MIA vs. MIJ Fenders This is the Real Question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ampig, Nov 7, 2001.

  1. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Everyone knows MIM 's are mde of inferior materials. My experience with MIJ's is that they are about equal and in some cases I've seen superior to the MIA's. Let's stir the pot.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hmmm, carrot stew :D
  3. AndersK2

    AndersK2 Guest

    Sep 11, 2000
    Who are everyone?
    You and ... (your cat?)
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I'll bite.

    MIJ Fenders are very good quality, although sometimes a little lacking in the electronics department compared to the MIA's.

    I will say this in favor of the MIJ's. They are much more consistent IMHO compared to either the MIM's or MIA's.
  5. I have a couple MIJ Fenders and I think the quality is great. It's been awhile since I've owned a MIA Fender so I don't think I can objectively compare. I do agree with embellisher on the electronics though.

    I own a MIJ P-bass. It's actually has the standard P-bass configuration but a P-lite type body. The neck is also a little more narrow than the standard Precision -- somewhere in between a Jazz and Precision. It's still one of the best playing 4 string basses I've ever played but there was a marked improvement in sound once I slapped some EMG pickups on it. :)
  6. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001

    What kind of wood are the bodies of your MIJs made of?
  7. I'm not sure what the body wood is on the fretless jazz... I bought it a few years back when body woods weren't a concern for me. I just wanted a decent fretless bass.

    The P-bass I've had for over 16 years (I bought it brand new) and, although I again wasn't too concerned with the body wood, I've since made a gouge in the body where I often rest my thumb... It definitely looks to be alder to me.
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I think the MIJ's are some of the best values in Fenders. The consistency that Embellisher mentioned is a big plus, especially if you're buying from an online seller. I have to laugh at the prices that '70s Fenders are bringing....for the most spotty bunch of Fenders on record! Compared to 70's Fenders, MIJs are pretty nice IMO
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I didnt know that Mim's were made of inferior materials.

    I do know that the Mim bodies and necks are made in the US Fender factory. The bodies are made from poplar (with maple cap on sunburst). Parker Musicman Jackson and others use poplar on some models. Poplar is generally used for soild finish instruments.

    I have played many Mim instruments and they have loked and sounded 'good' and stayed in tune with no unwanted noise (no more than expected from single coils).

    Fender stopped using ash and started using alder in the 50's because it was cheaper. Until recently the Mia's were made of laminates to reduce costs. The current American series use one or two piece construction.


    Play loads of basses and buy the one that 'speaks to you regardless of where it came from (America China Mexico or Japan). Anyone who disses the origin of your instrument can go boil their head.

    rant over-gets off soapboax-goes to make a cup of tea (from India not China).
  10. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    This string is not about MIM's and I wished I hadn't put that "dig' about them in it. However, I don't think that it's a big secret that the hardware and electronics on the MIM's is of a lower quality.

    " Am I wrong on this?" -George Costanza
  11. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I was not upset but having had Squier and Mim instruments (and advised people to buy them) I felt like defending them.

    I think that MIM and MIJ guitars are generally very good value. They are what they are. You have to spend a significantly greater amount of money to beat them.

    The only downer IMO (as all of this is) is that with any mass produced instrument you have to try loads. Mass production works to tolerances. Some of them like neck pockets can be actually better. Some of them like neck dimensions can be subjective. I always play an instrument before I buy it.
  12. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    The mass produced thing is a problem. Tht's why my main bass is a G&L L-2000. All G&L's, even the bottom of the line models are handmade. You can pick up a used L-2000 for $500.00 and they were designed by the man himself, Leo Fender. If you haven't tried one, do yourself a favor.

    "G&L guitars and basses are the finest instruments I have ever built"
    -Leo Fender
  13. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I must have the second best then
  14. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    That's possible. The quote is by the man who designed and built Fender, Music man and G&L instruments. But it's all a matter preferences. You like what you like. You play what sounds and feels good to you. My point is that, due to a lower brand name recognition (G&L), you can purchased a used hand made instrument for the price of a mass produced one.
  15. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I was attempting to be funny as I have a Musicman.

    Anyway I do agree with you on liking what you like.
  16. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Sorry, it went right by me. I guess I'm a dullard (with a hand made bass).
  17. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    If youve got a good bass you cannot be that much of a dullard. Put it down to my weird sense of humour and living in UK.

    Nice 'talking' to you and 'see you around'.
  18. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    It was fun sparring. Electronic conversations can be weird. Sarcasm (one of my favorites) is often indistinguishable from ignorance. Peace.
  19. My experience agrees with Jeff's about MIJ Fenders.

    But every MIM I have seen has been worse than every MIA I have seen with the exception of one abysmal '93 MIA Strat I once played.


    MIA instruments have NEVER been built with laminates. If you mean 3 part bodies...Leo was using three part bodies before he sold Fender. I used to have a '64 jazz bass. Body was three parts. This can be an advantage as it stabilises the body.

    If you mean that they used veneer, this was to prevent finish checking. The myth is that they used veneer on natural and sunburst finishes to trick people. This was spread around by the bizarre Ed Roman, among others. The reality was that they used more veneer on solid colour bodies because those were more likely to show bad checking. I believe they still do use veneer on some basses, but I wouldn't swear to it.

    My '95 MIJ bass has an aldre body, is NOT veneered and has checked badly...from being taken from mountain air here in Ankara to humid seaside gigs and back again regularly by its previous owner, and NOT KEPT IN A HARD CASE!
  20. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Finish checking never bothered me. It's like a badge of honor. It adds character.