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Fender MIM vs. MIA

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by saxnbass, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I had a hard time finding what I was looking for using the search cause MIM, MIA, and Fender are VERY common terms used here at TB. So, if you know of a thread that would help me out, please point it out to me.

    What is the difference between the MIM Standard and the MIA Jazz bass? Is the MIA worth the extra like $700?
  2. I think the MIA is well worth the extra money. Better build quality, more well rounded tone, graphite re-inforced neck with less dead spots (virtually un-noticable). Feels like a completely different instrument in a 'worth the extra several hundred' kinda way
  3. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    In my opinion, no, the MIA J is not worth the extra money over a MIM. My MIM Std J upgraded with Lindy Fralin pickups sounds better than any MIA Std J I've played, and I have a lot less money invested.

    As for overall best value for Fender, I'd look at the Highway 1 series or the stuff coming out of Fender Japan. The MIJ Fenders tend to be as good or better than the MIAs in terms of fit and finish. The Hwy 1s are a good mix of MIM and MIA parts with finishing and assembly in the US factory.
  4. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    IMHO, the MIA's are worth the extra money if you have it. Better quality build, better components (especially pickups), etc. Of course, you have to play them as sometimes quality will vary from instrument to instrument. There are dud MIA's and gem MIM's. However, if you don't have the money, the MIM's are perfectly fine, giggable instruments. And the MIJ's I've played are, yes, better than MIM but still not a MIA.

    BTW, used MIA's go for a price range that while still more expensive than new MIM's, take a lot of sting out of the investment.
  5. yeah I have to disagree with Eric also. No MIM I tried could equal my MIAs, and the MIM are very hit and miss, much more so than MIAs
  6. I have played a lot of MIM's and there are very fews gems opposed to poor MIA's. If you find a gem MIA though, that's a real win
  7. emils


    Jul 28, 2005
  8. wpkg


    Sep 22, 2006
    bloomfield, nj
    I have to agree with eric. I have picked up one too many MIA jazz with complete Sh*t fret work to ever want one. for that kind of price range I would go with G&L. but for 400 bucks, tough to beat a MIM jazz, if you find a good one. (but then again poor quality control extends just as well to the MIAs as the MIMs)
  9. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    I have played several MIMs, MIJs and MIAs currently have a MIA Deluxe and a MIJ Jazz.....I absolutely love those guys! To be honest, however, the MIM never really felt "right" to me....Just my $.02
  10. Stan_da_man


    Aug 29, 2006
    The order would go like this:
    1. MIJ
    2. MIA
    3. MIM
  11. HoDog


    Sep 25, 2006
    About the MIJs, is it worth getting a MIJ basswood? Is basswood any good for basses because it seems to be the material used for the affordable MIJ fenders
  12. I too have found few "Gems" in the MIM's a couple of really nice MIJ's, and very few MIA duds. So in my opinion the MIA's are worth the extra$$$. If you shop you can find some bargain MIA's. My last purchase was taken by a dealer to NAMM show, it was flawless, and I got it for $750
  13. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I don't know where all these crap MIAs are, but I have yet to find one. Maybe I'm just lucky. I definitely feel that the MIAs are superior to MIM. On another note, MIAs hold their value much better than MIM or CIJ. Oh, for the OP:

    MIA- Made in America
    MIM- Made in Mexico
    MIJ- Made in Japan
    CIJ- Crafted in Japan (same as MIJ)
  14. Ale


    Jul 5, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: IGiG Cases
    Never had bad luck with a MIA ,
    But ive had three MIMs that was falling apart , hardware , electronics etc.
  15. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    I must be too fussy.I've never played a MIM or MIJ that has come close to the feel or sound of a MIA.
  16. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    "On paper", the MIAs are superior to the MIMs, but when I was looking around, I tried a lot of both and my favorite turned out to be an MIM-- most resonant, best sustain. I guess I was most concerned with the piece of wood. I got mine in 2003, after they started making MIMs out of alder and upgraded the pickups, so it's up to snuff in those areas.
    I've gigged and recorded quite a bit with mine, and have had no problems with the construction-- no bridge loosening, no knobs falling off, or any of the other stories you seem to hear about MIMs. (Maybe pre-2003 ones?)
    I'm afraid it's the old Fender story-- no matter what model, era or country of origin, you have to try a lot of them and find your favorite.
  17. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    They are all great MIM are great for buget players and for the extra money saved it is not really a huge diffrence in a MIM to a MIJ or MIA. I own 2 MIMs and love them and tryed alot of MIA and some are better some are not. A few years ago MIMs were far under the MIJ and MIAs not today the MIMs have come a long way up and so have squiers:eyebrow: ....look out!
  18. Personally, there's no way I would ever shell out as much coin as what they're asking for an MIA these days. IMO, it's just not worth it.

    I agree that MIM's are hit and miss. There are some really good ones out there, though. Try before you buy. I bought mine about 6 years ago and it's quality was way better than the other MIM's that the store had in stock. The tone of it was even better than the MIA's the store had.

    I'd recommend MIM's, MIJ's, Geddy Lee's, or Fender Jazz 24's any day of the week over MIA's. Do a few mods to them and you've got a considerably better bass than the MIA for about the same money.
  19. You'll see different opinions about basswood, but I bought an MIJ basswood ('62 RI Precision) this summer and I've been very satisfied with it.

    The MIAs I tried were very nice, but they were definitely out of my price range, so the MIJ was a good option for me.
  20. I have a MIM jazz Limited Edition that blows away any MIJ or MIA jazz I've played in the last year.

    The bass was $489 @ GC, 3 piece ash body, rw board. I put a Bad A$$ bridge, Fender custom shop pickups, a vintage capacitor and a setup on it. It's smoking! (I have connections at GC, paid much less than $489)

    For a total of less than $650, I'll put that against ANY MIJ or MIA off the shelf jazz, I have basses that are work several grand and this one just floats my boat and to top it off, if something should happen to it, I'm not going to have a baby.

    Go with whatever you can afford but more importantly whatever feels good to you; MIM, MIJ or MIA really doesn't matter.

  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.

    Apr 15, 2021

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