Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Please help us identify Eric's (probably Japanese) short-scale bass


Eric writes:
I need some help identifying a bass guitar. Specs: standard sunburst JB/P-body, finger rest (no thumb rest), black block inlays, pickup and bridge covers (missing), machineheads of a type I also found on a Framus (and others), but what triggered me is the pickup. Looks identical to the ones on my Vox Symphonic bass (that has the traditional Vox headstock, by the way - not the F-shape I've seen in catalogues). Vox used similar ones on the Clubman bass, too, but those had 'Vox' engraved, the ones on the Symphonic and this mystery bass are clean.

So... do you know if Vox, or a company that worked with Vox (Eko, or the Japanese firms that made the VG-6 etc), had a bass that might look like this?? Or is this just another nameless Japanese? (No, it doesn't have 'steel-enforced neck' on the neck plate). It sounds fine, by the way, if you - like me - appreciate 'authentic' over 'hi-fi'.
Although I cannot find an exact match, it looks Japanese to me, I'd guess it originated from the FujiGen Gakki factory in Japan because of the hardware used matching that on other of their guitars - I used to have a "no-name" Japanese Tele (similar to this Lero-branded example) which had two pickups that looked exactly like the single unit on the mystery bass. Ultra-short scale, I'd say looking at that photo. Probably more like a guitar scale length, about 25" or so.

But do any of our readers have any more definite information? Please let us know via the comments below. More photos follow.

G L Wilson

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  1. I'm seeing a lot of details that remind me of a Hondo Jazz Bass knockoff I picked up a few weeks ago... the neck inlays and tuners, the pull-bar under the strings, and the holes to either side of the pickup which I'd assume used to have a cover. Even the slightly odd strap pegs match. Of course none of this is definitive, and I can't find enough information on Hondo to even pin down any details on an instrument I'm positive is one of theirs, so I'm not sure how much help that is.

    ...my Hondo is also completely unplayable as-is, but I'll be submitting it on here once I've turnedit into a semi-respectable instrument.

  2. Anonymous9:23 pm

    I have a plywood Cort MIK Jazz knockoff with the same tuners and block inlays. Looks like the same bridge, and definitely the same rust on the screws.

    The sunburst is common enough - but mine's the same. Same plastic thumb/finger rest, tho mine is on the E-string side.

    Being a Cort, mine is definitely 1973 or later. I'm guessing 73-79. The tuners might be second-sourced - so it doesn't guarantee common heritage with Eric's bass.

    These tuners are misnamed. They don't tune at all. Gear-slippage on the E makes manual turns with pliers a must, once per revolution.

  3. It looks like the body is slightly mis-aligned with the neck.

  4. An educated guess: made by Guyatone in the early '70s.

    1. Yeah, I thought maybe Guyatone too, but I did an image search on Guyatone basses and couldn't find anything similar.

    2. Hola soy Giuliano Amarot..

      Tu guitarra es una "alfa tone" japonesa de los 60 o 70 le falta los cobertores es muy buen bajo saludos desde lima peru


    3. Tu bajo es un "alfa tone" 70tas japonesa ...saludos desde lima peru


  5. Just a shot in the dark, but I used to have a 70s Japanese jazz-bass copy that was branded "Sango", that had the same sort of tuners/circular string depressor in the headstock, same volume/tone knobs too. The neck on that one also had the block inlays, although they were white.

  6. Ciao,ne ho uno uguale,marca Marvin made in japan anno 75/78...a me è rotto il battipenna,potresti mandarmi una sagoma con le misure?mimmoaudiovisivi@gmail.com Grazie

  7. ciao,questo basso è di marca MARVIN made in japan anno 60/70 credo.ne ho uno uguale ma mi si è rotto il battipenna,saresti così gentile da mandarmi una sagoma per posta elettronica? mimmoaudiovisivi@gmail.com grazie

  8. Many similarities, including the pickup, to a Japanese Vox bass I saw yesterday.



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