Jazz basses - several questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by suicas, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    I've not been playing bass too long, but after finally seeing (and hearing) a few jazz basses in action, I'd really rather like to own one of my own...

    Just wondering a few things though...

    In your opinion, is a Fender American *that* much different to say a Fender MIJ/MIM? I've searched for a few threads on the subject, but most people seem to have either one or the other, I've not seen much from people who've owned/played both.

    I'm a lefty in the UK, so my selection of basses is both limited and expensive. I've found a lefty Fender MIJ Jazz for £550, and a Fender MIA Deluxe for £1100, would you consider the MIA Deluxe worth double the price of the MIJ?

    Lastly, are there any other J basses you'd recommend with a similar sound to Fenders? The only other basses with J pickups I've tried have been Arias and Warwicks, neither of which came close to the Fender sound I was after.

    Any comments or advice welcome!
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    MIM basses can be really great value-for-money wise if you find a good one. And at the price you can afford to make some mods, should you wish to do so - not compulsory. I own an MIM but not an MIA, although I have played a LOT of them in stores (not necessarily the same as using them over any length of time in a gigging situation, obviously). My view, based on what I've played, is that a good MIM - they do vary, of course - will rival an MIA bass as far as the body and neck goes, anything else you can swap if you feel like it. Play as many as you can and see if you can find one that suits. Must be difficult when you're a lefty, I know, but keep looking!

    I should add here the proviso that that is what I would do in your situation. Some people would, no doubt, say go for the MIA as the components used are reputedly better quality and you're more likely to get a good one straight off without modding it. Keeping it stock perhaps contributes to maintaining a good resale value, and an MIA is probably already better in this respect than an MIM. You pays your money... etc etc.

    EDIT This thread may also be of interest.

  3. Dan Molina

    Dan Molina TalkBass Secular Progressive

    Jul 17, 2002
    Murr Town, California
    MIJ's are just as good, if not better than MIA's. Though whatever you choose you will not be dissapointed.
  4. IME there are wide variances in the quality of Fenders both MIA and MIJ.

    As a fellow lefty, I play a MIJ 96 Jazz which I love. Its totally stock and IMO blows away the three MIA's I have tried at various points in my career.
  5. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    where did you find the MIJ??

    i'm interested :)
  6. kneal6


    May 23, 2005
    Liverpool, UK
    These guys import just MIJ fenders into the UK. You might have to wait a bit for a lefty, but I've heard good things about them...

    Also, look on ebay, lefty basses come up quite often, and they sell for less than rightys...
  7. I found my Jazz at the very back of a small bass room in our local drum shop. It was absolutely mint! $1000AUD - bargain!
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    MIJ's are made closer to what Fenders used to be made like, so I can see why some would like them better than MIJ's. As for me, I prefer American Standards. Mine is a 1998, which I consider the finest year Fender has had since CBS bought them. I have played many 1998 USA Fenders and never played a bad one. The ones they make now are pretty sweet, too, except for that S1 switch, which I consider useless.

    But the best non-Custom Shop Fenders made now are the 1962 and 1975 American reissue series. Absolute heaven, those basses are! If I wasn't so much in love with my 98, and if I hadn't decided never to buy another bass again (I have 7, 6 which work...that's plenty), I'd get one.
  9. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Thanks for all the help so far!

    Another question comes to mind - what exactly is the difference between the '62 and '75 reissues? The basses (and their specifications) look fairly similar to my untrained eye..

    Can't find anything through the search sadly...
  10. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    There is definatly a difference between the 3 basses MIA, MIJ, MIM. I own all three so I think that qualifies me to speak. Some here will say this is as good as that, this is better then that but they are speaking with their wallets and not as an actual owner. It's one thing to play an instrument and it's another to own one and to feel the character of that instrument. MIA basses are your meat and potatoes basses and will fill any bill. Some don't like them and will say MIJ basses are as good or better but MIA basses do feel (some say sound) different since the graphite has been added to the necks. Your MIJ basses usually have sultry necks and the appeal of basses from the past, Even when MIJ basses appear MIA like they feel different. Some come standard with aftermarket parts to sweeten the deal, The problem with that is they skimp somewhere else along the line ie Marcus Millers pre-amp, Geddy Lee's tuners and low output pups, Stings bridge, 75r.i. bridge pup being in the wrong place. All these are nice basses but they do have their quirks. It's all mind over matter with these basses "you don't mind than it don't matter". I also heard somewhere MIJ basses use "cheaper pots". Now MIM basses are entry level basses that will allow you to aclimate yourself with Fender feel and sound. They lend themselves nicely to modification and are great steping stones for those who may be short of cash.
    As far as the 62 and 75r.i. basses are concerned the 62 has reverse tuners, dot inlay's, stacked tone and volume knobs while 75r.i. have bound necks, block inlay's, wider pup spacing and different vintage pups.
  11. I play a MIM Classic 60's Jazz Bass, its a great bass, excelent value for money, I have also played on a vintage american Jazz Bass, and that was better... not HUGELY better, but there was definitly a slightly sweeter sound, slightly more confortable feel... but IMO, nothing that justifies the diference in price... I guess thats personal choice though. I know the MIA is generally better, or at least not as hit and miss as the MIM, but IM confortable with my choice. I love my MIM fender. Its worth exactly what I paid for it.
  12. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I also think the 60's classic is a nice bass for the money, but what I 'm saying is having MIA, MIJ, and MIM basses in ones possesion with the ability to switch back and forth one would understand what i'm talking about. No matter how nice something looks and feels it's the long term that matters. Novelties do wear off. JMHO
  13. Jonas.


    Jun 2, 2005
    i'm very interestde :)

    i'm a righty myself :hyper: