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American vs. Mexico Fender Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmasta55, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. bassmasta55


    Jun 6, 2006
    I was thinking anout getting a Fender Jazz Bass, and I was just wondering what the difference between American and Mexico basses.
  2. well they are each made in their respective countries for starters. the mexican is in no way a bad bass, i own one myself, but the quality of the american is much better. It has better sounding pick-ups, better quality of craftsmanship, higher quality parts, and overall is more full and kind to the ear. go to any place that sells fender and try them both. youll instantly feel the difference. o and did i mention the american is a little over 2 times as much price wise? but you can go to any guitar center and haggle them down a bit, or get some free stuff with it.
  3. bassmasta55


    Jun 6, 2006
    I'm pretty new at bass, and I need a second bass, so will the American last longer than the mexican?
  4. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    They'll both last equally long. They're both made out of similar wood, and will both break if you go "The Who" on them.

    The American made one will set you back quite a few more dollars, but has better electronics/hardware and generally better construction with more attention to detail. It's worth the extra cash if you can afford it.
    u2brothr likes this.
  5. SwitchGear


    Mar 23, 2005
    Sunny Beach
    I presently own an 2001 American Series Fender Jazz and really like it. I had a 2002 Mexican Jazz but sold it a couple of years ago. It was a good bass, but the American versions "feel" better and sound sweeter to ME. Plus I like the truss rod adjustment at the heel and the graphite reinforced necks.

    Either way, buy used and save $.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    The Americans have a few more features... S1 switching, rolled fingerboard edges, better QC, higher quality hardware, lightweight tuners, etc. and because of that have a higher price.

    However, Mexican Fenders are by no means bad basses. I've owned more Mexicans than Americans.
    Jazzcaster89 likes this.
  7. PaulMack


    Apr 29, 2006
    Ihave a 60's reissue J Bass in Burgandy Mist that cost me 650 new when I picked it up. Didn't play that great when I got it but it just spoke to me. I've had the frets crowned and polished...a bone nut and Badass bridge installed..a set of Nordstrands pickups and an Aguilar preamp (Used to have Bartolini PUP's and Pre) and had the body routed under the pickguard so I wouldn't have to remove the neck for truss rod adjustments.
    While the cost of the bass and upgrades brings me into the cost range of a USA model, and some may say why, this bass is Numero Uno out of the few I have. I prefer it over the USA QMT Jazz Deluxe I just picked up , and that is a sahweeet bass.
    Dig thru the USA's and the MIM or the CIJ basses and you'll know when you find the one. Don't impulse buy or get in a hurry, I did that recently with a StingRay and boy do I regret that. Get the one that you keep coming back to.
  8. boomfunk


    Jun 6, 2005
    Guess what? They make all the parts in the same place in California, just north of Mexico and send the parts down for assembling for the mexican basses. I've got a Mex 60s re-issue jazz. sunburst. it plays awsum but the bridge sux. there's retro then theres just plain crap. i'll get a badassII soon
  9. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Your first statement is not true. Mexican necks and bodies are Made in Mexico. I'm sure the tuners and bridge are even more foreign, and who knows where the electronics come from? But needless to say, the components are not the same.
    robmclucky likes this.
  10. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    ummmm......... no........ i heard all parts for MIMs were U.s. made and assembled in mexico and that was from a Fender dealer.
    Jazzcaster89 likes this.
  11. SamJ

    SamJ Founder - Fender MIA Club

    Apr 22, 2006
    PDX / SFO / HNL
    I have the email from Fender which states:

    ... MIM's use different parts from MIA's and likewise Custom Shop yet again different.. there is no similarity in quality between the parts either, and many of the parts for the MIM's are not Made in the USA, while some parts are..

    here is a list of differences:

    -Body wood is usually 5 piece vs 2-3
    -Body wood is usually of an inferior quality, but not always
    -Hardware (brass, chrome) is of an inferior grade, and not always made in the USA
    -Pick ups on MIM's are not same as MIA's, and are inferior
    -MIM's don't have body thru strings
    -MIM's have the skunk stripe as they use the older method of insertion of the truss rod, and also don't incorporate the carbon fiber re-inforcement
    -MIM's use a different quality finish
    -MIM's have inferior quality plastics, i.e. knobs, pickguards, etc.

    So considering they cost about 1/3 to 1/2 the MIA's they're pretty good, but they're really not even in the same ballpark in terms of over all quality, and I would argue sound.

    buy an older used MIA before you buy a new MIM.
    robmclucky likes this.
  12. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Its like the old joke..
    I don't get it. Whats the big difference between a Beetle
    and a Mercedes? The Mercedes has four wheels...... so
    does the Beetle. The Mercedes has a steering wheel.....
    so does the Beetle.....etc, etc. The Am fender is better
    than the mexican fender. If you are truly a beginner, you
    won't know much of a difference........but you will soon.
  13. Here's a suggestion: If you're low on the cash and still want a quality instrument, go with the MIM bass. You can always swap out the pickups if you desire (this will probably make the biggest difference in your sound). Also, the parts quality on Americans is better. My bridge on my MIM P-bass had saddles that kept dropping and not staying in place, causing my whole bass to detune and whatnot. This happened about 2 years after I bought it, apparantly it seems like a common problem on the MIMs. I swapped the bridge for a BadassII and never had that problem again.

    I've NEVER had any problems whatsoever on my MIA deluxe Jazz, and I never would want to swap out the pups on that monster.
  14. Other than the pu's you'll need to look into the active eq in the MIM. I have one and haven't had any problems, but after playing some other basses, (including Warwick), I'm looking for more from my Jazz. I've even had people tell me that they really like the sound of the Warwick as opposed to the Fender. Of course we're talking two different animals, but I just wanted to make the point that it's not just the pickups, but the active electronics, too, that may need to be replaced to get the right "mix". I don't know, myself, if I want to get a MIA or maybe a different brand. Just that the MIM isn't cutting it since I got the Warwick...:meh:
  15. kidgloves2


    Mar 27, 2006
    The MIM are made in Mexico by mexicans and the MIA are made in America by um...........mexicans. :ninja:

    I'm a big fan of mexico and mexicans, so I got myself a MIM and saved $800. If you swap out the pups and install a badass bridge (around $200 total) you will have an awesome bass because the wood on the MIM is the same.
    Scungilli likes this.
  16. Granted, they're a LOT "cheaper", but as far as the wood; did you not read "SamJ"'s reply?
    I think that the wood is an issue here...:(
  17. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    MIM Fender basses are made in Mexico by Mexicans.

    MIA Fenders basses are made in America by Mexicans.

    A got that info from a Fender dealer.

    Oh, by the way I'm Mexican. But I didn't make any of the basses.

    It was a joke...I don't mean that it makes any real difference. I should have thought fisrt before I typed that out. I apologize if that offended anyone. Being that I am of Mexican desent I really didn't think twice about it. I guess I was putting a spin on how in some ways they are very much the same.

    I actually had a dealer say that to me recently.

    The build quality of the two can be quite simmilar the only difference is in the quality of the components that make up the bass and the Neck of the MIA is nicer, it has nicer rolled edges and the graphite rods. I own a MIM Fender Jazz and I love it. Modded it it a bit but it's a keeper and I doub't I will sell it or trade it in.
    u2brothr likes this.
  18. SamJ

    SamJ Founder - Fender MIA Club

    Apr 22, 2006
    PDX / SFO / HNL
    Even if that were entirely true, it's not the race of the worker that makes the instrument, it's the skill level, man hours allowed per instrument, quality of the materials, and QC.. That said, here are some pics from from the Fender factory floors in Mex and USA..

    USA and Mexico pics here:

    USA Only pics here:
  19. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    Differences aside, the MIM Fenders can be supremely functional, utilitarian instruments if you get a good one.
    Not the fanciest rig on the block, but can certainly get the job done. I see lots of people out gigging with MIM Fenders, and it's funny how none of them seem to need to upgrade to Badass bridges or change the tuners etc. and they stay in tune, and can sound pretty darn good through a resonalbly good amp.
  20. Yep, MIM's are fine. I own one and gig every weekend with it and never have problems with the tuners. I did, however, replace the crap white pickguard, crappy bridge and crappy pickups. It's a great sounding bass now... I have no shame.
    ryanhostetler and Jazzcaster89 like this.
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