Monday, September 12, 2011

1983 ESP PJ Bass


Today we are looking at a rare ESP bass: an early production Japanese-made model that I have never seen anywhere else before.

It has a wonderful mixture of design and styling elements: the versatile PJ pickup configuration, a Precision Bass body shape, and a Telecaster headstock. The body is finished in its original Pearl White.

My research found that this bass was made by ESP in Japan (pre-NYC production) for Loudness bassist Masayoshi Yamashita in 1983. The neck is marked NY-49, and the serial number is 0008. That is pretty low…

It appears to be all-original, and it shows some wear and dings, but it is not too bad for a 28 year old bass.

It has its original electronics, with volume and tone controls, and a 3-way selector switch. The pickups look like Dimarzios, but were actually custom wound by ESP for Yamashita.

The neck is a peach, with very little fret wear. It is 1 5/8-inches wide at the nut, and I think it is a bone nut. The truss rod adjusts at the heel, and it works well.

The hardware is all gold-plated and is original to the bass. Like all gold hardware, is has faded over the years. The adjustable-tension reverse tuners work fine, none are bent and they do not bind. The bridge is a high mass unit, and I believe that it and the tuners were made by Gotoh. How about those cool pointy strap buttons, huh?

The overall craftsmanship is very good, and the neck is still true and playable. The pickups have a lot of output, and each of the 3 pickup selections sound very different from each other. This is a versatile instrument that would be great for most any tone you would want from a bass, and it is quite a looker too.

It weighs in at around 8 pounds, 9 ounces, according to my scale.

I usually do not keep things around very long, but this one might stick. It is nice to have a decent PJ bass again.


1 comment:

  1. That is as cool as a very cool thing, Rex.

    I love creamy white Fenders and nearly any tasteful derivative thereof. Nice!