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Fender MIA QC - NBD - What do you think?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boristhespider9, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    So, here we go again...

    Just opened a 2012 Am. Std. Jazz in Olympic White. I got it new from Music 123 (which is in the MF/GC family) for $999. Good price due to the sale and them making a mistake with a different order.

    I'm always expecting to find a Fender QC issue, but hopeful that I don't. I have 2 Lakland USAs, a number of Music Man basses, a 2010 Am. Std. Jazz, and a few others. I know good QC when I see it. My Laklands and MM basses are flawless.

    My bass looks nice. Great fretwork. Typical small gap in the neck pocket that all Fender MIAs seem to have and which Fender seems to actually design that way. Neck pocket doesn't bother me on this one. At least it's even on both sides.

    I have two minor complaints and one major one. Minor complaints: (1) Wood grain knotting in the headstock has some dark spots as to make them look like blemishes or cigarette burns. Normal wood variation and knotting doesn't bother me, but the ones by the "Jazz Bass" text kind of look like blemishes. (2) The control plate doesn't sit completely flush with the pickguard. I see this on most Fender basses these days and kind of accept it, but it's not necessary. My Lakland's control plate is completely flush with the PG.

    Major complaint: Well, there's a yellow spot on the Olympic White finish on the front of the bass on the lower bout. I've placed a nickel next to it to show the size. How does Fender QC not notice this? I mean it's not the end of the world, but it is a new bass.

    I've gone through this before with Fender MIA basses. Kind of sick of the exchange process. The biggest issue here is the paint blemish and I think I can live with it if Music 123 will knock off some more off the price. None of this affects the playability of course -- all cosmetic. So, I can just rock it and forget about it. Or I can exchange and see what blemishes I can find in the next one...









  2. cbrophy


    Nov 11, 2009
    Central MA.
    The minor issues you mention are just that. It is Wood, and Wood has blemishes...I kinda like that. Neck pocket looks fine. Pickguard issue...I could live with it...but I get your point. The Yellow spot....UNACCEPTABLE. I don't think I could live with that, and back it would go!
  3. kander


    Feb 3, 2007
    Just buy a Road Worn Jazz: you'll have nothing to worry about then :D
  4. jbednarski

    jbednarski Supporting Member

    May 31, 2010
    Chicago area
    It looks like they embedded a nickel in your pickguard.
  5. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    Nickel was aftermarket.
  6. I second this.
  7. RocThrower


    May 18, 2011
    I just received a 2012 American Standard Jazz, and I have to say the QC on my instrument is pretty damn good compared to any other Fender I have owned. I have a small little knot around the area where the neck and the headstock transition, but I kind of like it. I don't think it looks too bad on your bass. I'd say the control plate/pickguard area looks fine, but I will note that I have tried two different Fender Genuine pickguards (wanted to replace the stock with tortoise shell) on my 2012, and they both create a noticeable gap where you can see the routing cavity. I decided to give up on the tortoise and just put the stock pg back on.

    For a brand new bass, that yellow marking on the bout would be unacceptable and drive me nuts. If I purchased it used, or got a great deal, I'd probably live with it as long as it played and sounded good. I wouldn't blame you for wanting to return this due to the yellow mark.
  8. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    The love/hate relationship continues...
  9. heb9_28


    Jul 1, 2009
    If I was shelling out the $$ for MIA Fender, I'd definitely send that back. That yellow spot is ridiculous.
  10. that kind of stuff wouldn't really bother me. I'd just play the damn thing!
  11. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    I'd be sending that back, the wood wouldn't bother me but the pickguard & yellow spot would, not what I'd expect from a 1k bass.
  12. jbiscuti


    Dec 22, 2007
    NYC / LA
    Endorsing Artist: Grolsch Strap Locks
    The yellow spot is a bummer. The rest - come on.
  13. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    So how's the sound?

    If I had a bass that sounds great, has no deadspots, low string action, I would not bother with a knot here and there. Just my preference.
  14. Unless you can wax it out, that yellow spot is a major bullsh#@ blemish and that bass should have been sold as "B stock". And here I thought only Gibson had bad QC.
  15. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    It's the cumulative effect. And the control plate gap is worse than the photo shows. The wood knotting is really the least of my concerns -- if everything else was fine, the wood is ok. Just somewhat unusual in my experience.
  16. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    It was delivered to my office, so I haven't brought it home to plug it in. However, I suspect an unblemished one will sound as good as this one.
  17. This. Send it back, get a new one.
  18. All right! At least you're making progress with your assessments. ;)

    The miniscule pickguard gap that shows when you put your nose right up on the bass and the totally completely natural and normal wood knots are non-issues in my book.

    As for the yellow spot, it would come down to how good it plays and sounds. If it's a great player and tone monster, I might overlook it, especially if it's something you can't see from more than five feet away. I have basses that are cosmetically perfect, but they have mediocre tone and playbility. I have basses with a tiny cosmetic imperfection that rock my world. After 35 years playing, trading, buying, and selling, and with a stable that includes over 120 guitars and basses, I can say with confidence that acquiring an instrument that is perfect in both tone and playability AND cosmetics is more rare than a planetary alignment.

    I think this deserves careful consideration: Bass roulette is a hard game to play, but if you must shop long-distance internet big box warehouse, where they do not check the product and only pull and ship, this is often the result.

    Whenever possible, you should be seeing the product first, especially if the standard is high and the potential for QC issues exists (which it does with nearly every bass and guitar made).

    Guitar Center will order the product, let you come in and inspect it, and make your decision whether to take it home or not. You don't like it, they take care of the task of acquiring another.

    Sometimes, paying a few more bucks to get a keeper trumps the time and energy spent playing bass roulette on the internet.

    P.S.--FWIW, I have eliminated a stain on a white guitar using the gentle "gel" bleach. YMMV, proceed at your own risk.
  19. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008
    Just to offer a different point of view, I probably would not have thought anything significant of any of those issues. Even if the bass came to me cosmetically perfect, it likely wouldn't be that long before I dinged it myself.
  20. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    I would send it back because if you decide to sell it down the road your are going to have to show the buyer the yellow spot and maybe even reduce you price because of it.