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1985 ESP PPJ-160 Yamashita Model PJ Bass Black w/ Active Electronics & Case, Japan


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Up for sale, a 1985 ESP PPJ-160 Yamashita Model bass in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. This uncommon, Japanese-made ESP was the signature model for Masayoshi Yamaguchi of Loudness, the first Japanese metal band signed to a major label in the USA.

Produced in very limited quantities during the mid 1980s, this distinctive PJ-style bass features dual angled split-coil pickups and active electronics. Offering tons of natural sustain at 12lbs 2oz, the PPJ-160 thunders and thumps with the best, and the angled split-coil design accentuates both low end punch and treble grind. The treble and bass side halves of the split coil pickup can be controlled independently, with a dedicated Volume knob for the Jazz-style bridge position single coil which yields additional midrange and sonic authority. This ESP has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 45-100 roundwound strings, comfortable action, and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .820” deep at the 1st fret and .965” at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard has a 9 1/2“ radius, and the medium jumbo fretwire is practically perfect. This bass plays cleanly up the 34” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the bone nut measures 1.650” (42mm) in width. The headstock shape dates this bass to ‘85, and the clover-button tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch.

All of the electronics function as intended, with untouched solder joints and full-size pots that date to the 49th week of ‘84. The control configuration consists of a Master Volume knob, a pair of Volume knobs that govern the bass and treble sides of both split-coils, and a Volume knob for the Jazz Bass-style pickup. The active electronics are powered by a 9V battery. The chrome-plated hardware is notably clean, including the dome-topped knurled knobs and the ESP-branded toploader bridge.

The gloss Black finish exhibits just a scant few faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The smooth satin finish on the neck profile is nigh flawless, highlighting subtle flame figuring in the maple.

The original ESP-branded hardshell case is included.