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Matsumoku factory neck through basses compared.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanAdams, May 8, 2016.

  1. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I've become a huge fan of the Matsumoku factory neck through basses I have played. Seeing as you pretty much have to buy one without touching it, it would be nice to hear from other users about how these models compare to each other.
    I'm talking about. late 70s and early 80s neck through Matsumoku models only.
    -Ibanez (Musicians, many models)
    -Aria (SB)
    -Greco (GOB)
    -Westone (Thunder II & III)
    -Washburn Vulture
    -Daion ??
    - tell me about the other oddball models please :)

    I can say that the Musician and Thunder models I have owned have ALL been very easy to set up well without professional help and have near perfect action.

    I started this discussion in the Musician club, but admittedly it was somewhat off topic.
    Ibanez Musician Club
    Abner likes this.
  2. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    Hey I don't mean to chase away good conversation and interesting information, but if one is looking for Matsumoku information in general, a Musician Club thread is not likely a place they will look.

    Number one reason being Musicians were FujiGen built, not Matsumoku. Later Greco may be FujGen also, but don't hold me to that.

    I'll make some measurements of my Vantage necks and post them if you think it will help.

  3. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    OK, I've got my history wrong, thanks for pointing it out.
    I guess some very early ibanez was made by Matsumoku, but nothing since. Grecos seem like a mixed bag.
    Ahhh. I think my confusion comes from the Fugigen factory being in MatsomoTO Japan. :/

    So I guess this could be a different thread, the Matsumoku vs. Fugigen showdown! that thread probably already exists somewhere.
  4. My understanding is that different factories made different models. So Ibanez may be using 3-4 factories at any one time, each producing a models and in some cases variations on a model. There was a brand called Profile in the mid '80s in Australia, that produced Fender style instruments. I mentioned to a luthier mate that I'd noticed the maple neck models were usually better to the ones with rosewood boards and he said they were most likely made in a different factory! So with something like the Musician basses, it's possible that one factory produced all the active models and another did the passive versions. I'm not suggesting they were, Just using that as an example.

    One thing that I find interesting, is the idea that because two instruments came out of the same factory, they must be of the same quality. Obviously it means they can be, but it doesn't mean they are. The same factory can be producing high end custom shop instruments at the same time as beginners models.

    Edit: There are probably some cases where the woods and construction are just as good, but one brand used cheaper hardware and pickups. Potentially quite easy to improve sunstantially.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  5. I just entered the serial numbers for my 4 Ibanez: '81 and '84 Musicians, '81 Artist and '96 Talman here http://www.gui****aterproject.org/ibanez.aspx According to this, the first 3 were built in the Terada plant and the Talman in the Fujigen plant.
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I've got a Memphis branded bass. These were made by Masomoku. It's a lovely and sweet sounding riff off the "hippy-sandwich" design that was AFAIK invented by Alembic. Great bass with some serious neck-dive due to that little body and 34" neck. But it's so light that a wide or suede finished strap keeps it in place without the need to actually hold it up while playing like some neck-heavy basses make you do.

    I don't know what the top is made out of, but it's a beautifully figured reddish piece of wood that's just gotten richer looking over the years. The back is the same wood except it has a straight grain as opposed to the figuring on the front. You can't really see it in the full length picture due to the low lighting when it was taken. But the close-ups below it show the color accurately. Everything on it is factory original except for the knops. I pulled the black Gibson-style speed knobs it came with and replaced them with the nicer looking (on this bass) gold top hat style instead.

    Great tone. I bought it back around 1980 for $325 with custom case. It's a great sounding and unusual looking bass that gets a lot of compliments on both it's looks and it's tone. Definitely a keeper.


    memphis01.jpg memphis02.jpg memphis 03.jpg memphis04.jpg
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  7. The back of the headstock reminds me of Wal basses.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I'll have to take your word on that. I've yet to be lucky enough to see a Wal close up, let alone get my grubby mitts on one to try it. But I hope to someday. I've heard a lot about them. And everything I heard was good.
  9. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Daion is not Matsumoku. Nor Fugi-gen nor Dyna-gen, but it's late and I'm too tired to track down the maker.
    Sartori likes this.
  10. Oakland...

    I have a guitar branded Oakland (model is XS-136) which was bought in 1984 and it sounded (and sounds) great! To the best of my knowledge, it was built in the Matsumoku factory. I have seen on the Internet a few basses with the same brand and they were all neck-thru's. Craftsmanship-wise, they look great, but I am not sure about the wood combinations and quality...
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Any chance of you posting some pictures? :)
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Here's something interesting. There's an old listing of a bass that's virtually identical to mine except it's got a decal on the headstock (the logo on mine is silk screened) that says: Lincoln.

    Anybody ever heard of a Lincoln bass?

    Here's the link:


    In the meantime, this site has a write-up on this bass's guitar sister. There was one of those hanging next to my bass when I bought it. I almost bought the guitar too but didn't. Went back two weeks later and it was gone. I've always regretted not buying both that first day. It would have been really cool to have the matching set.

    Looks like one of the owners added a decal or some artwork to the body. And I have no idea what those two glossy areas on the lower bout are. But here she is.


    Link to article here:

    Guitar Blog: Memphis MG-300. Made in Japan neck-through guitar from 1979
    Bass V and rickwebb like this.
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    Bass V, apehead and 40Hz like this.
  14. louloomis


    Dec 28, 2004
    I thought Ibanez was made in the Hoshino factory. Was that later, or am I totally incorrect (and I do mean totally)?
  15. According to Wikipedia, Greco and Ibanez were both made by FujiGen, starting in the early '70s. FujiGen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I thought I saw somewhere that Ibanez and Greco produced similar models, with Ibanez models being for export and Greco sold in Japan only.
    Bass V likes this.
  16. I do not have the guitar with me at the moment, but I could find the same guitar with a different wood on the Internet.

    Oakland XS 136 Stratocaster zu verkaufen

    Also, check the following link. I believe a fellow bass player was looking for the wiring scheme for his Oakland branded, Matsumoku made bass. I am not sure if this is the Oakland I am talking about though (the logo looks different), as there was also another company called "Oakland & Co." which was built by another Japanese producer, not Matsumoku.

    Oakland Bass wiring help

    I also remember a bass player somewhere in California posting few pictures of an Oakland bass back in the day, but I could not find the link to that...

    40Hz likes this.
  17. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    This is an Oakland ZXB200 by Matsumoku:

    2800898oakland_ZXB200.jpg 5253309oakland_hs.jpg

    (Oakland & Co. was built by Chushin).

    After Vantage production moved to Korea, Matsumoku built Quest:

    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  18. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    Hoshino Gakki stopped making guitars around 1966. But Hoshino as a company carries on to this day, and still owns the Ibanez brand name. They design their own guitars, but contract out their work to existing factories, such as FujiGen, Dyna, Chushin, etc. And then, of course, to Korean factories, Indonesian, and now Chinese.
    louloomis likes this.
  19. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
  20. Abner


    Jan 2, 2011
    @DanAdams: I was looking at some Westone Thunders on the interwebs over the weekend, and I noticed that they were almost identical to the Vantage neck-throughs. Apart from the body wing shapes, perhaps the top cutout on the headstock, and the pickups (P/P v. P/J), I don't think you could tell them apart. Couple more pics of my Vantage attached.

    VA900B-FL 009.jpg
    VA900B-FL 010.jpg
    VA900B-FL 011.jpg

    Last edited: May 12, 2016
    crobasster, apehead and 40Hz like this.
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