Features: Made in Japan, FujiGen Gakki (Ibanez Prestige/old Fender Japan plant)
- Made in Japan, 1987
- Basswood Body, pointy Ibanez RG superstrat style
- 3-piece Maple Neck - flame/birdseye/flame, very thin, very fast
- Rosewood Fretboard, nice and dark
- Ibanez LoZ pickups, strong punchy passives, P/J config, hex polepieces
- Heavy Accu-Cast B II Bridge (gotoh?)
- Gotoh tuners stamped "Made in Japan"
- Volume/Balance (blend)/Tone controls, soft plastic knobs
- Serial and model number on stickers, may be missing on other. // 10
Sound: Loud, punchy, nice midrange. Versatile with the blend knob and the P/J config, compared in-store to a everything up to an American Standard Jazz Bass (comparable quality!), before it finally lost to a MusicMan. Pickups are plenty nice for passives and EQ'd pretty evenly, so an amp with a versatile EQ can really dial in any sound. VEEEERY quiet, utterly noiseless. Sustains for ages, resonant, loud.
Styles: jazz to hairmetal and thrash. Really, anything that doesn't require super-high-output actives - straight into the amp, maybe with a bit of compression, tops. Put a clean boost of some kind or the universally useful Tubescreamer before the amp, and you don't even need actives and can go into nasty territory. Gets along with distortion pedals nice, even guitar distortions. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: FujiGen Gakki - 'nuff said. Purrrrfect. Invincible hardware, not a speck or an issue after 25 years. Will easily last 25 more. Tuners hold well. Pots are quiet and move easily. Excellent frets. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Invulnerable hardware. Pointy body & headstock picks up a couple chips on the edges after 25 years, but that's just life for ya. Can't expect it not to. Chips don't spread. No cracks. No discoloration. Veeeery solid strap buttons, but even better with some Grolsch-locks (beer bottle washers popped onto a strap button over the strap to lock it in). Would definitely gig without a backup. Super-dependable. // 10
Overall Impression: AWESOME. Style: Rock/metal. Good match, sonic-wise. Even BETTER with the hairmetally pointiness, image-wise. Kinda wish the stock pups weren't so darn pretty and integral to the overall appearance though (somehow, those shiny hex polepieces round out the hairmetal '80s look). Why? Because then I'd swap the J pup (lovely but use the P-pup more) for a Seymour Duncan Lightnin Rod active... Not that it isn't awesome already, just that an active/passive system would be even ever so slightly MORE versatile.
Might buy another one if I see it and do the pup swap on it. Because this thing really has THE.BEST.BASS.NECK.EVER. So it'd make a nice upgrade platform (electronics only, hardware is rock-solid already). But - I like the stock original far too much to mod my only one.
NOTE: 9/10 compared to any bass, any price. Very much 10+/10 compared to any non-Japan/USA/Germany instrument ever made, plenty gigworthy - not some crappy economy toy.
Other basses I've owned: plays BETTER than a '99 Ibanez SR885 (Japan/FujiGen), sounds a teeensy bit weaker than an active Seymour Duncan-equipped (old Vintage 3-minitoggle EQ boost on pickup model) Matsumoku-made Precision w/heavy modern bridge and ash body - BUT the neck is just sooo much better, it's more versatile than an active, and the power difference can be compensated with pedals or volume knob if your rig isn't being pushed already. Amplification: Carvin ProBass 1x15 + 4x12 stack. Sounds wiiiiicked. // 9