I've heard the same thing from others. I read somewhere that Fender often ships materials back and forth between manufacturing locations (US & Mexico at that time) when there is a shortage of parts, much like other manufacturers do. Perhaps the wood for this body came from California since the American versions were made of alder. Obviously the better woods are used for the finishes that are somewhat transparent, or in some cases they're veneered. Mine was veneered and I believe it was done to smooth out the surface. I've stripped a lot of bass bodies and this Stu Hamm Urge MIM is the worst one I've seen, but that won't matter if it sounds and plays well. I'll know every soon.