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Are american Fender basses much better than mexican made ones?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jbbinney, May 6, 2020.

  1. Jbbinney


    Jan 24, 2020
    Don't really need much of a description since its a pretty straight forward question.
  2. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
  3. JakobT


    Jan 9, 2014
    Oslo, Norway
    Mostly, but not always, and not always by as much as you’d expect.
    Thibby, DWBass, baxter_x and 20 others like this.
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Not necessarily.
    Thibby, Ikkir, ToneMonkey and 7 others like this.
  5. opinions vary
    Thibby, Ikkir, John Stephen and 12 others like this.
  6. From my experience, there IS enough difference, to make it worth the difference in cost.
  7. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
  8. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    At least 9 times out of 10, Si.
    Alik, birminghambass, murphy and 3 others like this.
  9. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    I have MIM Fender P. It's nice. Also have a 2004 MIM Fender Stratocaster... bought new in '04. In my experience, there's not much dropoff from MIA to MIM.
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  10. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    No, definitely not for the price difference. The MIJs were the best.
  11. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    This x 1,000. A MIA Fender P maybe be worth $400 more... but not $800. I couldn't justify paying the extra $800.
  12. Lennys


    Mar 4, 2016
    Northbrook, IL
    I have 2 americans and one Mexican fender bass. You do have to remember that the Mexican basses are intended to be at a lower price point, so its not completely where they are made, but lesser hardware, woods, etc, but the differences with the way they are made, improvement in the pickups etc is getting to be less and less. Both are easy to upgrade hardware and pickups if you need too. I haven't felt the need as yet.
  13. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    For currently made models the build quality is about the same in my experience but American Fenders are equipped with hardware+pickups that Fender seems to think is better. I don't necessarily agree, especially if we're talking about current MIMs vs American Professional. I would take a Player or a Vintera over an American Pro any day (and I own all of them).

    The American Originals are generally better than MIMs but they are very inconsistent, have known production issues and they're not nearly as good as the American Vintage series they replaced IMO. Based on my American Original 60s P-bass and the others I've tested in stores I personally don't think they are worth the price vs MIM. $2000 for a mass manufactured passive P/J is simply too much when they're just "good" rather than "great". I've got Squiers that blow my American Original 60s out of the water to be honest.

    The Ultras... Not a fan of active Fenders but I'm sure they are nice if that's your thing. I actually LOVE the new colors! You don't get those on MIMs.
  14. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    In that case I will make it short!

    It depends on who you ask! :D

    may the bass be with you

  15. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Sometimes yes, other times no.
    I have an American Elite Jazz V and a Squier Classic Vibe 60’s Precision (China). Both are great . If I add another , it will probably be a Mexican Roadworn Flea Jazz or Jazz.

    You can find great and bad Fenders at every price point.
  16. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Mostly component/material quality differences. Still Fenders.
    Burwabit likes this.
  17. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Love the MIM Road Worn series—but if you want a better non-vintage relic, you are going to have to go Custom Shop, IME.
    mobax, Catbuster, rodl2005 and 4 others like this.
  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    A lot of Fender parts and instruments cross the border more than once before they hit the retail outlets.
  19. BoomBoomOGTL

    BoomBoomOGTL Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    York SC
    I certainly think so...
  20. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    mine is.... :) 2004 J with proper neck and bridge pickups
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 17, 2021

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