Oh dear Japanese Fender and my Warwick FNA

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Warlock, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. My next door neighbour, a good bloke, and also guitarist and owner of a Japanese Fender Jazz Bass. This weekend we swapped basses for the Easter holiday. He took my Warwick FNA and I his Fender. I very nearly bought a Fender when I purchased the Warwick and oh how I wished I had! This bass is so playable!

    All I have to do now is find someone who is daft enough to want to sell their Fender at the right price ;)

    For those will Fender basses; what is the Japanese model like compared to the American (barring price)? I must say that as a Brit I do have the idea that the Japanese may be better engineers - sorry?
  2. I'm surprised that you prefer the Japanese Fender to your FNA. I've played many Fender Jazz basses from America, Japan and Mexico but feel that my Corvette FNA has a tone which is just fantastic and unmatchable by all the Fenders... except one, a '76 Jazz with Antiquity II, but that's another story.

    About playability, I think it's mostly the setup. My FNA has a super low action, 1mm under the E string and 0.5mm under the G, measured at the 24th fret, with a full wenge neck that is superb. Plays like butter.

    Japan Fenders are really worth your Pounds but be sure to get the one with an Alder body because there are many out there with Basswood bodies.

  3. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    I own a Fender Japan Jazz bass - I think it was the "62-55" model, meaning 1962 reissue and 55,000 yen list price. Bought it in 1987 or '88. It was my main workhorse for years. When Jim Mouradian did a setup on it, he said he thought it sounded great! He loved the pickups, said that a lot of the Fender Japan pickups were really good. Soundmen really loved the sound of it too.

    Sorry that's all I can say! I don't know much about the current MIJ Jazzes (though I'm kind of jonesing for a 75-90 :D ).

    Actually, I just reread your post, and maybe can say a bit more. I've seen a lot of MIA Fender bashing here at TB - you can do a search for that and find lots of opinions either way. I think that, when I was in high school and purchased several Fender Japans, which was the mid-80s, that Fender USA had not yet rebuilt their reputation. They were still in the CBS-era (I think), and often the MIJs were considered to be better deals, possibly better constructed, more faithful reissues? Again, I can't comment on the current situation...
  4. Thanks for the comments guys. The set-up of the FNA could be one problem I need to get sorted. It still has it's original strings (one year later) and I ought to do something about that, flat wound light gauge is an idea - comments please. What is lovely about the Fender is that honest sound, the sounds of heroes I guess?
  5. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    This might have to go in my sig.

    My main bass is a fretless MIJ Jazz from about '88 or '89. All that is still Fender on it is the wooden parts and the neckplate, but I've been tweaking it since it was new. I love the feel of my MIJ Jazz. When I could finally afford to upgrade to an MIA Jazz I compared several and none felt as good as the one I had at home.

    The same is true of my MIJ Strat. It is also about a '88 or '89.

    The two instruments are a matched pair. Both are standards. Both are white with rosewood fingerboards. Now they match even more because both have black pearl pickgaurds and black p'ups, EMG's on the bass, Lace Sensors on the guitar.
  6. As I'm reading your post I'm sitting here with the MIJ Fender plucking away and the only complaint I have is that its a little neck heavy - otherwise it's a gem. This one is white too with a red pearl effect pick guard.

    Happy Easter
  7. I'll take a japanese Fender over an american anyday. IME , the japanese-made Fender's have better quality control and construction. I've got a MIJ MM sig. jazz that smokes and I just don't see as many good american Fenders as I do japanese.
  8. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003

    I fully agree. Squire made some fine Jazz basses in the 80's. As good as the Fenders. I believe www.basspalace.com still has two for sale.
  9. Ive got a Fender USA Dlx bass and its a proper dog. Sounds fairly cheap and honky unless i really push the EQ about. Ive never had that problem with the regular USA ones though, or the MIJ Jazz i tried a few months ago, seemed great from the outset.

    (HD's edit - deleted racial slur.)