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Japanese Versus American?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by register, Jul 16, 2003.


  1. register

    register

    Mar 31, 2002
    Boston
    Any way to tell the difference from a Japanese 60's style Jazz bass from an American one? I'm talking about reissues, and I'm just wondering about telltale signs other than the "V---" serial number on the neckplate. Thanks!
     
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Do you suspect the label on one you are looking at has been tampered with? In general, the label will indicate where the bass is made. If you start pulling apart the bass, you can get all sorts of numbers that will give you more clues.
     
  3. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Japanese 62 RI Jazzes have the standard jazz 3 knob set up, and USA 62 RI's have stack knobs.
     
  4. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    What these guys said and also..
    the Japanese basses will say "Made in Japan" or "Crafted in Japan" somewhere on them. My MIA reissue doesn't say where it was made anywhere on it, but I'm not sure if they're all like that.
    Also, the MIA's have a thinner nitro finish and the MIJ/CIJ's have a thicker poly finish.
     
  5. register

    register

    Mar 31, 2002
    Boston
    Thanks a lot guys, that was a big help!
     
  6. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    I think there is a difference in quality based on the "made in Japan" vs. "crafted in Japan"
    I had a "made in Japan" P bass that had basswood body and Japanese made pickups. I put a Fender 62 reissue pu in it and it boomed. My 70 reissue "crafted in Japan" is alder. My "crafted" reissues is supposed to have US vintage pickups, but I have to say the sound in it is not as thick and fat as the bass I put the PU in myself. I still really love my current "crafted" reissue though.
     
  7. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    I could be wrong but I believe that it was around mid 1997 that Fender Japan switched from "Made in Japan" to "Crafted in Japan" and I think that all the instruments since then say "Crafted in Japan". Nowadays, their top-of-the-line models feature Alder bodies and USA pickups but they still make the lower priced models with Basswood bodies and Japanese pickups, so I don't think it's merely a distinction between "Made in Japan and "Crafted in Japan".
    I'm not trying to bust yer balls or anything, I'm just trying to clarify a bit.

    Edit: I would also like to note though, that if you ever see me comparing a Japanese Fender bass to an American Fender bass, I will ALWAYS be speaking only of their top-of-the-line models with the Alder body and USA pickups.
     
  8. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    So how do you distinguish current models? Are the top of the lines the reissues?
     
  9. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    Well, yes and no.
    The top-of-the-line models are reissues, but they have some budget models that they call "reissue model, recommened for beginner" and they also have some budget models that aren't called reissues. You'll know the lower priced budget models by the price difference.
    Other than the body wood and pickups, the other 'quality' differences are things like non-threaded saddle bridges, cheaper tuners, non-rolled fingerboard edges (to name a few) and who-knows-what else.
    See them here:
    http://www.ishibashi.co.jp/webshop/world/guitar/fender-j/fender-3.htm