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jet_powers
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 547
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2013 - 4:09 pm:   Edit Post

I had a friend offer up two of his Japanese made 80's Jazz basses. Don't know much about them at this point but was wondering what you guys might feel is a fair price for such a beast. As with anything, I realize condition is everything... what do you think the range should be?
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 1000
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 8:57 am:   Edit Post

The 80's wasn't a remarkable period for Fender in general. The Japanese Fenders will never have the appeal of American Fenders (regardless of quality) and forget about resale value. It's worth whatever you're willing to pay for it. I'd put market value at $200 and less. And that's for one in the best condition.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1191
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 9:42 am:   Edit Post

One question is regarding the serial - if it is a JV (Japanese vintage), then it may be worth more. Those were the first ones they produced, from '82-'84. Here's a webpage about Fender Japan serial numbers.

You should take a look over at talkbass - I did a cursory search and found a couple of ads for JV basses - one was asking $600 (not sure if he got it), the other asked more like $800 and it sold!!! Of course, if they have no idea, then give them rami's line and go for $200-250! I think that Fender Japan stuff (or "MIJ" or "CIJ" as they are often referred to as) is valued more highly than rami suggests, at least by some, though $800 strikes me as extreme! Remember, the early-'80s Fender Japan stuff was Fender USA's reaction to the "lawsuit" guitars that Japanese factories were producing, so instead of trying to shut them down, Fender USA licensed production and produced guitars that outshone what Fender USA had been producing (see the dark day in history thread.)
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1192
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post

Oh yeah, one more thing - not all Fender Japan instruments are created equal! They have always produced a range of quality, from cheapos to really high quality stuff, sometimes with various US-made parts, especially pickups. I lived in Japan from '82-'88 - my first decent instrument was a JV serial P-Bass. I found a site with what looks to be scans of all the Fender Japan catalogs, if you feel like browsing. There is also the Squier brand whose quality changed over time as well.
xlrogue6
Advanced Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 242
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post

Squiers continue to vary widely on a case-by-case basis. I've seen plenty that were great instruments (especially from the ProTone and Vintage Modified series), especially considering their price, and plenty (more) that were great steaming piles, unmitigated by any redeeming qualities. Most of the Japanese Fenders I've seen have been at least decent. I'd have to respectfully disagree with Rami's rather pessimistic value assessment, but I'd also say that the TalkBass prices Harry mentioned are probably top of the market/outliers.
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 1002
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 10:53 am:   Edit Post

I'm not critiquing the quality of Japanese or Mexican Fenders. Some are truly superb. But "Made in USA" is a BIG factor in terms of value. The 80s was just not the best period for Fender. Even the American Fenders were so so. But as I mentioned, the vintage market is (in my opinion) mostly nostalgic and emotionally motivated. Ultimately, things are only worth whatever you're willing to pay for them. But market value for non American 80s Jazz Basses, I just don't see it. But Kudos to whomever can get $800 for one.
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1373
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post

Japanese Fenders & Squiers, and Korean Fenders, are better than anything Fender USA put out from 1967 to at least 2000 (haven't seen a recent MIJ, so for all I know they still are) - but Rami's right, people pay for MIUSA. Which is good for you; better bass + less $ = happy bassist.

Peter
peoplechipper
Advanced Member
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 321
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 10:43 pm:   Edit Post

Frankly the Japan Fenders are STILL often better than the American; I've seen custom shop stuff that sucks butt...really. If it's from the early '80's it is gold, and WAY better than what Fender was putting out domestically...but true to some comments here, while all are good not all are great, so play the things...seriously though, if they're good they're worth 6-800 each, being early '80's...Tony
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1949
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 11:19 pm:   Edit Post

For me, these things are the tip of an iceberg visible to us only from this side of the Pacific:

The Japanese domestic market is neck-deep in Fender-ish basses, whether the real thing from Fender Japan to any of many outright copies (who are anywhere from screw-counter lawsuit perfect to ridiculously cheap) to the many variations built from a bolt-neck, Fender-style platform (like Bacchus, Moon, Atelier Z, etc.).

And Fender doesn't help things along, either. Lots of 'American' Fenders are actually built by Fender Japan and sold here in their American lineup without a lot of attention being paid where they were built: The Marcus Miller basses are in this category as were the SRV Strats, for instance.

For me in general, I don't get real shook up about Fenders: You can screw one together on the kitchen table, that's the charm of them for me. And I've seen too many Squiers or more modest Fenders that were a small mod or two away from being every bit as good as a big-ticket one, I'd never pay big money for one. Not necessary for me. I'd just as soon have a Squier or MexFender that suited me, hot-rod it just a little, sell it later and break even or make money on it, and save the grand or two by not buying an American Deluxe or Custom Shop axe.
But that's me.

J o e y
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2049
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 11:40 am:   Edit Post

I have to agree with Joey, all these old Fender P and J basses do nothing for me, two bits of wood connected with 4 screws, some pick ups, the most basic of controls are all they are. They do the job as Leo intended and at that time were affordable for all, why oh why everyone thinks that an old P or J bass is worth so much is beyond me! Maybe it is looking at the past through rose tinted glasses 'They don't make like they used to'....Thank God they don't !!!
rami
Senior Member
Username: rami

Post Number: 1007
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post

I've always felt that the appeal of vintage instruments is mostly an emotional or nostalgic thing. But aged instruments do have certain sonic nuances that come from having been around for so long. Over time, an instrument does develop its unique voice.
I'd tread carefully critiquing the design of Fenders considering that the Precision and Jazz Bass in particular is the number 1 selling bass in history and has been played by most if not all the greatest and most influential artists. Fenders were made to be simple and inexpensive, but considering their history and continued appeal, their versatility, sound and quality cannot be denied.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1835
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 1:23 pm:   Edit Post

I don't believe it is just aging of the wood that is involved with vintage instruments but also the usage of old growth wood. The older maple and ash was from denser old growth trees in the 50's and 60's where the later instruments tended to use younger wood. I still have some eastern maple slabs left over from when my dad built furniture in the early 60's. Besides it's size, 19" by 6/4 and straight as an arrow, it is much harder than the newer stuff I have seen in the wood shops over the past 20 years.

Keith
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1950
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 3:53 pm:   Edit Post

Make no mistake, I think they are of course landmarks: There was no PRACTICAL electric bass (yes, I know there were electric basses that preceded the Precision) before Mr. Fender marketed his products. Their utter simplicity infers a certain elegance of doing a lot with only a few (but well-considered) components.

But for me that same simplicity somehow excludes any of them being classic for ME. I, indeed, think that in a lot of cases, new Fenders are indeed as good as they've ever built, and better than a lot. For me, Fender takes me out of the vintage market as their many faithful reproductions in their many iterations are better for me than the originals: Reasonably priced, not 40 or 50 years old, and at least a bit more modern electronically. I can't hear wood, and I'll trade a quiet instrument for the RF hum (which I can't fix lest I ruin my INVESTMENT !) of an old Jazz. I only keep players, so I'm 180 degrees out from the Vintage Market. I care nothing about instruments as investments, could not fathom buying an axe and storing it. I wouldn't buy a Ducati only to store it in my garage, it just feels the same to me.

J o e y
murray
Intermediate Member
Username: murray

Post Number: 141
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2013 - 8:20 am:   Edit Post

I definitely stick to the opinion that old is not necessarily good. I had a 1968 Fender Jazz that I bought new which was stolen in 2000. Yes it was a good bass in that it got me plenty of work but it hummed. I had to put bits of wire on the bridge to prevent that. If I had still got it, it would be worth an unrealistic amount now. As it was, I got 1000 insurance and bought my Alembic Orion 4 new in 2000. What a difference!! Glynn
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1952
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post

From the assorted website file, in no particular order. I love the Japanese websites for the mind-bending volume of the 'Gee, I'd have never thought of THAT' specials.

You may notice some familiar faces:
http://www.fenderjapan.co.jp/products.html

A lot of Squier in the 80's and 90's:
http://www.21frets.com/

So THIS is where Larry Graham got his:
http://www.moon-guitar.co.jp/index.html

Fender/Not Fender:
http://www.atelierz.co.jp/

Fender/Not Fender, Part 2:
http://bacchusdo.com/

Navigator is ESP's sanding-marks-perfect repro brand, RARELY seen here: ESP in America won't even talk about these. ESP's Japanese website is just nuts, dig through the Signature Models.
http://www.espguitars.co.jp/navigator/njb400ltd.html

And my sentimental favorite, TUNE. I'll always believe the BASS MANIAC is a) the best compact bass design, and b) it most certainly is the un-credited father of Ibanez' SoundGear series. Dig the tiny headstock ! Oh, to have one in Monkey Pod or Spolted Maple . . .
http://www.cc.rim.or.jp/~tune/tune/framepage,tune,bass,catalog.htm

. . . . from mild to wild . . . .

J o e y
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1195
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - 7:56 pm:   Edit Post

Ah yes, Tune - one of my favorites as well! I actually had an 8-string when I was in Japan but sold it before I came back to the States:

tune

And we can't forget the true innovator, Atlansia!
peoplechipper
Advanced Member
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 324
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post

THAT'S who made the stringed machine! I saw it in a Japanese guitar book once, forgot who made it...thanks!

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