Memphis J/P Bass Copy?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brodyplaysbass, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. brodyplaysbass


    Sep 2, 2019
    I've had this cherry red Memphis bass lying around the house for awhile, when was it made/manufactured? I did a little research and I noticed Memphis is a Japanese brand from the early 80s and is now disbanded. Can anybody give me any info on this bass? Thanks. Oh yeah and it sounds like hot garbage no matter what I do to it.
  2. A picture might help.

    In the early '90s I borrowed a friend's Memphis P for a recording and it sounded fantastic.
    The neck was thick, the bass was heavy, and it smelled, but the tone was inspiring.
  3. brodyplaysbass


    Sep 2, 2019
    I don't have a phone or camera that I can take photos with :(
  4. Can you find a picture on Google that matches what you have?
  5. brodyplaysbass


    Sep 2, 2019
    I found this one, Memphis Bass Guitar Red | Swords Music Co Inc. but mine has Jazz bass style pickups, 3 knobs, the aux output jack is on the side not the face of the body, and the headstock and neck arent red, they're more of a natural wood finish.
  6. Ahhh yes. The picture reminded me that I own one of those, but let a friend borrow it 20 years ago and never asked for it back.
    Mine has a single humbucker, and sounds like "hot garbage" too.
    Short scale--maybe even shorter than 30". Probably a plywood body.
    Bought it new for maybe $90 in 1987-8.

    I seem to recall that towards the end of the '80s Memphis was just a name that had been sold and nothing resembled the quality of the earlier product.
    Give that bass to a kid just starting out in music. Nothing will save it, and any attempts will be a waste of money.
    Or put a better pickup in it and roll the dice--it'll be good practice at modding basses. But mine didn't even sound good unplugged, which always tells me how well an instrument is capable of sounding with quality electronics.
  7. brodyplaysbass


    Sep 2, 2019
    Thanks so much for the info man! I bet these were probably used for money laundering lol.
    KeithAlanK likes this.
  8. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    The bass in the link is a later -- second generation at least -- Memphis, probably from the late 80s or 90s. The originals were Fender copy boat anchors that came with either Fender-style pickups or Maxons.
  9. Trogdor424


    May 6, 2022
    I have a 1979 Memphis J bass clone, made in Japan. I think it is great. Did upgrade the pickups, pots and tuners. In my opinion, Japanese manufacturing at the time was better than in the U.S.