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Japanese Copy Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KablesP, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Does anyone else here have a Japanese copy? I have a Univox Stereo Bass which is a 4001 copy and although it looks really nice (birdseye maple natural) the action is really high up by the 10th and up frets and the pickups feedback when I use dirt. I have used it live but prefer not to as its pretty hard to play. Love the tone though so I won't sell it.

    However, I do own a Tokai Les Paul copy from 1979 and its the best Les Paul I have ever played.

    There are a few good brands to remember
    -Orville (Gibson Japan)

    Most of the best copies were made in the Matsumoku factory in Japan.

    I have heard that a lot of these copies were as good, if not better than their American counterparts.

    Check out a few.
  2. I have an Ibanez "Silver Series" Precision copy from 1979. It's a fantastic instrument in terms of build, sound, and playability. A perfect backup for my '62 Fender P.
  3. I have a Carlo Robelli jazz bass copy made at the fuji-gen plant in august 1975, if I'm reading the serial number correctly. It's exactly like the pre-silver series Ibanezs' that I've seen and played even has the exact same yellow lined aluminum trimmed hard case. It's a solid performer.
  4. Alex J

    Alex J

    Jul 5, 2011
    I've got a Univox Eagle bass and it's the best P-bass I've ever played, by far. Think it's 1976 or thereabouts. For no apparent reason the paint on the knobs started flaking almost immediately after I got it, but aside from that it's right up there in terms of quality.

  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Wow, I like that Eagle bass!
  6. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    That Univox is beautiful! I have seen a few on ebay and they are always out of my price range. They do a Dan Armstrong copy too which are usually around 1,000.

    There are some really nice looking Aria Pro basses out there too. For some reason I like having instruments that are copies. Every time I play my Les Paul live I see people trying to look at the headstock because it doesn't say Gibson on it. Plus it only cost me 900 shipped :)

    Those MIJ Fender and Squier instruments are really nice as well.
  7. ttt


    Nov 30, 2013
    Just got a beast called "Fairmont". Previous owner says it's been made around 1976-77 in Japan. A Matsumoko maybe? There is not much info about the brand on the web.
    Anyways it sounds and plays good, though the output level is rather low.

    Sorry for lofi pic, have no descent camera at hand.
  8. I have a Japanese P-Bass copy that I got when I was 15 in 1974 for a 9th graduation gift from my grandparents.
    My grandma asked what me and my brother wanted for our 9th graduation gift - - my brother asked for a dirt bike - - i wanted a bass & amp.
    It's my very first bass and kept it cuz it's a reminder of how my grandparents supported my music habit!
    Thanks Mo-Mo & Po-Po!
    Can anyone identify the brand? It doesn't have a name anywhere and I've looked ALL over the net and can't find one with similar pick ups. Please help me all you experts.
    It still sounds great and I play it every once & a while.

  9. I have a Cortez jazz bass made sometime in the 70's. I have found a little about it on the web and I do think it was a Matsumoku made bass.

  10. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I own 6 ibanez copies. A precision, precision fretless, jazz, ripper, thunderbird, and a rick copy. Excellent basses all around. They play and sound better than the real thing and I've owned a lot.
  11. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    My '70's Ibanez "P" copy. Apart from loving it myself, I know it must be good 'cause everyone who tries it says "Let me know if you ever want to sell it" Bought from a local music store here in Sydney for a couple hundred bucks in, I think, 1979.

  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have a Sadowsky Metro UV70.
    Mikaelbass likes this.
  13. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    I have a '76 Rick copy that has the same neck plate.
    I was told it indicated that the bass was made in the Matsumoku factory in Japan.
    Apparently it could have been any of a dozen names, inluding (but not limited to) Univox and Greco.

  14. Thanks....You're serial number is 764291 and mine is 1023069.
    I wonder if the number can point to any dates or manufacturers? Your plate is SO MUCH cleaner than mine.
  15. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I just recently picked up this 70's Ibanez Ric copy. It plays and sounds fantastic.

  16. excelzzer


    Jan 25, 2014
    I have a 76 Ibanez ric copy I am looking to get rid of. I need a head so this bass has to go, possibly trade for a head. I can send pics if interested.
  17. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    You'd do better to get a supporting account and post this in the classifieds. With pics. And a price.
  18. I own a Univox Hi-Flier. It's a copy of the Mosrite bass. It has a three piece laminated neck, and is rock stable. If I EQ the amp right, I can get a nicely overdriven tone.
  19. bassistjoe93

    bassistjoe93 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    I have a Univox 335 bass copy in red burst. It's pretty sweet.
  20. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    I have a short-scale '72 Fuji-Gen EB-3 copy with slotted head in cherry. Plays o.k., but doesn't sound that good. Not much on the E-string due to the short scale.