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Blind Lemon

Antoria jazz bass. Trying to trace history. Input/feedback & any info appreciated.

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I have 2 Antoria Jazz Bass from the 70s I believe. I have one was my first bass some 35+ years ago the other I collected this morning and needs some TLC.

A few things have sparked my curiosity so have popped my anorak and am hoping someone out there has a more in depth knowledge than I do.

Apart from the obvious maple neck and the jazz style pickups as opposed to the humbucker looking pickups on the other. The neck plate has a serial number as well as made in Japan, the headstock logo is black as opposed to a sparkly effect, it is considerably lighter and the remaining 3 tuners look original but I know the tuners were changed from (what I remember is was a long time ago) smaller black ones because they didn't look right to me as 15 year old.

The pickgaurd I suspect is original and has the holes where the pickup covers and thumb rest used to be.

I understand they where produced in the fugigen gakki factory and where part of the lawsuit guitars era along with Ibanez, maya, Grant and a few others. 

My qustion really is one pre and one post lawsuit? Although interested in any of the history.

 

Any input / feedback (say that to a sound man a observe the look of befuddlement on his face) would be really appreciated.

 

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Hi Stub. I've seen a fair few with the made in Japan but never one that had a serial number. I did find one site that suggests it may date it as Aug 77 but really not sure if that's accurate.

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Yup, the Assassin will be all over this like a tramp on a 2nd hand kebab

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Well my Antoria Precision has the serial no B772796 on the neckplate and I bought it new in 1978.

It also has the mahogany blockboard body like your jazzes - you can tell by the black of the sunburst finish coming right down over the forearm cutaway so you don't see the body core.

Great basses and completely identical to their Ibanez equivalents.

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I am now pretty confident the oldest bass is the rosewood neck and I think it has a walnut body hence the weight and is circa 72. The walnut neck is much lighter. I did see someone who commented the factory started using bass wood and if this is correct would explain the weight difference. Also noticed there is no viable truss rod access so must be under the scratch plate. EMG456 pretty much confirmed the serial number shows it to be September 1977.

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Here's a thread about an Antoria jazz bass from a few years ago, the pictures are now missing but there's some info that might be of interest. 

 

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I used to own an mid 70s Antoria Jazz.  Was black but had it refinished to natural.  The body was an unusual butchers block sandwich.  Cracking bass though,

1618175639_AntoriaJazz197503.jpg.fee4621695a4e737acea19a5cb8014c5.jpg

144302477_AntoriaJazz197507.thumb.JPG.ae4b912df6e7c52f279bbbd4c5601a82.JPG

1153467042_Antoriarefurb18101204.thumb.JPG.45fc7cd3aba42d6e939675c85d4eca2a.JPG

 

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Sorry I'm late, came as quick as I could but regrettably I'm subject to the same laws of time and space as mere mortals!

Antoria's a UK-specific brand which has been around for a while, and has changed hands a number of times - at the time these basses were made it was owned by J. T. Coppock Ltd, in Leeds. Oddly, despite being identical to the Ibanez range, Antorias were priced significantly lower. As has already been said, they were made by Fujigen, and the serial number dates the new one to September 1977. These basses were identical to their Ibanez-branded counterparts and share the same model number - 2365B - which was a factory designation. Despite the differences both Antoria basses have the same model number.

I've never been hands-on with a later bass like the '77 but I'd expect the older one to have a body made from mahogany butcher-block, (like @ead's appears to be) with front & back veneers, possibly birch. I wouldn't be surprised if the later bass was the same.

Does the older bass have normal J type pickups, or are they 8-pole chrome units like these? The Gibson type nut and large chrome truss cover are early features, so I'd expect the older style of pickup - it's thought these were used because the basses pre-date the existence of accurate Jazz pickup copies - and they were intended to be hidden under chrome covers anyway.

bitsajazz1.thumb.jpg.17416a705c1d8bb52f2741a0a3b744ca.jpg

This is a '73 Fujigen bass - not entirely sure what the original brand was as I bought it sans neck. These pickups will usually have date codes stamped on the backs, which give a very accurate guide to the instrument's age. The neck on this was from an Antoria - the logo had been removed but the wood where it had been was paler so it was just about legible. The neck is much later than the body, as can be seen from the correct nut type and heel-end truss adjustment - however it was a perfect fit, even the screw holes aligning properly.

Regarding the lawsuit question, if we're going to be anal about it (which some might accuse me of, although I cannot imagine why!) technically neither of them are. The only instruments the term really applies to are Ibanez-branded Gibson copies featuring an "open book" headstock profile, since that was the trademarked feature that Norlin (Gibson's then parent company) threatened Elger Hoshino (US arm of Hoshino Gakki Ten, owner of the Ibanez brand) with legal action over. I say "threatened", as no action took place, since Norlin started proceedings in June 1977, presumably unaware that Hoshino/Ibanez had stopped using the infringing design the previous year.

It's quite reasonable to refer to them as "lawsuit era" but most nerdy MIJ geeks prefer "copy era". :)

 

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Hi Bassassain. The older one (rosewood neck) has the 8 pole Maxon pickups as per your pic. ( I read your post from 10 years ago). Will pull one out at some point so I can date it.

Thanks for all the info everyone. Still a little confused by the weight difference (I've zipped up my anorak now). And can anyone recommend a replacement machine head the hole is 15mm most seem to be 18mm and I am reluctant to butcher it.

Tbh honest my intention was to fit EMG p/ups and a Schiller bridge I have sitting in an old squire jazz but would like to try it in its  original spec.

Either way I have developed quite an interest in these copy era instruments. 😎

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Spot on, thanks again. (Also the GB 10 will do the same job for your reference).

If anyone is interested I will update as I proceed. Put 3 old strings on tonight plugged in and worked! No crackles or pops. No idea how long it's being laying about with no strings so (as I expected) the neck neck needs some adjustment so have it gently clamped to send it back the right way. Will let you know how it goes.

What experiences have any of you guys had with the jazz style pick up. Couldn't get the best idea but sort of sounded ok.  What are they like when properly set up?

😎

Edited by Blind Lemon
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20200331_095357.thumb.jpg.d854b861d09801f98eb3dfe4c512ffef.jpg

This one pretty much sorted now, machine heads swapped out for some of the same era, neck shim fitted and set up nicely. Needs a fret dress but I don't have the bottle to as attack that myself.

 

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Seem to have acquired another that needs some love and attention. 

Lockdown project it is then.

Anyone got a scratch plate? 😂

20200331_095426.jpg

20200331_095443.jpg

20200331_095548.jpg

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4 hours ago, Blind Lemon said:

20200331_095357.thumb.jpg.d854b861d09801f98eb3dfe4c512ffef.jpg

This one pretty much sorted now, machine heads swapped out for some of the same era, neck shim fitted and set up nicely. Needs a fret dress but I don't have the bottle to as attack that myself.

 

Is the body plywood? I've owned an Antoria, Cort and Columbus jazzes, all 70s, all weighed a small planet.

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1 hour ago, hooky_lowdown said:

Is the body plywood? I've owned an Antoria, Cort and Columbus jazzes, all 70s, all weighed a small planet.

It'll be mahogany butcher-block with front & back veneers - more common than ply on midrange 70s MIJ basses. Don't think I've ever seen a Fujigen that was ply, actually.

@Blind Lemon - doubt you'll find an original Slack Beagle scratchplate in anyone's parts drawers but there have been repros, like this one that's (helpfully) not presently available:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/185572608/ibanez-black-eagle-replica-jazz-bass

I'd expect Tim Allen at https://www.gig.ink/ would be able to sort you out, though.

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Posted (edited)

My Antoria Jazz had the butchers block sandwich, I stripped all the paint off and finished it in Danish Oil.  I say I stripped it, in reality it was Jack at his self titled Instruments Services who did the work (very nicely too).  I think it came out pretty well.

63083575_AntoriaJazz197503.jpg.ccd44ff030e7ac8ebae1cc55f26022da.jpg

1551333022_Antoriarefurb18101201.thumb.jpg.55df376097ff3f320379261abdafe62f.jpg

224346025_AntoriaJazz197505.thumb.JPG.ac9c5ddef27b35c1ffe537d7ffb4192a.JPG

Edited by ead
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This Maya has a blockwood body, but it doesn't look too bad where the lacquer has chipped away.

Maya.thumb.jpg.87f1540cf6b197183c8925b8fdfe87fa.jpg

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12 hours ago, ead said:

My Antoria Jazz had the butchers block sandwich, I stripped all the paint off and finished it in Danish Oil.  I say I stripped it, in reality it was Jack at his self titled Instruments Services who did the work (very nicely too).  I think it came out pretty well.

63083575_AntoriaJazz197503.jpg.ccd44ff030e7ac8ebae1cc55f26022da.jpg

1551333022_Antoriarefurb18101201.thumb.jpg.55df376097ff3f320379261abdafe62f.jpg

224346025_AntoriaJazz197505.thumb.JPG.ac9c5ddef27b35c1ffe537d7ffb4192a.JPG

That looks great* - did it have a top veneer? Looks like solid mahogany.

 

*Apart from the fact it's HERESY! :P

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