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Thread: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

  1. #1
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    Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    I bought a used 5 string Fender Jazz Bass about 10 years ago at a music store in a neighbouring town. One of the pots wasn't working so I took it back for repair. The guitar tech later informed me he couldn't fix it because he couldn't get parts. I thought that was odd and he was kind of vague. I was wondering if I could locate parts online and how old it was, so I found this site where you could get info on your instrument based on serial numbers. The serial number on my bass was nothing like the serial numbers that were listed. My serial number is N 005462. The headstock says Made In USA. Can anyone tell me if this is a real Fender or a knockoff?
    https://i.imgur.com/5Gh8lJc.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/ZW0fT9w.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/2K6CTle.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/k8si4rI.jpg
    https://imgur.com/ECGBXU5
    https://imgur.com/ZCHOXng

    Last edited by lylewb; 01-27-2021 at 05:22 PM.

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    can you include a picture of the back of the headstock?

    we got a lot of bassists here who can chime in.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    can you include a picture of the back of the headstock?

    we got a lot of bassists here who can chime in.
    I added a couple more images of the back of the instrument to the original post.

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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    can you include a picture of the back of the headstock?

    we got a lot of bassists here who can chime in.
    I did a serial number search on a site I found called Guitarinsite.nl and this was the result:

    Serial number: N 005642
    Production year: 1993 or 1994
    Made by Fuji-gen, Japan

    This is consistent with information on support.fender.com which states that Japanese made instruments with the serial number format N+6 digits were made in Japan in 1993 or 1994. So, it seems to be a Fender, but not made in USA as it states on the label.

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    well, I’ll eat my words....apparently there’s another such specimen listed for sale in Wisconsin right now.


    https://reverb.com/item/7007277-fend...s-1993-natural
    Last edited by dirtdog; 01-28-2021 at 03:38 PM.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    The headstock looks off to me. I doubt it’s a Fender neck of any sort.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    I agree with all of those points. I didn't want to say it in the first reply to his first post, plus I'm only a bassist on the side so I don't have nearly the experience as I do in guitars.

    Most of the active electronics guitars (and basses) I've seen also have a separate compartment for the battery, usually accessible without having to use screws. This is the first time I've seen one with the battery in the control pot cavity. Normally that's how you can tell if a guitar has passive or active electronics, by the little door on the battery compartment. Now people do add stuff to their guitars and use that space, but that's a modification and not a factory feature.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member FrankJohnson's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    I have a friend with the 4 string version. I guess they see ok. I see them show up on CL from time to time. I think they were an effort in modernization. IDK.....
    Kenny Belmont
    >:^{I)>

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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    Quote Originally Posted by lylewb View Post
    I did a serial number search on a site I found called Guitarinsite.nl and this was the result:

    Serial number: N 005642
    Production year: 1993 or 1994
    Made by Fuji-gen, Japan

    This is consistent with information on support.fender.com which states that Japanese made instruments with the serial number format N+6 digits were made in Japan in 1993 or 1994. So, it seems to be a Fender, but not made in USA as it states on the label.
    So, now I'm wondering, why does it say it say it was made in the USA if it has a Japanese serial number?? I'm thinking it's a knockoff, although it seems to be a pretty good one. I have no plans to sell it, but I wouldn't feel right selling it to somebody without verifying somehow that it was the real thing. Not how I roll.

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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdog View Post
    well, I’ll eat my words....apparently there’s another such specimen listed for sale in Wisconsin right now.


    https://reverb.com/item/7007277-fend...s-1993-natural
    Looks like the same instrument. I only paid $800 Canadian for mine at least 10 years ago.

  11. #11
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    Quote Originally Posted by lylewb View Post
    So, now I'm wondering, why does it say it say it was made in the USA if it has a Japanese serial number?? I'm thinking it's a knockoff, although it seems to be a pretty good one. I have no plans to sell it, but I wouldn't feel right selling it to somebody without verifying somehow that it was the real thing. Not how I roll.
    There were a lot of things going on with Fender production throughout the 90s that might explain this. Fender USA and Fender Japan....yen vs dollar, changes in export controls, emergence of MIM Fender production. I seem to recall a fire at the Ensenada plant disrupting production somewhere in there as well. I don’t a have detailed view of what was going on, just a general skim of the wave tops. I can’t imagine anyone selling that bass a decade or so later to have that knowledge at their fingertips. Caveat emptor.

    But the evidence suggests your bass is a legit Fender.

    ive got a mid 1990s MIJ P bass that had some modifications done to it. I pulled the neck off and looked at the stamps on it and on the body. Body sure is MIJ, neck....the jury is still out. Has no “Made in....” anywhere on it. No serial number anywhere. Should have had either the neck plate stamped or a sticker on the heel of the neck nope. Electronics were all changed so dating pots wouldn’t have helped. I feel like it’s mostly Fender, half decent chance it’s all Fender but there’s too much monkeying on it to be sure. I didn’t pay 1990s MIJ prices for it, I like and it plays well. If I ever went to sell it, I would disclose all I know about it, not try to pass it off as a 100% legit MIJ ‘57 or ‘62 P reissue.
    Last edited by dirtdog; 01-29-2021 at 07:48 AM.

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    Forum Member BobbyMac's Avatar
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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    I realize this thread is over a year old, but here is some definitive information about the model shown in the OP's photographs:

    The Jazz Bass shown in the OP's links to pictures is a Jazz Bass Plus V. The part number is 019-8500.

    The body was made of Alder or Poplar, except for the one finished in Natural (21), which is made of solid ash (like the OP's).

    The neck is a maple bolt-on and the machine heads are Fender Elite. The fretboard is rosewood with a 9.5" radius and 22 frets.

    The electronics are active; a Fender-Lace Silver Sensor (mid) and a Fender-Lace Silver Sensor (bridge).

    The controls are a Master Volume, Bass Boost/Cut, Variable mid-range boost, Circuit Select Switch w/stand-by, Passive and two Active selections.

    The bridge is a Fender Elite fine tuning tail piece/Non-trem.

    The pickup switching is via a Pan Pot.

    The scale length is 34" and the neck width at the nut is 1.5".

    This model was available in the following colors: Black (06), Natural (Solid Ash) (21), Brown Sunburst (32), Midnight Blue (73), Midnight Wine (75), Arctic White (80), Blue Pearl Burst (90), and Black Pearl Burst (91).
    Born in Fullerton, California in 1952

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    Re: Is My Jazz Bass A Knockoff

    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyMac View Post
    I realize this thread is over a year old, but here is some definitive information about the model shown in the OP's photographs:

    The Jazz Bass shown in the OP's links to pictures is a Jazz Bass Plus V. The part number is 019-8500.

    The body was made of Alder or Poplar, except for the one finished in Natural (21), which is made of solid ash (like the OP's).

    The neck is a maple bolt-on and the machine heads are Fender Elite. The fretboard is rosewood with a 9.5" radius and 22 frets.

    The electronics are active; a Fender-Lace Silver Sensor (mid) and a Fender-Lace Silver Sensor (bridge).

    The controls are a Master Volume, Bass Boost/Cut, Variable mid-range boost, Circuit Select Switch w/stand-by, Passive and two Active selections.

    The bridge is a Fender Elite fine tuning tail piece/Non-trem.

    The pickup switching is via a Pan Pot.

    The scale length is 34" and the neck width at the nut is 1.5".

    This model was available in the following colors: Black (06), Natural (Solid Ash) (21), Brown Sunburst (32), Midnight Blue (73), Midnight Wine (75), Arctic White (80), Blue Pearl Burst (90), and Black Pearl Burst (91).
    Thanks. Any suggestions on where replacement parts could be obtained?

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