Which japanese "thumper" to choose? 70's-80's and 90's content

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JvJazz83, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Aria pro II csb300 early 80's

    21 vote(s)
  2. Ibanez rs800 roadster -79

    90 vote(s)
  3. Westone thunder 1 early 80's

    15 vote(s)
  4. Fernandes TEB-1 mid. 90's

    18 vote(s)
  5. lace Helix 5 The Odd One, mid. 00's

    10 vote(s)
  6. A carrot- shaped two string low frequency instrument with two preamps and a stereo output...

    15 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. JvJazz83


    Aug 6, 2017
    After looking around the norwegian equivalent of graigslist, looking for a companion to my JV-series Jazz, i have found some basses I find rather interesting. Mostly produced in Japan from the late 70's to the mid 90's, with a certain P-bass wibe to them. The Lace Helix being a different beast, but intriguing none the less... They are all priced in the 200-300 $ range
    So which one would you choose? feel free to give the reason for your choise.
    I will not be able to try any of these basses, if i descide I would like to buy one, as the closest one is about 3 hours drive away, and they are all in different directions form where I live.
    ibanez rs800.jpg
    Ibanez roadster rs800

    Fern teb-1.jpg
    Fernandes TEB-1

    westone thunder 1.jpg
    Westone Thunder 1

    aria pro II csb 300.jpg
    Aria Pro II csb 300

    lace helix.jpg
    Lace Helix 5

    I apologise for the somewhat crappy photos, but they are stolen from the ads they represent...
    rickwebb and Monterey Bay-ss like this.
  2. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I voted Ibanez cuz is seems the least neck-divey.
    imabuddha and Aqualung60 like this.
  3. fermata

    fermata Guest

    Nov 10, 2015
    Another vote for the Roadstar--I've heard them live, and they're very nice. I also voted for the CSB; I love mine, more than any other bass I've played. However, the one you're showing doesn't have the original pickup, which is too bad. Might still be a good bass, but hard to know from afar. Note: the CSB basses have tighter string spacing than normal (with less neck taper) and a 32" scale, all of which I prefer, but not everyone does.
    sears and Alex Bass like this.
  4. Gothic


    Apr 13, 2008
    I always liked the helix and they had some good reviews when they came out. I'd go for that. Weird and unique are pros in my book. Second choice would be the Ibanez. More "conservative". Kinda reminds me of a G&L or a MM and I think the tone would be similar enough. Westone and Aria Pro are just meh and the Fernandes I find just fugly.
  5. I say Ibanez. I've played a few instruments from that era and series, and they were all really nice. Maybe a little on the heavy side, but made out of the right stuff, comfortable and great sound. Loud, too.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If it plays great, I would get the Fernandes and immediately cut my own guard that fits around the P bass pickup better. Either the same color or a nice dark red tort would look good. PJ electronics options are nearly endless.
  7. onestring


    Aug 25, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The only one I have spent time with is the Westone, and it was a truly solid bass. Great player and it sounded like thunder.
  8. marqueemoon


    Oct 8, 2019
    Ibanez with Westone a close second.

    Armadillo Guitars makes reproduction brass Westone knobs if you decide to go that direction. I bought some for a guitar project recently.
    kodiakblair and Raw N Low like this.
  9. fermata

    fermata Guest

    Nov 10, 2015
    Speaking of replacement parts, Rautia Pickups makes replacement pickups for Aria Pro II basses.
    Mike Whitfield likes this.
  10. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I voted for the Ibanez. That one could be a serious ripper and looks like it would be comfortable to play.
  11. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    I really like the TEB
    Would like to see a full pic of the bass
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    JvJazz83 likes this.
  13. grillman


    Dec 15, 2014
    I am super interested in the Lace.
    I’ve tried with success to put the alumitone on bass. It sounded super cool. Very different from other pups I own.
  14. pellomoco14


    Mar 2, 2017
    Newport, OR
    Mk, they are all far away and I assume you intend to buy in one trip or travel will be as expensive as the bass.
    As much as I like roadstars I would want a guarantee the neck and frets are still good on a 40yr. old bass. For that reason alone the Fernandes & Lace seem to be the safer gamble. (I voted Lace)
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Haven’t run into an Aria Pro II that isn’t still going strong. I have one of their TSB-350 “Thor” fretless models, and it plays and sounds great.

    Aria Pro IIs are real sleepers IMO. You can readily find them on Reverb in the $300-$600 range depending on the model and condition. Dirt cheap for a high quality 80s era Japanese made bass.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    MattZilla and fermata like this.
  16. JvJazz83


    Aug 6, 2017
    Thank you for all replies so far. Just to be clear, the Ibanez is a RoadstER, not a roadstAr. I don't really think that matters much, except it's a little older, manufactured alongside early musicians and blazers
    The Fernandes is a simpler, passive version of the bass Rex Brown (?) Used in the 80's. The pickguard with the unlogical cut around the neck pu is a typical feature on these basses, although it does look misplaced...
  17. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I like the look of the first one - the black one with the single pick up.
    JvJazz83 likes this.
  18. izpak


    Feb 17, 2016
    Essex, UK
    As somebody that owns a Thunder 1A, I will say that in my experience looks can be deceiving in regards to weight. Although the body on the Thunder is somewhat smaller than average, it is somehow impressively heavy. (Although my sample size is of 1).
    Somehow this small bodied four string bass is as heavy if not heavier than my 6 string Atelier Z Jazz. I guess the upside is that there is almost no neck dive on such a small body.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  19. JvJazz83


    Aug 6, 2017
    That would be the Roadster.
  20. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    If you are looking at Westone, I highly recommend the Electra X640N......either the pre 83 with dual Ps or the wide P/J 1983.... great preamp in those including Q filter, Series/Parallel, and phase.........I have the 1983
    Mike Whitfield likes this.