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Help me choose - JB - MIM or MIJ? Both in hands, need one to go

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by solarplexus, Nov 1, 2010.


  1. Hi guys,

    bought myself 2 JB to try them out and decide which one to keep. The problem now is I don't know which one to pick... The MIJ is a JB62 '89. paid 500$ plus shipping. The other is a 60th anniversary MIM '06. Here are the differences I see:

    MIJ JB62:

    1. action is higher than MIM, harder to play
    2. E, A and D in high 13th-14th-15th-16th fret buzz a lot
    3. Bass is heavier and thus feels sturdier than the MIM

    MIM 60th Anniv:

    1. action is better, neck is as smooth as the MIJ, no frets sticking out
    2. E, A and D in high 13th-14th-15th-16th has no or very slight buzz
    3. I like the bridge better
    4. Less heavy but feels less sturdier

    So I'm wondering if it's better to keep the MIJ because it's just a setup issue or if it's better to keep the MIM because it feels better as it is now... Is there any difference in durability? I've been playing guitar for 15 years, have a MIA telecaster, had a couple of MIM and I get a little worried with the "test of time" on a MIM bass. I've been playing alot more bass lately, into slapping mostly and Rush...

    Please help me, any advice will be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Reno/Tahoe
    Get both set up, then choose the best playing / feeling one.
    A bad set up can make a great bass feel wrong.
    The MIM's can be just as sturdy as the CIJ's
     
  3. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Sounds like the MIM is the way to go. Some of them are great basses. Have you had the MIJ setup? If not, that would be the first step in evaluating the basses. Also, FYI, lighter basses are typically more desirable and highly sought after. The weight of a bass has nothing to do with 'sturdyness'. This almost strikes me as a projection of your belief that an MIM must be substandard to an MIJ. This is simply not always the case.
     
  4. elgecko

    elgecko

    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Which bass "sounds" better?
     
  5. Hi faulknersj, I don't think MIM are substandard all the time, but the two MIM strat and Tele's I had were. Especially that 2009 model one... but I digress...
     
  6. elgecko: The sound to me is not really important right now because I am planning on changing the pickups... but I'm a guitar player... tell me if there's something I should know :)
     
  7. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Each instrument is unique. I have a 2009 MIM 70's reissue jazz that is just incredible. People trip out on the tone when I play it out. I also own a Fender Custom Shop J bass which is a work of art imo, but both basses have uniquely different voices that I love almost equally. I just don't see why one would outlast the other. If I care for both of them properly, they should each offer a lifetime of enjoyment. Both of your basses will last equally long with proper care, so choose the one that feels most like home when you strap it on.
     
  8. Aspidites

    Aspidites

    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    Take the time to thoroughly evaluate the electronics before you decide to change the pups if you still decide you want a change replace the pots before you change the pups.
     
  9. Aspidites: Could you explain more plz.
     
  10. Aspidites

    Aspidites

    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    Have a professional setup done on the MIJ 62 reissue before making your decision. IME there are good MIM's but they are much harder to find than great MIJ's which tend to be consistently good and in fact are as good or better than most MIA products. The 80's era MIJ Fenders take a back seat to none.
     
  11. Aspidites

    Aspidites

    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    The pups on the 80s era MIJ are usually very good with the weak link being the pots, if you upgrade them it drastically improves the tonal output.
     
  12. elgecko

    elgecko

    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    :meh: It seems bizarre to exclude tone from the evaluation and to swap out pickups you don't dislike...but it's your bass. Do you what you like.

    Not considering setup, which can be changed, and excluding tone, the most important characteristic of any bass is the feel. Does one bass "feel" better to you (neck finish, neck profile, etc)? Keep that one. Beyond that, you get into things that really don't matter (e.g. newness, color, etc) and it becomes a tossup. FWIW, all other things being equal, I prefer a lighter bass.
     
  13. Elgecko: the reason I'm excluding the pickups from the equation is that I want noiseless pickups... probably not the best, but completely hate hum.
     
  14. elgecko

    elgecko

    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Actually, I can get on board with that. I swapped out the single-coils for split-coils on my jazz so I totally understand. Even then, if you put the same pickup in two different basses, they probably won't sound the same. I'd still figure out which bass sounds better then swap out the pickups.
     
  15. Got both basses today set up. The tech told me that the neck on the JB62 reissue was very flexible, that the truss is working really hard to offset the tension on .050 to .105 and could cause problem in the future... how much worried should I be?

    Plz help,

    Matt
     
  16. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    MIJ
     
  17. any help about the neck thing would be really appreciated
     
  18. Gort

    Gort Banned

    Nov 3, 2010
    Area 51
    IME, I'd pass on the flexible neck.
     
  19. String height and buzzing cannot even come into the factors. Personally I'd be proud to own either - or BOTH!

    Things to actually worry about:::
    #1 consideration= Are the necks straight?
    #2 consideration= Is the finish good and the neck/fretwork the way you want it?
    #3 (and a very important consideration)= is there a place to plug in the output jack? ​
    Forget about the string heights, since you're gonna set them the way you want them anyway. That is never a qualifying factor in a guitar.

    How anyone can agonize over the acceptability of a bass by the condition of the setup is beyond me. You've picked a couple of pretty nice basses!

    I've heard people say how much they hate a GC setup f'rinstance - and that's just a red herring and never a reason to not accept a bass. Therefor they hate GC and their lousy luthiers and the guy who drove the forklift that took the crate of basses off the truck - and let's not forget to diss the truck driver too while we're at it.

    It's all adjustable! There's little screw-thingies to make it all better.

    Pick the color you want - how it sounds when it's set-up - the amount you want to pay and if it weighs too much, then that might be a consideration.

    Send me the one you don't want. I'll struggle through the buzzing and bad setup somehow.

    I'd like to know how the truss is working 'harder' to hold this neck::

    That just sounds very un-professional to me and I showed this post to another luthier and he just laughed. I'm not buying that either.

    Trusses do the work of a truss - no more/no less.

    Either way, get the Pro-Protection plan if you are at GC or MF and that covers any abnormality even if you accidentally run it over with a truck.

    Yes - the new Pro-Protection plan covers accidental damages too.
     
  20. I have had MIM's, MIJ's, USA's and my preference leans towards Japan Fenders. My MIJ Dolphin Grey Aerodyne rules! My Geddy Lee model is real real nice (Japan). I had a USA amber flame top Jazz ($1650.) that was real nice/well built but the neck felt like a P neck, fatter than the usual J neck, awesome pickups though. Really no better than the Japan Aerodyne or Geddy Lee Jazz. Many MIM 's are great too. I think the USA's are just not worth the $
     

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