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Headstock Says 1997 MIM, But!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 99Z3, Apr 2, 2015.


  1. First off, I am beginning to believe that this bass is a Mex neck with a USA body! The pups are different sizes, the neck is just a tad over 99mm wide (I would give you the standard, but the battery is dead on the calipers) and the bridge is just a tad over 104mm wide. Also, this bass weighs almost 12 lbs! I am trying figure this out as to what pups to put in it. Also from what all I have read this bass should not be, it is so out of pocket if to say! Back then, did they use the same colors for MIM and USA or were the colors different? The reason that I ask is that I just recently saw a USA 5'r for sale that was the same color as this MIM bass (this one is a 5'er as well).

    Feedback will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    You should post a pic or two.
    My 1996 MIM Jazz has identically sized pickups, not sure when this changed.
     
  3. First is yours a 5 string? Second, from what I know from reading on here, the first change didn't happen till 2000-2001. So yes, in theory, the pups on this bass should be the same size, but they are not the same size! I will post a pic of the body when I can.
     
  4. Ok.. as requested Here is the pic

    SANY0481.JPG
     
  5. MattyH

    MattyH

    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Looks like a Mexican body. What does the back look like? String thru body?
     
  6. No.. it is not a string through

     
  7. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Unless they replaced the pots, that's a MIM body. What you have are split shaft pots with the Strat type knobs on it. Only the MIM instruments of that time period had that.
     
  8. So explain the difference in the pups sizes in this bass then.. by the way, I picked bass up for pence 300 bucks out the door
     
  9. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Someone may have already replaced the pickups and filed the bridge route enough to make them two different sizes. Just a guess.
     
  10. There is no break in the paint over the edges of the bridge pup slot to disclose any such work.
     
  11. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Maybe it's been refinished, then, or the body isn't a Fender (Warmoth maybe?). I don't know. Just guessing here.
     
  12. danosix

    danosix

    May 30, 2012
    If I recall correctly - the two pickups the same ones were (sizewise) two bridge pickups, so if you put a standard (two different) set on with a new pickguard - a popular practice on older MIMs - you would not have any evidence in the bridge pocket.
    That is, based on the 1990 MIM I had - I can't imagine they would have changed this before going to the upgraded pickups later.
    In an article at about this time Dan Smith effectively said these basses were made to do this - that is he talked about making the wood as good as possible at the price point and then people can upgrade electronics and hardware.
     
    MattyH likes this.
  13. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    Does the body have a truss rod route under the pg? I thought all American bodies had the truss access at the neck heel. I could be wrong tho..

    EDIT: the color screams MIM all the way
     
    MattyH likes this.
  14. I have not taken the strings loose yet to check that, It is a MIM neck.. that is for sure! Truss at the headstock.

     
  15. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    You're right. I think it's definitely not a U.S. body. U.S. basses just didn't have those strat knobs at that point in time.
     
  16. So effectively your saying that I should be able to replace these pups with some Nordy USA size pups! Is this correct?
     
  17. MattyH

    MattyH

    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Without the string thru I'd say it's not an American body. The knobs are Mexican, the pickguard is Mexican, the bridge is Mexican, and the color for the time is a Mexican made finish. The strap holders are also correct for a Mexican fender.

    Also, I could be wrong, but the bridge pickup is supposed to be wider than the neck pickup. I've heard stories that they used to put in the same sized pickups in these MIM models, but that could have been wrong. So, yea, everything seems pretty standard made in Mexico. That's not to say you got a bad deal or anything. If it plays well, 300 isn't bad at all.
     
    carsbybigd likes this.
  18. danosix

    danosix

    May 30, 2012
    Assuming they fit "standard" - ie more or less Vintage Fender - than yes. Anything that is meant to go into an Am Std.
    Of course, in the musical instrument industry, "standard" means very little.
     
    99Z3 and Lownote38 like this.
  19. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    My 96 Jazz is a 4 banger. Thanks for the date info about the change.

    @danosix - This is my only Jazz. All of my other basses are either Split P, PJ or soapbar. Are you suggesting that I could swap out the pickups without a need for routing the body? What I think I understand about your post is that the neck pickup is smaller and would drop right in to the neck route while the bridge pickup is a direct replacement with standard Fender size? So the only aesthetic downside would be some gap around the neck pickup?
     
  20. danosix

    danosix

    May 30, 2012
    THIS - I didn't look that close at the picture before, but the strat-style knobs are a big tip off. And the people who say that was a 90s MIM colour are also right. The MIA red has always been lighter and more to the orange (rather than burgundy) range of red.
     

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