Monday, April 8, 2013

2003 Fender Japan Jazz Bass 62-75US Review


There are few things sweeter than a good Fender Jazz Bass, and we are looking at a pretty good one here today. I will not give the usual rant about how good Japanese Fenders are, but just say that this one meets my high expectations. This is a recently imported crafted in Japan Fender 62-75US Jazz Bass that came straight to me from Tokyo.

The model code is easy enough to decode: the 62 indicates that this is a 1962 re-issue, the 75 is the original sales price (75,000 Yen) and the US means that this bass shipped from the factory with Fender United States-sourced pickups. This bass looks the part, with a smart 3-tone sunburst finish (poly) over the ash body and a faux tortoise shell guard. I have to say faux, because I recently got an email from a lady that thought it was terrible that they make these pickguards out of tortoises. Really.

The neck is slim with a pretty rosewood fretboard. The 20 original frets are vintage sized, and there are nice full-sized tuners, not the wrong-looking small base tuners that are found on the 62-58. The logos all look right and they even put the extra strap button on the back of the headstock.

They also put the right bridge on this bass, a serrated vintage style unit with the period correct ground strap running from it to the pickup cavity. There are the usual Jazz Bass volume/volume/tone knobs connected to the single coil pickups. No big surprises here.

The overall condition of this instrument is fair, with normal play wear and a couple of notable issues from its earlier life. There is a huge finish chip on the back of the body, and an impressive cymbal ding on the edge of the fretboard. I will leave the chip alone, but the fingerboard ding will have to be addressed, as it bugs me when I play this bass.

Other than these issues, this is a wonderful instrument. The frets are still in good shape and are still level – it has a good low action. The US pickups are a bit beefier, with more output than their Japanese counterparts. It plays nice, and has the right look and sound. What more could you want?


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