Is the American Standard Jazz Bass worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Davygravy3, May 21, 2001.

  1. Davygravy3


    Sep 21, 2000
    Or should I just go with the Mexican made one for only $300. I mean this bass is $900, is it worth that much? Or is there a better/equal bass for less? Not neccesairily a fender.
  2. pike66


    Apr 28, 2001
    Long Island NY
    the american standard jazz bass is AWESOME.
    the mexicans, in comparison, are not even close.
    I recently, as shown on this forum, bought a used fender american
    standard jazz bass, and I think it's the best sounding and playing bass i've ever owned.
  3. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    First of all, the American Standard was replaced by the American Series in 2000. Not a whole lot of difference though. Also realize that the MIM bass price does not include a hardshell case. If you can find a NOS American Standard they are a great deal. I bought a new 98 P bass for $529 about 6 weeks ago.

    As to whether the price difference is worth it or not, only you can decide that. Go play a bunch of basses in different price ranges from different manufacturers, then decide.

    Have fun shopping! :D
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Hey DG3,

    Bear in mind that anything below this line is purely my opinion...
    *** START OPINION ***

    The difference between an MIA and MIM Fender is pretty apparent when you have the two side by side. Hardware, electronics, various construction techniques become highlighted... My MIM J-Bass has had some upgrading, and is currently on the bench getting a serious overhaul... My MIA P-Bass has had the pickguard replaced, as well as a new push/pull volume pot as a control bypass. It didn't need either of these things to be an excellent bass, while the J-Bass needed some tweaks to bring it up to standard, (pickups, bridge, etc...).

    That being said, the MIM's are fantastic buys in and of themselves. Mine was a '92 and the pickups were snot. Maybe they've gotten better since... I dunno. I do know that my MIM J-Bass FEELS and PLAYS better than many MIA J's that I've played. That doesn't mean it sounds better, just feels more natural in my hands. My P-Bass is flat out the best feeling and playing production bass I've ever played, period.

    **** END OPINION ****

    Play as many as you can and pick the best bass you try. That always seems to work...

  5. Bernie


    Dec 12, 1999
    The MIA's are nice but i dont think they are that much nicer.I had an MIM J and im sorry i sold it.If you go used then you can get an MIA at a sane price.I got a 2000 A Series P in S Burst fin/RW bd and all the goodies-strap,cord,tools,etc with a black Fender tolex upgrade case dead mint for 600 used.BARELY!!!Not a mark on bass or case.Good luck!
  6. ohhh yes
    ive had mine for almost two years....
    completly awesome
  7. I think the Americans are of higher quality the the MIM models. I have am American Standard Jazz that is absolutely wonderful. Everything about it is just right.

    I am going to sell it soon if you are interested. I will take $700 for it. It comes with a hardshell case and a set of Dimarzio Model J pickups. I still have the original pickups as well. I bought mine 2000, however it might be a 1999 model.

    Let ne know.
  8. Stangg

    Stangg Guest

    If you can afford the american, go for it!
  9. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    unfortunately, there is the ole law of diminishing
    return in effect. in my experience, once you get
    past a certain point (fender mexican?), you begin
    paying lots for improvements in quality.


    fender J MIM - ~$300

    fender J MIA - ~$900

    lakland - ~2000

    is the lakland worth more than 6 times the fender
    MIM? maybe, but it probably has more to do with
    your personal finances than the instrument. i would
    spend the amount that is commensurate with your
    interest in the instrument and your personal
    finances...... if you're a pro, buy the MIA. if
    you're just a rec. player, but you're rich - heck,
    buy the lakland. :-D

    All IMHO.
  10. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    One some people don't think about is instrument longevity. I've played some MIM's that played and sounded good and with better p/u's would be excellent basses. But the one thing that worries is what happens to it after a few years? I've seen some foreign made instruments with necks made of wood that just wasn't ready. The wood had a green tint to it causing the neck to warp in a short time. Obviously it wont always appear green as it might only be that way on the inside. Hopefully quality control is better on the MIA's and they only use well seasoned wood. i know a lot of people who own the MIM's have never had any problems but I've seen it and would have concerns.
  11. It depends on what you put value on.

    To me, a MIA Fender Jazz is 1.5 mortgage payments.

    My MIM Fender Jazz was less than .5 mortgage payments.

    To me, the MIA wasn't a good VALUE.

    The MIM, on the other hand, was.

    And my MIM Jazz is a rather spectacular instrument. One of the gems to roll off the Baja California line.

    I've seen MIA's that couldn't compare in quality to my MIM, but I've seen MIA's that were stunning.

  12. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    No one ever took MIJ Fenders in to Consideration? :rolleyes:
  13. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Those are all gone now right? You can only buy used MIJs?

    New, I only see MIM and MIA.
  14. Seems to me that the American Series really are superb basses. The concensus on the quality issue is well known. But they're expensive and IMHO I think they're too expensive (is that only because I can't afford one and probably never will be able to afford one?).

    I've been down this road on these boards. The MIMs brings a real Fender to the reach of those who can't afford the MIA. But they are probably closer in quality that the price difference suggests. It seems most like to fit new pups, bridge, etc. I'd sooner go for a non Fender if that's what's got to happen to get a MIM upto scratch.

    Guess it's all personal taste and, as many have suggested to me, go out there and try as many as you can.

    I'd REALLY LOVE an American Series Jazz. But I'll happily settle for a lower end Yamaha....until I win the Lottery, of course!?!

    Rockin John
  15. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Let's cut to the chase. Here's the two basic answers you're gonna get:

    Owners of MIM Fenders: They're just as good and sometimes better than MIA.

    Owners of MIA Fenders: They're way better than MIM.

  16. As a MIM owner, I actually disagree with this. SOME MIM's are just as good, FEWER are better, but for the most part, the MIA is probably a more consistantly better instrument.

  17. Thrillkiller


    Apr 25, 2001
    Something else to consider: If you have enough cash ($900-$1000) already in your pocket for a new MIA Jazz let me suggest ebay for a little while (30 days or so) and get yourself a like-new MIA Hamer Cruise with the 2TEK bridge, solid alder body, and SD pickups for between $400-$500 with case. It was Hamer's version of the Jazz, now discontinued. Absolutely KILLER bass and a hell of a bargain. That is, unless you simply HAVE to have the word Fender on the headstock.

    Yes, I know I didn't really address the original question (MIM vs. MIA) but I thought you might appreciate hearing about another option.
  18. Davygravy3


    Sep 21, 2000
    Do you think that it also may not be a bad idea to look for a used bass? I mean afterall used instruments are usually in good shape unlike certain things like toys for example. By the way my mom said shed buy me a used bass but a new one no cuz its about 900 instead of 450.
  19. Oh good, I can comment. I have one of each.
    The MIM ARE a great value especially the sunburst ones (single cut body I think). The pickups in my MIM fretless exceeded those in my MIA for sound (until i replaced the MIA with SD Antiquities).

    The MIA is a fine instrument. The neck is better and the hardware is of better quality. Plus mine is ash/maple which you can't get on the MIM models.

    I also think the Japanese-built Fenders are even better than the MIMs and can still be found for about $400.
  20. Thrillkiller


    Apr 25, 2001
    Yes, I think you're on the right track. A used bass should definitely be a consideration, especially since you're talking about a meat-and-potatoes kinda bass like the Jazz. There are just SO MANY of them on the used market, and LOTS of them are as new and virtually indistinguishable from showroom fresh. Why should you (or your parents) have to eat the depreciation from a new bass purchase? That $900 brand new Fender becomes a USED Fender the instant you carry it out of the store, and it's value drops a couple hundred dollars. I'm tellin' ya, go to ebay and look around if you haven't already.