MIA Fenders: the product range description

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rockin John, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. I'm a bit confused by how these instruments are described. And because I don't know the recent history I can't tell what's what.

    The Fender WWW gives 3 catagories of basses (discounting the "Artist" series which would be the 4th): "American"; "American Vintage"; "American Deluxe".

    However, when advertising American made basses, sellers use different terms: USA, American Standard, etc.

    If I were to buy an American (say) Jazz, how could I tell whether it's an American, a USA, an American Standard, etc? Or are these all one and the same thing?

    Help appreciated.


  2. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Basically :

    The American is what replaces the American Standard. The latest models have the S-1 switch.

    The American Deluxe have active electronics and 22 frets.

    The American Vintage are reissues of old models.

    Hope this helps,
  3. OK, Jean, thanks.

    I guess, then, at some point in the recent past Fender changed from describing as American Standard, to American. But that these two terms effectively describe the same instrument: or, at any rate, it distinguishes them from Deluxe, and Vintage?

    It seems that USA could describe either American Standard or American: it would be up to a buyer to find this out.


  4. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    The so-called American (as a standalone name) does not include Deluxe and Vintage. These are called American Deluxe and American Vintage.

    When the American Standard became the American (actually American Series), a few details were changed.

    I believe (but not sure, so anyone please correct me if I'm wrong) the graphite reinforcement in the neck came when the "Standard" suffix disappeared. But they are basically the same instruments, with the same general features (neck w/dot inlay, 20 frets, passive electronics, etc.).

    The new American Series have the S-1 switch, allowing to switch from parallel mode to series mode, and vice/versa.

    You can notice a Deluxe from its active electronics and 22-fret fingerboard.

  5. Hmm.That's interesting.

    I understood graphite in the necks came after 1995. If you are correct, Jean, then American Standard became American (Series) about 10 years ago.

    I have found a year 2000 Fender catalogue which describes the American Series. It does not mention American Standard, so the Am Series is at least that old.

    I am interested to hear views about what difference the graphite makes. Perhaps a separate thread on that.

  6. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca
    I just bought an american jazz. The S-1 switching allows you to go from traditional jazz tones to an almost music man type of tone. I haven't put this thing down since i got it. Great tone. Fantastic playability/balance
  7. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca
    the difference is the s-1 switching, not the graphite neck. The graphite just helps the neck stay straight longer.
  8. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Ok here goes,
    In the year 2000 the MIA standard changed to the MIA series discontinueing (sp) the standard name.
    The difference was supposed to be rolled fingerboard and highly detailed fretwork. Also natural finish is discontinued.
    MIA dlx has smaller body with 22 fret neck. also has active electronics , lightweight tuners and abalone dots.
    MIA vintage basses are pretty much accurate R.I. of past basses.
    Examples are 75RI jazz, 62RI jazz, 57RI pbass.
  9. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Right. In 2000 the MIA series was introduced as a nicer version of the American Standard. Natural and turquoise were offered the first year of the MIA basses. I have a natural MIA p bass from 2000. With the MIA series Fender was just boasting a bass thats basically the same as the American standard but a little nicer built.
  10. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Artist series are made with artists or designed after basses the artists use, btw not all artist series are American, for example the Sting, Marcus Miller, and Geddy Lee are all Japanese.
  11. Marcus Miller 4 string is. I think the 5er is American, or at least it costs a lot more.
  12. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Oh yah forgot the 5er was released, the 5er is American, the 4string is Japanese
  13. elgranluis

    elgranluis Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX

    you are right on the graphite thing. It came along with the through body stringing in 95.

    About the american st, i have a 2000 American Standard jazz bass. I have the factory box and it has the Am st name written there.

    About the graphite, lets put it this way. Ive only adjusted my bass's neck ONCE in 4 years.
  14. netvampire


    Apr 22, 2004
    once you activate the s1 switch ( i believe once engaged, it switches the pickups from parallel to series. )do the two volume controls still work the same (as in front and rear pickup)?