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Fender Japan '62 RI Jazz Bass vs. Fender MIM '60s Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ryan Mohr, Mar 11, 2009.


  1. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    They are similar in price and looks, but how do they stack up as far as tone, quality, fit, and finish?
     
  2. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    Both are great choices. With the Japanese basses quality is usually dead on. Although I've had no complaints with the MIM Fenders I've own.

    But if I had too choose just one, I think I would lean toward the MIM basses because of the finish. The Japanese Fenders tend to have very very thick finishes on them, including the necks. A little too thick for my taste.
     
  3. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    So finish goes to MIM and quality/fit goes to MIJ/CIJ. What about tone?

    The MIM is currently going for $840, a little overpriced for a MIM intrument IMO. The MIJ prices are all over the place. I am looking at used basses on Ishibashi. I can't find any new MIJ basses. The basses under model name JB62-75US are going between $400 and $600. I am looking at the models with US in the name because from what I have read these are more desirable, because of the tuners, US pickups, and Alder body as opposed to Basswood.

    I am also looking at building a Warmoth J-Bass, staying as true to '60s Fender Jazz Bass specs as possible. This would be around $700.
     
  4. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I wouldn't say that is 100% true. The last three MIM basses I owned were a Classic 60's Jazz, an Active P-Bass Deluxe and a Active Jazz. All three were flawless. The fit and finish was excellent on all three. The Classic series basses I feel are every bit as good as there MIA counterparts. Fender has really stepped up their QC in the past couple of years and that includes the Mexico plant. I don't think $800 is out of line for what you are getting.

    Sound and tone wise I did not hear a difference between the CIJ '62 Jazz and the MIM Classic Jazz. The Fender Japan model I had actually sported USA pickups. But I do agree the tuners are a higher quality on the CIJ. My bass had the vintage reverse tuners made by Gotoh. Very good tuners. But the vintage reverse tuners on the MIM did their job. They were smooth and kept in tune. What I liked about the Gotoh tuners, you can adjust the torque were the MIM tuners you cannot.
     
  5. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Word.
    I'm usually turned off by that alone.
     
  6. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    bump for a few more opinions. The used '62 RI I am looking at on Ishibishi is about $460, with $140 shipping. Do you guys think it's worth it? I am buying this as an upgrade from my SX. I am also considering Warmoth...
     
  7. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i just got through buying and returning a mim 60 jazz and thought it was a piece of junk. even if it wouldnt have had a warped neck that woundnt straighten, it still sounded like a mexican bass. funky sounding wood in those imo.
     
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    if you want a reissue style bass, scour ebay for a deal on a 62 reissue and youll get an amazing bass. the build quality on my mia 75 ri is fantastic. i just put a set of pickups from a late 70's jazz in it and its fantastic.
     
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I vote for a used '60s classic or better yet, a used MIA '08 or '62 RI. Most '60s classics are quite good IME, but the MIAs are better. Think nitro.
     
  10. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I vote for a Fender CS ’64 Jazz Bass NOS or an Alleva Coppolo LG4 Classic haha :D That does give you an idea of my dream bass though. Nitro all the way! I would love to have the Fender AV '62 Jazz Bass, or even the Fender American Standard Jazz Bass, but spending that much is not possible at the moment.

    Even though I have been saving up, and it is my money, my parents won't let me spend more than $600, possibly $700. So Warmoth, MIM, and MIJ/CIJ seem to be my only choices right now unless I get an absolute steal on an MIA.
     
  11. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    bumping this thread, I just bought the Fender '60s Jazz Bass from TB'er steamthief. I hope this is the one!
     
  12. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    CIJ vs. MIA would be a better fight IMO.

    I just got a CIJ 62 RI Jazz (early 90's) with Lindy Fralin PU's and it literally destroys everything. It's the best bass I've played.
    I stand by the CIJ stuff all day - I also own a Geddy Lee (one of Fender's most popular basses) and a 62 RI Precision. I can't say much for the PU's on my Precision...they're a bit muddy, but I'm planning on getting Lindy Fralins for him too - I just gotta soak up the "newness" of my jazz first.

    The build quality is amazingly solid. People complain about the poly, but I sand the back of my necks anyways.

    Here's my review of my new 60's RI Jazz vs my friends original 66 Jazz w/ pics...
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=527016
     
  13. the engine

    the engine Guest

    My MIJ is really nice. Here's the thing. The difference is CONSISTENCY. I used to work at a Fender dealer. Of the MIM's I played they probably broke down like this out of ten:
    2 Cherry
    6 OK basses
    2 total crap

    Of the MIJ's I played it was more like this (out of ten)

    4 Cherry
    4 Really good
    2 OK basses
    (better than MIA consistency if you ask me)

    And I've played a BUNCH. You should be able to find a MIJ used in the states (or wherever you are). There are a LOT of the 70's reissues out there. Mine is a 62RI. But just remember, on the 62's the truss rod screw is on the BODY end of the neck. Unless you mod it you will have to REMOVE the neck to tweek it. Kinda sucks but it's supposed to be period correct. I just have my setup guy co it


    Best of luck!
     
  14. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks for the opinions guys, but if you see I just posted that I bought the Fender '60s Jazz Bass.
     
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Wow! Congratulations!!! That looked to me like a sweet deal. It has CS pickups, right? Did you get Steamthief to throw in the stock pups, too?

    No pics, no 60's classic. We demand a full review.... :hyper:

    BTW, I love my Classic Jazz-->split-coil Fralins, BAII, Sadowsky black label RW strings, and pro setup/fret crowning = killer Jazz. :bassist:
     
  16. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks! Yeah it certainly was a sweet deal. The bass goes for $840, and the pickups go for $160, so the bass was worth about $1000. I got it for $500, and I think it was a great deal.

    Also, steamthief is a classy guy. He answered all my questions, and sent the bass out the next day. It shipped on Monday and should be here tomorrow.

    He did not throw in the stock pickups; I believe he sold them awhile ago after he replaced them with the Custom Shop '60s.

    Your posts were really helpful when I was researching about this bass. When you said it sounded and felt as good as your '69 Jazz I was sold! Also your bumping of steamthief's thread made me want it even more.

    I am really excited to hear what the Custom Shop '60s pickups sound like. He said it has dead Slinkys on it right now. If I don't like them, I will throw on a set of Nickel Lo-Riders I have. I actually like the bent-plate design bridge, seems more woody, organic, and vintage sounding. I don't plan on changing this. Also, this bass is from 2002, so I hope the quality is up to par. I have heard that MIM quality wasn't great back then, but recently has improved a lot.

    I will try to get some pics up, but the USB cable for my camera has "gone missing". Here are steamthief's pics for now:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's a beautiful picture from Sweetwater:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Wow, yeah it's a beauty alright! Congrats!
     
  18. Are these, the 62Ri, Japan.. or the 60's mim still offerd? I see the "Classic 70s mim" listed on all the popular sites. I need to pick up a back up for my Geddy, something in the $6oo-900 range.
     
  19. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    The CIJ '62 RI Jazz Bass is available from Ishibashi.com, or used.

    The Classic Series '60s Jazz Bass is still in production, and is available from multiple online distributors. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JBass60R3SB
     
  20. Thanks Ryan...Ill check it out.
     

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