a lot of killer looking basses.....interesting....
  16. I got to play one of those in Guitar Center a couple years back. It really was killer bass... (oh the puns, the puns...)

    It was $799 used, I wish I had the money for it then cause it was a crazy nice bass.
  17. Klisk


    Oct 7, 2005
    Haha! I'll include pics. :)

    Yeah, it's the first one, actually. Got the black model. :) The company has an official website, actually: http://www.killer.jp/

    Killer has a lot of cool stuff, though. Like I said, the thing that really gets me is the neck. It's just comfy and feels 'right', if y'know what I mean.

    Okay. Pictures!



    It definitely has a unique growl in the tone. Love it. Wasn't that expensive, either, honestly... About 600+shipping new. Came out to just under 700USD, I believe. That was a few years ago, mind you. Not sure what the prices are now. :D
  18. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Marcus, if you see any of these ("Atlansia" basses) on your travles, please pull one down off the wall and give it a slap for me :D .

    I've always wondered if they sound as good as they look :meh: .


    I'd like your verdict on these too :D :
    AtlansiaOxford. AtlansiaTristar. AtlansiaDualist. AtlansiaSolitaire.
  19. ped

    ped User Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2006
    York, England


    I have always quite fancied one of these!
  20. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Me too :smug: . Still, nobody here's got any kind of Atlansia, AFAIK :meh: . I have asked before.

    :) Did you know that they were designed by the man who bought us this, btw?:


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