Fender MIM vs. MIA

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by harley_ou812, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. Ok I have ben looking at some fender basses. I am not sure if i want to go with active or passive electronics with it. Either way I may want to upgrade the electronics at a later date. so this question is more in terms of build quality. I was looking at a std jazz bass V and a american Jazz Bass V. If oi would change the electronis in both of these basses to the same what would the differences be between these 2 basses? Would a Std. be near as good as an american?.
  2. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    When you say standard,you mean mim right?

    Well if your are,theres alot of differences between mia and mim.MIA are made with better wood.That's the main reason its more expensive.There also made in the usa,where there probably made better opposed to mexico,because of better factories etc...I think there also made with better parts such as tuners,better finish.I think on MIA the necks are maple,and on the mim's there rosewood.I'm not completely sure. some guys on here will give you every detail why mia's are better.

    mia's usually come with free gig bags or hardshell cases too.
  3. Righ I am hopping people can I am trying to decide if i want a MIM and upgrade or save for MIA
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    if you take the electronics and pickups out, the differences are:

    The body wood, the mia is made of alder or alder with ash veneered top. the mim is made of poplar.

    The necks are both made or maple, and the fret boards are pau ferro, with the option of a maple fretboard on the mia dlx.

    The neck is more rounded on the mia than it is the standards. The fretwork is a bit better on the MIA than the mim standard as well. The bridge is and tuning pegs are also a bit more durable on the mia's.

    Now, if your talking about an american series jazz bass, and the american series dlx jazz bass,

    the big difference is the electronics, the body woods are the same, the necks are both maple, fretboards are both pau ferro (with maple option on the mia dlx)

    mia dlx is active etronics, the american series and mim standard series are both passive.
  5. I am talking the standard. I decided that I dont think I want a active bass. So if I got a MIM and upgraded tuners and bridge it would be almost the same other then the body wood. Would general consenus be a batter bang for the buck with an upgraded MIM or a stock MIA?
  6. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    If your buying the Bass new, imo you'd get a bigger bang for the buck with a MIM. Dont sell the MIM tuners short, though, most of the MIM J fivers Ive looked at lately had Gotoh tuners.

    If your buying used, imo you may do better on a MIA. I bought my MIA J five for less than $600, including hardshell case and sales tax. The MIM J five I looked at today was $360 with tax, but no case. So by the time you get a case, any new hardware that you want(bridge,pickups etc...), and labor to upgrade(unless you do your own stuff), youll probably be over the cost of a used MIA.

    Good luck:cool:
  7. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Fender necks are always maple. Period. There is no such thing as a rosewood neck. MIM fingerboards come in either rosewood or maple. MIA also comes in rosewood or maple. If you are buying a Fender fretless bass, then its pau ferro. But you can't just say that all MIM basses have rosewood and all MIA have maple. And I dont know where this "rosewood neck" thing came from.

    Also, Standard series and Deluxe series are MIM
    American, American Deluxe, and hot rodded are MIA.
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The MIMs are fine instruments in their own right. If you're looking for a better bridge, electronics, and tuners then just get the MIA. Upgrading an MIM is fun, but not worth the money IMO. I had a MIM Jazz which I upgraded (new pickups, bridge, pickguard, knobs). After spending all that $$$ on upgrades I still had cheap wood and sub-par craftsmanship (compared to MIA that is - the craftsmanship of MIMs is excellent). IMO the MIM Fenders are better than people think, and really don't need the upgrades you're considering. By the time you've spent the money you may as well have saved up for the MIA.
  9. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    You know, I'm upgrading a MIM P bass special now, and despite all that I'm doing to it, including strap locks, seymour duncan quarter pounders, a badass II bridge (no electronics cause its passive), and despite all that, I'm still thinking it's not USA made.
  10. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    I've got a question about tuners...What really makes a difference?Why buy new ones?It seems as if they're all the same,just different looks and styles.

    The only thing I can think that would be different would be that more expensive tuners make the strings stay in tune longer?Am i right?
  11. Good tuners might turn more smoothly, be more stable, and have nicer/more durable plating. Also, some tuners are lighter in weight, which can reduce neck dive on a bass.
  12. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Better tuners have a higher gear ratio, which means that fine tuning is easier. They also work smoother and have little or no play and can help the strings stay in tune. They also make the neck of the bass much lighter. A good example of this is the Hipshot Ultralite tuner.
  13. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    i wont fall in for those little gimmicky items!

    0.5 of an oz. isn't going to make your bass much lighter.And smoother turning?I have a squier and I have to tune up about once a week,and i think its a rip-off to buy tuners that will be smoother on your hands while turning them.Silly,IMO.
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Upgrading tuners is strictly a matter of personal preference. But, I contend that there's a huge difference between the tuners that come stock on a MIM Jazz and Gotoh, Schaller, or Hipshot. If you don't believe there's a difference, I invite you over to compare my Spector with Gotoh's to my MIM Jazz with MIM tuners.
  15. RAM is right. This could so easily turn into one of those "overpriced XXX" discussions. But if your bass is a neck diver, a few ounces of weight (plus a different distribution of that weight) might make a lot of difference.
  16. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    This most logical reason for upgrading tuners is gear ratio. As mentioned, better ones have a higher ratio. In layman's terms, that means it takes more turns of the key to equal a full rotation of the string post.

    Why does this matter? Well, it makes it much easier to get the the string exactly where it needs to be for fine tuning. In addition, they are less susceptible to coming out of tune. The pegs hold tension better. Cheap tuners are one of those things that will make you hate a bass and not even know why.

    Don't discount the effect of 4 or five ounces on neck dive. Remember that the tuners rest at the end of a really long piece of wood. We call it a neck, a physicist would call it lever. It can make a significant difference in the balance of the bass.

    IMO, the most quickly noticable difference between the MIA and an MIM is the finish. The finish work on MIAs is much, much better. They use more attractive woods and therefore offer much richer looking transparent finishes and other options that go well beyond the basic solids and bursts offered on the MIM line.

  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    frankencow, I felt like you did until I bought a bass with Hipshot Ultralights.

    My Cirrus Custom has them. They tune much more easily, and you can just tell by the way that they feel when you tune them up that there is no slack in them, no gear lash that is going to let the strings go out of tune when the bass is sitting in it's case. This thing stays in tune better than my graphite necked Zon, and I attribute that 100% to the Hipshots.

    When it comes to a bass that is already neck heavy, every ounce can help a lot. 3.5 ounces on a 5 string with significant neck dive can make a big difference. It's leverage, after all. A small difference in the weight out at the end of the neck can make a huge difference in balance.

    Of course, what it comes down to is, 'Is it worth it to you?' To me, it is. My Fender will get Ultralights eventually, and the new bass that I am building(or having built, haven't decided between DP and Warmoth yet;)) will have Hipshot Ultralights on it.
  18. I don't think the tuners are i big issue on the MIM. The ones on mine don't feel much different to the tuners on my 72 Precision (That I sold, but that's another story :() . I sometimes think on the cheaper basses are the brand name tuners without the brand name stamped on it (btw. a common practice in many industries). The only really cheap tuners I have seen so far were on a Turser.

    I red somewhere that the MIM basses are assembled in Mexico but the parts are made in California. Is that correct?
  19. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001
    i heard that too, can anyone clarify?
  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have heard that the body blanks are cut in Ca. I have never heard that the necks were also made there. The finish work is indeed done in Mexico.