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Are Highway One Jazz Basses USA made? If so why so cheap?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by marantz10, Apr 26, 2010.


  1. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I've seen these things for sale for ~450- to 500 dollars and think that's really low for a USA made Fender Bass in good condition. Plus it has a Badass II!

    Side note: what really makes a Highway One different from the American standard then besides the Badass II?
     
  2. DRafalske

    DRafalske

    Nov 6, 2008
    Hebron, KY
    They also have a satin nitro finish, 70's headstock decals, and are only available with rosewood fretboards. Oh, the tuners are not the lightweight ones like on the Standards.
    Great basses. I have a HWY1 P and love it
     
  3. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Are the pickups standard USA model pickups? or USA vintage pickups?
     
  4. A highway one after 2006 for 500$ is a pretty good deal , the badass bridge alone is worth a huge chunk of money i have seen the grooved saddles ones fetch over 100$ on ebay. The necks are also the same as the standards just different finish process.

    The way they paint the body and finish the neck drops the price, as well as not having a hardcase, the tuners are cheaper and no string through body.
     
  5. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Neither. Almost all H1 pickups have been MIM, and they've never been the same as in the "American" or "American Standard" series.

    The MIAness of the H1 series of instruments is somewhat exaggerated, though less now than originally. Originally, they were just MIM classic series instruments with final assembly and downgraded finish done in the US and a tiny few hardware differences. It's some different now, but not much. The pickups are now different from the Classic series, but I believe are still MIM. I am not 100% sure, but I believe the pickups in the most recent H1 upgrades of at least some of the guitars were briefly out of the Corona shop but were moved to Mexican production.
     
  6. Highway 1's are not 100% USA made like the American Standard basses are for instance.
     
  7. well like the sub with musicman im sure they had to do some thing to lower the price and putting out a very high quality product,and with the highway one series its all american parts but assembled in mexico,also the nitro? paint is not expensive as the finish as the multi coat american basses,so i think thats it,also ive seen american standard fenders go for about 500 bucks in ok condition so its not too much of a price difference,
     
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have never been a big fan of highway 1's. I liked and bought a 50's classic a few years back over one for fit ,finish and sound. Highway 1's are mostly MIM with fancier paint but i just never bonded with them.
     
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    The whole "paint" thing is the key: Here in CA, they have very strict rules about how you paint things so as to protect workers *and* the environment. In Mexico they have "Rules", but as someone who has lived near the border me entire life, "Rules" in Mexico are *highly* fungible. That Fender sends these south of the border for this work is nothing but a cost savings measure which makes perfect economic sense - but it doesn't mean I have to like it.
     
  10. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    No, no, no... :rollno:
     
  11. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    No, it's a downgraded matte finish.

    Non-gloss finishes represent a huge savings in production costs.
     
  12. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    They're not 100%, either.

    I had a discussion with FMIC management some years back about what legally constitutes MIA or import, and it's pretty complicated.
     
  13. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have an opportunity to buy Highway One pickups that aren't too much money. If I'm looking for American-made pickups, would this be the place I should look? What would you pay for a pair of Jazz pickups from a Highway One?
     
  14. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    No, they're MIM, with a possible very few exceptions.
     
  15. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Not much. Everything I've gathered about the HW1 is that it's a fine platform from which to start: The body/neck/bridge are fine, the rest could stand to be upgraded. I have no doubt the dude who pulled those p'ups *out* of his HW1 to sell to you did so for a reason.
     
  16. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    have you owned one (either a Hwy 1 or One) and can speak knowledgeably from hands on experience, or is this all just hear-say from what info you've gathered off the net and talking to store sales reps that wouldn't know their head from a hole in the ground?
     
  17. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Okay cool. Thanks guys. These were on eBay and aren't going for much but seem to be pulling in typical MIM pricing right now. He did say he wanted "hotter" pickups which would lead me to believe that they probably were MIM. Darn :(
     
  18. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    :confused::confused::confused:

    cause he wanted a "hotter" output means they're not MIA? The reason I gutted my 2003 highway 1 was for the same reason. I wanted Dunan 1/4 lbs cause I played rock. The pickups were MIA...just wanted a different sound. Would have done the same if it had been a MIA standard too.
     
  19. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    My info comes directly from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation management.

    Sometimes they know what they're talking about, but not always. Stuff changes incredibly fast at FMIC and it's hard for even them to keep up.

    When in doubt, check their parts lists for the model in which you are interested.

    I never, ever listen to the floor help at music stores about anything and I rarely accept information on forums unless I can substantiate it from a professional source.
     
  20. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    "Set of Fender Highway One jazz pickups that were removed from my Fender Highway One jazz this past weekend in order to install some replacements. All in all I think they are pretty good quality, but I was looking for a hotter output. Includes set of pickups and shielding/foam pieces." [from ebay page]

    Well I'd figure that American pickups would be hotter than MIM because they are better wound. Sure, perhaps American pickups aren't hot enough for your standards but to me anyways that's how I interpreted it.
     

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