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Did I get a good deal? (MIA Jazz)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ea423, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. ea423


    Oct 24, 2013
    Got a '95 MIA Fender Jazz bass with EMG pickups for $500 today. It's sunburst with a tortoise pick guard. Slight separation btwn the pick guard and the cover where the knobs are (not sure what that's called) bc the battery was installed there. Flawless condition other than a nick on the bottom of the body. What say you, good deal or no?
  2. ea423


    Oct 24, 2013
    Bump. Based on my ebay watching, etc. it seems like a steal but I'm hoping for some input here. The action is very low btw - a lot of buzzing when playing on certain frets. Need to get it set up.
  3. aguacateojos

    aguacateojos Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Killer deal if it is really MIA, have you pulled it apart and checked stamps out?
  4. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Yup. The cheapest you'll see a legit American fender without major problems is around $600 and that's rare.
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    No pictures no bass! Sounds like you did real good!
  6. For an MIA Jazz that is a very good deal. You have any pics?
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    It is a great deal. It is not a steal, but it is pretty much on the borderline. I have seen MIA's sell for $500, I have paid that myself. Obviously the seller wants cash today and $500 is better than a pawnshop is offering, the seller also keeps every cent by selling directly to you and not going to ebay. You need to remember that this bass would get $800 on a great day to the right buyer so $500 is not so low I would check police records. Now if you paid $200, I would say call the police or enjoy your stolen bass.
  8. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Is it a three screw bridge or the older five screw? I don't know when they made the switch, but a five screw is a hint it's not a MIA body. So is the pup length--MIA will have a longer bridge while some imports will both be the same.

    If all that checks out, then you probably just got a good deal. $500 is the right ball park. Minty MIAs go for $700-800 -- meaning that a pawn shop or guitar center is probably offering $400 so they can make their margin. So if the seller needed cash ASAP, it was a win win. You have to remember that eBay/paypal keeps 13 percent !
  9. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    '95 should be the return to conventional body shape, and goodbye to the 'longhorn' ... these would also have included the hard shell case, red label ... generally speaking, if this was originally a passive Jazz, and was modified to be active, that CAN affect the selling price ... although many sellers call these changes 'upgrades', they are actually modifications and CAN severly reduce the potential market, especially for those wanting either 'stock', or passive ... an 'upgrade' is only an 'upgrade' to the people that would be making that specific modification once they get it ... if that is the case, that would explain the reduced price also .. JMHO
  10. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    .. just to clear up a bit ... the Fender 'Longhorn' from 89-94 1/2 used a three screw hole bridge, but was not a string thru body ... the switch to STB in 95 was also a 3 screw bridge mounting pattern, and can be easily identified by the thru body string mounting holes ... the bridges at that point did not offer top loading ... there have been several MIA bodies over the years, that were NOT STB, and used the 5 hole bridge mounting pattern.

    ... the Fender Jazz basses that used the same length pups, were the MIM Standards, 90's-2000 ... the Squier Standards also used the neck length pup in the bridge position as well all the way through their run in 2011 ... with the introduction of the Squier VM and subsequent lines, Squier has used the conventional longer bridge pup configuration ... so anything post 2000/1 MIM and current Squier imports will all be conventional longer bridge pup, shorter neck pup ...
  11. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    $500 is a good price for a MIA jazz bass. Does it have strings-through-body setup? If so, that's the better series. I had a MIA from that era and I liked it. That's what it all boils down to - do YOU like it? If so, it was a super deal. If not, you can get your money back out of it.
  12. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    All true on the five screw bodies--OP does not say what MiA bass it is so it's hard to tell. Though I sure do hope the seller didn't put EMGs in a vintage reissue body!

    And yeah, pickup mods can lower resale value. It's somewhat counterintuitive because you put money into the bass for the mod, but the buyer never knows the quality of the work. And also, EMGs are a fairly strong flavor of pickup. Not everyone will like them, whereas the stock pups on the MIA standard are sort of plain vanilla--most people find them passable for most applications. Having a strongly flavored replacement and making the bass active turns off a lot of potential buyers.
  13. ea423


    Oct 24, 2013
    Sorry to start a thread and then neglect! Thanks for the input, folks. It does have strings through the body. I'd be happy to post pics...can I somehow post directly from my phone or do the pics have to be hosted online before I can share? Oh and also - I love the bass. Haven't put it down as long as I've been home. Thanks again for all the input.
  14. ea423


    Oct 24, 2013
  15. Nice!
    Yes, you got a good deal! The last MIA jazz I bought I paid $650 for it and thought I got a good deal. Mine also had that slight gap between the pickguard and control plate. Not sure whats up with that?

  16. I, too, have seen this on Jazz basses I once owned. It always bugged me... I tend to get hung up on aesthetic stuff like that. I don't know why they can't sync those edges up. Unless I'm missing something? Is it SUPPOSED to look like that?

    Jazz Bass experts? Thoughts?
  17. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    the gap used to bug me, but I dont really get too hung up on that stuff anymore .. old age is creeping in .. or maybe it has completely set in now that I think about it ...

    ... what I used to do was put a piece of black electrical tape where the gap is, and then screw the guard and control plate down over it ... trimmed neatly to match the ends, it never went anywhere and was enough to let me not worry about ... back when I worried about it that is ... of course I always either had a tort or black guard on everything I owned .. of course
  18. ea423


    Oct 24, 2013
    I'm assuming, in my case, that it's a result of the active pickup installation. The battery was installed right under the separation.
  19. I attribute the gap to good ole American workmanship. I have observed this in varying degrees on MIA jazzes.
  20. Good deal for sure. I bought an ESP Vintage 4 with original model EMG p / j set installed by previous owner . I thought I would have preferred the factory installed Passive Duncans, but actually dig the EMGs and consider myself somewhat a traditionalist .

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