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Are MIM necks really MIM???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sj_bass, Jan 6, 2012.


  1. sj_bass

    sj_bass Supporting Member

    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Moody Leathers endorsed artist
    Not necessarily...

    As I was taking a tour of the Fender Factory, I learned that many MIM necks are made here in the USofA.

    Reason: The new CNC machines that cut 4 necks at a time run about $500,000 each, and they run two of them simultaneously at the Corona Plant. So, this is why MIM and MIA necks are relatively the same - at least until they get to the assembly part...

    Here's the link to my Flickr Photostream - feel free to peruse some of the other shots as well.

    Gluing in the Skunk Strip for an MIM neck | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  2. VWbug

    VWbug

    Sep 11, 2010
    New Jersey
    How do they differ?
     
  3. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    SoCal
    So if I buy a MIA Deluxe theres a very good chance itll have a ski ramp like on the MIM basses?
     
  4. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    mia= made in america assembled by mexicans... mim= parts made in america and shipped to mexico to be assembled also by mexicans. you can get 2 mims for the price of an mia go made in mexico or just go squier...
     
  5. sj_bass

    sj_bass Supporting Member

    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Moody Leathers endorsed artist
    Skunk stripe necks that are going to Mexico are sanded, radiused, fretted, then shaved before they get tested for fret height and truss relief (see pic link below). They are then packaged unfinished - decals and clearcoat are done south of the border.

    Here's the old tried-n-true method of measuring frets against a jig:
    IMG_0041 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    High spots are marked in green, then sanded down until the marker is gone:
    IMG_0042 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
     
  6. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    next time when posting a pic from flikr use the bb code and it will add to the page and not make you have to click to see the picture.
     
  7. pedroims

    pedroims

    Dec 19, 2007
    Michigan
    are those pictures de Cal factory or Mexico factory? all I can see are Mexicans. I am goignt to meet my friend and ask him why the quality in MIM are no so great, he works as manager there, will be interesting what he have to said.
     
  8. grisezd

    grisezd

    Oct 14, 2009
    Ohio
    Thanks for posting up the photos. I love seeing this stuff.
     
  9. sj_bass

    sj_bass Supporting Member

    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Moody Leathers endorsed artist
    Wow... Ease off on the Haterade, and work on your grammar.

    There is a diverse population of employees at the Corona factory - definitely not "all mexicans". Also, I've played - and own - a number of MIM, MIA, and MIJ necks, and just like any other production piece of lumber, there are some winners and some losers.

    If you want the best of the best from Fender, the Custom Shop will build it for you (for a price that's similar to Sadowsky, Lakland, etc.)

    </soapbox>
     
  10. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Thanks for the info and the great photos.

    Some people here on TB need to learn a little decorum before they reply.
     
  11. I've had brand new MIM and MIA basses come in from Fender that needed so much neck adjustment, right out of the box, that there is very little room for much more after that.
    I've also worked on a few of each that were pretty much maxed out even before their fifth birthday.

    Whats up with that??
     
  12. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I love MIM necks. Other people's preconceptions = great deals on quality bass gear for the rest of us.
     
  13. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Can you define what the "ski ramp" comment refers to?
    Thanks.
     
  14. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    I posted a video tour of the Mexico factory a while back I found online. Necks ate indeed made in the US and shipped to be finished in Mexico. They do everything else. They said they have the ability to make necks there if the need arises.

    Believe it or not the people that work at the Mexico factory are only required to make a certain amount a day. If what they made passes QC they get to go home early. Not a bad setup.
     
  15. MASSIVE neck relief.
     
  16. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    The ski ramp condition is common in MIM Fenders? Good to know.

    Is this an issue they've sorted out over the years, or is it still prevalent?
     
  17. I don't know what it is but I've seen a lot of Fenders with "ski ramps".

    On the other hand, my Squier CV Jazz Bass is just perfect.
     
  18. sj_bass

    sj_bass Supporting Member

    May 23, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    Moody Leathers endorsed artist
    Wood and wine have some similarities; there are good years and there are not-so-good years...

    It's somewhat ironic that people tout the '79-'82 years as being the "last of the great Fullerton Fenders". This is when my friends were working there, and the running gag was "this must be an afternoon bass" because my friends would smoke weed and drink beer during lunch and return to work wasted.

    This is one of the main reasons why they shut down the plant, took all of the raw materials and shipped them to Japan, and began building instruments there.

    Now, QC has definitely made some serious improvements, and the new neck CNC machines that run $500,000 each are definitely more accurate than the old jig routers we used to use. But this is mass production, and wood is wood...

    By the way, the only thing that hasn't changed at Fender is Abigail Ybarra. 53 years later, she is still winding pickups by hand. Of course if you want one of hers, it'll cost you - about $500 a set for your Jazz Bass.
     
  19. That explains the finger with a roach clip I found in a P-Bass neck......
     
  20. What difference would I hear if I had those pickups in my Jazz Bass? Or would the woods (nice) be a major factor in the sound they produce?

    Are they worth the $500?
     

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