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#1
I'm a left-handed bassist looking to buy my next bass, and then Fender Standard Jazz Bass caught my eye. I noticed there is an american and a mexican version, the mexican being around $500 and the american being about $1500. Is there any huge difference, is the mexican bass a good buy? Have you guys played these basses before? What were your thoughts?

Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate the help.
#2
I have played both the mexican and american. The mexican fenders play great and seem to be good intermediate basses whereas the american are more high end. In my opinion it's not worth the 1000 for an american.
#3
the MIM (Made in Mexico) supports my homeland. however, it is not as nice as the MIA (American), which has more well made parts, tougher inspections, and better quality wood. however, unless you are playing them right next to each other, you will be hard pressed to find people who can tell by sound the difference. I would go with the MIM, and maybe get some effects or something if it was me, but it is your choice. just remember- it is quality that is the difference.
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#4
Quote by Another bassist
I'm a left-handed bassist looking to buy my next bass, and then Fender Standard Jazz Bass caught my eye. I noticed there is an american and a mexican version, the mexican being around $500 and the american being about $1500. Is there any huge difference, is the mexican bass a good buy? Have you guys played these basses before? What were your thoughts?

Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate the help.

i've owned both and yes, the MIM(made in mexico) is a good buy. but be assured of the fact that the MIA is well worth the extra money. buy what is in your budget.
both will serve you well, until you can tell the difference yourself.
#5
I haven't played a MIM that REALLY impressed me. I have played some Americans that I was a huge fan of though. If I'm giving up my 24 frets, I had better get an awesome feel and tone.
#6
The MIA is the MIM, but outclassed in every way. Better wood, more options, better finish, top of the line electronics, and graphite neck support. In my books, the MIM and MIA have little in common besides concept. My first 5-string Jazz was MIM and I hated it.
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#7
Quote by thefitz
The MIA is the MIM, but outclassed in every way. Better wood, more options, better finish, top of the line electronics, and graphite neck support. In my books, the MIM and MIA have little in common besides concept. My first 5-string Jazz was MIM and I hated it.

The MIA is the MIM, but outclassed in every way

Ummm?
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#8
I think thefitz was trying to say, it's like an upgraded version of the MIM. I do not own an MIA, since i don't have the money to buy one, nor do my parents support my bass play ~_~
but anyways, i've been to guitar center and played it there, and it was a work of art.
#9
I think the biggest difference is in how freakin solid the MIA is. Its makes the MIM feel like a toy.
#10
^That is so true. It's just the feel of quality that you get when you play the MIA. I know it sounds like bull**** but the difference you can feel just holding them makes it worth all the money you have to pay. Not to mention the maple fretboard option, the better truss rod, the better pickups or any of that fun stuff.
#11
in my opinion there is a sizable difference between the two, i have a mim p-bass and the neck is warped, the bridge is poorly made and the electronics suck. it's a great bass and was a great beginner bass but compared to what i play now or a MIA it's just inferior.

it's a great bass just not when it's pugged in
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#12
Really, just go with the MIM. I have played both a MIM and MIA p bass before choosing the MIM. The only difference between the two is cosmetics and add on bull **** that boosts the price way up on the MIA like the finsh and s1 switching. It is really not worth it. Once you hit the $500 mark on a bass or guitar it is just cosmetics and and add on gimmicks that make it goes past that price.
#13
Quote by Pizza The Hut
Really, just go with the MIM. I have played both a MIM and MIA p bass before choosing the MIM. The only difference between the two is cosmetics and add on bull **** that boosts the price way up on the MIA like the finsh and s1 switching. It is really not worth it.


i respectfully disagree, not only has the s-1 system been removed on the MIA's but i strongly believe you get what you pay for. that extra $500 pays for better wood, better construction, more quality checks, better electronics and a better bridge.

Once you hit the $500 mark on a bass or guitar it is just cosmetics and and add on gimmicks that make it goes past that price


this is also incorrect. i play a $2700 dollar stingray and i guarantee you that no $500 bass could ever sound nearly as good as that. seriously you get what you pay for
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#14
"this is also incorrect. i play a $2700 dollar stingray and i guarantee you that no $500 bass could ever sound nearly as good as that. seriously you get what you pay for"


Not quite true. Construction only goes so far up to a point. After that it is all wood finish, inlays, Pickups and wiring that beefs up the price, then don't forget the brand name. If you really care about cosmetics thats fine but pickups and wiring can easily be replaced. Besides you can't abuse/play the **** out of the $2,000 + basses because of the fear element. And when some drunk knocks down your $2,500 Bongo, it will make you wish you used that beat up P bass with the wood dents in it instead.
#15
Quote by Pizza The Hut
Not quite true. Construction only goes so far up to a point. After that it is all wood finish, inlays, Pickups and wiring that beefs up the price, then don't forget the brand name. If you really care about cosmetics thats fine but pickups and wiring can easily be replaced. Besides you can't abuse/play the **** out of the $2,000 + basses because of the fear element. And when some drunk knocks down your $2,500 Bongo, it will make you wish you used that beat up P bass with the wood dents in it instead.


You have never played a really good bass, have you? The build quality changed massively. While after a certain price you can be certain ofa good build, it does not change the matter that some will be more perfect than others. Play a MIM, and it is a decent bass. Play a MIA after, and it just feels so much nicer to play, and so much more solid in your hands.
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#16
Well, I have a $1200 Gibson Thunderbird and it doesn't play as good as my $500 Schecter... and a few other i have...


It is dumb to see people pay over 2-3 grand on a bass because at the end of the day it all comes down to how good your amp is. Put it this way....

$ 2,000 boutiqe bass + crap/mediocre amp = average sound

Crap bass/average bass + godlike amp = great sound.
#17
You can't judge with a Thunderbird. They're potentially the most overpriced bass out there, of course the Schecter is better. And yes, your amp is a huge effect on your sound, but how the bass feels is all up to construction. In reality, if it doesn't feel right, you're not going to play to your full potential.
#19
Quote by solid_moose
Ummm?

They appear very similar and the MIA doesn't really have an explicit feature set that the MIM doesn't. The MIM and MIA are the same general instrument, but the MIA is of higher quality in every possible way. Every single one - there's nothing that the MIA and MIM have in common construction-wise.
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#20
I have a MIM fender jazz, and it gets the job done, but the MIA are made so much nice, and are much more durable. so if you have the cash, get the mia, but if you do have that kind of money, you might want to look at some other stuff to see if you like it.
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#21
I absolutely love my MIA, and I agree with everyone that says MIMs will feel weak after playing an MIA. Not to say the MIMs aren't bad at all, for $1000 cheaper, they're bargain prices. I don't think Pizza The Hut knows what he's talking about much, because for one he's comparing an over-priced instrument to an under-priced one.

If you have the money, go for the MIA, because they're definitely worth that extra grand.
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#22
Quote by thefitz
They appear very similar and the MIA doesn't really have an explicit feature set that the MIM doesn't. The MIM and MIA are the same general instrument, but the MIA is of higher quality in every possible way. Every single one - there's nothing that the MIA and MIM have in common construction-wise.

Sorry, I was just commenting on your syntax :p
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#23
I guess no one actually puts any thought into things anymore...

The only real differance between MIM and MIA is that MIA is ASSEMBLED in California. The parts are still manufactered overseas just like the MIM parts, then they are shipped to America where it is assembled. The parts are the same, just assembled in different locations.My bass teacher confirmed this to me. It is just dumb to pay $800 more because it was assembled California rather then Mexico. Last time I checked most of the population in California is of mexican/latino decent, which most likey makes up most of the staff in Fender's Cali plant....

The only way to have a true American made one is to buy one made in the 60s or 70s.
#25
Quote by Pizza The Hut
I guess no one actually puts any thought into things anymore...

The only real differance between MIM and MIA is that MIA is ASSEMBLED in California. The parts are still manufactered overseas just like the MIM parts, then they are shipped to America where it is assembled. The parts are the same, just assembled in different locations.My bass teacher confirmed this to me. It is just dumb to pay $800 more because it was assembled California rather then Mexico. Last time I checked most of the population in California is of mexican/latino decent, which most likey makes up most of the staff in Fender's Cali plant....

The only way to have a true American made one is to buy one made in the 60s or 70s.

Actually I believe it's the other way around. Things like the bridges (on the older MIAs, not the new ones with the high mass bridge) and knobs and general hardware are all made in the US then shipped to Mexico where it is assembled.

I bought an MIA. Why did I choose it over an MIM? Because it felt more solid, it felt nicer to play, it sounded better, the finish quality was better, it came with extras that are very useful (such as the graphite rods in the neck) and it was a better bass in every way, shape and form, even when it came to value for money.
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Last edited by indie-bassist at Jul 11, 2008,
#26
Quote by Pizza The Hut
I guess no one actually puts any thought into things anymore...

The only real differance between MIM and MIA is that MIA is ASSEMBLED in California. The parts are still manufactered overseas just like the MIM parts, then they are shipped to America where it is assembled. The parts are the same, just assembled in different locations.My bass teacher confirmed this to me. It is just dumb to pay $800 more because it was assembled California rather then Mexico. Last time I checked most of the population in California is of mexican/latino decent, which most likey makes up most of the staff in Fender's Cali plant....

The only way to have a true American made one is to buy one made in the 60s or 70s.


the nicest way to put this is you are very wrong.

MIA's and MIM's do not have the exact same parts shipped from overseas then assembled by mexican laborers on both sides of the US border. the American Parts are made in America and are better made in most cases than the mexican parts. MIA's have better bridges, electronics and necks just to name a few things.
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#27
if i were you, and you didn't want to pay the 1000 bucks for an american standard, look out for a hihgway jazz bass which is about 700-800

when i went to GC to buy a bass..i saw two basses..the mexican made jazz bass and the american highway 1 jazz bass..and i was almost going to buy the mexican one because i thought i was being smart

this dude comes in, some old dude who seems to know eveyrthing there is to know about basses and points out everything about the two basses and thats when i knew theres not a doubt in my mind im getting the highway 1

lets just say..the wood is really different..hehe
#28
Quote by Pizza The Hut
I guess no one actually puts any thought into things anymore...

The only real differance between MIM and MIA is that MIA is ASSEMBLED in California. The parts are still manufactered overseas just like the MIM parts, then they are shipped to America where it is assembled. The parts are the same, just assembled in different locations.My bass teacher confirmed this to me. It is just dumb to pay $800 more because it was assembled California rather then Mexico. Last time I checked most of the population in California is of mexican/latino decent, which most likey makes up most of the staff in Fender's Cali plant....

The only way to have a true American made one is to buy one made in the 60s or 70s.

Are you perchance an XBOX360 fanboy?
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#30
This calls for some type of chart.

Made in Mexico ($479.99):
1. Alder body
2. Modern C shape maple neck
3. Rosewood fingerboard
4. 20 medium jumbo frets
5. Standard J Bass pickups

Highway 1 ($849.99):
1. Alder body
2. Graphite-reinforced maple neck
3. Rosewood fretboard
4. Standard J Bass pickups
5. Chrome hardware
6. BadAss II bridge
7. Greasebucket master tone
8. Satin lacquer finish

Made in America ($1,149.99):
1. Ash or alder body
2. Graphite-reinforced neck with modern C shape and satin polyurethane finish
3. Rosewood or maple fingerboard with rolled edges
4. 20 medium jumbo frets
5. Open-back cast machine heads
6. 2 U.S. Jazz Bass single-coil pickups
7. Volume/volume/master tone controls
8. HMV Bridge (high mass vintage)
9. Chrome hardware
10. Thinner undercoat
11. Improved neck pocket

It's simple. The number of features is proportional to the cost of the instrument!

Brilliant!
#31
Did they actually remove the S1 switch on the 2008 Jazzes? Cause if they did, I'm very glad I got the 2006/7 model. I use it a lot.

Oh, and also, MIA's have thru-body bridges, which give longer sustain and make the bass stay in tune for longer.
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#32
Quote by Jonn0
Did they actually remove the S1 switch on the 2008 Jazzes? Cause if they did, I'm very glad I got the 2006/7 model. I use it a lot.

Oh, and also, MIA's have thru-body bridges, which give longer sustain and make the bass stay in tune for longer.


Yeah they got rid the S-1, most people didn't like them I guess and there was an issue with them getting stuck in one position.
#33
Quote by Captain Insano
Yeah they got rid the S-1, most people didn't like them I guess and there was an issue with them getting stuck in one position.


That would really suck, if you bought a Jazz and had the S-1 stuck on, so you essentially had a mediocre P-Bass, instead.
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#34
^ Yea really. When I was pursuing a MIA Jazz, I tried one with the S-1. Didn't really do anything for me, so I went used circa 98. Couldn't be happier, love the tones and controls. Good to see Fender went away from the S-1 imo.
#35
Quote by Spankyx2
I have a MIM fender jazz, and it gets the job done, but the MIA are made so much nice, and are much more durable. so if you have the cash, get the mia, but if you do have that kind of money, you might want to look at some other stuff to see if you like it.

There's some debate going on in this thread, and Spanky here said what I wanted to say for me.

The MIA's (and Music Mans too, since they came up) are more expensive, yes, but there is good solid reason behind it. Construction is the main one, although getting good stock electronics is always a good thing. If you've got $2,000, your bills have been paid, you've got food in the kitchen, and nobody's birthday is coming up, well it's simply the more correct choice to go with an MIA than an MIM. It. Is. Higher. Quality.

That being said, some of us don't have $2,000 to spare. I personally usually don't have $100 to spare, I'm a poor college student without a summer job for crying out loud. The next bass I get probably won't be a Music Man, though I would LOVE for it to be. Yes, there are plenty of good basses out there in the under $500 price range, and MIM's fall into that category. If money is an issue, it is an issue that can be resolved.

So... basically I just took Spanky's post and stretched out really thin-like.
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#36
How much bass playing experience do you have? Play the MIM and the MIA. If you don't notice the difference, go with the MIM.
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#37
Quote by DoctrDrew116
How much bass playing experience do you have? Play the MIM and the MIA. If you don't notice the difference, go with the MIM.


good point
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#38
Just a question, what proportion is the quality of MIJ Jazzes compared to those 3?
#39
Quote by fishbass
Just a question, what proportion is the quality of MIJ Jazzes compared to those 3?

Its CIJ now :P
They're in the middle of American and Mexican.
Though I've heard some say they're better than MIA, but thats debatable
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#40
Quote by Captain Insano
Yeah they got rid the S-1, most people didn't like them I guess and there was an issue with them getting stuck in one position.

Well I've had no problems with mine, and I've found it quite useul. A nice warm tone given, when I want to play some rock, and I can put it back to the regular tone by a press of a button. =]
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