Fender Japan's Kenji Hino signature Jino model might just be the most versatile Jazz Bass ever

Fender Japan Jino Jazz Bass
(Image credit: Fender Japan)

Fender Japan has partnered with revered bassist Kenji Hino to release the ultra-versatile Jino Jazz Bass guitar.

Hino – who has also carved out an illustrious solo and session career – helped Fender design the bass, which boasts a first-of-its kind pickup configuration and other unique appointments.

As far as conventional specs go, the Jino Jazz is relatively straightforward, featuring an ash body, U-shaped maple neck, rosewood fretboard and white pearloid block inlays.

However, the neck itself sits in an adjusted body pocket, which compensates for the featured Hi-Mass bridge – chosen for its smooth sustain and resonance – and optimizes string-to-fingerboard distance for slap playing and detailed fingering. 

The guitar also sports a sleek Seafoam Green finish with matching headstock, as well as a fresh-looking three-ply mint green pickguard.

Things get intriguing when the pickup configuration and control layout is dissected. Boasting an SHS pickup selection – as per Hino’s specific request – the Jino Jazz comes equipped a modern modified middle humbucking pickup flanked by two vintage-style ‘70s single-coils.

Onboard controls appear in the form of treble boost and bass boost knobs, which can be used to sculpt tones suitable for a "wide variety of genres", according to Fender Japan.

Aside from the stock sounds the pickups offer, those wielding the Jino Jazz can tap into even more sonic variety courtesy of two push/pull volume switches that are wired to the neck and middle volume controls.

While the neck pickup control acts as a passive/active toggle, the middle switch activates a middle-pickup-only setting, allowing you to independently utilize the humbuckers' "clean and profound" sound.

Of the unique appointments, Hino said, "I think the pickup combination such as front and middle, or middle and rear is the first specification in the history of Fender bass.

"Depending on the combination, six patterns of tones can be created, and it can also be switched between passive and active.”

The model is currently only available in Japan, but here's hoping we see something similar from Fender in the near future...

Fender Japan certainly is no stranger to bold new takes on traditional guitars, having recently introduced the radical triple-pickup Miyavi signature Telecaster model.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.