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NBD: Memphis P-Bass Copy Matsumoku 1970s?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Fixcinater, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    Haven't been able to dig up a ton of info on this P-bass copy I picked up recently for $125. I don't believe it says MIJ or MIK or anything like that anywhere on the body/neck, which leads me to believe it's MIJ Matsumoku-era?. There is potentially a stamp in the neck pocket on the side but it's illegible.

    Odd to see how many pieces of wood the body is made of, two layers deep with 4 pieces across the face, even the Squiers I have had in the past used less glue.

    First thing to do is to get a new nut on there, and clean it up a bit. Tuners and pots/jack seem a bit suspect, everything else seems ok but that's before stringing it up. Truss rod adjustment is at base of neck, normal allen key.

    I guess my questions are regarding age of the bass, if it was made by Matsumoku and what, if anything, I should do about a body seam split that's obviously old and therefore stable? It's on the front just above the pickguard. Also, any ideas on finding covers for the bridge/pickup/thumb-rest? Do Fender parts work?

    Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 7.58.09 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 7.58.10 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 7.58.12 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 7.58.13 PM.jpg
     
  2. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    If it’s MIJ it’ll have “Made In Japan” stamped on the neck plate. This looks like a later model judging by a few little details and a different headstock logo.

    I have an early 70s version of the same bass and it’s construction is much more Fender-like.

    04BEE87D-3662-41AE-AE65-D0F0BFE60877.jpeg

    I’m pretty sure early Memphis branded instruments like mine were Matsumoku made, but I don’t think yours is. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good bass, though.

    Yes, Fender parts will fit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  3. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the info, I have a lot of projects going on currently so this will be a slow build but looking forward to having a bass in the house again.
     
  4. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    Small update, grabbed some Fender strings for it and it all works!

    Truss rod was tightened to the absolute max so the neck had a massive back bow but that's now loosened up appropriately, I figured I'd over-loosen it a bit for a few days.

    Bridge seems pretty cheesy as are the tuners but it seems like the bones are overall good to go. Next step is new nut and let the whole thing settle into having strings at tension for a bit, then finish the set-up and get it playing easier (read: lower action), then maybe electronics if upgrades seem necessary.

    Plugged into a Scarlett preamp and some decent headphones, it already sounds mostly like a P-bass!
     
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  5. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Cool project. And can't beat the price.
     
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  6. Telecasters84

    Telecasters84 Tele-Meister

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    Such a deal... I’d “Rock It” without changing anything!

    Congratulations!
     
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  7. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, that’s the wise way to approach it.

    Should find an amp for it at some point!
     
  8. loudboy

    loudboy Tele-Meister

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    I just picked up a "Pan" P-Bass for $95, off CL while vacationing.

    Seems very similar, four piece back, probably a veneer on top?

    Standard Fender-like parts, except the pickup has only four polepieces and is a little smaller.

    Neck is straight, low action, frets seem in good dhape. It also sounded just like a P-Bass thru the amp he had. (G)

    It does say Made In Japan on the neckplate, and after a quick Google, it was made in the Matsumoku plant in the mid-70s.

    Should work fine for putting bass on demos.
     
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  9. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    Sounds fun...is it full scale or a mod of the Mustang/Music-master sized 4-string?

    Saw this on Reverb, assuming yours looks like this one. Mine has the same bridge as that one but different tuners, so I wonder if mine isn't Matsumoku but had the MIJ plate swapped out early in it's life?
     
  10. loudboy

    loudboy Tele-Meister

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    It's a full-scale. Looking forward to getting it in shape - it's not too bad, as is.

    Exactly like this one, has the bridge cover and slightly different knobs.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater TDPRI Member

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    That's cool! Wherever mine was made, it seems to be plenty of bass for me to learn to do the basics with, so I'm happy.
     
  12. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Friend of Leo's

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    That looks great!!! I love the 4 pole split pickup!!
     
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