I saw a supposed MIM Fender P-Bass in a pawn shop today. Is it real?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cicero0292, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Cicero0292


    Sep 10, 2012
    Here are the pictures I took. Back.jpg Body Front.jpg Full Frontal Nudity.jpg Headstock1.jpg Headstock2.jpg Neck Side.jpg Pickups.jpg

    If it is real, it would be a 1996 MIM. Is this a good year? Bad year? Unremarkable year?

    BONUS: Pictures of pawn shop employee, pawn shop customer, and sad jewelry
  2. Never seen someone bother faking a MIM. Yes it is real, but the 1 piece guard leads me to believe its a squier series edition. They were still MIM Fenders but had cheaper electronics and a 1 play guard the rest is the same, and it was in the mid 90s. Also it would say squier series at the headstock tip but its easily removeable.

    If its $300 or more its not even worth pursuing there are MIM's all over craigslist.
  3. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    It does look like a "Black label" Fender. There may have been "Squier series" on the headstock but don't let this detract you. It's still a Fender not a Squier. It used a one ply pickguard and hardware that are a little bit lesser in quality than the other MIM P basses called "traditional". It originally sold for a few dollars less as a result.
    Best way to confirm is to email Fender with the serial number, they'll confirm if it's valid, and also if it was a Squier series or Traditional.
    If that's the price the pawn shop's selling it for, I would talk them down. Fender P-basses can easily be bought for $300 or less, more current versions are imo better in quality than the earlier ones so given a choice, I'd get a more recent version. Now if they sell your bass for $200-250, then I might consider buying it if everything checks out (fretwear acceptable, truss rod works, working electronics etc)
  4. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    ^ This.

    Way too much.
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Great photos, well done!!
  6. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    My understanding is that there were a lot of QC problems with late 90's MIM gear. I had a Jazz from around that time that I could never get adjusted properly. Took it to a luthier and still had fret buzz issues, etc. I eventually sold it on. I've also got a 2000 Strat with similar problems. From what I've read, they seems to be much better nowadays in terms of overall playability.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I bought one in the mid 90's, when Sam Ash was doing a blowout sale, for $159. Was a decent bass. Once I got my action to my liking, I gigged it quite a lot.
  8. WoodyJ

    WoodyJ Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Kansas City
    This very basic version came in the "bass packs" that Fender marketed to younger players. They came with a small amp, a strap and a cord as I recall. I worked in a friend's music store several years back and we sold a ton of these during the Christmas season. We sold the packs for under $200.
  9. I generally stay away from 90's era MIM Fenders. IMO they don't hold up to the more recent incarnations, when they started putting the (mid 60's style??) grey decal at the headstock. I believe this happened around 2001-2002. The most recent MIM's with the 70's style decal are a step up from the previous era, too. I feel like the Mexican factory keeps getting better with the stuff they produce. To be honest, $300 is on the high end of what I'd pay for a 2010 up MIM fender in pristine condition.
    I wouldn't consider paying more than $150- $200 for that bass

    Goodluck with your ultimate decision, either way it is hard to go wrong with a P bass.
  10. MIM Fenders in the 90s had 1 piece guards, even the Jazz basses. The Strat knobs are a dead giveaway.
  11. I hate to break it to ya, but the mid-late 90s Fender MIMs had that Silver deval, too. ;) My 96 is living proof.
  12. Awilkie84, thank you for the correction. I was under the impression that was only implemented in the early 2000's based on what Ive seen. Duly noted, sir

    I do however, remember there being some kinds of actual differences between the 90's MIM fenders and the early 2000's..was it a switch from poplar wood to alder, or am I completely wrong on this too?
  13. No, standard MIM Fender P basses didnt have 1 ply guards, notice how its all white not WBW. The Squier series had 1 ply pickguards like that and a black label. Yes I am aware of the J basses but a 1 ply guard its not a standard MIM guard unless its a squier series, which that one likely is with the little logo removed. I have had probably 20 MIM fenders, probably more and I never had a P bass that had a fender logo and a 1 ply guard unless it was squier series. I currently have a 1994 Jazz and it has the WBW guard, chrome control plate and blue logo.
  14. Do a Google search for - 90’s Fender Mexico w/ Black Decal: A Mystery Uncovered.

    "The black label was used by Fender Mexico for a limited time only between 1993 and 1998. It can be found exclusively on the rather short lived mexican “Traditional” and “Squier” series for the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass."

    The OP's bass appears to be a 1996 “Traditional” Fender Precision bass, not a Squier, but not a full blown Standard either.
  15. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    I wouldn't pay the ticket price on it ($299.99). For that money, get a more recent model of the bass on CL. As posts above mentioned, quality and workmanship of later MIM basses improved over time. I think from 2006 and on would be ideal. Like I mentioned, if the bass was going for around $200 and there's nothing wrong with the neck or anything else, I would buy it.
  16. Justice


    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Price is too high, but it is a Fender Traditional series bass. Same body and neck as all other MIM Fenders of the era, with lesser components installed. I have one of the black label "Squier Series" basses that I picked up last year on the cheap, it has had some mods form a previous owner but it IS a player!
  17. I never said it was a standard, just that it was a MIM Fender, and not a Squier. As stated above, there was a short-lived "Traditional" series that used the 1-ply guard. Interesting point to note, my 96 P-bass is a standard (silver logo), but had a 1-piece original guard and strat knobs. Transitional period, maybe?
  18. TheAnalogKid

    TheAnalogKid Yer Doin' GREAT!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    $299 is wayyy too high on that! Keep in mind, the pawnbroker's price is based on a percentage of what the person who pawned that bass received in cash. For musical instruments, it can be as low as 10%, but no more than 30% (and that's being generous). If the borrower got, say, 90 bucks, the other 200 or so is pure profit! So I would use that as a negotiating standpoint and be prepared to walk away if the pawnbroker doesn't like your offer.
  19. The going rate in my town is 20%. Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me. :(
  20. I have one just like it and mine is a true gem. There were a lot of crappy ones from this era but an occasional goodie. I had to dress the fret ends on mine but now it sounds great and plays like a dream. If it's a clunker , you can get a new squier cheaper than what they are asking for that one and have a better instrument. If it's one of the diamonds in the rough it might be worth trying to get the price down a bit and grabbing it. You will have to decide for yourself if it's a good one or a stinker.
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