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Highway 1 vs MIACalifornia vs MIJ

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gnr_her, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Hi guys.
    I'm looking for a cool P Bass, and after looking for a while I found 3 candidates:

    (all are used in great conditions)

    1) 2001 Fender USA Highway 1
    2) 1997 Fender Precision Bass Special (California Series)
    3) some '92-'97 Made in Japan/Crafted in Japan basses

    What kind of bass would be the best option? I'm looking for an instrument with good wood and body, the hardware and pickups it's not so important because I have a set of DiMarzio PJ pickups to put on any bass (I love the DiMarzio sound)... and I'm gonna install a set of Hipshot tuners with an Xtender... so the most important thing for me it's to have a bass with a GREAT body and construction rather than sound or hardware.

    Thanks for the answers!
  2. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    of those 3 options I would likely look through the mid 90s MIJ Ps and find one that spoke to me...

    however getting the P bass special would make putting that J PU in much easier....
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I had a California P Special that I sold to a friend who was in need of a new bass. It was a fine instrument, if you can play it before you buy it, and you like it I say go with that one. I have no real experience with your other options except for messing around with a few of them here and there at music stores.
  4. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    I've got a California Special and I like it a lot - just keep in mind that the neck is a Jazz taper rather than a traditional P-bass neck. I wish mine had the latter.
  5. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    The trick with Fender basses is to play them all and buy the one that feels and sounds best to you.
  6. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I have a Highway 1 and an MIM both from the 2005-6 timeframe. They're my absolute favorite basses of all. No other P has sounded or played close to as good as my HW1 with the J Worrell P in it. Holy cow. It's like my perfect P bass because it sounds "modern" but still like a P. I set it up and couldn't stop playing it today. I want to put on Roto 66's but it just sounds so damn good as it is with that GC house brand Muscian's Choice 45-105 Steel Rounds.

    The MIM (Deluxe P Special) is strung with Roto 77's. Those are flats. It's the old school one in my mind. It feels more solid, more sturdy. It's an active P-J and is really versatile. The treble makes up for the lack of zing in the strings, although fret noise is also exaggerated. I've always trashed talked MIMs, especially for the J that I bought. It was terrible. But after buying this thing back, I have renewed faith. I wouldn't expect my next MIM to be a gem too, but I know that there are others out there...
  7. The thing is that i can't try the MIA 97 or the HW1 because I'm from Argentina and I'd buy those basses from the USA...
    Although, there's some used MIJ here that I could play before buying.
  8. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    Something wrong with your info here ... the Highway 1 series basses were not introduced until 2003 ... what is the serial # of the Hwy you are considering ??
  9. Z5******

    My bad! It's an 2005 :p
  10. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    I have an '05 Hwy 1 P ... as chris mentioned above, I also really like it .. 8 lbs and just feels right ... problem is, I have several J's, and never touch the P's .. every time I contemplate selling it, I take it out and play it, and then just smile and put it back away until the next whim to move it ... I actually prefer the pre-upgrade P's to the 2006+ Hwy ONE upgrades ... very nice thin front to back neck ... if I had your choice, I know which one I would take, in a heartbeat ... I have had late 90's MIA's, but the only MIJ's I have had were Sting and 51 RI, so it really isnt a fair comparision ...
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Early 90's MIJ basses have a lot of potential. I would be checking those out very seriously.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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