Friday, April 27, 2018

Fender JB75-90 1975 Reissue Jazz Bass Review


My friends know that I really like Japanese guitars, particularly those that were produced by Fender of Japan. Today we am looking at a gorgeous original Japanese series 1975 re-issue Fender Jazz Bass, model JB 75-90. This is a very nice example with a N prefix serial number, probably from 1995. This model was never intended to be exported into the United States, and my friend Graham in Tokyo found it for me.

The original 3-tone sunburst finish pops really nicely. It is in good condition with just a few light dings and chips. It is honest wear, and has not been abused. This one never had a bridge cover installed, so there are none of the extra holes on the front that you will see on a lot of these. Overall, this thing is pretty clean.

The bound neck and frets are in great shape. These are the original frets, and 23 years into their life they are still level, and show surprisingly little wear. You can feel the edges of the walnut stringer on the back of the neck, which is not terribly unusual, as it did not shrink as much as maple did over the years. That is a little annoying, but I am willing to live with it.

The fit and finish on Fender Japan instruments is indeed better than any US-made ones of the same vintage. The fretwork, neck pocket tightness, and every other detail are executed with pinpoint precision. It has the larger vintage-style tuners, not the ones with smaller plates that Fender Japan sometimes used. This bass exudes a very classic, vintage look.

This particular bass has the normal 1975 Fender Jazz Bass pickup configuration, unlike some that have a 60s-type bridge pickup placement. It appears to be all-original. It has not been modified or repaired in any way, as far as I can tell. It plays absolutely killer, and sounds incredible. It far outshines any of the blocked and bound Geddy Lee Artist Model basses I have seen and played. My tech recently set it up with Ernie Ball flats.

The only gripe I have with these basses are their weight. I have yet to see one that weighs less than 10 pounds, and this example weighs in at nearly 11 pounds. There must have a lot of quality jammed in there…


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