In the late-'70s, Fender was facing competition from lower-priced Japanese-made copies, so in 1982, they launched a joint venture with Kanda Shokai and Yamano Gakki to produce Fender-branded instruments in Japan. Because the American Fender brand was only a partner—and not in the driver's seat—over the years Fender Japan, Ltd. has produced some of the most inventive and novel interpretations of classic Fender templates. With quality that rivals their American-made counterparts, MIJ and CIJ Fender guitars are often intriguing designs that bring about new levels of inspiration and expression.
The Fender Aerodyne Series features sleek contours inspired by aviation. "Crafted In Japan," the AJB-80M Aerodyne J Bass is an intriguing take on the Fender Jazz design. The AJB-80M features a shorter 32" scale and two DiMarzio pickups. Its body is the classic Jazz Bass shape, but the contours give it distinctive aerodynamic lines. It also has a recessed neck pocket which makes it feel smooth to get all the way into the upper register.
This AJB-80M has a serial number that dates to 2006 to 2008. The white finish with matching headstock is a non-export CIJ model, so that means this bass was original intended for the Japanese market. At some point along the way, it showed up in Durango, Colorado, where it was put to work by the Kirk James Blues Band. In fact, Kirk himself is responsible for the cool motorcycle-inspired pinstripe artwork around the top, on the pickguard, and on each knob.
This 2006-08 Fender Aerodyne J Bass shows some signs of wear and tear in all the obvious places, but it free of any cosmetic dings, severe scratches, or issues (see photos). The original tuners have been upgraded with after-market tuners. One of the set screws is missing, but it holds tune just the same. This bass is set up to play fast, and the sleek contours—paired with the custom artwork—make it look like it will go fast, too. Also- who doesn't love a matching headstock? Molded plastic case included.