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Jazz Bass rip-off!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Yetton, Jun 17, 2001.

  1. Michael Yetton

    Michael Yetton

    Dec 11, 2000
    Essex, UK
    OK, I wanna clear some things up. How much difference is there between a Mexican Jazz Bass and an American Jazz Bass (Sunburst, 4-String). Not much I would have thought. I just got a Mexican J-Bass and it plays brilliantly so I don't think there is much difference! If I am majorly wrong lemme know! Thanx- Mike
  2. Michael Yetton

    Michael Yetton

    Dec 11, 2000
    Essex, UK
    Im sorry I put this thread in the wrong section! It happens, I'm only new here!
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    All the hardware on the USA is of better quality than the MIM. The P/U's on the USA are quieter & IMO better sounding than the MIM. The USA uses Ash (sunbursts & natural) or alder (solid finishes) & the MIM uses poplar. The USA included a hardshell case, the MIM dosen't.

    The MIM is a great bass for the money. With a few modifications, it could be better than a USA. IMO.
  4. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Don't worry, it gives me something to do.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    MIchael - That price differential isn't there just because some people are suckers.

    You don't always get what you pay for, but in this case, MIM-MIA, I think you have found it's obvious. Whether one should be so much more than the other is argumentative. But no maker is giving away anything.

    I would suspect, for one thing, that the MIM doesn't use high-quality, US-made, enameled copper wire in the pups whereas the MIA does. Also, magnet quality can vary. The MIA magnets probably "see" more of the string.
  6. bman


    Dec 4, 2000
    Sandown, N.H., USA
    I had a bass tech tell me recently that everything about the MIA bass is better quality than the MIM bass - except for one thing: The screws they use to hold the pick guard on. ;-)
    Seriously, he said every other piece on a MIM bass is of lower quality.
    On a side note, he said that he visited both factories (only about 15 minutes apart across the border) and said the new Mexican factory was spotless and beautiful.
  7. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I think the Mex J-bass is the way to go if you like a classic Fender type bass but cannot blow close to a grand for a real one BUT also prefer not to play it too cheap. For the beginners looking to go a notch up from that baseball bat with strings to the gigging bassist looking for a backup ax; the Mex is the way to go. Also, for the bassist looking to experiment in new territory like say, a fretless or five string (better to sink a couple of hundred bucks than over thousand if yr not sure yr going to like it). Basically, most Fender Mex bass (and guitars) are good fixer-uppers. So you've got $300 and want a good bass; a stock Mex J with a proper setup should be fine. The real plus is that down the road, you can always pop in better pickups, bridge, tuners, etc. as yr style and budget requires. If yr a savvy shopper, you may even luck up on a customized Fender Mex gem for around the same price as a stock new one or for even less on eBay or the like. They will not have the resale value as the real thing, but its hard to knock that band for the buck factor.

  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    If money is truly an issue consider used. I have two MIA Jazz Deluxe 5's that collectively cost me less than one new one.
  9. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    Hi mike...

    well you didn´t fill your profile but i asume you are new to bass... maybe you can´t feel the diference between a MIM and a MIA right now but some day you´ll do and come back here and have a good laugh about your statement...


  10. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I recently bought a MIM JB to back-up my current (and left-only, at the time) bass.
    I fell in love with it and now play it almost all the time.
    I changed the pups (to Barts) because the MIM stock ones are so weak, and I'm considering changing the bridge and adding a pre-amp (on or outboard).
    The overall changes will cost me the price of a new MIM, but still be less than a new standard MIA JB.
    And I wonder which one would win "the feel and sound" constest ?
    Of course, If had enough cash, I would probably switch to a Deluxe one or a high end copy (Sadowsky ? Did someone say Sadowsky ?)
    I don't say "Buy a MIM ! MIA are no use !" but when bucks really comes in the way ... you really have to think (and try) twice before buying a MIA, IMO.
    ... or be Brad Johnson and find extraordinry bargains ;)
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I'm not so sure about that - I've tried lots of basses and have been playing for over 20 years, I have owned and played lots of high-end basses.

    About a week ago I realised I might need a back-up 5 string bass and went into my local store which has quite a few Fenders, MIM and US made standards and deluxes. So I sat down in the store for an afternoon and tried several examples of the 5-strings.

    Two of the standards, had control knobs that were broken and didn't work - a minor problem. But the main thing for me is the neck profile and I found that I much preferred the MIMs from this point of view - they felt flatter and much easier to play, whereas the US standards were thicker and just felt wrong to me.

    I also felt I could get a slightly nicer tone with the MIM than the Standards. Now I did like the Deluxes best of all - but I felt that the MIM could definitely be made into a better bass than the US standard, which to me - fell between two stools and didn't satisfy me in any respect. I felt that with a new bridge and maybe better pickups the MIM would be a much better bass than the US Standards I tried and if you want a passive Fender these would be the ones to go for.
  12. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Say, have you tried the Mex Delux (not sure of name) bass with the active electronics? As I understand it, the Mex Delux has the same pickups and electronics as the older American Delux (they've now switched to Noiseless pickups). I've seen the Mex Delux used on eBay for as little as the regular Standard one.

    I think the Mex 5 delux could be a good deal if that low B string is happening. Bummer you cannot string it through the body, but I reckon that would drive up the price another notch. Still, pretty good bang for the buck. Only the stuff coming out of Korea can really compete with these bases in this price range.

  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    But don't ask Brad about a good place to have your heart valve operation done! ;)
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I find less wrong with MIM's than people seem to claim! I bought one about 4 months ago and found that the neck was sleek and smooth. The fret job was only fair, but I've had that fixed already. In fact, that did an amazing job of reducing the deadspot to far-less-noticeable!

    Also, the repair shop (an authorized Fender repairshop) that did the work on my bass said that in their experience, they have better luck with Mexi Fenders than they do with American Fenders!

    I'll admit I bought the MIM Jazz specifically so I could modify it. But, it's turned out better than I thought it would, and with far less work;)
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Why not? Beside bass and audio gear, surgery/surgical gear is another interest/hobby of mine. Here's a recent example/fabrication* (I love slashes):

    Coronary artery bypass graft surgery:

    Retail $38k (not including stay). I found a guy outside the Piggly Wiggly in Cambridge, Md who swears he can get it done for only $3k (on an outpatient basis, no less!). I can't vouch for him but sounds like a good deal.

    *Sorry, Mike;)
  16. He's wrong. The jack is also the same, I believe!


    Other than that, spot on.
  17. Michael Yetton

    Michael Yetton

    Dec 11, 2000
    Essex, UK
    Im really surprised how many people replied to this! I can't be bothered to do all that quoting s**t so ill just say it. Yep! I am a bit of a newey to bass but I think I'm doing OK! I'm really enthusiastic about it (im only 14!!!) so I suppose that's why I'm doing well. I actually tried out an American J- Bass for quite a while at my local store and a Mex. Call me weird or whatever but I found the Head- Stock end a bit top-heavy! (Strange but true!) But when I play my Mex it's almost a perfect balance. My bass tutor (he's very good! Im telling you: he has been playing 11 years, and he is 26! Honestly he would blow you away!) owns a Mex 5-String j-bass an old fretless J- Bass (its sorta stripped down. he said the scratchplate and all that metal sh*t that goes over the strings looked crap so its a bit of a Jaco bass in a small way, just natural! Oh yeah If you want reply to that, what the hell are them stupid metal things that look like bridges over the strings on the vintage basses?) and a Custom Overwater 6-string. He prefers his mex to the overwater!!!! this may have something to do with the fact that 6 strings are normally a bit unnesecary, although this kinda proves that there is absolutly nothing wrong with Mex j-basses as long as you take care of them! do i have an amen? lol! Thanx guys for taking the time to reply!- Mike
  18. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001

    They are bridge covers and pickup covers. They are suppose to do something to the magnetic field around the pickups I think.

    If you want the on you MIM Jazz, you can get pickguards that have the holes for the to be placed on. You may have to make some adustments to the pickgurad as MIM jazz bass use the same pickup for the neck and bridge, while *better* models use two differnet ones to cancel the hum.
  19. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    Heeeerrrrr ... I'm not into that .... yet
    (I gotta stop smoking, man !)
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Put those Gitanes and Gauloises down!!! Get those patch things for that nicotine.

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