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Paul S

Early 70s MIJ Gibson EB-0, EB-3 copies

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I guess this is mainly aimed @Bassassin but anyone with experience/knowledge please pitch in.

There are a couple of these early 70s Japanese EB-3 copies on eBay at the moment, short scale ones particularly, I seem to recall some of them are very good - Matsumoku?  What would be the pitfalls?  How much would they be worth?

I nearly bought one but the seller has zero feedback and doesn't do PayPal.  That has vanished now, so maybe someone took a chance.

This is the other one

 

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There's a lot of JapCrap on eBay at crazy prices because it has Made in Japan on it.

Most of it is rebadged rubbish, I'd only go for the known brands like Ibanez. I'm sure Bassassin can list the brands to go for. 

The one linked with no headstock badge is a warning, if it was any good someone wouldn't remove or hide the brand name. £230 + postage with bits missing is way, way overpriced imho.

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22 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

The one linked with no headstock badge is a warning, if it was any good someone wouldn't remove or hide the brand name. 

I had a Japanese Jazz guitar back in the 1970s which had been made with no name on the headstock. Cracking Gibson Barney Kessel copy.

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The good news is that the better quality ones are easy to spot when you know what to look for. Manufacturers like Matsumoku, Fujigen, Kasuga, who all made nice quality EB clones, all have traits & details which make them identifiable.

By the same token, examples that aren't as good can also be easy to recognise - like the one in the link. This was probably an early Avon or Columbus, with a metal pin-badge that's been removed. Not necessarily a terrible bass but it'll have a ply body, cheap pickups & electronics & may take some work to make it play nicely. Not necessarily a problem if it's sub - £100, but £229 for this is well OTT. Look out for a neckplate with the MIJ stamp on the top half, and Hofner-style staple pickup (really a cheap single coil), and don't pay much! These will be branded Columbus, Grant, CMI, Sumbro, Avon, amongst others

Things to look for on the better quality examples: Matsumoku details include offset position dots, "Steel Adjustable Neck" neckplate stamp, arrowhead-shaped trc. They turn up branded Eros, Jedson, Arbiter, Aria.

yorknol2iq4yuusyjf2i.jpg

Fujigens were sold branded Ibanez, Antoria, CSL etc. Very similar in appearance to the Avons & Columbuses, but look for a neckplate stamp on the lower half, and bridge pickup with double rows of pole pieces. This is an Antoria I had a few years ago:

ebfrontfull.jpg.5e723970eb63ee47ed5aeaca71365904.jpg

It's probably not helpful in these apocalyptic times of self-isolation and ravaging, infected hordes tearing each other to pieces over the last 6-pack of Andrex - but that was a car boot find.

Anyway, if I see anything that fits the bill, I'll post it here. If anything turns up you want an ID for or opinion about, I'm happy to help. :)

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1 hour ago, Mykesbass said:

I had a Japanese Jazz guitar back in the 1970s which had been made with no name on the headstock. Cracking Gibson Barney Kessel copy.

The brand/logo on the headstock is clearly removed - not that it didn't have one from factory!

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14 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

The brand/logo on the headstock is clearly removed - not that it didn't have one from factory!

OK, your eyesight/computer resolution is far better than mine 😎

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Now that's odd. Another dealer selling the same bass @Paul S linked to, but for an even more eye-wateringly ridiculous price.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Japanese-Made-70s-EB3-Bass/283813920521

Not really doing much to dispel the notion that Ebay's a cesspit of gougers and scammers, is it? And I don't even sell there any more...

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Thanks again Jon.  I could simply give in and get a Gibson, of course, but there is something about finding a diamond in the rough that I find very appealing.  Love that Faker I bought recently, for example, and everything it represents.  Anyway, GAS is a cruel and fickle mistress, who knows what will be resting in my guitar rack this time next month.

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Posted (edited)

I bought a Tokai SGB copy several years ago. Made in Korea, a comfortable medium 32" scale. Still has the same flatwounds on it. A deep mellow sound. A favourite of mine as the action is so good. They do occasionally come up for sale around £300.

The MIJ Aria CSB380 is also a 32" scale. Although they look similar they sound very different both with flats. The Aria is much brighter. Build quality is superb. Both weigh about 8.5 lbs so not to heavy.

I've only ever tried a Gibson at PMT. Very light and SS. Nice but a bit to pricey.

I think both were made in the 80's.

100_0242.JPG

Edited by grandad
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Greco made a very nice SG copy. There was one for sale on here about 18 months ago but I think it went. Can't find it now.

Personally I'd be holding out for something with a slotted headstock, just because I like the look. I think Antoria is one brand-name with these, there are probably others.

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The Tokai looks lovely!

Funnily enough I sold just yesterday an Aria Pro II CSB 'Black n Gold' as my GAS is more Gibson-focused.  I have the Les Paul Jnr Dc at the moment and fancy something that is 'same meat different sauce' :) 

Slotted headstock would do the job, Pete!  :) 

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BTW, I am perhaps making an assumption here but are the better MIJ copies better guitars than the current crop of Epiphones?  I did have an Epiphone EB-0 for a time, upgraded the pickup and bridge but still didn't quite bond with it for some reason.

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Also just remembered that @dave.c had a Hoyer 30" SG copy a superb little bass and much better build quality than the Epiphones. Not sure if Dave still visits here, hope all is well Dave if you see this.

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Are there any EB0 or EB3 copies that don't have a bolt-on neck?

IMO the set-neck construction of the Gibson versions is an important feature.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Are there any EB0 or EB3 copies that don't have a bolt-on neck?

IMO the set-neck construction of the Gibson versions is an important feature.

There are, but (as far as old MIJ stuff goes) they're much less common. If I remember there was a Fujigen-made EB3L, longscale, slot-headstock that was set-neck. Never seen one in real life & I don't remember seeing a set-neck shortscale (which is what @Paul S is after) at all.

Should've mentioned Greco among the Fujigen rebrands. Not many around though as it's a Japanese domestic brand never officially exported. Ishibashi might be worth a look though.

Edit - couldn't help myself! Orville EB3 on Ishibashi

Hopefully the link will work, Ishibashi can be odd. Not cheap at 56000 yen (about £430) plus shipping & customs. Also don't know much about it, Orville's a licensed brand so maybe just a glorified MIJ Epiphone!

Edited by Bassassin
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1 hour ago, Bassassin said:

Edit - couldn't help myself! Orville EB3 on Ishibashi

Hopefully the link will work, Ishibashi can be odd. Not cheap at 56000 yen (about £430) plus shipping & customs. Also don't know much about it, Orville's a licensed brand so maybe just a glorified MIJ Epiphone!

My understanding is that Orvilles are essentially Gibsons made in Japan.

So the equivalent of the MIJ/CIJ Fender as opposed to a Squier.

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I had a Greco EB-350 a little while back that was pretty nice.  Ended up selling it to a collector in London.

 

2140884517_GrecoEB-35002.thumb.jpg.00f9eca2501c69274ec8dc76d0a20b12.jpg

587188489_GrecoEB-35001.thumb.jpg.6d6f24582c66f0ccaaeb3e9dc8dd2f15.jpg

1923306351_GrecoEB-35003.thumb.jpg.bb7e6dd62635f94a1fdf23c126aa5a99.jpg

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Commodores were Matsumoku, so yes those would've been the same as Aria. I've seen plenty of Commodore semis but honestly can't remember whether I've seen am EB or not. It's pretty likely they did one.

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