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Highway 1 vs MIA Standard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by McGroovin', Mar 7, 2008.

  1. I was wondering why the Highway 1 cost less than the Fender US Standard Series. They're both made in the U.S. and by Fender. Is it the electronics, QC, or hardware. Where exactly do they cut the quality to make it cheaper?
  2. The pickups are of lesser quality than the MIA's (although they still sound good) and the tuners are cheap. You do however get a BadAss II bridge. I'm also assuming the finishing process is cheaper. The pricepoint of the Highway 1's I think are more of a marketing strategy than a direct result of production costs. My Highway 1 Jazz rocks!
    I would personally pick a highway 1 over an American Standard and just replace the tuners and pickups.
  3. The necks also differ: the headstock of the MIA standard is 5/8" thick, while the HWY-1 is 1/2", and, my MIA standard's truss adjusts from the bottom and my HWY-1 is at the top.
  4. I don't own either, but I've played both and really like them both. I've actually liked a couple of the HWY 1's a little more.
  5. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    Well, when the series first started, I kinda dismissed them as mim's with a usa decal and a differend bridge.

    Now, I'll explain how they cut the costs. Making the necks and bodies is the cheapest part, basically an automated process. The steps that add up to the cost are the fretwork, nutwork, and the finish. Buffing a finish takes time, and time means money. By skipping this, they just shoot the finish and save a lot of time. Same goes to the fretwork.

    mims, BTW, are cut in the states, and just put together in mexico. Kinda like the cars made in Michigan. They are made in Mexico and just put together in the states. Gets you thinking!
  6. Isn't the top better?
  7. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Technically, you're correct, but the improved version (now called the "Highway One", rather than "Hwy-1") has the same neck dimansions as the AmStd, with a different tuner hole size. The truss rod adjusts from the body end, too. The pre-improvement Hwy-1 necks lacked the graphite reinforcement. The new ones have this as well. The differences now are the lack of thru-body stringing, the lack of a poly finish, and the tuners/electronics. As an aside, I find it funny that you can get thru-body stringing with a MIM Hoppus, but not a MIA Highway One.

    For access? Absolutely. Does it make a difference in tone? Probably not. But basically, every Fender-y builder worth his salt is imitating Fender's MIA design, so they all put the truss adjust at the neck heel.

    You will find headstock adjustment only on MIM and Squire Fenders and Mighty Mite, etc. necks. You will not find it on the better necks like Allparts, Warmoth, USACG or Musikraft.
  8. Gnosticbass


    Dec 24, 2006
    Very informative thread. I always looked at the Highway 1 (later Highway one) as Fenders answer to EBMM SUB series(sadly no longer made) a mid to lower upper price USA made basses and guitars. Obviously there is a market for a good quality domestically produced bass for the working musician. I probebly would never have been able to own a USA made intrument had the SUB series not come out when it did. I don't own a Highway one but have tried serveral and I really like how they sound and feel. I'm glad Fender is keeping this series in production, especially in light of all the import competition which has caused just about all other USA mid price intrument line to be discontinued.
  9. I agree with Gnostic, informative thread. I own a Highway One three tone sunburst. Of course I generally prefer the American Deluxe FMT, which I also own, but sometimes you just want a change of pace. The Highway One is a very solid instrument which I enjoy playing a lot, the price/value equation is spot on for me
  10. Auria, do all the "Highway One" (vi-a-vis "Hwy-1) necks have the graphite rods? My '05 neck has nothing on it about "Highway-One" visible. I found out it was off a Highway-One when I checked the serial# with Fender. How can one know (by year or #?) which type of neck they have? I used it on my Sonic blue project last year and I really like it. The rolled-edge fretboard and the superb fretwork make me want to find more of them.


  11. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    The year and the tuners - any serial starting with a Z that has open tuners is a Highway One or Highway 1. Closed tuners, it is American Series. The next number after the Z is the year - Highway Ones were made I believe in 2005 and later - Highway 1's in 2004 and earlier. I may be wrong about that last part though.
  12. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    Gee, they do everything to cut that cost...
  13. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Whole thread, troll. Read it.

    I have a Dec. 2006 neck (not a whole bass), and IIRC, the improvements (Graphite reinforcement, rolled edges, truss at body) were made at the same time the Badass II was added and the logo was changed. I think that began in 2005. My neck has a 70s logo on it, with the old "Fender" and "Jazz Bass" in bold large letters, like the '75 RI. Also, the truss is at the body end.

    I got the neck mint on eBay for less than what I'm seeing them go for now- it seems that others have found out what I already knew. Hope you can find one for a good buy.

    I'll say up front that I don't have this neck on a body yet, but I do have a 2002 MIA Precision neck on a 2006 MIA Jazz body. The Highway One neck doesn't give me the impression that I'd have any less of a bass by using it (despite what the a$$troll I responded to above might think), but I wanted a maple board for this bass, and so the P it was.
  14. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    you may want to do a search on this topic, as it has been pretty thoroughly discussed, and many of the points have been revisited on this thread ... the Hwy 1 to Hwy ONE switch occured mid year 06, but there have been reports of 'transitional' pieces which only SOME of the changes were present on the ealiest ONE models, mostly BA with the neck of a Hwy 1, etc ... also there were a few less than scrupulous sellers that were putting on BA bridges trying to pawn '1"'s off as ONE's at a higher price ...

    Edit to add: I dont think the difference of the Greasebucket tone control has been mentioned yet on the Hwy Series ... also, FWIW, the original Hwy 1's (I have never owned a Hwy ONE to veryify this on them) did NOT have channel routing or the CNC milling machine hole under the pickguard as the American Series and new American Standards have, just in case anyone wants to 'Jaco' it sans P/G removed ...
  15. Widdershins


    Aug 28, 2007
    My '07 Highway 'One' Jazz does NOT have these either.

    Verification comlete.;)


    Nov 10, 2003
    South Carolina
    I think they play great. I love the finish. Just feels good.

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