I currently play a double bass and would like to get a bass guitar to play with. I've seen numerous Mexican Fenders in my price range. Any recommendations on them?
The Mexican Precision and Jazz are both fine instruments. Go play a few at your local music store to find your preference. There are several MIM versions of each.
You can't go wrong with a MIM J or P. They're excellent basses and most likely every bit as good as MIA's. I have an early 90's MIM Jazz, and that's at a time the MIM's were of suspect quality and to this day, its one of my favorite basses to play. And I also own several American Fenders.
I also recomend playing one before buying. The made in Mexico could be hit or miss with quality control.
I like Fender and you should be able to find a fine playing MIM.
I own "Road Worn" series Fenders (Precision and Jazz basses) and the quality, IMO, is close to if not better than American made Fenders.
Coming from an upright you might like the Precision due to the wider neck. Either way you should try both types (Jazz/Precision) at a shop and decide what feels right to you.
Another option is the Fender made Squier "Classic Vibe" series basses. They are very high quality for your money. If you have the opportunity, try one of these also. You will be pleased with any of the above choices I'm sure.
Good luck and don't forget the used market. You can probably find a used American Standard for near what you would pay for a new made in mexico Fender.
The only really weak areas of the MIM Standards are the pickups and weight. Find a nice light one and toss in some Fender '62 ( or the new Geezer Butler EMG's maybe ) pickups and your golden.
All IMO of course, but there's a lot of examples to back it up.
I have a MIM Fender Jazz 5 that I converted to passive electronics with a set of Lindy Fralin pickups...it is one of the best sounding and playing basses I have ever had. I have it strung with e-a-d-g-c strings.
Thanks everyone for all the comments. Definitely will try some before buying but sounds encouraging.
See which feels better in your hands. For example, most Precisions have a wider neck and string spacing at the nut while Jazzes are a bit slimmer. It may only be a fraction of an inch (generally, about .125" to .150"), but choosing one over the other can make a big difference in comfort and playability.
If you're well-versed in playing double-bass, there are both MIM Fenders and the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz that offer fretless models.
The newer the better. The QA got really good around 2010. Avoid used MIM basses that have the Stratocaster type numbered knobs unless you can play them; those were not great years but there are gems.
EDIT: You may also come across used MIJ/CIJ in your hunt. If they are in your budget they are preferable to MIM IMO.
Ya the mim standard p is a great choice! Ive got one and it kills, really easy to mod to if your unhappybwith anything!
I've got an amazing sunburst Jazz that is built very finely. I think it is 2002-2003. I replaced the bridge with some Ibanez hi-mass bridge I bought for $20 in a GC Clearance bin. It has EMG Passives (previous owner). It roars.
Nothing wrong with MIM's.
I have owned and played them..well built instruments.
I currently have a 50's MIM Classic P...It gets plenty of love.
Doesn't matter where it is made these days. If it feels, sounds, and plays well to you...Who cares where it is made!
MIMs (assuming you mean the Standard series) are very good instruments. Here are the differences I can say I noticed between the American Standards and MIM Standard Fenders I've owned:
1. MIM pickups are hotter, but also more transparent than on MIAs. MIA pickups tend to be warmer, medium output, and rounder.
2. MIM fretwork isn't up to the standards of the MIA instruments. There's some sprouting. It never got in the way of my playing, nor is it that bad, but I figured it's worth mentioning.
3. MIMs are sometimes not electrically grounded as well as MIAs.
4. MIM doesn't allow for stringing through the body.
5. MIM and MIA come in some different colors, as well as different headstock logo/text.
They are quite good instruments, though. I have a really nice 2011 MIM P bass, and a FSR MIM P body with an upgraded 62 USA Fender pickup.
I agree that where it's made shouldn't make any difference as long as it sounds good but I was also concerned about quality. In double basses there are plenty of $300 -$500 instruments from China but they're usually junk and have problems in the long run. That was my biggest concern with the MIM's. Thanks again everyone for all the great feedback.
This is a well-trod and somewhat emotional issue here. I've expressed these thoughts before, but since you asked:
1. In no way are MIM Standards "just as good" as American Standards by any measure: sound, playability, quality of materials.
2. It doesn't matter where something is built unless you're an American who cares about quality and about supporting your own economy and your fellow American workers. (Anybody else see any irony in the above photo with the giant American flag and the guy playing a MIM?)
My advice would always be to be patient and keep your eyes open for a nice, used MIA. They can be had for not much more than a new MIM and are worth it.
Would I buy a new MIM? No
Would I buy a used MIM? Yes
You can get a MIM fender used for $300-$400 all day long. That's a good deal and you can get your money back if you decide to sell it.
That being said...I can FEEL the quality difference when I hold a US fender. That matters to me. However, with a proper setup and upgraded pickups a MIM will SOUND just as good as a US version.
MIMs are generally good quality and play great, but the hardware is nowhere near the quality of the MIA stuff. And comparing a $300-500 slab bass to a $300-500 upright isn't really fair. DBs are way more complicated.
And in no way does the country of manufacture matter in general. Plenty of garbage comes out of this country as well.
Matt don't misunderstand me. I wasn't comparing a ub to an electric for the same 300-500. All I was saying is there are what appear to be bargains but they're really not bargains at all when you consider the quality. I definitely don't expect to get an MIA for what I'll pay for a MIM all else being equal.
I've owned both and liked both but the MIA is simply a better insturment. The MIM is still a good insturment and I would certainly own another if I see one I like. OP, go play as many as you can then determine what insturment you like most. Have fun with it and good luck.
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