Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ESP J Four Electric Bass Review

Hi there!

Today we are looking at a fabulous ESP bass, a J Four that was built in Japan during the 1990s. This would be similar to the Japan market Amaze series basses. I have owned a few of these over the years and they are to die for.

This instrument has a wonderful blend of design and styling elements. The body has a jazz bass offset-waist shape, but with sharper horns and deeper cutaways for the virtuoso bassists out there (i.e. not me). The gorgeous ash lumber is sprayed with a layer of trans red that is still in fabulous condition. See the photos for details.

The passive electronics are more traditional jazz bass parts: 2 single coil J pickups and volume/volume/tone controls.

The neck is a peach, with a pretty rosewood fretboard very little fret wear. The ESP inlay at the 12th fret is a classy touch. It is 1 1/2-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 heavily chrome-plated and is original to the bass. The bridge is a high mass unit, and I believe that it and the tension-adjustable tuners were made by Gotoh. The knurled control knobs are a nice departure from the usual plastic Fender Jazz bass knobs.

As this bass came from ESP, the overall craftsmanship is impeccable, and the neck is true. The frets are still level and are well-finished on the ends. The pickups have a bit hotter output than the usual Fender Jazz. This is a tremendous rock bass, and quite a looker too.

These 1990s ESP basses are a great value, and can be found for a lot less cash than comparable Fender products. Check one out if you get the chance.

Mahalo!

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