Old Japanese Jazz Bass - Do others like them?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sammyfallen, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. So I Picked up this old Electra Jazz bass from ebay.

    I Installed Dimarzio Dp 149's P-Ups, New Bridge, New Neck, Nut, and Tuners.

    Once finished I liked the bass so much that i sold my MIA
    Fender Deluxe Jazz bass to keep her.

    The comfort is wonderful and tone is amazing.

    I have at most $300.00 invested.

    Do others Prefer these dinosaurs or am I on my own?

  2. flea claypool

    flea claypool

    Jun 27, 2004
    like if ya think about it really.. it aint really a electra bass anymore??
    its just a few parts of the original.. its one i wouldnt pigeon hole as a electra
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    oops, forgot to get new knobs... :eek:
  4. pbass2

    pbass2 Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I bet that's a great bass. I love some of the knock-offs. I had a Tokai that wished I'd kept---a killer bass. That one didn't need any mods!
  5. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    although I have plenty of other basses, I LOVE my Matsu/Teisco/whatever it is JazzClone !!!! ( it is branded "Scott" on the headstock ) -- just another one of the dozens of no-namers out there.

    yes it is plywood, yes it is heavy, yes the pup's are 35 years old, yes the thin nitro finish is ridiculous, but the neck is still perfect, and it DOES have a distinct/unique sound.

    Like you, I only spent a couple hundred for it to remind me that cheap can equal good sometimes.... I won't change it, because there is no need in my situation, so it stays stock, the ONLY mod I may do is get rid of the pickup switch, and put a blend knob in it's place.

  6. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have a 70's ARIA that looks alot like the two shown here. It nails the feel and tone of a 70's Fender jazz IMO. I played several Fender 70's jazzes and its just about even. Mine has a mother of pearl ARIA in script at the headstock and block inlay fretmarkers a great looking bass i paid 100.00 bucks for.
  7. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I have loved every Aria I've played but just never bought one. The one I do regret the most though was a Tokai copy of what I guess was the Larry Graham Moon signature, and foolishly I decided to let it go as jazz basses weren't my thing back then.
  8. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    At the time that these were made, the labor costs in Japan were low enough that these instruments could be VERY well made and still sell for a low price. It is clear that the Japanese instrument makers have had the ability to produce fine instruments for many many years. Now, they are a super bargain.

    I have a old Aria Pro II P I got for $180 that is the best playing bass in my collection, and has a very unique and punchy sound.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I like 'em!

    I buy 'em - and I play them the way they are, with only a change of strings.

    No offense to anyone who disagrees, but IMO if you start changing pickups, etc. they're no longer an old Japanese bass...and I want to hear them the way they were designed to sound.
  10. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I disagree with this last part- the pickups are the only aspect IMO of my 70s Ibanez Jazz Clone that are not exceeding the Fender it resembles. It is the build quality that really distinguished the better Japanese clones of the 70s- and many of the Ibanez, Aria, Greco, etc were essentially the same instruments built in the same factories with different logos added on (and sometimes slightly different pickups and hardware). I think that pickups (and this goes for early Fenders too) were so inconsistent back then that you never knew what you might get. If you want to talk about how they were designed to sound, then you need to track down a set of obcure NOS 70s bass strings (you probably wouldn't dig the stock strings too much!) and a time machine to reverse the tonal effects of age on the wood/pickups/electronics/ etc used....:rolleyes:

    My Ibanez now sports several modifications- duel Darkstar pickups, a Badass bridge (only necessary to get polepiece to string lineup with the new pickups), new pickguard, new electronics. Despite all those changes, it still retains the superior sound, feel, and playability that made me invest in all the other "frosting" on the cake. I'd take it over any Warmoth or Fender with the same modifications, and that is because the fundamental elements of the instrument are better to me (and the effects of age almost certainly play a part in that).

    Oh yeah- an interesting note...My Ibanez has a 33.5" scale length (vs. the Fender 34"). Kinda bizzare!

  11. My ALL TIME favorite P bass. It's an 80s era Aria "Primary Bass" It plays like a dream.
  12. My trusty Electra :bassist:
  13. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    ya well your Electra may be your "trusty backup", but you made it quite clear on which one was your "primary" bass :D

  14. had a awesome built jazz with nothing on the headstock, nice three piece maple neck with awesome old flatwounds. had aria pickups in it but thats about the only brand name i could find on it, so nice and bottom heavy with a wicked narrow thick neck
    picked it up for $150AUD and was going to mod the hell out of it for some fun but a mate fell in love with it and i didn't have the heart so i passed it on
  15. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I like the old Tokais
  16. fitzy73


    Mar 1, 2008
    hi samfallen , nice bass where did you get the neck? i have a old ibanez jazz bass ,the neck not too good ,
  17. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    I Love 'em!

    Electra, Tokai, Ibanez, Univox, Kawia, Aria, etc...

    Played 'em all! I had a really nice collection of "Law Suit Era" basses & guitars for a while. 15 or so. I wish I would've taken some pictures...
  18. Yahhhhhhh :) They also made a "Precise Bass" :) Honestly, that Aria is THE BEST P bass I have ever played at any price. The neck is P bass fat, it very resonant and punchy. Over the years, I've had many pups in it but right now, I'm in love with the Fralins and LaBella flats. I have the original pups but they need to be rewound.
  19. kenjikun


    Apr 27, 2008
    There were actually 3 versions:
    1976-77 Professional
    1977-1978 Precise
    1979-1981 Primary

    I have one here! 1977 model.

  20. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    I have a 1968 Goya branded bass, I just love the thing. Paid almost no money, switched out the neck for a 1970 Teisco fretless and it plays wonderfully. Likely worth almost nothing on the resale market, but I have no desire to ever sell it, either. It's the only 4 string slab bass I own .... :cool:



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