#1
I'm looking for some advice on jap-crap. There's a music shop in my town that tends to have lots of used stuff in, loads of cheapish noname used brands of bass that are often old japanese stuff.

I want to buy myself a P-bass, but my budget isn't massive. I don't want the highest quality instrument in the world (looking for somewhere around the MIM Fender quality), and I'm after some mojo, so this could be the place to look. For the kind of music I'm looking to be using it for, it doesn't have to be the fastest player in the world, just needs some good thump.

So my plan is to buy a slightly beaten up jap-crap P-bass (preferably sunburst/rosewood/red tort but can't be too picky) and swap the pick-up out for a Wizard one, sand the headstock down and get a Fender decal on, stick some foam under the strings near the bridge, buy some ash trays pick-up covers and drill some holes and stick them on.

So basically, I'd like advise from someone who knows about all the Japanese stuff. It's not something I've indulged in before, and I'm not sure what the better brands to be looking at are. Every single headstock seems to have something different written on it. Obviously I'll use my own judgement to decide, but some advice on particular brands to look out for would be helpful.

Cheers
#3
Quote by Wisthekiller
Why put a Fender logo on the headstock?


Because it looks pretty. For the vibe. So the headstock nazis are satisfied. Not particularly relevant to the inquiry.
#4
Quote by Ziphoblat
Because it looks pretty. For the vibe. So the headstock nazis are satisfied. Not particularly relevant to the inquiry.

headstock nazis LOL

well, that's what called my attention in the beggining. I think consecutive e might be the one you're looking for. I mean, i think he's experienced with japs
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#5
I'm no expert by any means, but Tokai, Greco, and Ibanez all come to mind.

FujiGen, Tokai, and Matsumoku pumped out tons of stuff over the years for tons of brands who used tons of different names and labels. Of course there will be gems and lemons but I hear most about those 3 manufacturers.
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#6
You won't find good japcrap for a decent price anymore. The vintage market is currently full of idiots who see 70s japcrap and think it'll appreciate like a '59 Les paul. That's forced the selling price of your run of the mill £50 japcrap to increase to around £200/300 in the last 4 years. The good vintage japanese brands like Tokai and Ibanez are now running at around £600/700 a piece instead of the £300/400 they were selling for before japanese quality was the worst kept secret in guitar playing circles.
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#7
I have a Japanese lawsuit jazz bass made by Columbus and I love it. If I saw another one of similar quality for a decent price I'd definitely get it if I had the funds at the time. This one originally had foam too, though the last owner got rid of it. And it's currently sunburst/rosewood/red tortoiseshell as well.
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Quote by Ziphoblat
I'd rather go at my hands with a hacksaw than play lead guitar, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.
#9
Thanks all for the insight... in light of this I'm going to consider a bitsa instead... I'll buy a Squier or MIM body, stick a a Mighty Mite neck on and buy some hardware etc.
#10
I suggest the Squier Vintage Modified P-Bass. The VM series has great build quality and Duncan-Designed pickups. I recently bought a VM Jazz Bass for use in my screamo band, and no joke, I prefer it to my fiancee's Gibson T-Bird. It feels very solid, unlike Affinity-series and Classic Vibe-series Squiers, which just feel cheap to me.
#11
Quote by Ziphoblat
Because it looks pretty. For the vibe. So the headstock nazis are satisfied. Not particularly relevant to the inquiry.
Thats just stupid
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#12
Quote by Robbgnarly
Thats just stupid


Thanks for your insight, much appreciated. You're obviously an extremely intelligent individual with a lot to offer, I aspire to be like you one day. Now kindly sod off back to your guitar forum.

As for the CM Squiers, currently looking at buying the body from one. Not a fan of those pups though so something else would be going in.
#13
Quote by Ziphoblat
Thanks for your insight, much appreciated. You're obviously an extremely intelligent individual with a lot to offer, I aspire to be like you one day. Now kindly sod off back to your guitar forum.

As for the CM Squiers, currently looking at buying the body from one. Not a fan of those pups though so something else would be going in.

Man, who gives a **** what other people think about your gear. If it is good for you and you like it what does it matter what name is on the headstock? I play with guitars from PRS, Gibson, Epiphone, Squier because they are IMO very nice sounding and playing guitars that I chose for specific reasons.

Your the one who is worried what others think about your gear, when you should be more focused on how they think you play. Just because it says Fender/whateverbrand will not make you better keep that in mind.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#14
Quote by Robbgnarly
Man, who gives a **** what other people think about your gear. If it is good for you and you like it what does it matter what name is on the headstock? I play with guitars from PRS, Gibson, Epiphone, Squier because they are IMO very nice sounding and playing guitars that I chose for specific reasons.

Your the one who is worried what others think about your gear, when you should be more focused on how they think you play. Just because it says Fender/whateverbrand will not make you better keep that in mind.

I'm going to assume that the headstock nazi part was mainly joking, and his main reason for slapping a Fender decal on it is because he thinks it looks pretty and I would agree with that.
pinga
#15
As long as you don't pass it off as a real fender... I doubt you would but whatever.

As it's been said and you noticed their are about a million different names. It sounds like your just looking for a donor body in a color you like. I'd just look at every color you like in your price range, then play them all a bit. check the hardware and for a truss rod some don't have one. If they are missing parts or have shoddy hardware don't expect it to be a winner. Might try bringing a small screw driver to look under pickguards and cavities to see how the guts and wood is doing if that matters.

In the end though, I'd probably just gather a few funds and get a real MIM bass, unless you like the idea of wading through trash to piece together a piece of treasure.
#16
Quote by Ziphoblat
...I'm after some mojo...

...I'll sand the headstock down and get a Fender decal on...
Cheers


Japcrap headstock logo will have considerably more mojo than fender logo...
#17
Ehhhh... am I the only one that doesn't dig the usage of the word "jap"?

It has some pretty racist overtones to it... at the very least, it's a harsh ethnic slur.


As Tostitos said; FujiGen, Tokai, and Matsumoku were the big names in production.

If you want a Fender look-alike (sometimes called "Lawsuit", but the only actual Lawsuit that was filed was from Rickenbacker, so calling the Fender knockoffs "Lawsuit" is kind of fallacious)... you're actually gonna look at MORE than a MiM would cost ya... Ibanez, Greco, ESP... all had true-Fender dimensions, but you're gonna spend in the $600 range for one.

Now, look at something like Aria, Hondo, Teisco, Harmony (My first Bass!! P-Copy... best P bass tone i've ever had), Tokai, Kingston, Univox.... they might have different headstocks, but they're gonna have mojo for days.
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#18
Quote by Din of Win
Ehhhh... am I the only one that doesn't dig the usage of the word "jap"?

It has some pretty racist overtones to it... at the very least, it's a harsh ethnic slur.


As Tostitos said; FujiGen, Tokai, and Matsumoku were the big names in production.

If you want a Fender look-alike (sometimes called "Lawsuit", but the only actual Lawsuit that was filed was from Rickenbacker, so calling the Fender knockoffs "Lawsuit" is kind of fallacious)... you're actually gonna look at MORE than a MiM would cost ya... Ibanez, Greco, ESP... all had true-Fender dimensions, but you're gonna spend in the $600 range for one.

Now, look at something like Aria, Hondo, Teisco, Harmony (My first Bass!! P-Copy... best P bass tone i've ever had), Tokai, Kingston, Univox.... they might have different headstocks, but they're gonna have mojo for days.


Well I think it has more harshness here in America than it would for someone in England, seeing as they had their hands full in Europe and Africa during the time. And it did make a good rhyme albeit a little uncouth.

I was thinking a long the same lines, If you find a look-a-like, you're going to have to pay more possibly and also the whole refinishing the head stock water mark and such seems a pain when a MIM can be had rather cheap on a good day and with the funny head stocks no one would believe you have a fender anyway seeing as the headstock is half the image.

There was a Hondo P bass in my local craigslist, all natural maple body, neck and fret board with a big paddle headstock with 2x2 tuners for $100 I was broke in high school and will always want that bass.
#19
Quote by Robbgnarly
Man, who gives a **** what other people think about your gear. If it is good for you and you like it what does it matter what name is on the headstock? I play with guitars from PRS, Gibson, Epiphone, Squier because they are IMO very nice sounding and playing guitars that I chose for specific reasons.

Your the one who is worried what others think about your gear, when you should be more focused on how they think you play. Just because it says Fender/whateverbrand will not make you better keep that in mind.


I'm perfectly content with my playing, thank-you-very-much. I've played enough brands, and I'm perfectly aware that price and quality do not directly correlate, that has nothing to do with my reasoning for wanting to swap the logo. It's purely for the way that it looks.

Quote by Cb4rabid
I'm going to assume that the headstock nazi part was mainly joking, and his main reason for slapping a Fender decal on it is because he thinks it looks pretty and I would agree with that.


This. Why do you think I'm putting the huge pick-up covers on too? They don't affect the sound, they just look right. I'm trying to knock something together for a particular project, and I don't have much money at the moment after a couple of recent purchases, so I'm doing it on the cheap. I want to create a proper vintage-looking P-bass, and part of that "image" is having Fender stamped on the headstock.

Quote by &baconstrips
Japcrap headstock logo will have considerably more mojo than fender logo...


That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. I don't agree in the slightest, however.

Quote by Din of Win
Ehhhh... am I the only one that doesn't dig the usage of the word "jap"?

It has some pretty racist overtones to it... at the very least, it's a harsh ethnic slur.


Can't say I've ever considered it to be a racist term, I've never heard it used in that way and it certainly wasn't my intention. I wouldn't refer to a Japanese person in that way, "japcrap" is just a phrase I hear a lot around here for cheap Japanese stuff.

As for the MIM vs Japanese stuff debate, I've found someone selling a pretty good Squier VM P-bass minus the electronics for cheaps, so I'm gonna snap that up and work on it. Thanks all for the help.
#20
Quote by Ziphoblat



Can't say I've ever considered it to be a racist term, I've never heard it used in that way and it certainly wasn't my intention. I wouldn't refer to a Japanese person in that way, "japcrap" is just a phrase I hear a lot around here for cheap Japanese stuff.



It's the word Jap, during WWII we (Americans) fought them in the Pacific, but got pretty hateful back home as well, and put them in camps and held them there until the war was over. The term Jap was a negative short hand term to refer to them.
#21
I don't know if you've bought anything yet or if a Japanese jazz bass would interest you, but there's currently a Columbus jazz bass, three colour sunburst with a rosewood fretboard and a red tortoiseshell scratchpad being sold on ebay. It's just listed as "Columbus Guitar". The seller found it in his loft. Currently at £23 with £17.50 postage. It's in Surrey if you're close enough to pick up. It is pretty scuffed around the bottom, but less so than the one I have.
Quote by FatalGear41
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Quote by Ziphoblat
I'd rather go at my hands with a hacksaw than play lead guitar, and I'm only slightly exaggerating.
Last edited by GAPendragon at Feb 23, 2012,
#22
ALL CAPS RAGE!!!!!!!

No, jk, but i don't like you calling japanese things crap :[ Makes me hurt in my tummy since i love japanesezeeeee.

OT: Tokai, Grassroots, Edwards, ESP (this one should be a no brainer lol), Arai, Hondo, Univox...

Try to gravitate towards Edwards and Grassroots if you find any since they are quite nicely done and Edwards tend to have nice specs plus REALLY close in sound to high end Fenders in a lot of their P and J models

Cheers & happy hunting.
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#23
Quote by Heilz
ALL CAPS RAGE!!!!!!!

i love japanesezeeeee.


Japanese guitars and basses? Or are you like the people at my high school who watched anime all day, wore naratu head bands, and home made kimonos while eating there sandwiches and their salads with chop sticks.
#24
There's always SX and Squier... those you can usually have for around $100 (new and used respectively). I just got a Squier p-bass for $75. You never know what you'll find...