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What happened to Fender's Japanese production?!?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pbass4003, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Pbass4003


    Dec 1, 2012
    Queens, NY
    I knew from reading the forums the Geddy and Marcus models went over to Mexico earlier this year... but did Fender cease ALL Japanese production? The Classic Series basses (50s, 70s) are now made in MX as well. When did this happen? http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PBass70MOWT/

    This topic hits close to home because I have a very (personally) special P Bass. It's a MIJ 70s P that I bought new last year. It is perfect in every way and achieves the lowest, buzz-free action that I have ever had on any bass, ever. I also happen to love the polarizing JP high-gloss neck finish, which makes it feel very Ric-like IMHO. This isn't a MX vs JP quality argument thread, rather a bewildered fan of CIJ/MIJ Fenders.

    My MIJ P is my favorite gigging bass and it's insured. I'm wondering if it's now "irreplaceable." I can still get the same model, but I have my doubts I could ever get the same bass again unless I find another used... but there was only 1 year of MIJ models! I guess I gotta start taking better care of her... I wonder if the value went up (it sure did to me!).
  2. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    On another thread someone mentioned the tsunami. Not sure if that's accurate or not.
  3. fisticuffs


    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    Nothing happened. They are still making as many guitars as ever. They just end up as expensive as the American made product so Fender is bringing fewer of them here and switching some models to Mexico.
  4. Partly true. The Geddy Lee jumped in price the last two years they were produced in Japan and now they're less. Regular price at most online outlets and GC had gone up to $999 and now it's $899, $799 at some places.

    Japan suffered power shortages after the Tsunami and that lead to a temporary slowdown, but things in Japan aren't normal and won't be for years. And years.

    MIM quality has also improved IMO. The MIJ Geddy I once owned had flaws, so it can happen anywhere anyway.
  5. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    There was an export restriction at one time. There still is no way I know of to buy MIJ locally . FWIH you nned to order directly from Japan and the prices = MIA.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using TalkBass.com
  6. Catbuster


    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
  7. For the same reason that toyota and honda produce cars in the usa, unfavorable currency rates. It just costs to much to make them in japan anymore.
  8. PazzoBasso


    Jan 21, 2011
    I bought a classic 70's jazz as soon as they were released (maybe 4 years ago? or 5?)... it was MIM... I think they were always MIM's
  9. PluckyThump

    PluckyThump Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    FWIW I have a 70s P that is MIM and it's excellent.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

  11. With this pace MIA Fenders will also become affordable!
  12. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I bought my Classic Series Strat, which was made in Mexico, in 2001 or 2002. The Classic '60s Jazz Bass had always been produced in Mexico.

  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member


    Happens all the time.

    GM manufacturers Camaro cars 15 minutes from my house in Canada... It was just announced that production is shifting to Michigan.

    The Canadian $ being higher than the US $ is part of the reason for sure.
  14. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    The same every corporation does anything: $$$.
  15. Pbass4003


    Dec 1, 2012
    Queens, NY
    Okay, that all makes sense. Too bad for JP.

    Any speculation over an increase in value for MIJ/CIJ instruments?
  16. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Sting P is still MIJ I think.

    I dunno about an increase in value. Many of the older MIJ Fenders aren't so expensive used.
  17. This makes me wonder: if new MIJs are getting to be expensive stateside, would they still be affordable to the local Japanese market? If not, are there enough bass aficionados in Japan to support the manufacture of MIJs for local consumption?
  18. gleneg61


    Jan 10, 2008
    Osaka Japan
    Fender Japan is business as usual. I live here so I always get the local catalog & apart from ceasing a few lefties, they've added medium & short scale Ps & Js to the local mix. Here you go: http://www.fenderjapan.co.jp/products.html
  19. It's about $$$$. Production in Japan is just as expensive as in the US. On the plus side, Mexican stuff seems to be getting more consistent quality wise. My recent MIM P is top notch.
  20. pinz


    Jun 14, 2010
    I have the same model P Bass and you are so correct !!!
    I tried 2 versions in store,MIM P and a MIJ P 70s, both sunburst/maple neck,both sounded great but left with the MIJ,those vintage frets and just superb feeling neck won hands down even though it was $300 extra.
    I also own an old MIM Jazz that I used for almost a decade of gigging,awesome bass,but the P bass gets all the work these days.