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Mexican Fenders

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BillMason, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    Just like how the 80s are remembered for the high quality Japanese Fenders, I think the "twenty teens" will be remembered for high quality Mexican Fenders. Unlike the 80s however, American Fenders now are also at an all-time high in terms of quality... So much choice available today! I really think the new Mexicans are easily at par with anything that's ever come out of Japan.

    Agree? Disagree?

    (Let's not have a flame war, just honest and respectful opinions.)
  2. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I have a 2005 Mexican Fender Stratocaster that is really fine. Everyone else always likes it as much as I do. I got it to replace my Mexican Squier Strat (yes, a MEXICAN Squier, ya don't see 'em much). The Fender was much better, like night and day.

    I have an '87 Japanese Fender Jazz Bass Special that is just as fine. Really good build. The MIM Fenders of today may have better electronics and hardware than the Japanese ones, I dunno. But that old bass is really nice.

    My best instrument, though, is my '01 MIA Jazz Bass. No doubt about it, in every way.
  3. HeyyyyyJoe

    HeyyyyyJoe Yahtzeeee Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I had a 2005 Mexican P bass that I eventually sold to buy one of the newer Mexican Fender's because I was GAS'ing hard for a Lake Placid Blue P bass with a maple neck. I love the new Mexi's, the neck feels a lot smoothier, the finish is flawless, stock pickup sounds good (of course I swapped it out for Nordstrand though). No complaints at all!
  4. The MIM Fenders are hit or miss IMO. I bought a MIM Strat that had several issues new off the rack, yet I know a lot of folks that have great MIM instruments.

    The MIA Strat that replaced it had one odd issue- the film on the scratch plate was next to impossible to remove and I had to use Goof Off to remove the sticky left behind. I nearly returned it.

    My best guess is Fender is REALLY feeling the heat of serious, lower-priced competition and are stepping up their game.
  5. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    MIM - Good

    CIJ - Better

    MIA - Best

    This has been my experience anyway..
  6. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    I owned 1 MIM Jazz Bass.
    The construction/QC wasn't perfect (sharp nut edge extending beyond the neck)
    But I loved playing it, liked the sound too, very edgy geddy type sound. And I didn't worry about it. It was my beater, pawn shop find for $200.

    Always best to try before you buy.
  7. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    It happened before the nuclear trouble over there, so I dunno whenever could I be back there with my newborn son (even if I hit the center of the Kyoto temple small pot with my coin twice, as nobody in our tourist group succeded in doin': legend
    saying you're compelled to be back to Kyoto sometime:crying:)

    I missed to visit Hammamatsu (I'm a Yamaha man BTW) for the pouring rain that day, but I arranged to try out a bunch of CIJ Fenders and Tokai basses.

    Well: Japanese models are the same as MIM models. So much so that, here in Europe, we just receive some japanese ones (Jaguar, Aerodyne, Geddy Lee, Marcus Miller, Steve Harris, '70 Precision) then all the standards and some other signature (Reggie Hamilton, Mark Hoppus, Frank Bello, Mike Dirnt), Road Worn and Classic series come to us from Mexico.

    There I found standards and Road Worn as well, as if they'd made over there... they had equal finishings and sounded the same, just much more expensive... as almost everything over there.

    So letting MIA Fenders alone, MIM Fenders are all keepers now

  8. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    Valuable perspective!
  9. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    I don't own a current MIM, but from what I've seen of them in stores they're really improved in the past two years, by leaps and bounds. I'd stack them up against a CIJ any day.
  10. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Agree. My Mexican P bass from 2001 is one of the absolute best instruments I have ever played. And I've played a LOT of basses from $100 to $10,000. You really kinda have to get lucky with the neck.
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I love my 2004 Mexican Fender, but I will concede that MIA is a better finishing job.

    Also I have owned a couple 90's and early 00's Mexican Fenders, I have yet to see a bad example. Not to say they don't exist, but something has to be said about a previous owner...
  12. guroove


    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I've had 2 MIM P basses. My first one was an early nineties one. It had a great pickup and electronics, and I always got compliments on the sound, but the neck would shift around, and the nut would slide out of its groove. It was what I would call a poor instrument with great tone.

    My current MIM is a 2009. I've fussed around with the setup, and it is a great playing instrument. Not quite as nice as my vintage jazz, but it's a very solid, very good sounding bass. It took a couple years for the neck to stabilize, but it's really an impressive bass now, especially considering I got it online, sight unseen, for $400 shipped.

    I did have to sand down some nasty fret sprout, but with no monetary layout, and lots of TLC, I've turned into one of the nicest basses I've ever owned.
  13. Fender, IMO has done a remarkable job in the last 4 years, of improving their quality. Especially for a large company that already dominated the market. Whether made in Corona, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia , Korea or China, the instruments are extremely high quality. In particular, the Mexico products are, quality wise. very near USA. Only the hardware is noticeably of less quality.
  14. I bought a MIA 57RI a while back and after a few months figured out that me and the neck weren't really getting along (the body and electronics are OUTSTANDING!).

    I found a MIM neck for their version of the same bass. It's still on the MIA today. I LOVE that neck! It is everything that I had originally thought the MIA neck would be and more.

    As I understand it, there is a fairly common misconception about Fender MIM guitars. The way I hear it is that Fender makes the majority of the parts in Corona and sends them to TJ to have them put together (cheaper labor) and then sent out from there. Remember, we talking about a distance of (roughly) 80 miles.

    Now, is this true? Don't know, but I have talked to Fender reps over the years and they all have had the same story.....
  15. Wannaflea


    Jun 7, 2011
    Jersey, CI
    About a year ago, I went into a local music store, with enough money for a MIA bass and the intention of getting one.
    I left with a MIM :)
  16. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I was under the impression that all Fenders produced in North America are to varying degrees made by Mexicans.
  17. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    The best bass I ever played was an MIM FSR Jazz. True story.
  18. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    Umm... I think anyone who is a citizen of the US is by definition not a Mexican.
  19. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My Mexican friends may disagree with your assessment.
  20. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    I'm Canadian so I'm not up on the politics of Hispanic Americans, sorry. No offense meant - but I think it's clear that what we're discussing is the country of manufacture not the country of origin of those on the assembly lines.

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