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Have Fender MIM bodies only been made from alder?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by meandnooneelse, Jan 22, 2017.


  1. meandnooneelse

    meandnooneelse

    Jun 12, 2009
    Albany, GA
    I bought a used MIM Fender Precision that I plan to use as a project bass, but I have a concern. Have the Mexican Precisions ever been made with basswood bodies, or are they all alder? I want to make sure the body I have is alder. Is there any way to find out? Can anyone offer any definite insight, not speculation.
    20170122_011211_zpsow4v0x1z.
     
  2. lazycat93

    lazycat93

    Jun 4, 2016
    Illinois
    They were basswood through the 90's for sure, and I think they switched to alder sometime in the late 2000's.
     
  3. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    They were poplar through the '90s and they switched to alder back in 2000/2001.
     
  4. meandnooneelse

    meandnooneelse

    Jun 12, 2009
    Albany, GA
    Any source for identifying whether mine is basswood, alder, or poplar? (Poplar is fine. I just don't want soft basswood )
     
  5. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    They were definitely poplar in the mid/late '90s and they definitely switched to alder around 2000 or 2001. How old is that MIM body? Sorry but it's painted and there's no way to identify that piece of wood below the solid black paint.
     
  6. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Can you take a clear close up photo of the neck pocket?
     
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  7. amphlett7

    amphlett7

    Feb 27, 2008
    Basywater, Western Australia
    Audiofly In-Ear Monitors And Headphones
    I have an "alder" MIM Jazz Bass (a 2006 model from the neck pocket) but it's a 7 piece body with a veneer on the front and back. I found this out after stripping the white finish. I suspect it's one rejected for a sunburst finish because of a couple of blemishes in the wood.

    In contrast I stripped a cheap "Monterey" brand Precision copy and whatever wood it is (probably basswood) it's a two piece body.

    In my opinion I'd much prefer a 2 piece poplar/basswood over a 7 piece alder, and questionable alder at that!
     
  8. My MIM Jazz is swamp ash
     
  9. Poplar is very similar to basswood actually and is almost as soft.
     
    ColdEye and mdogs like this.
  10. meandnooneelse

    meandnooneelse

    Jun 12, 2009
    Albany, GA
    Here are better pics of the neck pocket with and without flash:

    Neck%20Pocket%20with%20Flash_zpsa4y4lejs.

    Neck%20Pocket%20no%20Flash_zpsmn0ljgnm.
     
  11. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    NYC
    Okay, there is a date stamp in the neck pocket (11 MAR 2011) so that's alder! Anyway, it doesn't look like a 17 year old body (or older than that) and it looks like alder too.
     
    meandnooneelse likes this.
  12. meandnooneelse

    meandnooneelse

    Jun 12, 2009
    Albany, GA
    Thanks for the info. How in the world did you derive that date??? It just looks like a bunch of nonsense to me. LOL!
     
    Flaked Beans likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Beat me to it - poplar is very soft as well. Looks-wise it kind of resembles maple when it comes to the grain (other than the color).
     
  14. meandnooneelse

    meandnooneelse

    Jun 12, 2009
    Albany, GA
    I've owned several Peavey basses with poplar bodies and never had a problem with strap button screws popping out, but I have with basswood. Poplar may be soft, but I would prefer it over basswood.
     
  15. See that red "x" at the top left of the neck pocket photo? The date code starts under the left lower part of the "x". It's not a code, just the manufacture date stamped in blue ink. It's a little hard to see so a magnifier might help.
     
    meandnooneelse likes this.
  16. steve_ss

    steve_ss Shiny, let's be bad guys. Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Southern NJ, USA
    If you call Fender support phone line 844-202-0924, give them the serial number, they might be able to tell you when it was made and what it was made from.
     
    meandnooneelse likes this.
  17. waynobass

    waynobass

    Feb 27, 2008
    Texas
    They might be alder, or maybe not, possibly, could be, yes or no, alder-ish maybe, or not, could be pseudo-alder or an alder substitute, perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    blastoff and meandnooneelse like this.
  18. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    This may be unscientific, but in the closeup shots, it looks like wood. To me, basswood never looks like real wood, so you can rule that out. To me, it looks somewhat grainless with streaks of color that reminds me of alder, but I have to admit that I don't know what unfinished poplar looks like.

    Was if Fender or Music Man that called it "Select Hardwoods" in the specs when they were using poplar? I am fairly sure my Stingray is poplar, and I am quite certain it is an excellent bass. Alder, poplar, its all good.
     
    blindrabbit and Kubicki Fan like this.
  19. HiEnd Basses

    HiEnd Basses

    Mar 4, 2016
    Fender doesn't particularly advertise what kind of wood are used, because it's about availability.
     
  20. My MIJ PB70 bass has a two parts body ... my MIA Elite P bass has a two parts ash body not much more nice to see than the previous one ... lesson learnt ... do not underrate MIJ instruments!
     
    HiEnd Basses likes this.

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