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Jazz Bass Shootout: MIA, MIM, MIJ, USA. Have you guys seen this?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jfh2424, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Pretty amazing. I hear a tone difference between the ash body and the others. But that's it. I'm not sure I would hear it in a band context.

    Yet, there are several hundreds of dollars difference.

    What do you think?

    angrydad likes this.
  2. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    First of all the player's technique is a big part of the tone.
    2nd, you don't know how each bass feels to the touch, the overall playability and fit and finish.

    There's more too it too with differences in hardware, electronics, and mostly the quality of the neck woods.
  3. PJ Muzikmansky

    PJ Muzikmansky

    Jan 4, 2013
    Well done my friend. Beautiful player, great comparison.

    I always go on first impressions and to my ear the black USA sounded more 'open': the other two slightly more compressed.

    This shoot-out reaffirms my long-held belief that the neck pick-up soloed on a jazz is as ballsy as hell and provides all the low-end one could possibly need. Great sounds.

    Slight spoiler...I would like to have heard the palm-mute with pick, rather than just rasping away without any sort of muting on the strings. Good muting is always a sign that a player has their picking chops together (although it's obvious there's loads of chops on display here!)

    Wonderful video

    For the record. I owned (until recently) a CIJ Jazz, which was a beautifully constructed instrument but IMO was lacking somewhat in the electronics department: Bland 'woolly' sounding pickups. I sold it last year to fund an 2012 american standard jazz: THE finest jazz I've ever played and the best bass purchase i've made.
  4. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    Great vid. The '95 MIM sounds best at every setting imo.
  5. thomcat79


    Apr 9, 2014
    Nice video ;)

    i once owned a fender mim p bass that didnt sound that different from the squier bass i had before it , so i went looking for a fender mia p bass
    and ending up trying another fender mim p bass and it just felt and sounded great , even better than the mia ones i tried in store
    , the mia ones were great no doubt , but the mim one just felt right to me anyway , so from then i never really payed too much attention to price , and believe no two basses are the same , even if the name on them says they should be .

    To this day i still use the mim as my main bass , why change a good thing:D
  6. xfgjsjia


    Apr 12, 2014
    What do you think?
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think the build quality and parts on MIA basses is always superior but that does not mean that Mexican Jazzes won't play and feel great. I know my fretless MIM Jazz is one of nicest basses I have ever owned, period. I also have a MIA Jazz V on way that is killer too.
    Jah Wobble Fan likes this.
  8. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    I love this video. When I first played it, I had the window minimized while I was doing other work. I didn't see that the basses were being switched out.

    If you asked me then, I would have believed it was the same bass with, at best, minor EQ changes. That's how similar they all sounded.

    Of course SEEING the video my expectation bias takes hold and suddenly little things are apparent, but I'm convinced that's just the good old placebo effect doing it's job.
  9. It's pretty clear to me that the cheapest one (MIM) can certainly hold it's own against the other ones.

  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    I could write a five-thousand-word essay on this test, but I won't.

    I will point out that Youtube is a terrible medium for listening to bass demos given the way they process audio -- never mind the 1" laptop speakers through which you're listening to it.

    But anyway...

    What I'm hearing here is mostly strings and technique, the latter perhaps even being unconscious adaptation -- whenever a bass sounds different to me, I always catch myself making tiny adjustments in the way I play the strings in order to make it sound "right." It's almost impossible for me to not do this, and I'm sure I'm not alone here. This guy's aggressive style is making a huge difference in the way these basses sound.

    Strings are the most decisive component of a bass's sound, between roughly similar instruments, and the bright strings in this video are overpowering a lot of subtleties.

    I can tell you for free that the various Jazz Basses around here sound nothing like these tests with my technique and the strings I use.

    Unless there's some raging defect, the other bass components will never in tightly-controlled digital test tracks (and I have some beef with his protocol here) make the awesummm differences Bubba thinks they will in his head, enda story.

    If people did before/after DI test tracks to evaluate all their mods and go-faster whatnot, at least 80% of TalkBass threads on these subjects would cease tomorrow, because A/Bing it shows almost all of it is effectively meaningless relative to the time and money and chitchat wasted. It's pretty trivial except in Bubba's imagination.

    The significant differences in these test basses are ones of luxury, QC and setup. In the real world of raw digital tracks, Jazz Basses will tend to sound like...well...Jazz Basses.
  11. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    Nah. You can tell tone from a video.
  12. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    errrr I like all.
  13. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Wow, great shoot-out and great playing. Love the use of harmonics!

    As noted, the result is surprisingly close, and the differences subtle. I find I like the aggressiveness of the MIM here.
  14. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Bump for this -- so as to ask, can anyone recommend a comparable shoot-out for P-bass?
  15. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I'm pretty sure my Fralin pickups sound much nicer than stock MIM pickups.

    Signed Bubba

    P.S. I always use a good set of earbuds to listen to clips.
  16. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    Regardless of the difficulties in doing a comparative demo, as noted in others responses above, I found that I liked the MIJ and the Ash body MIA the best.

    I also use a very good set of headphones to listen, a set of PSB's.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    But does anyone think there was $9.98 worth of difference in them that couldn't have been EQed into being with one of the others?

    I don't...though I'm sure they all have their individual flaws.
    malthumb and eqvolvorama like this.
  18. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    When I first watched it I put my hand over the lower right corner so that I couldn't see which model he was playing. This was helpful because I knew (for the most part) when he switched basses because I could see it, so then I could focus on whether I could actually hear it and if I preferred one or the other.. I say "for the most part" because there where instances with the two black basses where I was like "did he switch? This sounds a little different". And a couple instances where I thought I saw him switch from one black bass to the other, but didn't hear a difference.

    Second time watching, didn't cover the corner so that I could jot down my "faves" for each condition. No single bass had a clearly best sound in all categories and conditions. At the end of the day, the groupings were so random in terms of best, second best, etc....and the differences so little, I'd be hard pressed to pick one over the other on sound and tone alone. Especially considering that all of those will change when plugged into different amps and possibly effects. You do want to start with the best instrument before you plug those things in, but from what I heard from the video, there is not enough difference to eclipse the variances induced by other elements of the sound chain. I would have to add things that don't translate through the video to make a decision.
    • When I adjust the pots, what is the rate of change of tone or volume?
    • What is the overall volume range of each pickup and combined?
    • How does the neck feel in my hands?
    • How do the tuners feel when I turn them?
  19. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Owner of seven basses - eligible for 44 TB Clubs Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    To me the priority is fit and finish. Anything else can be dealt with in strings or pickups. But you can't take a mediocre instrument and give it a perfect (for you) setup that holds up over time. American Standards have been consistent for me in this department on a case-by-case basis. But it's great that Fender offers very good basses at a variety of price points.