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Difference in where a bass is made?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fullmetal, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Fullmetal


    Oct 18, 2008
    United kingdom
    Heya, so I've noticed that people make a big deal out of MIA (made in America) and MIM (made in Mexico) basses. I have today lost a Fender Active Jazz on ebay (damn snipers) but have found an MIM Jazz going for the same amount. All seems to be exactly the same (apart from the electronics, I'm unsure if they are active/passive) but they seem to be making a big point of the MIM.

    So what difference does it make where it's made? Is it better made? Does it sound any different? Is there some kind of production value?

    The bass is currently going for £400, wanna know if I'm getting ripped or not.
  2. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    Generally (this is not always true, but 9 times out of 10 it will be), MIA Fenders are constructed with more care and quality control. Plus the parts are better constructed.

    That's not to say that a MIM Fender is trash, but MIA Fenders have a reputation as being better instruments. The MIA is a top-of-the-line Fender. A MIM is lower down on the scale because it uses lower quality parts and electronics (which in turn makes it a cheaper bss).
  3. Fullmetal


    Oct 18, 2008
    United kingdom
    Ok, so the MIA's are the high end of everything Fender? So if MIM's are made of lower scale parts, how lower scale are we talking? Like bottom of the barrel? Or around the middle?

    Also, theres talk about MIJ's not being as good, are these made with budget parts?

    I'm learning slowly.
  4. Generally the fit and finish is better on the MIA fenders, that being said, if at all possible you should play any instrument in person before you buy it, unless it is a great deal. Just my .02
  5. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    To me, it goes something like this -

    1. MIA
    2. MIJ
    3. MIM
    4. MIC
    5. MIK

    I have DEFINITELY seen exceptions, and lately the lines are more blurred than ever. I would rock the top three as long as it felt right, and wouldn't exclude anything, no matter where it was made, if it played and sounded good.
  6. fairly sure they have a factory in Indonesia as well!
  7. manutabora


    Aug 14, 2007
    Iowa City, IA
    I have had both makes (MIA and MIM) and in my opinion the quality of the MIA bass was indeed superior. It's hard to compare them because the MIM was a deluxe jazz V and the MIA was a simple P bass. However, you know quality when you feel and hear it.
  8. Fullmetal


    Oct 18, 2008
    United kingdom
    Thanks to all. I will definantly keep an eye on the MIM. Out of curiousity, how much do MIA's go for compared to MIM's?
  9. dlargent


    Aug 7, 2003
    Carrboro, NC
    One day I went to Guitar Center and played every Fender Precision Style bass, incl. Squier, at every price level.

    The result was, the American Standard bass sounded and felt the best, and everything felt really unsatisfactory in comparison. I felt like the American Standard bass was a great deal because it was so much better than the others.

    I was disappointed, because I was hoping to find a great, cheap instrument!

    Good luck...
  10. I am not sure of the exchange rate, but 400 pounds seems like a lot for a MIM, assuming it is used. What does that equal out to in USD roughly?
  11. Fullmetal


    Oct 18, 2008
    United kingdom
    Nearly $600, but £400 is the seller's maximum price, it's on auction at £200 at the moment. £600 tends to be the common price for a Fender Jazz anywhere. And this is a 5 string, so that makes it a little more expensive.
  12. jarrhead


    May 23, 2009
    I have found that MIMs just have almost zero crafstmanship, almost like they were machine made.
  13. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I was under the assumption that they all were, at least in part.
  14. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    from what ive found is that there are more duds in MIM fenders VS MIA, that being said ive still found allot of crap MIA's
  15. jarrhead


    May 23, 2009
    I thought just the parts were made with machine help but.

    It's kinda like, idk if you ever did skateboarding. :ninja:
    If you'd order them assembled from CCS and they would assemble it with the machine, in turn making it crap.

  16. If I understand correctly, today almost all manufacturers use CNC machines for the preliminary work on all instruments. It's what comes after the preliminary work: finishing, parts, electronics, etc, that make the better ones better. MIA Fenders get the better parts, have better fine finishers & assemblers (in theory, anyway) so the MIA should be the better bass, & therefore cost the most.

    I have a MIA P bass Plus and a MIM P bass Deluxe, early model (passive) Both are very well made, IMO... ...it's my MIJ P bass Lyte that's the disappointment.
  17. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I thought this would be a thread about how the knobs and tuners on Aussie basses turn backwards
  18. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    They do, and when you flush your bass down the toilet it spins the opposite way :O
  19. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    To answer the question from my point of view, it does not matter a snot where a bass is made. What really matters is how well that bass is made and how well it feels and sounds in your hands.

    There are many fine craftsmen all over the world and many fine mass produced instruments in China, Spain, Japan, Germany and any other country you could care to name. Being made in America does not automatically make that bass superior or the best on the planet. And it is unfair to sell these men and women short because they live in any country but America. I am a big fan of Fender, FMIC, Squier Leo Fender and his designs under any brand. But to call those made in America automatically superior? Stuff and nonsense!


    EDIT: I want to add that a +1,000 dollar bass better be made better, have better QC and better parts than a 100 dollar bass. That being said, there is no reason that a bass below the 1,000 dollar mark, or made in another country should be shoddily done and unplayable. There are plenty of sub 300 dollar basses that are fine in their own right.
  20. I used to play a MIM Jazz Bass, and it was a good one. I got lucky. Sadly I let it get away. That was about 10 years ago.
    I recently got a brand spanking new American Standard. It blows my old Jazz Bass out of the water. But, in all fairness, it should...it cost more than twice as much...
    Depending on the model and specs, there are enormous differencese between the higher end (MIA) Fenders and the lower end (Made other places) Fenders.
    IMO Ebay is an awful place to buy a bass. The instruments are often inaccurately represented and the years on them could be completely wrong.
    Even if you were to look at the same exact model, for example, Fender American Standard Jazz Bass, they are not all created equally, and there have been some significant upgrades in the last few years. Even a very nice and well made one from the early 90's is not the equal to it's modern day well made counterpart.

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