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Made in Mexico success story.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brooklyn, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. brooklyn


    Aug 10, 2005
    Earlier this year I bought a brand new Sunburst Made in Mexico Fender American Standard Fretless jazz bass from a guy who needed to unload it quickly on Craigslist for $300.

    The first thing that surprised me was how good it felt, and I remember hearing from friends how some of the MIM Fenders are just as good If not better than the American ones (I had a healthy dose of skepticism).

    I had the neck refinished, put on a Badass Bridge II, vintage tortoise shell pickguard, Seymour Duncan Vintage Jazz pickups, and Pyramid Flatwounds.

    For a total of $700 I put together one of the smoothest basses I have ever played.

    My point? I've seen a lot of hard-ass talk about how crappy these basses are and wanted to let people know that it's about the feel of a particular bass that matters. If you find something that feels good and you think It warrants a bit of work put into it- do it.

    I've tried plenty of excellent and really expensive basses that for whatever reason did'nt feel or sound right FOR ME (and since I live 10 blocks from the Sadowsky factory and can afford one I'm not talking out my ass).

    Learn a little about different Instruments, play several, and get many opinions. In the end, It's going to be (or SHOULD be) what you feel is right for you.

    p.s. That was'nt a dig at Sadowsky for anyone who is getting ready to jump on the defensive.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Agreed - there are some nice MIM basses about, I have one myself, it compares very well with any other bass I own now or have owned in the past.

    Over simplifying perhaps, but I would say of the basses I have played, the MIMs rate from 4/10 to 9/10. The MIAs rate from 5/10 to 9.5/10. The extra half a point score may well be worth it to a lot of people, but that's not my point. My point is that there are a lot of individual MIM basses out there better than a lot of individual MIAs, regardless of what you may think of the differences overall. Or to put it another way, you can't generalise about MIAs being better than MIMs in every case. Find one you like and don't worry about what it says on the headstock.
  3. For around $400 I picked up a barely used MIM 60's Classic J in sunburst. So far I haven't changed a thing except the strings. It plays and sounds very good. I think it's a great value and would certainly pony up the money for a new one after spending some time with this one. You are right -- be objective. Listen with your own ears and play with your own hands.
  4. I have about $500 in my MIM Fender Deluxe V Jazz. I bought it used for around $370, and that included the BTB-01 preamp (from J-Retro) and EMG pickups (that didn't fit the routes). I bought Bartolini 57J pickups to replace the EMGs, and I sold the EMGs on eBay. The bass has Gotoh tuners, a tort pickguard, and I think the bridge is already pretty solid.
  5. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Count me in, too. I bought a MIM Jazz in 2003, which was just after they started using alder for the bodies (important to me). For silly cosmetic reasons, I replaced the pickguard with a tortoise one, like everyone else, seemingly. But I decided NOT to automatically change the pickups and bridge until I had a chance to play it for awhile. After all, the stock bridge is the same exact kind Jamerson, Jaco, Rainey, Duck, et al. had, right? And I've found that really lush, smooth pickups can get lost in the mix faster than "drier" stock Fender ones. (This is all subjective, of course. Did I mention that this is all subjective? This is all subjective.) ;)
    So, I have a plain, unadorned Mexican Fender Jazz and I love it. BTW, I played a LOT of them, including unplugged, before I picked mine. A few had funky necks and dead sounding wood. The color wasn't a consideration, but I happened to end up with a sunburst one, and I like it, even though my wife thinks sunburst axes look like "bowling balls." :(
  6. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Oops! Sorry. I left out one very important detail!
    I did have the "series/parallel switch" modification done to it, and that's been great, too.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    So which is it? MIM or MIA? LOL.

    One of the best Fenders I've ever played was MIM, it was heavy, sounded great, super fast neck, ultra stable, and with a Dimarzio pickup, it was even BETTER.
  8. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    my first bass was a mim midnight wine j. it fit me like a glove but the pick-ups weren't that great (i'm pretty sure it's a 2001, before fender upgraded the stock pups), so i pulled em out in exchange for some Dimarzios and it sounds great. lots of bass, i roll up on the bridge pup and i have jaco. i recently added a fretless indian rosewood/indian rosewood neck from warmoth and it is now what i refer to as a Badmothaf****** bass. I didn't switch the neck for any issues concerning construction (though it did move ALOT), it was mostly cause it hadn't been played in a really long time and i felt that i needed something much warmer than my maple MIA.

    I love those basses.
  9. RG


    May 11, 2000
    central Illinois
    Glad you like it,since your the one who has to play it. I hope that didnt sound sarcastic, it wasnt meant to. I bought mine new and I think it is a nice bass especially for the money. Mine had noisy pick ups so I put some Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pick ups in it, now I'm real happy with it.
  10. lenorules1950


    Aug 20, 2004
    Meriden, CT
    The fact that I can still plug in and play my Mexican Precision after spending the past 10 years beating the hell out of it speaks volumes for its quality.
  11. whoapower


    Jul 14, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I purchased a MIM Jazz last month. It was used, maybe once in a room by someone's daughter who didn't opt to play. I bought it on a whim because of a new gig that I'll be running around with shortly that just didn't like my 6 string look. Oh well.

    350 plus a few bucks for shipping. Included a bag, which I didn't need but is fine. Passive electronics which I haven't had since my first bass which was a Musicmaster! But ya know what... it sounds wonderful, just wonderful. The lightweight woods (which I'm not used to) resonate a great tone. I'm not looking into dumping a lot into it, but I'll upgrade the bridge because this one is a little too unforgiving at times. The strings? I just bought a handful of cheap Hartke strings for under 10 a set, and they play just fine fine fine.

    This bass is a blast to play, and I've tried Americans out at the store and just cannot justify the price increase for the quality - playing side by side. A true vintage? Sure. But this one came out very well.

    pictures here
  12. Simball


    Mar 26, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, same here. got a brand new condition sunburst jazz with '62 tortise pickguard for $300. Sounds good, plays good, looks good. I've only played a few MIA fenders and wasn't completely sold - picked up a stingray instead and am glad I did.
  13. rofl!

    Man, you guys are really making me drool for a white MIM P bass right now! I've been hooked on a precision tone ever since I played one solo, and am a little unnerved that I'm stuck with my jazz bass right now, I really want a precision really bad... but it'll have to wait a while, I got other stuff to pay for.

    I know Fenders are hit or miss on QC, so I'll be spending alot of time in the GC, looking for the right one for me! (it rhymed... yes, I planned it out that way :D )

  14. +1 here, too. Got a MIM Fender Jazz 5-string (Deep Red!), a few years back and so far so good! Had a friend help set up the action and lower it a bit, and it plays great. I'm thinking of a little lighter strings, maybe... we'll see. I'm pleased!
  15. My MIM jazz bass rocks my socks. It plays circles around some MIA's I played in music stores. However lack of a decent set up on those basses probably had something to do with it. I personally think the whole fender QC issue is blown out of proportion nowadays. I think if most stores and large chains took the time to properly set up their instruments, this would not even be an issue.
  16. MIM fender's are great except for those damn bridges that many people have to replace after a while (a badass 2 quickly fixed that). the tone was good on my MIM P, but i got a beefier, punchier sound when i put in some SPB3s. As stated numerous times, when you have a company mass producing thousands of basses, there are going to be a few bad apples. but for every bad apple fender makes, there is a nice big shiny one that you would want to give your favorite teacher when you were 5 years old.
  17. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I have a decked out MIM Fender Jazz 4 lefty - it has made me some serious bread! I would cry if something happened to it, not cause it cost an arm and a leg, but because "the bitch" (that's her name) and I have been through a lot together.

  18. bstringrandy

    bstringrandy Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    +1 on the MIM Fenders. About 2 years ago, I was looking for a decent practice bass to keep some time off of my Spector and Warwicks. I wound up picking up a Midnight Blue (purple?) MIM Jazz V. It is solid as a tank and sounds great! It looks sharp too with a pao ferro fretboard and white pickguard! I took a chance and ordered it from the "Friend". It arrived with a decent setup that only took a couple of tweaks on the action and intonation. As mentioned earlier, the pickups are a little anemic but that's why they put gain and volume knobs on amps right? I use the bass as a backup and primary for situations like outdoor gigs where sweating is involved. :cool:

    If you're in the market for a Fender, I'd recommend that you give some MIM's a spin. There are good ones out there to be had that will rival or beat the MIA's in playability.
  19. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    I had a MIM Jazz, for a while. I did like it, and it played well... until the neck began to twist toward the treble side in the first position. Then it began to develop the dreaded hump at the 12th fret. The point is, the MIM basses don't have any graphite reinforcement rods to counteract the twisting and warping that is common when mass-producing maple necks. Gone are the days when a manufacturer's "buyer" would personally select good wood from old growth forests.
  20. my local music store (L&M) has maybe.... 4 MIM fender basses. And they all play great! L&M takes care of every instrument they have.