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sarakisof

Identify Old Jazz Bass

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone, first post here.

To be honest i have already posted this on another bass forum and from replies i got, found similar posts (not the same bass) and great things here.

@steviedee

 

@SH73

 

Local find years ago. Funny story. Seller was asking 250 back then lol, he was then dropping about 20 bucks every 3 months or so, "for ever unsold" case.        I was following silently, seller lives 1 mile away my house. Price is about 100 bucks now, think of asking 50. 

- Seems like a Japanese copy late 70s.   

- Round jazz pickups (J knock off?)

- Looks like it once had both chrome covers.                                                           

- Note number of frets ...               

Searching months the internet but cannot find any identical. Many similar but not the same with this one.

 

Maybe @Bassassin or other xperts here could help.

Any info would greatly be appreciated.

☺️

 

IMG_20200731_111949.jpg

IMG_20200731_112034.jpg

IMG_20200731_112110.jpg

IMG_20200731_112140.jpg

Edited by sarakisof

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Interesting old bass - I can tell you it's not Japanese.

From what I can see I'm fairly confident it's Korean - that style of tuner with the pressed steel backplate in that shape, and the domed string retainer, are universal on MIK Fender copies from the late 70s/early 80s. Importantly these never appear on Japanese instruments. For comparison, this is a Korean Jazz copy I had a few years back:

image.thumb.jpeg.af0563a423674ee44992597822924b4d.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.f654f547c08e9f9f9f337a4e2f06c7fc.jpeg

Another clue is what looks like a blank neckplate - most Japanese instruments from this era have an MIJ stamp. There are exceptions but those will usually have other identifying characteristics.

The extra fret's odd - I don't think I've seen that before, but I wonder if that's because a number of MIK basses (including the Franconia above) were available in long & short scale versions - the extra fret suggests the neck pocket's longer, which might be to make it possible to use the same body blank/routing for both scale lengths. Just an idea.

The round-ended J type pickups originated on MIJ basses but also appear on MIKs - speculation is that manufacture was quicker/cheaper routing rounded body cavities than cleanly squared ones, leading to these being used. Early MIJ Gibson copies with bolt-necks have round-ended fretboards & neck pockets, presumably for the same reason.

It's an interesting bass, nice to see a solid timber body rather than the usual ply. If you can get it for £/$/€50 (don't know where you are!) then that might be worth a gamble, but tbh it does look pretty tatty & neglected, in that state I wouldn't pay more than that.

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9 hours ago, Bassassin said:

Interesting old bass - I can tell you it's not Japanese

I wouldn't have said that - as I don't have your knowledge ... but I was thinking it. 
I'm learning! :D

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I have only played mine a handful of times. The big question is?

Is it good for metal?

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Posted (edited)

Thank you @Bassassin. I am afraid i will never learn what this thing is 😂

I guess i have to grab it to see what's going on. Will see and get back when so for sure.

I found another one with an extra fret (key word was "long scale" which Bassassin said and gave me the idea to search). It is called Leyanda by Hohner, Maysumoku Japan. Don't think it is the same as "mine" though they have many things in common.

(Look at those pup's, narrow empty neckplate, tuners, number of frets etc. Even thumb rest could be there i think i can see the two holes) Also look at how cheap thin printed this "Leyanda" logo is, easily worn out, clue that could explain the empty unbranded headstock in "mine's" 🙄

https://reverb.com/au/item/2270785-vintage-leyanda-eb-jazz-bass-fender-style-4string-bass-guitar-matsumoku-japan

 

https://m.ebay.ie/itm/JAZZ-BASS-MATSUMOKU-LEYANDA-FENDER-COPY-LATE-70S-JAPAN-MADE-/130710003311?nav=SEARCH#vi__app-cvip-panel

 

Cheers 😎

 

 

Edited by sarakisof

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12 hours ago, sarakisof said:

Thank you @Bassassin. I am afraid i will never learn what this thing is 😂

 

 

Well, that's not strictly the case! Right - sit down, make yourself a cup of coffee/tea/gin and let's see what we can work out from the evidence as presented. This is likely to be largely stream-of consciousness rambling, confusing & very, very boring. Don't say you weren't warned.

The problem with trying to identify old instruments from online sales listings is - how can I put this? Sellers often don't know what it is they're selling, or if they do, they will assume the majority of potential purchasers don't. So they might say things that either aren't necessarily true, or aren't meticulously researched & fact-checked, to sell whatever it is. Many buyers & sellers often seem more concerned about what they want something to be, rather than what it actually is.

That's the case with both of the basses you've linked. They're not Japanese, probably not '70s and they're absolutely not made by Matsumoku. They're Korean, and possibly made by Cort, if the style of the control plate/scratchplate on the natural finish example is any indication. That one's actually very interesting & I'll get to why a bit later.

I should probably explain that I sort-of know what I'm on about with these things - I've had an unhealthy preoccupation with old-ish MIJ & MIK instruments for most of the time I've been playing (which is a looooong time!) and for about 15 or so years made a living by restoring & selling predominantly 1970s copy-era Japanese guitars & basses.

I don't claim to know everything (& no-one does) but when you've worked on literally hundreds of instruments from a particular era, you do get an eye for traits & details. Typically Korean & Japanese are easy to tell apart, and the products of specific Japanese factories (such as Matsumoku) are very straightforward to ID too.

These two basses, like yours, are Korean. The neck style, very similar to yours (extra fret, unusually wide black blocks, no binding, Fender-type headstock, Gibson-style nut) indicates they're from the same factory, which as I've said is probably Cort.

It's worth understanding a bit about brand names too. Best advice is usually to ignore them, in the majority of cases they'll tell you nothing at all about who actually made an instrument. In many ways your bass is a good illustration of why - it's unbranded, it came from the factory unbranded & like thousands of others, would've been sold brand-new like that. For a few pennies per unit more, whichever company ordered & imported your bass could have thought up any name they wanted, and the factory would have put that on the headstock for them.

However - some well-known brands can be tied to specific factories and that's why the two you found are helpful in understanding more about yours. Japanese-made Hohners all came from a factory called Moridaira, and when that arrangement came to an end in the early 80s, Hohner production moved to the Cort factory in Korea. I mention Hohner because Leyanda appears typically as a brand for Hohner acoustic guitars, although a little research indicates they used Leyanda as a sub-brand for budget electric guitars too. This might be a regional thing, as Hohner also used Rockwood & Arbor as budget sub-brands in some territories.

And about 30 seconds' Google image search gives us a Hohner Arbor Jazz copy with an identical body, control plate & scratchplate to the natural finish Leyanda:

36945836912_9644533309_b.jpg

I'd say, based on inlay style & hardware it's a few years later than the Leyanda - but it's an associated brand, has the same highly distinctive components, & fits the established timeframe for Hohner's use of Korean manufacturers - so it's safe to say it's from the same factory.

So through this process of somewhat anal detective work, I think we can be perhaps 99.65% sure that your unbranded Jazz bass came from the same factory as the two Leyandas you found - it has a distinctive & near-identical neck. That neck's overall style (black blocks, Fender headstock) probably dates it to late 70s - at a guess '78 or later.

We know the manufacturer's Korean, as all the basses have identifiable MIK traits, and we can narrow down the factory to probably Cort because one of the Leyandas has the same distinctive body & hardware as a Korean Hohner Arbor - which was probably made by Cort.

There are a few reasons I can't be 100% that it's a Cort. Firstly, knowledge of older Korean manufacturers isn't great - like in Japan there would have been dozens of different factories but we only know a few - off the top of my head Cort (Cor-Tek), Samick, Young-Chang, Saehan & (possibly) Arirang, and apart from the first two it's not clear how early they were operating & what they made. We know that Hohner's high-quality post-MIJs are Corts because they're often identical to Cort's own-branded guitars from the same era, but we can't be certain Hohner's budget ranges were also from Cort. At this point though, there's no particular reason to think they weren't.

So it's Korean, late 70s, factory-unbranded and made by Cort. Evidence to 100% establish the manufacturer & a specific year might emerge in future, or with more detailed research than I've done, but at the moment that'll have to do!

 

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Bassassin said:

Well, that's not strictly the case! Right - sit down, make yourself a cup of coffee/tea/gin and let's see what we can work out from the evidence as presented. This is likely to be largely stream-of consciousness rambling, confusing & very, very boring. Don't say you weren't warned.

The problem with trying to identify old instruments from online sales listings is - how can I put this? Sellers often don't know what it is they're selling, or if they do, they will assume the majority of potential purchasers don't. So they might say things that either aren't necessarily true, or aren't meticulously researched & fact-checked, to sell whatever it is. Many buyers & sellers often seem more concerned about what they want something to be, rather than what it actually is.

That's the case with both of the basses you've linked. They're not Japanese, probably not '70s and they're absolutely not made by Matsumoku. They're Korean, and possibly made by Cort, if the style of the control plate/scratchplate on the natural finish example is any indication. That one's actually very interesting & I'll get to why a bit later.

I should probably explain that I sort-of know what I'm on about with these things - I've had an unhealthy preoccupation with old-ish MIJ & MIK instruments for most of the time I've been playing (which is a looooong time!) and for about 15 or so years made a living by restoring & selling predominantly 1970s copy-era Japanese guitars & basses.

I don't claim to know everything (& no-one does) but when you've worked on literally hundreds of instruments from a particular era, you do get an eye for traits & details. Typically Korean & Japanese are easy to tell apart, and the products of specific Japanese factories (such as Matsumoku) are very straightforward to ID too.

These two basses, like yours, are Korean. The neck style, very similar to yours (extra fret, unusually wide black blocks, no binding, Fender-type headstock, Gibson-style nut) indicates they're from the same factory, which as I've said is probably Cort.

It's worth understanding a bit about brand names too. Best advice is usually to ignore them, in the majority of cases they'll tell you nothing at all about who actually made an instrument. In many ways your bass is a good illustration of why - it's unbranded, it came from the factory unbranded & like thousands of others, would've been sold brand-new like that. For a few pennies per unit more, whichever company ordered & imported your bass could have thought up any name they wanted, and the factory would have put that on the headstock for them.

However - some well-known brands can be tied to specific factories and that's why the two you found are helpful in understanding more about yours. Japanese-made Hohners all came from a factory called Moridaira, and when that arrangement came to an end in the early 80s, Hohner production moved to the Cort factory in Korea. I mention Hohner because Leyanda appears typically as a brand for Hohner acoustic guitars, although a little research indicates they used Leyanda as a sub-brand for budget electric guitars too. This might be a regional thing, as Hohner also used Rockwood & Arbor as budget sub-brands in some territories.

And about 30 seconds' Google image search gives us a Hohner Arbor Jazz copy with an identical body, control plate & scratchplate to the natural finish Leyanda:

36945836912_9644533309_b.jpg

I'd say, based on inlay style & hardware it's a few years later than the Leyanda - but it's an associated brand, has the same highly distinctive components, & fits the established timeframe for Hohner's use of Korean manufacturers - so it's safe to say it's from the same factory.

So through this process of somewhat anal detective work, I think we can be perhaps 99.65% sure that your unbranded Jazz bass came from the same factory as the two Leyandas you found - it has a distinctive & near-identical neck. That neck's overall style (black blocks, Fender headstock) probably dates it to late 70s - at a guess '78 or later.

We know the manufacturer's Korean, as all the basses have identifiable MIK traits, and we can narrow down the factory to probably Cort because one of the Leyandas has the same distinctive body & hardware as a Korean Hohner Arbor - which was probably made by Cort.

There are a few reasons I can't be 100% that it's a Cort. Firstly, knowledge of older Korean manufacturers isn't great - like in Japan there would have been dozens of different factories but we only know a few - off the top of my head Cort (Cor-Tek), Samick, Young-Chang, Saehan & (possibly) Arirang, and apart from the first two it's not clear how early they were operating & what they made. We know that Hohner's high-quality post-MIJs are Corts because they're often identical to Cort's own-branded guitars from the same era, but we can't be certain Hohner's budget ranges were also from Cort. At this point though, there's no particular reason to think they weren't.

So it's Korean, late 70s, factory-unbranded and made by Cort. Evidence to 100% establish the manufacturer & a specific year might emerge in future, or with more detailed research than I've done, but at the moment that'll have to do!

 

 

 

 

Yeah yeah yeah ... but is it any good for metal?!

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Posted (edited)

Wow wow amazing report here Mr. @Bassassin those are great news.

To the folks above, not a metal head here. I am a sample based producer and multi instrumentalist, kind could be anything from a wide range based on 60s-80s samples from rockabilly and psych rock to jazz funk soul, blend alongside with live old strings brass and organs, so this beauty could find its unique place through the others sitting in my lab. 

I am into old stuff since childhood, from record collecting to finding old stuff and gear, diying, valves, restoration and all that kind of stuff. Everything...till 90's 🤣

 

Cheers to all, it's a nice place here 🤸

Edited by sarakisof
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@sarakisof - "is it good for metal?" is a BassChat in-joke that's been around so long no-one, not even Tony Goggle or TIM! - can remember where it started. :D

And of course it is, everything's good for metal. In the right hands.

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I see 😁 

Hope the seller agrees for 50€ in the end. Have to sketch a whole story to convince him when visit his garage 😎 

Will be back when i have news, if all goes well, seems like a long restoration project loading...

 

Cheers 👊

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17 hours ago, Bassassin said:

 "is it good for metal?" is a BassChat in-joke that's been around TOO long

Fixed

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3 hours ago, fleabag said:

Fixed

Metal fixes everything. 🤘🤘

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You're thinking of Duct tape

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Were  Charles Sommerfield  ( CSL ) basses MIK or MIJ    mr  B  ?

About 20 years ago i owned a CSL  and it had the rounded end jazz pups.  Damn good sound too.  CSL was a lovely bass, albeit rebranded by Mr  Sommerfield

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22 hours ago, Bassassin said:

@sarakisof - "is it good for metal?" is a BassChat in-joke that's been around so long no-one, not even Tony Goggle or TIM! - can remember where it started. :D

And of course it is, everything's good for metal. In the right hands.

TIM! Was one thread too and we still remember it! 

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22 hours ago, sarakisof said:

I see 😁 

Hope the seller agrees for 50€ in the end. Have to sketch a whole story to convince him when visit his garage 😎 

Will be back when i have news, if all goes well, seems like a long restoration project loading...

 

Cheers 👊

At least he got the joke there, well done @sarakisof

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My first bass - Hohner, about 1986? My Brother still has it.

1401846773_DrasticAction005.thumb.jpg.a971bee7deb8f40932e466f465576fcc.jpg

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2 hours ago, fleabag said:

Were  Charles Sommerfield  ( CSL ) basses MIK or MIJ    mr  B  ?

About 20 years ago i owned a CSL  and it had the rounded end jazz pups.  Damn good sound too.  CSL was a lovely bass, albeit rebranded by Mr  Sommerfield

MIJ. I have one, cost me £60 from a local pawn shop, and turned out to be the nicest Jazz I ever picked up. Looked like this when I got it:

1068178843_CSLoriginalupscale.thumb.jpg.e57f68a443c5eaf9566d21010144d68d.jpg

And looks like this now:

CSLresize2.thumb.jpg.e8dca20e4a51b06f14bdb91343cdf9ab.jpg

Original round-end pickups were a bit thin & weak, so it got a pair of DiMarzio Model Js. And pimped a bit too. If I could only keep one it'd be this, no question.

I don't know as much about this as I'd like to. CSL was Summerfields' house-brand at the time they were UK importer for Ibanez, and this, plus several other CSL models, is a rebrand of a Cimar Jazz copy from 1980. Cimar was owned by Ibanez' parent company Hoshino, so it's tempting to think they came from the same factory, Fujigen. However there are details which make me quite confident that's not so - and I don't know who did make them. Which is faintly annoying!

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That does look very nice, i must say.  I didnt find my pups thin and weak but that may  be because i had to change the pots on mine because i had no sound, and simply installed an OB3 preamp

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14 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

My first bass - Hohner, about 1986? My Brother still has it.

IIRC they started being branded Arbor series a year or three after I got that one.

 

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Posted (edited)

Bad news. Seller had sold it 4 months ago for 80€ and forgot/ didn't know how to delete the ad. 😌 Turned to be an elder kind man, ex drummer in 70s and the bass belonged to his friend bassist in the band back then that now passed away. 😕 

Told me if i had contacted him back then and known my home is next to him he could give it for free as a gift to me cause he got my love for old instruments and so. 

Lesson learned no worries planet is full of old basses like that out there, i keep my eyes open.

 

It was also a good chance to meet you here guys, will be around for sure

👊

Edited by sarakisof
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Just for the record and our archives, here is another last picture he managed to take before it was sold 😑

IMG_20200811_185512.jpg

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