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NBD: Opinions and Info Wanted on this Vintage Telecaster Style Bass


markyd
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Hello Everyone,

 

Newbie poster here, so apologies if i'm in the wrong forum. I've just picked up this short scale telecaster style bass, I know it's not a fender but i'm curious to find out what it is and what you would do with it by way of mods etc to get the most out of it. 

 

Thanks in advance.

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  • markyd changed the title to NBD: Opinions and Info Wanted on this Vintage Telecaster Style Bass

Thanks for the replies so far. Yes it has been stripped, and you're dead right the varnish job is terrible, the underside of the bass hasn't even been done.  Here's some close up pics as requested, the headstock logo looks to be the same as an early 70's telecaster guitar logo with Bass added underneath. The patent number does relate to a Fender Patent, I think from around 1960.

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2 hours ago, markyd said:

the headstock logo looks to be the same as an early 70's telecaster guitar logo with Bass added underneath. The patent number does relate to a Fender Patent, I think from around 1960.

It matters not a jot what the logo looks like nor the patent number, neither apply to this bass.

 

 

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This looks like the same vintage 1970s MIJ bass that I’ve seen variously with different brand names, such as Grant, Antoria, Ibanez, etc, and a couple more in Europe that I can’t remember the names of now. 
 

Almost every one I’ve seen has been that custard yellow colour that some Fenders have, but I have seen sunburst ones too. Surprised to see this one has been stripped, most folks are fussy about plywood. I wouldn’t mind it though.

 

The bridge isn’t right, it would have had a low quality BBOT originally, and sharp-edged bridge and pickup covers too. 
 

Playability and quality wise they’re not far off the old Shaftesbury Tele bass copies (I know they were Italian, but the overall feel was pretty similar).
 

I’ve played Antoria and Grant versions and they were both short scale, but there are also 34” scale versions that look very similar to these. Maybe any Minutemen fans can confirm whether the Tele bass copy that Mike Watt played was one of these?

 

Mods? I’d change the bridge and then just play it. But I’m basic AF 😂 Enjoy it!

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Looks a bit like an old epiphone or gibson type bridge? 

 

You can buy a Squier Telecaster Bass bridge copy of the original type but it only has 2 saddles for 4 strings so the intonation can still be a bit iffy but it looks cool....... equally I've seen 4 saddle versions too.

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Low to midrange early 70s Japanese shortscale plywood Tele type, manufacturer unclear but none of the 'big' names - possibly a Matsumoto Gakki Seizou Kumiai collaborative build, but no-one really knows with this sort of early copy-era stuff. As far as this example's concerned - ghastly boot-polish refin & a non-original bridge, where somebody has inexplicably replaced a Tele-style two saddle unit with an infinitely more useless EB-0 type.

 

10 hours ago, kodiakblair said:

Looks like a Jedson.

 

Re-brand Teisco imports back in the 70's.


Things like this may have been sold branded Jedson, but Teisco never made anything remotely like it, in fact by the time this was made they were long-gone.

 

 

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Ibanez & Columbus versions would absolutely not have been the same instruments, despite looking similar. Ibanez was  a Fujigen product and Columbus was probably Chushin or the collaborative group I mentioned earlier. Big difference in quality, there are other details but Fujigen never used ply for bodies so this definitely wasn't an Ibanez.

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Thanks to everyone for replies so far. It seems there are quite a few potentials out there so it''s probable going to remain a bit of a mystery. The string spacing is quite narrow, around 15mm and I'm struggling finding a replacement bridge . Newbie question i'm sure, but does the replacement need to be exact or can I use a slightly wider spacing?

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You can change string spacing with a replacement bridge as long as the strings still run along the fretboard. Most generic replacement bridges have a 19mm string spacing, which if yours has 15mm might make the strings not sit on the fretboard when playing. 

I had this issue when restoring an old Kay bass that someone had put the wrong bridge on. A Squier Bronco bridge fixed the issue as it has 17mm spacing. 

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Looks like you'd get away with slightly wider spacing without risking the strings hanging off the edges of the fretboard up the dusty end. An alternative would be a bridge with adjustable spacing, like a Schaller 3D, if you can find one for a sensible price.

 

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I do like Lake Placid Blue! The neck is really good actually, but at 30" scale with a narrow fretboard it's not for everyone. There's a dead zone on the E-string around the 10-12 fret but i'm hoping that the bridge change will help with that. I really love the sound of it, kind of open and raw, especially when slapped/popped, i don't have the knowledge to make a proper comparison. I agree with Ricky Roli, there's something about this bass that makes all it's imperfections somehow appealing. I'm very tempted to leave the cosmetics as they are and just sort the mechanics out.

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