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looking for the sound of a mia jazz bass. but are the worth it.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by th30nlyAket, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    Are they worth it. Would it better to buy a mim and up grade the pickups or is the build quality that much better in mia basses. Also on a side now I love the clear coat on the neck the mia comes with
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I would be sure to play a well setup and recently strung 60's classic, Road Worn, and 62 stack pot AVRI. I think the MIA Jazzes are great, but if you don't like the price, go for the Road Worn—I did, and it has become my #1 for a lot of gigs.

    Everyone knows by now I am a RW fanboy.
  3. jwj1701


    Nov 17, 2011
    Lexington KY
    I'm going to say yes for build quality. I recently started playing again in July last year. I've had MIMs and finally decided last year to buy an American made. I chose to stay under a grand and get a Highway 1 jazz. (if Jim reads this I got it at Willcutts in Lexington KY and i believe you mentioned them in the RW thread). Well to try to keep this short I used some Christmas bucks and went all out with an American Standard J. (got this one from Willis Jim), you can literally feel the difference. If your a working musician you'll notice it's overall balance right away. Better tuners, string through the body for that nice sustain and the biggest thing I noticed is that it must have better frets because I've noticed less fret buzz when I butcher something myself compared to the highway 1. I'm gonna say yes for the build, your gonna have to go play one to see if it has the sound you want. Like you, both my basses have the thin satin finishes and i'm a big fan of those myself. I think most of the newer models since '09 do. Good luck.
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    +1. Woadworns are great basses out of the box.

    I have owned Japanese, Mexican and Indonesian Fender/Squier Jazz basses and I find the American Standards are the best followed by Japanese. Squier Vintage Modified Jazz basses are pretty solid too.

    IME/IMO, a used 2008 or newer American Standard is a great sounding/playing bass and at $800-900, a great value.
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Yes! Wow, that was one eye opening day, playing all those basses through a Carbine M6!

    Highway 1's are great, but the fretwork and neck stability on the recent MIA Jazzes are really hard to beat, IMHO. :D
    Must add I got my Roadworn Jazz for $675 used on EBAY with a "make an offer" type bid.
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes. I have had a ton of basses in all price ranges. I had MIM that had a Sadowsky preamp, Ultra Jazz pups, Ultralight tuners, BadAss bridge, etc. It was a great bass. I think my current MIA Jazz feels better. Sounds better (different better) to me as well but I just don't want the Sadowsky sound right now.

    I have over-thought and over-debated this last bass purchase, I played Squier, MIM, American Special, Highway One, Japan (Geddy Lee) and USA. To me, the American Standard Jazz felt the best and sounded like a jazz. My close second is a Geddy Lee. I also liked the American Special.

    I also tried a Road Worn a while back and thought it was a great feeling and sounding jazz. I didn't care for the relic part, but the rest was amazing.

    That said, I think I'd still recommend a MIA Jazz. You don't have to buy new like I did. There are plenty of 09 and newer basses out there for $800 or so.
  7. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    I really like my new Highway 1 that I recently purchased (priced right around what I would have payed for a new MIM Standard Jazz). That being said, I will eventually replace the PUP's, maybe Fralins or Nordstrands. The MIM's are a fine instrument and it might be a better start if you plan on upgrading.
  8. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    if you can swing the $ the MIA Jazz is well worth it, simply because it's the last Jazz bass you will ever have to buy.

    Like a previous poster mentioned, 2008 or newer is the way to go. That was the year Fender upgraded everything. They have a rock solid bridge you can string through the body or top load, nice lightweight tuners for good balance (they are radically lighter than previous years), good pickups, and overall fit and finish is first rate.

    For me the deal closer is the graphite reinforced neck, it's the most stable I've ever played (I have a MIA P-bass and it's the same way). IME you literally set the relief on these once and you're done. I've changed string type and gauge on mine at least 6 times, and dragged it through radical climate changes on the road and it never moves. If you travel with your bass it's a major bonus on the MIA's.
  9. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    look at getting the 62 ri with stacked knobs a good buy?
  10. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    How could anyone possibly answer that question without knowing additional information, like the price and the condition?
  11. th30nlyAket


    Sep 24, 2010
    Like new
  12. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Couldn't agree more with all said. I bought an American Standard 5 string Jazz and couldn't be happier. My first 5 string was an MIM Deluxe Active and I struggled with that bass all along. (Hey, it was my first 5'er. What did I know?) Never could come to grips with that thing. Nice sound, just fought to play it. I'm not at all knocking all MIM's as I'm sure they are not all like the one I had. Some people get on quite good with thiers.

    Night and day differance between the MIM and the American Standard. All around better build quality....just feels rock solid in my hands. But it's like anything else, in that I took a long time and was very picky to find the one that felt like home.

    Couldn't be happier. My 5 string GAS is over and that's a good feeling.
  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    They are worth it to me, only you can say if they are worth it to you. Some say that the Squier's are as good as the MIA. I don't agree, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Approximate Price?

    There was a '62 SP AVRI I played a lot at Gelb Music a few years back. I wanted to love it—and I really really liked it, but for the price (new), I couldn't. Also, maybe it was me, or just that bass/string combination, but that '62 SP seemed very bright, too bright even.

    I wanted a basically warmer instrument. The 60's classic I got was less bright, though I moved on eventually, even after a couple of mods (split coil fralins and a BAII).

    Turning on slap-back reverb through Bell and Howell PA horns:

  15. JimB52

    JimB52 User Supporting Member

    May 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Buying a used MIA Jazz at a fair price is like a free rental with an $800 deposit. Take care of it, and you will get your full deposit back if you decide later that it's not for you.

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