Wednesday, 24 September 2014

What is this vintage Japanese (very) short-scale bass?

Dirk writes:

Hi Gavin...

I'd need your help please to identify this plywood bass, short-scale...
Seems to be late sixties, early seventies, Japanese made...
Tuners changed, rest original...

Fully operating, no buzz, not quite playable got to fiddle out a set of strings.....
So if you or any of your readers could hint me, I'd appreciate highly....
Cheers, thanx and keep your Independence...


Hi Dirk, it looks to me like a Jedson. The design is very loosely based on that of the Telecaster. I'm pretty sure these guitars and (very) short-scale basses also appeared with other brand names on the headstock, e.g. Zenta.

There is a similar Jedson bass in sunburst on eBay UK at the time of writing, and it is priced at £165 which seems to be the going rate for these today. Personally, I'd value it at nearer £50, but perhaps some Jedson/Zenta fans out there might like to explain why they are worth more.

The only (minor) claim to fame that these guitars have, as far as I am aware, is that Nigel Planer's character Neil was playing one of these (the six string guitar version) in the stolen Routemaster bus before it went over the cliff in the final episode of the classic BBC TV comedy The Young Ones.

G L Wilson

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  1. Like you I don't quite get why these are now considered the thing to get
    I remember the Zeta 6 string version a friend had horrible thing in the mid 70s you got rid of as soon as you get a Columbus or Avon or Shaftesbury etc.

  2. I have a similar electric six string and it's a Marlin made in Japan, and has a tremo set up I've never seen before. It's vintage 60s. That's all I've been able to find out so far.




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