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Maybe picking up a MIM P Bass - advice wanted

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by js1, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. js1


    Oct 1, 2006
    Looking for a backup bass, thought it was time to pick up a P Bass (again). MIM is in the budget, saw one that might fit the bill on Craigslist, thought I'd ask the collective Talk Bass crew a few questions.

    Are they all basically the same design, or are they based on different vintages of P Basses?

    What do your basses weigh?

    Any/many dead spots?

    Anything really good or bad that I should know?

  2. There can be good ones and bad ones. Since you're picking it up from Craigslist I assume you're going to play it first?
  3. js1


    Oct 1, 2006
    Of course. Just like a little intel if I can get it. If the one I try is heavy, is that because they're all heavy? Stuff like that.

    Here's another example - I have an early MIM strat. Nice instrument, string spacing is non-standard. Dropped in a set of Kinman pickups, and the strings don't go over the pole pieces...

  4. All in all the MIM basses are just fine like they are. A lot of people mod them by replacing tuners, bridge or pickups but you don't need to. I don't believe they're on the heavy side on average, more on the light side generally. If it's a MIM standard, then they're pretty much all the same. If it's another kind of MIM P, like a special or something, they're a bit different.
  5. Yeah, the MIM's are great basses. EagleMoon pretty much said everything I was going to.
  6. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i bought an mim p to backup my mia p. i had originally had another mia but felt i didn't need such a good back up at the time. shortly after buying it, i joined a band where we play in D, so the mim is my main bass for that band. i can feel the difference between the two, but it's honestly a great bass for the price(especially since i spent $100).
  7. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    Just purchased one - no problems. Glad I saved 600 bills.
  8. a1bassguy


    Aug 14, 2008
    Montville, NJ
    I got a nice red MIM pbass off of ebay a few years back for about $220, it was in beautiful shape, great tone, and the rosewood on the neck was a beautiful color. I swapped the pickguard from white to black and put nice chrome barrel knobs on it and it looks very sharp. Other musicians always noticed it at gigs and give compliments. For a total of about $250 with the extras, it was money well spent.
  9. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I love my MIM P-Bass! It's my workhorse. It's my main bass. I have some almost 4 year old TI Jazz Flats on it. I had a Nordstrand J put in the bridge position and I love it even more.

    I've been told by recording engineers that it sounds great and they didn't need to do any EQ on it.

    I've been told by one of the drummer from String Cheese Incident that my bass sound is really focused and tight.

    It feels great, it sounds great...

    Peace & Music,
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    MIMs are great and all i pretty much play. Some might need help in the pups etc some not its up to you. I picked up a used one at GC a few years back for 175.00 dropped in a set of 62 RI pups and a vintage RI fender bridge and she sings as well as any P bass i would ever want.
  11. olistorck


    Sep 16, 2007
    I found the only consistend P´s are MIJ, all others vary terrificely in weight and playibility. At least it´s like that here in Europe. You pick up 20 P´s, no matter if MIA or MIM, 15 suck right away and from the remaining 5 you´ll find one good one. I found an excellent MIA, pimped it with Lindy Fralins and a nice pickguard and she´ll beat the crap outta all the MIA´s..
  12. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Got one off the bay a couple of years ago as I needed a passive. First time I bought a bass without first playing it, so I thought it was a gamble.... no worries! Superb. Tuners where a tad loose so I swapped them out and did some light modding... my fave fretted.


    Post piccys or no thread!
  13. Pathpounder


    Mar 12, 2008
    Just picked up a MIM J bass off Ebay and I love it. The only thing I am doing is changing strings. I also have a MIA J bass and the MIM holds it own with it.
  14. js1


    Oct 1, 2006
    Well, I bought it. Damn, I'm a softy sometimes. I had a few minor doubts, but it was a kid with his dad who needed to sell it to buy his dream guitar - and they were headed down to the store once they got the money.

    It's a 1994 MIM. Has the crappy plastic knobs on it that Fender was using at the time - they'll have to go.

    Weight's in the 9 lb range. Definitely need to do a setup on it. Neck relief/intonation - nothing special, there looks like there's enough travel in the bridge. Slot on nut for the A string is sloppy - when I get different strings (flats) on it, I'll see if it's still necessary. Frets have only minor wear. No real dead spots of note.

    Pickups will be changed. I have a set of DiMarzio P-Bass pickups from the 70s, but the most likely candidate are a set of original 72 P-Bass pickups I have. Hopefully, there's 250K pots in it.

    Anyways, did a quick recording of it - sounds like a P!

  15. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Nuts were a weak spot on those older MIM basses---I had a '91 Jazz and a '92 Precision and on both the nuts cracked under a string. But with a new nut, the P-bass is still one of my all-time faves. I ended up replacing the pots on that one too, because the cheapo mini-pots got crackly and intermittent beyond the ability of pot cleaner to fix. But the bridge, pickups and tuners were fine.

    When I bought that bass, I hadn't intended to get a Precision---I was using it as a base line for comparison to other basses, but every time I tried something else, I noticed how much better than MIM P-bass sounded. I've had other P-basses, and this one seems to have a bit more punch and snarl than them. Maybe I just got lucky, but I can say with absolute confidence that you can find MIM Fenders that can play and sound as good or better than any of their higher-line instruments.

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