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Are people crazy for MIM Fenders?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeneralElectric, May 3, 2021 at 3:24 PM.

  1. 7dollarbologna

    7dollarbologna Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    Maybe it’s because recently (2012 ish)MIM Fenders are incredible, - sellers of the older less quality models are possibly trying to “hook their cart” to the lines improved reputation, with the aim to dupe a potential buyer. Just a guess, I’ve seen it with other fender model lines
    Maxdusty likes this.
  2. 7dollarbologna

    7dollarbologna Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    If it’s a nitro finished Classic series- it’s worth it.
    FronTowardEnemy likes this.
  3. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    I bought a pair of MIM both mid 2000's...terrible fret sprout, scratchy pots and output jacks....one was a J bass the other a P bass.

    After MUCH neck work (mostly crazy fret sprout) i wound up swapping necks and actually the stock hardware was fine, including tuners and pickups.

    The P bass was under $100 but that was like 6 years ago and it sat in a pawn for months with broken strings and virtually NO wear likely because the fret ends would cut your hands! Crazy!

    Traded the P w/J neck....kept the J w/P neck
  4. I've often wondered what would happen if everything Fender sold had serial numbers that were not site-of-build specific (i.e., the s/n would give no indication of where it was built) and no 'made in ----------' sticker, how many could tell or care WHERE it was built.

    I've rarely understood why MIM's (and earlier MIJ's, much less Squier) catch the grief they do, usually from the same bunch of guys moaning over how expensive Fenders made in the US sell for. All I've tried were just fine, and to me, that active PBass Special from Mexico is one of the best deals/buys in their entire catalog. Now if they'd just make it in a five . . . . . .

    Deluxe Active Precision Bass® Special | Electric Basses (fender.com)
    MynameisMe, tubatodd and squarepeg like this.
  5. mexicant


    Aug 28, 2012
    Mid Michigan,USA
    Kinda like 70s fenders! Nobody liked them back in the day, but now they are collectable! That and free $$$ ....
    MynameisMe and bassdude51 like this.
  6. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    Or maybe we who have been buying and trading basses since the 90s are just experiencing the whole "gas used to be 89 cents a gallon" phenomenon? (I know that 89 cents is way more than it used to be even longer ago, but since during my high school years it got that low, I am using that number.)

    I was kind of shocked that some of the MIM Fender guitars were up over 1k also. The last used MIA Fender bass I bought for 750 will be my last Fender purchase.
    Relayer71 likes this.
  7. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    MIM Cabronita basses are rarely seen for sale in the used market and when they do the prices are high. I put that down to it's somewhat limited release. Guess it's not the only one.
    bassdude51 likes this.
  8. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    The Fender Cabronita Basses are soooo excellent!

    Just yesterday 5-3-21, I went to Youtube on the smart TV and this bass video popped up. I was blown away by the sound of the Cabronita! (The dude playing it is doing some fantastic "old schoolish" style bass playing!)

    I'd LOVE to have one. Not easily found!

    2saddleslab has the best looking Cabronita there is! Sweet pin strips! Custom touches! Beautiful! La Cabronita Owners, A Question............

    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 7:41 AM
    2saddleslab likes this.
  9. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I just purchased a 1995 MiM P bass after looking for a couple of months. One of the best deals I could find, and it was about $550 out the door. Regardless of what you perceive their value to be, $700-800 seems to be the range people are asking for these days assuming it's in good condition. I saw a few for less than $500, but nearly all of them had issues that I wasn't willing to accept.
    MynameisMe likes this.
  10. I dunno. I bought my son a MIM Jacks in 1996, I upgraded the pick-ups to Fender “62s” around the turn of the century, and he will not part with it for anything. It’s that good of an instrument. Keep in mind, he’s a professional bassist in the Marine Corp and has his choice top quality gear, but it’s still his go to.
  11. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    It's not just MIM basses. It's not just basses, in general. It's not even just the MI industry either. Prices on many, many things (asking and selling) are much higher than usual right now. It's the 'ol supply and demand thing. I'll stop right there before I start getting political. ;)
    gg22, Bassdoggydogg and andare like this.
  12. Older MIMs have that good, dark rosewood. Im not a fan of the look of Pau Ferro and I dont think Im alone. If you want a rosewood fb you either have to pony up for a performer or get a used MIM.
    Dec1975 likes this.
  13. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Mill Valley, CA
    My ‘96 MIM is great quality. I paid $399 but it’s easily a $600 instrument IMO
    MynameisMe likes this.
  14. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Right now all musical instruments (and houses, and cars) are in demand, so the prices of everything have gone up. When you look at how good a MIM Fender from the turn of the millenium is, versus a typical 70's Fender built with sloppy tooling, the thing that's astonishing is not that the prices of used MIM's have gone up. The thing that's surprising is that people get more for 70's Fenders.

    Yes, someone will be along any minute to explain that their 70's Fender is one of the good ones. I'm glad you like the thing - if you can make good music with it, then it is good.
    backin82 likes this.
  15. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I just saw one on Reverb.
    bassdude51 likes this.
  16. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    The used market is just nuts right now. In another thread I commented that someone locally is selling a neckless Squier Jag for $350. It is not even playable. There is even someone trying to sell a Skull and Bones Squier for $400. Best of luck to them because someone else has had one listed for years at $150.

    The only thing I can think of is that since the cost of MIM has gone up it has also raised the value in the used market? You can get a new Squier VM for about $400 or a used MIM Fender.
  17. That era late 90's to 2010's or so was a boon for Fender MIM. The quality and consistency shot up, huge bang for the buck. That's also around the time they finally started offering a maple board option on the Standard line (around 08'?). I think I own at least three of those, P's and J's. I bought them for the road so I wouldn't have to worry if they got damaged or stolen, and they pretty much remained in heavy rotation. IMHO, they really are great basses, good representations of what you want from a well-made Fender player. I left all mine bone stock right down to the factory strings. Easy set up, they sound great to me, and no complaints from techs, engineers, or fellow musos.
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 9:34 AM
  18. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I've had good luck and bad luck with MIMs, but mostly good. I think the MIM line went into a bit of a slump just before they rebuilt it in 08 or whatever it was. I had an MIM Jazz from around 02 or 01 that was great and only got rid of it when I bought a Rick. Later on I had an 07 or 08 and the neck took a wicked, wicked forebow. I found a Frankenfender Squier P with an old MIM Jazz neck, bought it, swapped the necks and used the Squier as a mule to straighten out the newer neck while the wood finished drying or whatever was going on. The wood and finish on the two necks were very different.
    What the MIM line has been up to since 09 or whatever, though, has been a very different story. The earlier MIMs I'd have trouble paying more than $400 for, specifically because of the hit-or-miss nature of them. The newer ones, though, I feel hold their value for good reasons. Two of the real gems are the early Road Worns and that crazy-looking pink Flea Jazz. The Cabronita basses I wish they'd bring back. A Jaguar-bodied Cabronita with Fidelitrons in Jazz positions and that heavy neck would be really neat.

    Where I do draw the line is when somebody is trying to sell a 20-year-old MIM for about the same price I could find a newer used MIA. I see that a lot.
  19. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    The reasonably priced ones in the market are snatched up very fast so usually the overpriced ones are left until the seller lowers the price. That's been my observation in these pandemic times in my area. Your typical used MIM P or Jazz bass may start off at $500-600 but have noticed that prices get cut as people aren't really buying it at that price. Around $400 is the tipping point here or oftentimes, trades in lieu of cash.
    Just a few days ago, someone listed a late 90s MIM Fender jazz needing a jack repair for $250 and an active MIM Fender Jazz deluxe for $300....needless to say, those were pounced upon in no time.
  20. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    MIM Vs MIA is not equal and never was. My personal observations from owning each are:
    Neck - MIA tends to be more uniform in shape and design whereas MIM tends to be thinner on the headstock, this sometimes causes a warped headstock forward leaning, caused by the string tension. Often times has a heal between the headstock and Nut area where the headstock doesn't align as nicely as the MIA. This can appears as the face of the headstock on the MIM looking more scooped away from the fingerboard dimension.
    Tuning Keys - are a cheaper throw away item on the MIM, usable but not the equal in quality of the MIA.
    Frets - MIA is better finished and fretboard is rolled on the edges giving a nicer smoother finish with no sharp edges along the neck. Frets are a little thicker on the MIA.
    Neck fit to body socket - appears tighter in the MIA without the gaps common to MIM.
    Body - MIA is often 2 or sometimes 3 piece. MIM is multi piece usually about 6 as smaller pieces of wood are always cheaper to buy as off cuts that larger pieces just the same as rifle stock blanks, small bits of wood are cheaper by enough to make laminating the jigsaw puzzle fiscally viable.
    Pick Up's and wiring - You all know the answer to this one, what you may not know is that if you buy genuine Fender USA pick Ups as a replacement, (I have) they came in packs stating made in Mexico. I queried this with Fender and was told MIM makes the pick ups for both MIA and MIM basses. Obviously, this is a controlled variance between the 2 models.
    Bridge - MIM is a slightly cheaper model that I changed out with the MIA version, again as so many of these items, there isn't a lot different to make the basses sound and play differently but the differences are subtle enough to notice they are different. If the 2 guitars were unbranded, you could tell the difference even if you exclude the truss rod adjustment locations for each.

    I still have both MIA and MIM in my collection and I would take the MIM where the MIA would stay home on occasion but if I simplified the differences into value points for player, I'd say the MIA neck and pick ups are the most obvious point of variable that many would consider changing so that may or may not flow onto the tuning keys once the change is decided upon.

    Still, the MIM is a serviceable guitar and many will like it without change and the variations over the years are as with any mass produced item in that some will be very nice to look at, play and own as they came from the factory.

    NOTE: I avoided cosmetics and finished intentionally as they are less mentioned by users.
    Hope this helps............
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 9:35 AM
    gg22 and svlilioukalani like this.
  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.

    May 9, 2021

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