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Japanese made Fender basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by klejst, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    What are some opinions of the TB community on Made in Japan/Crafted in Japan Fender Basses? I have heard the build, parts and overall quality is above that of Mexican made and borderlines as good as American made ones in construction and sound quality (I get no two basses will sound exactly the same). Any truth to any of this? I have been looking at getting another bass that is better than my current MIM and have looked at Japanese made Fender's. Still not sure if I want to go with a Jazz or stick with what I know and get another Precision. Any opinions or input from experience is welcome.
  2. I have a MIJ Geddy Lee Jazz and an Aerodyne Jazz. Been real happy with them. My pleasure with the Geddy Lee is what made me go ahead and get the Aerodyne...took delivery last night. The price point is good and, so far, I have seen nothing to gripe about in the quality department. That's about all I can say as I have never owned a MIA or a MIM.
  3. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Great bang for the buck. IMO
  4. JakeAndAirwaves


    Jun 3, 2011
    You mean the Modern Player line?
  5. GreenWithEnvy


    Dec 20, 2011
    I have two and they feel great. I have US Fenders as well but I gig the Japs a lot because they are so easy to play. I just replace the pickups.
  6. If I'm not mistaken (It happens,LOL) Modern Player are not Japanese, but Chinese. I think.
  7. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Hate to say it, but my MIJ Marcus Miller Jazz (oly white) plays better than any US version I've ever owned. The action is just crazy low and the neck is perfect. I did however gut and replace all of the electronics.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    The CIJ basses I have played or owned are great. To me, they seem as well built as the MIA basses.
  9. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Thanks for the responses so far. I was not trying to start a club or anything, just asking for opinions and input from people who have experience with Japanese Fender basses and what they thought about them.
  10. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Grosbeak, Yamaha, Fender, BSX. I’m Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Japanese made Fenders are excellent values. There's a great selection in what you can get in a used MIJ/CIJ Fender, especially if you pick from the late 80's and early-mid 90's stuff.

    The build quality is also very high. Many have said they are better than MIA. This is a little bit subjective, but from my experiences, the MIA Fenders I have owned have not been quite as good as I expected, whereas the MIJ/CIJ has exceeded my expectations. Nothing against MIA, but I own a CBS-era Jazz with some major problems, and two late 90's Jazz 5-strings that were sonically fantastic, but each had neck and nut issues. I have tried better new MIAs from the 2000s however, that played much better & sounded great.

    Japanese made has generally been synonymous with quality since the late 70's in general, and there are many great Fender MIJ instruments. I own one now I am very happy with, a Fender MB-5.
  11. JakeAndAirwaves


    Jun 3, 2011
    Oh, yeah. I just got a Modern Player Telecaster. It is made in China. But, it outplayed the Mexican made ones. It also looks way cooler.

    I don't know about Fender's Japanese instruments, though.
  12. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    So Japanese Fender basses quality have remained pretty consistent in the 80's through the 90's to today? Unlike what I have heard about MIM's and MIA's that there were certain years or block of years which quality may of slipped.
  13. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    I have 2. A 62 Re-issue and a Sting, with Mods. and 2 U.S. Fenders a 2000 Jazz V and a 2008 Fender P V.

    In my opinion, there is no reason to make a comparison in terms of Better/Worse.

    They are amazing basses, with a feature set different than the U.S. Version. While the U.S. Fender quality has actually become MUCH better since 2008, the CIJ quality has been pretty consistent over the long haul.
  14. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    IMHO MIJ generally equals quality. And this is not just for Fender. There are a whole slew of great MIJ basses from the 80s that are just awesome quality.....Ibanez, Tokai, etc.
  15. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Grosbeak, Yamaha, Fender, BSX. I’m Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    I dunno about that.

    I own a 1993 MIJ and previously a 2007 MIJ. Both were excellent quality.

    I own a 2011 MIM and previously a 2002 MIM. Both also were high quality, but the 2011 is a little better. I've played MIMs prior to 2001 that were not so impressive though. I think the MIMs continue to get better every year.

    I've played MIAs from 1960's through today, including owning a 1976, 1998 and 1999. The quality was definitely better pre-CBS, and post 2008 (as someone said earlier). The 1976 Jazz was definitely shoddy in construction. The late 1990's to early 2000's were a little patchy for me. Post 2008, I will say I have played some excellent instruments. The great MIA instruments are REALLY great instruments.

    I am not comparing each country to the next, just putting in my two cents.
  16. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    I gotcha, again thanks for the responses so far guys!
  17. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    My MIJ Fender Jazz is very nice indeed. A bit nicer than my Noel Redding jazz, which may also be MIJ. I'm not sure about that...
  18. bigsnaketex


    Dec 29, 2011
    Down South
    most of the MIJ are made from basswood whereas the made in USA are alder.....if you believe that matters to your tone then that would be the only factor. The quality of the MIJ stuff is legendary for a reason. They are meticulous!
  19. TMart99


    Sep 22, 2010
    Rockwell, NC
    I own one of the new Fender (MIJ) 70's Precision bass models, in Olympic White.

    I also own one 2011 Fender American Standard Precision basses.

    Both are great. I love them both! But over the last 6 months, I've been playing my MIJ 70's Precision a majority of the time. I still play my AS P-bass, but I've really bonded with the MIJ 70's Pbass.

    Having said that, I am currently working on a few minor changes to my American Standard P-bass, to get it where I like it...to meet my personal preferences. So that's one reason I don't play it as often.

    Nonetheless, I have bonded quite nicely with MIJ 70's Pbass:):)

    If at all possible, try both and see what you prefer.

    Just another note, the MIJ 70's Pbass needed some setup out of the box. Granted, it wasn't awful or anything out of the box. But a setup was needed to achieve my preferences.

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