Steve Harris/Geddy Lee Fender Confusion..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Hey all,

    I thought that I read that the Steve Harris model being discussed in another thread Link was a made in Japan model. Now I also seem to remember hearing that Fender closed down it's Japan factory. So these two conflict. That brings me to one more question, if the Japan factory is closed then where are the Steve Harris and Geddy Lee basses being manufactured, here (in the U.S.) or Mexico? I apologize for being sooo damn confused on this (I'm a noob here)...

  2. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I thought the Sting and Marcus Miller sigs were also made in Japan.
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I heard when I was an employee of Sam Ash that the Fender Japanese plants are only going to be making a few models. It seems that they are only making some signature models there. Alot more instruments are coming out of Mexico. i.e. Blink 182 signatures, reissued & alot of others.
  4. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    So does that mean that the Steve Harris, Sting, Marcus Miller and Geddy Lee Fender's are all still being manufactured in Japan? If these Basses play so well and come with good or better pickups, bridges, etc it kinda make you wonder why you would even bother to go with an American made one (other than resale value). I have heard that all of these play at least as good as their american made counterparts...
  5. Tonto_Goldstein


    Aug 26, 2001
    I love my GL Jazz. I love it so much that I haven't picked up my MIM P bass since I got the GL. I am thinking about selling the P bass but I guess its a good thing to have a backup.
  6. I don't know about the Geddy Lee, but, when I played a Steve Harris P-bass a few months ago, it clearly said "Made in Japan" on the back of the neck. As to what's going on with the factory, I don't know.

    Mike J.
  7. I found all three to play very well indeed. But in saying that i may be a bit biased cos I am a big fan of Fenders.

    I liked the Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller basses better than the Steve Harris, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Steve Harris model has a Badass bridge
  8. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    Um... I haven't played one but doesn't the GL Jazz have a Badass bridge?
  9. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Sure does, BAII. I haven't tried the Harris model, so I'm not sure what's on that one. I've checked out the Marcus before, but only briefly. Can't remember what bridge is on that bass either.

    One other slight distinction is that the Geddy says 'Crafted in Japan' on the back of the neck. I think I recall people who seemed to be in the know on Fender saying that many of the materials on the Geddy are manufactured in the USA, but assembled in Japan. I can't verify this myself as I really don't know, but it sounds plausible. There are some factors in the US that make the cost of labor MUCH higher than in some other nations I bet. The Geddy does have US Vintage pickups though, so that would fit with the accounts I've read.

    Just curious - What do the Harris and Miller basses say on them? Crafted in Japan? or Made in Japan?

  10. Seamus, now that you mention it, I believe it said, "Crafted in Japan," on the back of the neck just in front of the neck socket.

    Mike J.
  11. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Now that I think of it, the Harris has a US pickup as well. It's the Quarter Pounder, right? Maybe if the bass has any imported materials, they call it 'Crafted in Japan'.

    Getting back to the initial post, I believe the Japan operation is still responsible for turning out the finished product on the sig models being discussed. It's probably not the full scale operation Fender had when they outsourced a more substantial part of their product line years ago, but there must be a facility that still puts out certain models.

    I'm guessing they don't need a factory in the usual sense of the word if they are mainly just doing assembly and such for some of these sig basses. Depending on the model, I would guess the batches could be as small as 75-100 at a time.

    Perhaps someone who knows more about Fender ops could comment. That's about all I know. :)
  12. Shumph


    Aug 25, 2001
    On the move
    My steve harris says crafted in japan.

    It plays as good or better than any MIA I have played. It has quarter pound basslines and a BAII.

  13. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    the steve harris has a basslines quarterpounder and a badass bridge.... and its a wonderful bass!

  14. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Oh there's lots of Fenders being made in Japan, they're just not ALL available in the U.S. shops.

    Cripes! You can get new Mustangs and Paisley Telecaster basses here!

  15. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Hmmm...... that 62 reissue fretless comes to $569.96 shipped to the US.

    Pretty cheap Jaco bass. :D
  16. From what I understand, the Japanese "Fender factory" (i e Ishibashi) isn't owned by Fender, like the Mexican plant is. So there are still Japanese Fenders being made, but seemingly not for the American, or European, market - apart from some signature basses, obviously. But from what I've heard there are plenty of them in Japan (which, when you come to think of it, isn't that odd).
    I have no idea why Fender's chosen this route, but it's probably cheaper to produce basses in Mexico than Japan, and easier to ship. I e, making basses in Mexico instead of Japan increases profit...
    You'll probably get things even straighter if you visit and post your question there.