1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Japanese Mystery Bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by number six, May 10, 2015.

  1. Hi,
    I just bought this jazz body and have no idea what brand it is or what factory it came from.
    I'm sure the world's bass players can help me solve the mystery!

    The neck plate is stamped "Made in Japan" and is narrower than standard with larger than usual screws.
    Electra, Greco or Ventura basses? I have a photo of a Greco plate that matches.
    The bolt holes do not align with a Fender neck although A Fender neck does fit the pocket.

    The control plate appears to be standard size but is slightly dented around the screw holes which doesn't happen on Fenders.

    The body itself is laminated in about 7-8 layers as you can see from the cavities and neck pocket.
    What wood is that?

    Those pickups have rounded corners. A tight fit into the cavities too.
    Some Cort (Cortez), Cimar, Fernandes and Penco basses have these.

    The wiring is very, very thin.
    Is the rounded earthing under the bridge a clue?

    Between the neck pup and the neck pocket is a screw hole through the pickguard.
    Not many have this feature, do they? Cort, Cimar and Fernandes again?
    What's it for?

    The base of the neck pocket has a cut-out for truss rod adjustment or decoration.
    No neck with it so no clue there. Fernandes?

    That bridge. Cheap and nasty. You can tell how thin by the bent screw.
    Smaller than standard but still has 5 screw holes.
    Only has screws along the bottom, that must narrow it down.
    The screw spaces are different too, not equal spacing.
    A Penco?

    What do you think?

    Thanks everyone!

    DSCN0000. DSCN0001. DSCN0004. DSCN0002. DSCN0003. DSCN0005. DSCN0006.
  2. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    I'd say 70s-80s from the Matsumoku plant, possibly Fujigen Gakki.

    The "brand" on the headstock could have been anything. Those plants often turned out tons of identical instruments that got branded under many names for different US companies and distributors.

    These copies run the gamut from cheaper beginner basses to excellent.

    No idea on the wood, but since it's laminated I'd imagine it is a mid-level offering.

    Nothing wrong with plywood bodies IMO, though they are often heavy.
    bholder likes this.
  3. Thanks for that. I'll fit new hardware and pups and a Squier neck so hopefully it'll sound ok.
    A bit like Chinese fridges today, off the production line and a host of different logo's slapped on them.
    And now Fender Japan going . . .
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  4. Only 1 reply?
    Help me out please folks?
  5. Dash Lashes

    Dash Lashes Banned

    Feb 20, 2015
    my thought is that it could well be a late model "teisco"
  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    IMO Muddslide has it, late 60s-to mid 70s factory piece for various brands, veneer on ply body which is probably fairly heavy but may sound good, etc. The rounded corner J PUs are a giveaway.

    I recently sold a Memphis branded P bass that had some similarities to this, ply body sounded pretty good.
  7. Careful - some of those era copies were not made to exact Fender measurements, and thus parts could not swap on/off easily. The neck plate for example - but also the neck pocket might be different from a Fender. I've seen different scale lengths used too.

    I'm not saying it can't be done, but might take some modification.

    Looks like a cheap plywood copy from the early 70's.
  8. Thanks for those.
    Yes, the body is quite heavy, heavier than a Squier P anyway.
    Hoping it sounds good after I put some DuncanSJB's in.
    Squier neck wasn't a good fit so I had to fill and re-drill neck holes.
    Hoping when I put a bridge on and string it it'll be close!
  9. Pickups could be different size from "standard". Might require pickguard modification and/or body routing. Might not. Its just one of those things with a copy bass from that era. Sometimes it seemed they copied the bass from a photograph instead of in person.

    New bridge, pickups, electronics, neck, tuners - all you have left is the plywood body from the original! Probably better off with a newer body off ebay. ;). Hey, that can be a fallback plan in case the project doesn't pan out. :)
  10. Yes, I'm making sure I don't alter the neck at all. It's fretless and I've been swapping it on a Squier P body.
    The control plate and pickups appear to be very close in size but I won't know until I get them.
    You're right, it is a bit risky but I've been looking for a body for a few months.
    Usual thing, if you live in the US it's easy but elsewhere difficult, and that's before the customs, freight and 20% tax when importing.
    I can always swap the pups on my MIJ Fender Jazz if it goes wrong!
  11. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Firewood brand
    Dash Lashes likes this.
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'll just repeat my usual on these old instruments: some are great, some are trash, some are both at once. If it's survived this long, it's likely a good one, as the junky ones are mostly in landfills or ashes by now. Hated them at the time, avoided them like the plague, didn't realize I was turning my nose up at some really good stuff until way later.
    Muddslide and Malak the Mad like this.
  13. lol . . typical 70's Fender then . . .

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.