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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. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

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    i think most prices have gone up --- parts that i've ordered in the past 2-3 months are pricier than they were a year ago.
     
  2. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2013
    California
    We’ve been in a sellers market since covid over the year so it’s not surprising.
     
    HardNHeavy likes this.
  3. inflation.... it's everywhere.

    perhaps the high new-price of them is effecting the resale of 20 year old ones?

    i agree, back then good ones were fantastic but it was well known you had to play a bunch of them to find a great one.

    it's fender, so as with any big brand the price is only partially due to the actual instrument itself.
     
  4. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Sellers' market for used instruments right now. Buy new or wait it out.
     
    svlilioukalani likes this.
  5. ItsmeSantiago

    ItsmeSantiago

    Nov 23, 2015
    This right here. Gear isn’t fun anymore but that’s probably a good thing. I’m more content than ever.
     
    ueezb likes this.
  6. BarfanyShart

    BarfanyShart

    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    It is crazy. I remember in the 90's the dogma was that it was possible to find a new MIM that was comparable in quality to American, but you had to search for it because MIM quality control was a little all over the place. Maybe we can assume that the MIM's from that period that are still playable today are the "good ones," but I would personally take a bet on a new Player P - I know those are pretty good.
     
    gg22 and PWRL like this.
  7. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I know.. They're listing used MIM ones for around $700. I bought a used Am. std P for $600 not so long a go..
     
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I think people are crazy. And I think people like Fenders. And USA Fenders are way more expensive than MiM Fenders although there are very few differences, the CNC tools don't have a cultural preference and all the hardware is made in China and all the pickups are from the same place so the only difference in Mexican and American Fenders is the home address for the person turning the screwdriver. Some MiM Fenders are great and some are dogs, some MiA Fenders are great and some are dogs. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of buying a USA bass very much, but I don't make the asinine assumption that they are different, just more perceived value.

    I was thinking a basic Venn diagram would help answer your question.
    upload_2021-5-4_11-17-47.png
     
    filler83, Chris Breese and kmon like this.
  9. Has nothing to do with weed...…not called for.

    Try a MIM out today and see how you like them? Maybe it is not worth it to you.
     
  10. thombo

    thombo

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I have a theory on the current crazy gear prices. I think there are enough people putting all of their stuff for sale on Reverb, eBay, etc. at a "make me sell it" prices. For example, they may have a MIM Fender that they use all the time and like too much to see for $400, but if they list for $900 plus shipping and someone bites, they can't say no. Essentially, people are listing all of their gear and just letting it sit. Local sellers see these outrageously priced instruments and think "well, $700 is a good price since they are going on Reverb for $900."
     
    Jim Burkland likes this.
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Apparently I've been very lucky. Over the last several years i’ve bought a crap ton of MIM J basses and never once got one with any neck issues beyond needing a little work on some ragged fret ends. Same with MIM J bodies, no issues with neck pocket being too big, small, or shallow/deep, always just right. Same with bridge alignment, even when randomly swapping necks and bodies around. The only thing i consistently saw was poor fit between the guard and control plate, and the rough fret ends. the pickups were meh but we’re talking a $200~$500 bass here. A $100 pickup upgrade, $80 to get the neck edges rolled and $0 to fix the gap between guard and plate and i had bass after bass that played as well and often better than their MIA cousins selling for north of a grand.
    when i started down that particular rabbit hole I promised I’d quit if i hit more than a couple bad necks or bodies. As long as I stuck to Fender MIM J bodies and necks i never had a single one not useable or needing major work to correct a manufacturers defect, or any other defect not related to (mis) use or honest play wear.
    I did have problems with MIM Deluxe J’s but it was always DOA preamps and a single time a seller glued the battery box screws after stripping them out.
    IME, MIM basses were grossly undervalued back then, but with current availability of new stock being iffy at best, they would IMO still be well worth around $800, depending on cosmetic condition.
     
  12. David76112

    David76112

    Feb 19, 2012
    America
    I think is a Fender name thing. When Squires star bringing !K, I'm done. It has taken the fun out of buying cheaper instruments to tinker with.

    Sigh
     
  13. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    Blame Joe Dart
     
    ueezb likes this.
  14. After about 2000, the choice between USA and MIM Standard was a tough call for those with an eye on their budgets. Bang for the buck went with the MIM. Playability in the contemporary MIM very similar to the USA. 2008 MIM they started with the maple board option, with more consistency and higher quality. They really blurred the line.

    But that Player is a great offering, kind of a natural progression of where they were going with the previous MIM Standard line. I think they priced them accordingly this time, knowing more players will be carefully choosing between it and its USA counterpart.

    At any rate, long distance music instrument sales are off the hook since COVID, I actually have used music stores calling me to see if I'm ready to part with anything as they are hurting for product. A gently used contemporary MIM Standard P or J wouldn't last long. I'd get a good price for my MIM Standards.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 12:08 PM
  15. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    If you get a good one, you get a good one. Quality has come a long way.

    I have a first run MIM 70s Classic Jazz. I think this ws 2008-2009. CTS pots and electronics (nice!) but the bridge saddles kept dropping due to poor machining, and the truss rod broke. My experience wasn't atypical. Some folks I know have had great success but these were cheap working instruments meant as a "first Fender"
     
  16. Chris Breese

    Chris Breese Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    Farmington, IL USA
    They're all made from wood and metal. I've played hundreds of gigs on a MIM fender. My current favorite 5 string is a Standard Jazz 5 in midnight wine.
    I struggle with the 'Made in USA' attitude. I have a USA Fender bass and it's fine. I keep the good ones and launch the ones I don't care for, no matter county of origin. Wish I still had that dang Road Worn jazz bass. Try and find a used Road Worn '50s P bass right now!
     
  17. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    That's because of bitcoin mining. People are building machines to do specifically "mining" operations and they are using the processing power of the cpu and the graphics card to do it. Before Covid, bitcoin mining was the #1 reason for a shortage of video cards. Nvidia is actually working on a technology to prevent their cards from being used in that fashion to keep the demand for their cards at a reasonable level.
     
    HardNHeavy likes this.
  18. I have a 96-97 that is a great player
    upload_2021-5-4_13-43-49.png upload_2021-5-4_13-45-18.png
     
    PWRL and andare like this.
  19. andare

    andare

    Oct 4, 2016
    Krakow
    What years are you talking about here? All MIM fenders I've seen have very nice neck pockets without any gaps but they are all post 2006 after Fender overhauled the factory. But MIAs are absolutely better than MIMs.

    Agree on the necks: MIAs have rolled edges, finished frets, bone nuts. MIMs all have sharp fret ends, many develop fret sprout and have plastic nuts (personally I don't give a hoot about nut material as long as it's cut correctly). All necks are made in the Mexican factory AFAIK.
    My malicious theory is that Fender intentionally cripples its MIMs so as not to eat into MIA sales. They know that Squiers are not a competitor to MIMs because we want Fender on the headstock and MIJs are too scarce to really pose a threat.

    The MIM Classic Series have always featured CTS pots and Switchcraft jacks, the same found on MIAs. The pickups were Alnico. The cheaper Standards that OP is probably talking about had ceramic pickups instead, a possibly inferior sound. That changed with the new Players, which have great Alnico pickups.

    I had a 2012 MIM Classic Series 50s Tele with a two-piece ash body that was an absolute gem. So much better than my friend's MIA Tele from the 90s that is all full of gunk, has a broken Tone control and is just in bad shape. I don't care if it's MIA, mine was so much better and in much better condition. I bought it used in 2017 for 500 Euros from a local listing and sold it on Reverb last January for 615 Euros but I threw in a hardshell case and a new Tusq XL nut. So I did ride the crazy used market a bit but the new owner still saved at least 150 Euros and got a really good specimen.

    It's unbelievable what people want for their garden-variety, middle-of-the-road guitars now, and that goes for MIAs.
     
  20. andare

    andare

    Oct 4, 2016
    Krakow
  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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