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Highway 1better than Mexican?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rusty2867, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Rusty2867

    Rusty2867 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    De Soto,Ks
    So Iv'e been looking or trying to look at this guys Highway 1 he has for sale.I have also been looking at a lot of pawn shops at Mexican made Fenders.I read somewhere that the H1's had some lower quality parts to make them less expensive,question is are the Highway 1 basses that much better than the Mexican Fenders? I have been seeing the Mexi Fenders for around $300
  2. Andy D

    Andy D

    Jun 18, 2011
    Bay Area
    The upside with the Highway 1 is that you get a great bridge (Badass II). I can't speak to the quality of the pickups though. Most people I know, myself included, replace the pickups in any Fender bass once they get it. The tuning machines are crap as well: replace 'em with Hipshots.
  3. Eric66


    Sep 23, 2013
    The Netherlands
    A review in a magazine here concluded: buy the mexican or keep saving for an american standard.
  4. Rusty2867

    Rusty2867 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    De Soto,Ks
    Pretty sure but could be wrong,I think I read elsewhere on this forum that the Highway 1 had Fender style bridge and the Highway One had the BA II.But I am a newby at this so just not sure!
  5. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    I like the Highway One, they are not low quality basses, some people put them down because they were painted in Mexico but that is all about, I have owned only one MIM that was good, however I have owned couple of road worn that were great. Try both and get the one that speak to you.
  6. Depends which Mexican you're talking about. If it's a "Mexico Standard", chances are that the HW1 is indeed a better instrument. If you're talking about the "Classic" or "Roadworn", safe bet those will be better than the HW1.
  7. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    The Highway 1 (2004-2006) was a combination of Mexican and American pieces parts, standard Fender bridge, and the neck adjusted on the headstock. Assembly was claimed to be in the USA......but the earlier ones assembly origin is still in question by some folks claiming otherwise.

    The Highway One (made in 2006+) was assembled in USA, had the BadAss II, supposedly all USA pieces parts, and the neck adjusted at the heel.

    Truth in advertising for Fender has, at times, been an issue :rollno:
  8. REMBO


    Jul 26, 2011
    i own a highway one and it plays awesome!! sounds great and the body resonates beautifully !!
  9. Dubsly


    Apr 1, 2011
    What you get with a HW1 kinda depends on the year. The HW1s do have MIM quality tuners and pickups, but the later ones have the graphite truss rods like the Am Standards. And the Badass bridge is a plus.

    Also, all but the first few years have a "grease bucket" tone circuit in them. Some people like it, but I re-wired mine almost instantly.
  10. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    There is still an amazing amount of misunderstanding when it comes to the Hwy 1 and the Hwy Ones ... two very distinct and different species ... you combine that with the OP question of comparing them to MIM Fenders, even increases confusion, as there are MANY Fender models that are MIM ... however, IF speaking of MIM Standards (as the $300 price mentioned would suggest), realize that quality can vary within MIM Standards over the years as well ...

    If you want to compare a MIM STANDARD to a Highway Series bass, you must first understand the differences in an early edition Hwy 1 ('03-06), and an 'upgraded' Hwy ONE ('06-'11) ... a search of TB should turn up a large amount of reading material on each, although there is probably as much mis-information, as accurate .. after a while you will start to weed through what is what ...

    .. a simplified answer to the OP inquiry, the early edition Hwy 1 can be compared to a MIM Standard, as it uses the same neck (headstock adjust) same hardware (the only difference in the bridge is threaded saddles) ... Hwy 1 uses alnico pups, MIM Standard ceramic ... body on Hwy 1 is not routed, MIM Standard is routed ... finish on Hwy 1 is ACRYLIC lacquer, MIM Standard is poly ... the Hwy 1 ('03-'06) carried a list price of about $599, and street price of $479-529 ... MIM Standards about $150 less at the time ...

    The Highway ONE, is a different animal than a Hwy 1 ... it compared more to the American Standard (Series) than the MIM Standard, in that it used a heel adjust truss rod neck, and the same graphite support rods as the AmStand, the machine heads are again same as MIM Standard, but the bridge is a Leo Quan BAII, and the body finish is NITROcellulose lacquer ... the Hwy ONE had a street price of $799, and the component value tends to support the additional $$, (even if opinion does not) as the graphite supported, heel adjust neck sells used at a comparative value to an AmStand neck, and considering the $100+ value of the BAII compared to the $25 value of the Hwy 1 vintage bridge ... the used market value of a NITRO body from the Hwy One vs the acrylic finish on a Hwy 1 is also higher ... although most errantly think that the early Hwy 1's had a nitro finish, which is not the case ...

    Which is 'better' certainly comes down to preferences .. but, the component value of a Hwy ONE (if bought right) may justify the difference in price over a MIM Standard .. a Hwy 1 early edition, maybe not as much ... there is a difference in opinion of the (Hwy 1) value in the used market, which may be a result of misunderstanding the difference between two models which appear to share the same name ... a common used price for a Hwy One bass (still intact of original components) seems to be about $5-600 range, and an early edition Hwy 1 about $450-500 ... you may see folk spending more than these ranges (Ebay mostly), especially for the early edition Hwy 1, but I wonder if that may be a result of not being aware of the differences between a 1 and ONE. ... so if you evalute based on component value, a current edition ('08+) MIM Standard used at about $3-350 vs a Hwy 1 at around $475-500 vs a Hwy One at around $550+, the Hwy ONE may be a better value than a Hwy 1 (due to neck, bridge and nitro finish value), but most likely all three should retain their purchase value in a resale situation ... But of course the real value comes down to what you like, and can afford ...

    .. with all that said, their are some current edition MIM Standards hitting the market sub $300 range, and those may be the best value of all .... it also depends what value you place on having 'Made in USA' on the headstock ... and like all Fenders, each piece really needs to be evaluated on a 'case by case' basis ... both MIM Standards and Hwy 1/One owners have their supporters ...

    ... JMHO's ...
  11. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    just a little clarification, Hwy 1 and Ones have never had the same pups as MIM 'Standards' ... ;)
  12. Rusty2867

    Rusty2867 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    De Soto,Ks
    Truss rod on this one adjusts at the headstock,so it must be pre 06 H1
  13. BassDaddy77


    Feb 12, 2010
    NE Ohio
    I'm pretty sure the H-One Precision used American pickups. Maybe fom the "American Series" or "American Standard" series. I don't believe the same holds true for the J's though.
  14. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    .. the transition from Hwy 1 to One was actually mid year '06, so your early '06's would be a Hwy 1 and later year Hwy One ...

    .. if you have the headstock adjust, it would be the neck like what is on the MIM Standard (no graphite suppport rods), the threaded saddle bent plate bridge (no BAII), and the acrylic lacquer finish (no nitro) ... at least that is the way they came stock, some are putting the BAII on the earlier Hwy 1 in the attempt to pass them off as a One ...
  15. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    The Hwy 1/One P's used the 56003/4 set that were used in the AmSeries basses ... later in the run for the Hwy Ones I believe it was the 61276/7 set that were used in the American Standards ... not exactly sure when that started happening, but it would have been during the Hwy ONE run, not the Hwy 1 ... check with Bongolation on here about that, he may know the date and the exact model used in the Hwy Ones at the end .. he was tearing them apart ...

    The Hwy 1/One Jazz basses, have used the 58358/9 pup set right along ... vintage set same as used in the MIM Classic Series ...
  16. Mark4


    Oct 21, 2007
    I seem to recall that the Highway series used better quality wood and paint for the body, lacked graphite rods in the neck like MIMs, and had MIM electronics and hardware (other than the BAII) but I could be mistaken.
  17. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    ^^^ MEMORY FAIL ^^^ :rollno: