Up for sale, a 1985 Fender Jazz Bass Special medium scale PJ bass model PJ-535 in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. An evolution of the bass known simply as the "P-J" in Fender Japan's earliest catalogs, the Jazz Bass Special is part of the Boxer line, produced at the venerable Fujigen factory in Japan.
Finished in an aged Snow White, this is the fairly rare Fender Japan bass model, similar in features and tone to the one that Duff McKagan would make famous with Guns N’ Roses, yet with a distinctly angled pickup pair. 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 45-105 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 bass weighs 8lbs 1oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile with well-rounded shoulders and more overall heft further up the fretboard, measuring .825” deep at the 1st fret and .965” at the 12th. The dark rosewood fretboard has a 7 1/4” radius and retains the stock medium jumbo fretwire. The frets have plenty of meat with well-rounded crowns, and the bass plays cleanly in all registers up the medium scale length. At 32", this bass provides a perfect middle ground between Fender's full 34" scale (Jazz and Precision models) and their short 30" scale (Mustang and Musicmaster). The neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and optimally-adjusted. The nut measures 1 9/16” in width, and on the headstock, the black clover-button tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The C-prefix serial is present on the headstock face, and on the back, the small "60" sticker is intact, noting a price of 60,000 yen when sold new.
All the electronics work as intended with untouched solder joints and full-size pots that date to February of 1985. The pickups are governed by a three-way selector switch, dedicated Volume knobs for each pickup, and a TBX Tone control which has a subtle effect. 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 knobs are present, and the top-loader bridge is clean, complete with black-plated brass saddles. Plastics include the original trio of knobs, two of which are missing their "F" caps.
The Snow White finish has darkened from its original shade, more mottled in its presentation adjacent to the pickups. There are various scuffs and dings on the body perimeter, and more restrained wear on the top and back. The smooth gloss finish is retained on the profile length.
A modern gigbag is included.