Japanese Fenders

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Geri O, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Time after time, I see a couple of videos that show someone playing and comparing Precisions and Jazz basses made in American, Mexico, and Japan.

    Particularly with the Jazz basses, The Japanese bass always sounds better, sweeter, more real to me, and by a really minuscule amount to be sure. But it's enough to get my attention.

    Are the Japanese Fenders still being made?

    With four basses, , including a very nice AM DLX Jazz, I'm really not looking for another bass. But the sound of that Japanese Jazz is stuck in my mind.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  2. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    They're still being made. Fender Japan makes some drool-inducing basses that'll cost you nearly two grand to get to America.

    But, there's plenty of used MIJ Fender jazzes around for $500-$600. Damn fine basses.
    blindrabbit and Malak the Mad like this.
  3. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Oh, Lawd, I had to see those used prices and 2 days before Christmas!...:D

    Hopefully, some used ones will still be out there down the road a few......??...;) And what's a fifth bass???

    Thanx and Merry Christmas!
  4. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I think the QC is second to none on the Fender Japan stuff, been gassing for a MIJ Aerodyne Jazz for years. They can be had on Amazon, not many used MIJ around from what I've seen.
    nerkoids and blindrabbit like this.
  5. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I don't buy basses all that often...well sometimes I do....but almost every day I check used.guitarcenter.com.

    Right now if you search "MIJ" in basses, there's an 87 jazz for $700 which is too much money unless it's in amazing condition. There's another one with EMG's for $650, but it's been disappearing and reappearing off the site for a while which probably means there's something wrong with it and it's been bought and returned a few times.

    It's a good resource for used basses but you have to try different search criteria. They're not always gonna say MIJ.
    Geri O likes this.
  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Mad Love for Japanese Fenders! :cool:

    My Aerodyne was where I first got to 1st bass my first-ever bass. Luv it to pieces, I do! And I got it for an amazing price…even counting shipping, the initial set-up and new strings, it came to a little more than half the off-the-shelf price.


    However, the real GAS-pains started when I discovered Fender Japan's website. I fell in love with their standard Aerodyne model (pickguard + Jazz control plate) in Candy Apple Red. I figured I'd only ever get my hands on one if I bought a new one and had it shipped, which would've been a minimum of $900, but probably more. However, like mon Capitaine said, you can sometimes find a used one stateside, and I finally did! :hyper:


    Just a word of warning about Aerodynes, though…their finishes tend to chip and "relic" rather easily. I think it has something to do with the type of finish material combined with the slightly softer basswood bodies. My first 'Dyne had more than a few chips in it, but whenever I talked to someone at my local music stores about getting it refinished, they always said, "Nah, leave it. It gives it character!"
  7. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Ever go on ibanez's website and go the Japanese route? There are some models that they don't export to the US market that they sell in Japan that are pretty cool. It's not a big deal as I cannot even afford their high-end models anyway.
  8. Japanese Fenders are pretty much the only Fenders that I've ever cared for, or thought were any good. Whatever they are doing over there, its putting some magic into these instruments. I recently played an MIJ Jazz '75 and it was all I could do to not leave the store with it!
  9. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    By two grand you mean $120. Sometimes free shipping. I don't know where you are looking but 2 grand to ship a bass is silly.

    I paid $800 for a new in box Fender (japan market) Aerodyne Jazz. Free shipping.
  10. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I picked up a CIJ Aerodyne P a few years back, new but gray market, for about $650. I haven't played an American, non-Custon Shop Fender that I'd trade it for - It's that good. For the prices I usually see, I'd think any used Japanese Fender would be a great bargain.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I think he means the total cost. And though it may be an exaggeration on the average cost, barring a fantastic deal like the one you got, some of their fancier models (Koa Aerodyne, all-walnut Jazz, etc…) are pretty pricey to begin with. Add in $120-$150 for shipping, that's getting close to that 2k-mark pretty fast.
  12. Bob-I


    Sep 12, 2014
    I work for a Japanese company and have gone to Japan several times. I've stopped by guitar shops several times. The quality of the Fenders are always fantastic, and the customer service is even better. In spite of the language barrier, the sales people always go over the top with service. I bought an Edwards Les Paul one time and the guy tuned it up for me, didn't like the setup so he took it to the tech, set the action to factory spec and adjusted the intonation, just so I could test it. We negotiated price on a calculator and went from 95,000 to 89,000 yen.

    I've been hoping for another trip to Japan to get a bass, but alas, travel budget has been reduced.
    dannster likes this.
  13. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    Count Bassie likes this.
  14. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    My mij jag is the best bass I own, beats my 2 MIA basses in every area but the neatness on the frets, and the weight is perfect! Love every inch of my baby
    blindrabbit and dannster like this.
  15. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man-

    Got a CIJ neck on this mutt. It's sweet.

  16. Gorn

    Gorn Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY

    Precision of language is important but I wasn't saying it costs $2000 in shipping.
  17. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Is that a CV Jazz it's mounted on? If so, would that make it a CIJVJB? :D
    Count Bassie likes this.
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Japan made Fender necks are sweet. Best Fender style neck I've ever played. I wish they just sold necks.....or do they? Hmmm....
    blindrabbit likes this.
  19. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    In the 70's and 80's before Fender found their way comparable Japanese models were quite a bit better than anything that the US was producing. Now I don't think there are any models that I would take over a US model. They are decent but none of the MIJ Fenders I have played have wowed me to devotion. A used AVRI Fender is probably the absolute best value on the used market and usually only a little bit over what a MIJ version would sell for.
  20. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man-

    Nope... Was a MIM body. It's now black with a MIA body CS 60's p/u and Fender vintage bridge. It's a mongrel :laugh: