Up for sale, a 1983 Fender Japan PJ-555 bass in perfect working order. Referred to as the “Precision Jazz Bass” upon its introduction in the '83 Fender Japan catalog, this bass predates the introduction of the Boxer Series and features a JV-prefix (Japanese Vintage) serial number. Crafted at the Fujigen factory, this extremely early PJ-555 is notable for omitting the pickup selector switch present from '84 onward.
The bass is identical in features and tone to the one that Duff McKagan would make famous with Guns N’ Roses, and tonewoods include an alder body, maple neck, and thick slab rosewood fretboard. The Jazz bridge pickup has lots of growl and midrange character, and the Precision pickup has lots of width and thump, while still having some top end aggression, accentuated by a set of roundwound 45-100 strings. Both pickups have oversized pole pieces and are wound hotter than Fender Japan's vintage series pickups, truly delivering a sound worthy of the instrument's slick '80s looks. This PJ-555 weighs 8lbs 11oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck medium C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and more overall heft in the upper registers, measuring .850” deep at the 1st fret and 1.015” at the 12th. The thick slab rosewood fretboard is a notably dark cut with a 10” (250mm) radius, and the medium jumbo fretwire has good meat, exhibiting wear beneath the strings on the crowns of frets 1-8. This bass plays cleanly up the 34” scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the nut measures 1 5/8“ in width. On the matching headstock, the black clover-button tuners have full-size baseplates, turn smoothly, and hold accurate pitch. The JV-prefix serial is present on the four-bolt neck plate and the tiny "Made in Japan" text is intact on the headstock face.
All of the electronics function as intended, and the harness features a replacement pair of full-size Alpha pots, along with the original TBX Tone pot. From 0-5, the TBX is a standard tone control, but from 5-10 the resistance decreases, allowing more bass, treble, presence and output to flow to your amp. The original trio of F-topped knobs with ridged grips are present, and the black top-loader bridge is quite clean.
Cosmetic wear on the gloss Black finish includes a number of minor dings and limited finish checking on the body as a whole, an area of buckle rash central to the waist, and a small finish chip adjacent to the neck plate. The neck profile retains its smooth gloss, with a scant few shallow marks along the profile length.
A Fender-branded gigbag is included.