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mexican vs. american precisions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smithy, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. smithy


    Oct 3, 2004
    I'm a moderately good player.

    Am I going to notice the difference between a Mexican and American P Bass?

    ARRRRGH! It's so confusing!
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Most likely. Woods are higher quality in an American, the build quality is better, frets are dressed nicer and have better attention to detail, different pickups, string throguh body bridge, etc.
  3. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Just make sure you play it before you buy it. Fenders quality control is horrible. You might find the one in a million MIM that sounds great. My MIM is a completely worthless $400 piece of firewood. It's just acoustically weak.
  4. HRC Matt

    HRC Matt

    Aug 31, 2004
    Columbus, Ga
    my mexican with EMG pickups sounds better than any american at any guitar center...i guess im the lucky winner
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    You might, but you might not. It's best to answer this type of question after trying on your own.
  6. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    some import fenders are really good. I have taken some lessons from a few session players who readily admit to using mim p and j basses for sessions. A great amp will go a lot further than an expensive bass in making you sound better. And as usual, a great player can make an average instrument sound great. Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen (among others) both have used mim and mij stratocasters during live performances as "throwaway" guitars, used during solos or something before torching them or smashing them or throwing them into the crowd. They always managed to make those cheaper guitars sound just as amazing as their real vintage strats. Also, Paul Gilbert recorded some of the first Racer X cd with a squier strat.
  7. smithy


    Oct 3, 2004
    Hmmmmm, where I live, they're lucky to have more than 2 in the Fender store. I may need to take a trip to a bigger city so I can try some out.......

    I really lean towards the Mexican, but if the fret board stuffs up in 10 years, I'd be better off having the US made guitar.
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I completely disagree, almost every Fender I've played is nice, I think their quality control is excellent. Maybe Fender basses just aren't your style.

    To original poster: Go to a music store and answer this question for yourself.
  9. I've got a mid 90's Mexican fender precision. I was wondering what the difference between these and the American models made in the same period is. Can anyone help?
  10. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Don't know about the nineties, but the current differences are:

    MIA = bridge is string-thru-body or top-load, MIM = top-load only

    MIA = different AM pickups, MIM = cheaper pickups

    MIA = Neck is graphite reinforced, MIM = not reinforced

    MIA = headstock is slightly thicker, MIM = slighter thinner

    MIA = tuners are cast & semi-closed, MIM = open stamped tuners

    Straplocks are different

    MIA = one of the most beautiful necks you've seen, very good fretwork and finishing, a pleasure to play. MIM = neck is OK, not to the same standard as MIA

    MIA = slightly more punch (IMO), MIM = not as prominent fundamentals (at least the ones I've played YMMV)

    MIA = muchos dinero, MIM = pretty reasonable $$
  11. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    Mexican Fenders are made in Mexico. American Fenders are made in America.

    At least, that's what I've been told. :eyebrow:
  12. I've played two of my friends MIA p-basses, and prefer my MIM-P for feel. I can't say why... just like the neck feel of the MIM better. YMMV.

    Their finish work is much better, especially the sanding and screw hole locating. MUCH better. Then again, my MIM-P was $225, so I'm OK with this.
  13. The MIM Precisions had basswood bodies, MIA either Alder or Ash.

    MIM Precisions use the same necks as MIM Jazzes, MIA Precisions have the Precision profile neck.

    Rick B.
  14. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    I'll bring this thread back to life ;)

    Just bought an ash natural MIM p bass at guitar center. I played 2 other MIM's which sounded like ass. The one I bought put a big smile on my face *MORE* than the 2 MIA's they had.

    Took it home, put DR sunbeams on it, adjusted the truss rod and bridge and it sounds and plays great with a very low action.


    I bought it to take on a trip to brazil. I don't want to bring my Modulus Quantum 5 for obvious reasons. The new P sounds better than my Modulus in the weird acoustics of my rehearsal studio, which I knew it would because nothing cuts like a P bass.

    I'll put a new pickup in at some point (probably a basslines spb-1)
  15. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I've been gassing for a jazz again for quite awhile now, and you know, I WOULD buy a MIM if they only made it with a friggin maple board! :)

  16. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I always had an issue with the MIM Fenders but I finally found one that plays great and I bought it. I played a lot of them before I found this one.

    The MIA Fenders feel a little denser to me they probably weigh a 1/2 pound more, and the maple fretboards look and play a little better.

    Personally I have not run accross a MIA Fender Jazz or P-Bass that was crappy.
  17. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    I don't believe MIM Standard basses ever had basswood bodies. They had poplar a while ago, but now they're alder apparently. MIM precisions don't have J-Bass necks either. Where did you get this info?
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    OK, in this thread, I have to be "that guy".

    Do a search, this has been one of THE most covered topics in the Basses forum.

    Also, I merged the two current threads on this subject, talking about the exact same topic.