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Highway 1 Over A MIM?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theevilplankton, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. I've been reading, and posting for advice on buying a P.

    Been checking out the MIM's...but I can't say that I'm not a little concerned about QC, and that it may feel a bit of a let down after my CIJ Geddy.

    It got me thinking about the Highway 1 P. Where you can buy a MIM in the UK for around £399, a Highway, wher I can track them down, is around the £590 mark.

    Question is, are they that much better? I'm aware that they are MIA, but obviously the bits are cheaper. Tuners the same as the MIM?

    I notice they have the Badass, same as the Ged.

    I'm just assuming that it's a better bass? I think I read elsewhere that the pickups are the same as the MIA P's?

    I'm not in the market for a MIA, hence considering the MIM as a good, all-round useable bass. But if less that £200 is a different beast altogether??? :help:
  2. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    here i think a MIM is 550$ and a highway 1 is 750$. The highway has that graphite support neck , but other then that i dont really care and MIM offers maple necks so i would get a lake placid blue MIM with maple neck :) Some people like a badass bridge others dont its preference i am not a fan of them i like the vintage style bridge better like on the MIM.
  3. That's the MIM variant I was looking at, nice looking combination.

    BTW, what is the difference between a Badass and a 'standard' bridge? Does the Badass give lower action?

    The difference in price is quite large, so I'd rather know if there's a big MIM/H1 gap before I go searching!
  4. joebingo


    Aug 23, 2006
    London, UK
    the BAII bridge has a larger bass plate, an so (apparently), gives longer sustain.

    will you notice it when playing on your own? maybe. In the mix? probably not

    In terms of lower action, you can get very low with the standard bridge, in the end though, it's all personal preference. Try them both out and see which one you prefer.

    FWIW, i played a highway one precision and my mim precision next to each other, the highway one felt more refined, but not worthy of the price difference, IMHO.
  5. sarcastro83


    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I was just A-B P's yesterday. Where the Highway One was most definately sturdier, played better (for me) and looked gorgeous, it sounded way too polite. That being said, I didn't like how the pickups in the MIM sounded either...

    Ultimately, just go play both and make your selection from there.

    I will agree, the Highway Ones (and most of Fenders other stuff) would be a great deal more attractive if it all came down in price.
  6. Stampy


    Jun 30, 2008
    I played both and I prefered the Highway One.
  7. Yes, there is a difference in tone between the MIM and the Highway One. Does it justify the extra $$$? I don't think so. I'd buy mexican (I had one for years) and replace the bridge with the badass II. The bridge is a big step up in sustain. More sustain = good. The badass II bridge runs around $80 if I recall, so it is a nice inexpensive upgrade. Another difference in the tone with the Highway 1 and the MIM is the tone pot. I prefer the old school tone pot (the same one that is on the AM Standard BTW) to the "master grease bucket" on the Highway 1....I dont mind rolling up the bass when you roll the treble off.
    The pickups on the highway 1 sound better than the MIM pickups. Pickups are also a relatively inexpensive upgrade that you can do down the road. The real issue is one of playability. Play every P Bass you can find, MIM or Highway 1, and buy the one that FEELS and sounds the best to your hands and ears.
    After you buy it, take it to a good luthier and have him set it up for you, to the height you want and all the other things that go along with a good setup, and learn how to set it up your self so you can do it every time you change strings. All the stuff you are considering is made in a factory, and no two basses sound or play alike, especially at the price points you are considering. There are huge differences in the Monday bass, the Friday bass and the wednesday bass....so I would not even consider color/look as a factor.....sounding and feeling good is a much better thing than looking good.
    IMO The highway 1 distinction is just a way to jack up the price, since it is made with alot of the same materials, but comes with a "Made in USA" tag, and a way for Fender to put a pricepoint between the MIM Standard series and the much much nicer (and pricier) American Standard Series.
  8. I have found that with all of Fender's products, there are good and bad. AS the pricegoes up the ratio changes, but except for CS instruments, its always a possibility you will get a lemon. However, soem really well constructed MIMs are out there and not really uncommon. I'd take the HWY1 if I had the extra cash, but you wont be ruining you Fender experience by searching for and buying a really nice MIM example. FWIW I like BA bridges, but a regular Fender bridge is perfectly fine. Really, I just think they look better unless your going for the vintage vibe, and they just feel more solid. AS for the graphite rod neck, its a great feature in theory, but in practice I don't think it makes a 200 pound difference.
  9. Fetzu


    Sep 6, 2007
    Tampa, Florida
    Most definately do this.
    FWIW I have a Highway One P-Bass and it is a great bass. I am really fond of the feel of the neck. In my hands it feels fantastic. I like the greasebucket tone pot. Currently strung with LaBella 760FL's.
  10. TC2112

    TC2112 Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    Parke County, Indiana
    maybe the difference in tone doesn't justify the extra money for you, but after making all the upgrades you listed, pickups, new badass bridge, plus getting the graphite reinforced neck, why wouldn't you spend the 200.00 extra and get the USA made bass that has all that stuff already?

    I have a MIM P bass that I love, I have a early 90's Korean P bass that I really love, but I grab my HWY 1 P over both of 'em almost everytime.

    As everyone else has commented, play em first anytime you can before making a purchase, but if I was in the market for another P bass, the HWY 1 would be the FIRST one I pick up and try
  11. OP, just curious, what was it you didnt like about the Geddy?
  12. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    I just like it when people say this very true statement " MIM's are made in mexico by mexicans , MIA are made in california by Mexicans" there is this horror among some people about buying a MIM instrument, but the factories are so close ensenda is like almost ine the USA its actually on baja california .

    I would get the MIM and the extra money could go for a pick up swap or you could put a bad ass on that if you wanted , the extra coin could get new pick ups , bridge and tuners if you wanted.
  13. I like the nitro finish on the Hiway 1's but other than that I think it's a wash.
  14. Apologies for sort of hijacking the thread, but does anyone think that the HWY 1 would be worth it over the MIM if the Greasebucket was taken out and a normal wiring scheme was put in?

    I'm interested in this because I'm trying to decide if I should save up for the American Standard or just get a HWY 1, because I plan on building a Warmoth bass soon.


  15. robfitz1968


    Dec 11, 2007
    I own an american standard, 08 model that is a great bass, however I play every weekend, and My Highway is my main go to bass. Just plays and sounds great, and I love Nitro.:hyper:
  16. Cube198


    Sep 3, 2009
    I came very close to buying a Highway 1, even to the point where I had my car all loaded up with some old 6 string guitars and whatnot to trade in. I got to GC, where the bass was, played it and was severely let down. Maybe I just don't know my P basses (current workhorse is a MIM Jazz). But this Highway one seemed...unresponsive. Maybe I just wasn't playing loud enough, or don't know about greasebuckets, but the tone pot seemed very subtle and I couldn't discern a huge difference in rolling treble in and out. Plus the neck needed some pretty serious attention, and had a pretty serious case of fret sprout. So I held off...I also picked up a couple new MIM P's and they just seemed somehow more substantial, and played perfectly right off the wall...I doubt this helps, but it just seems the MIM line is just fine. I do love the nitro, however.
  17. highway one basses are amazing.

    work horses are what they are. they are like the Gibson "faded" series.

    it's an MIA, with no frills.

    there is only ONE thing that absolutely needs to be done with a highway 1 bass... change the pickups.

    PS: I'm talking about the first generation Highway Ones, it has a skunk stripe on the back of the neck, no badass bridge (pointless upgrade if you ask me)
  18. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I used to have a Highway One P, and it was a sweet bass. I've never owned a MIM Standard P, but I do own a MIM Classic '50s P. This Classic '50s has become one of my absolute favorites. It's a bit more expensive than a Standard P, but you can probably find a good deal on a used one. That's what I did, and it's one of the best values I've ever gotten on a bass.

    I'm very impressed with it, so you might want to check one out before you make your final choice. The one caveat I'd give you though is that you might not like the neck. If you have small hands, it might not be comfortable for you. But if that's not a problem, it's a sweet bass.
  19. Toneman


    Jun 6, 2001
    Long Island

    wow same here my 08 American standard is a great bass but I like my highway P better and it's my #1 also.
  20. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    If you care about resale/collectability USA

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