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MIM J-Bass to Highway 1 Jazz

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SirGrotius, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. I've had a MIM J-Bass forever and I really like the fast neck and its tone.

    Recently I've been kicking around getting a new bass, and I tried out an American Highway 1 Jazz Bass. I fell in love with it at the store and thought it sounded super professional and the sustain with the BA bridge was ridiculous. I like the almost matte finish, but the beast is like $750.

    Should I just save up for an American Standard J-Bass for $1100?

    What is the difference? (The guy at the store told me it was just a different finish...I don't know about that.)

    Thanks so much!
  2. Coeball


    Aug 25, 2007
    Bath Uk
    I have the same questions you do. I think the highway one is made from cheaper woods.
  3. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    No, I wouldn't say cheaper woods, but some of the hardware isn't as good as it is on the Am. Standards (tuners, bridge) as well as having different finishes.

    IIRC they're US parts assembled in mexico
  4. afireinside


    Jan 3, 2008
    I love my HW1 P and never should have sold my HW1 Jazz it had some frankenbass 6 string pups it it that was killer......... I bought my P on clearence at GC presidents sale for $400.00 OTD with the fender gig bag, and $400.00 used for the Jazz with dings and 6 string franken pups. So you can gauge the price, I may have just been lucky.....
  5. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Or unlucky with that Jazz...
  6. afireinside


    Jan 3, 2008
    lol i think it was a pretty fair deal really, had a HSC and was a killer bass
  7. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    If you are talking about the Hwy1, its the other way around. The Hwy1 is MIM parts assembled in the USA.

    To the OP, it depends. Have you played an Am. Std.? If so, did you like it better than the Hwy1? Did you like enough to justify spending the extra dough on it? All things to consider, I have played some Hwy1 basses that were amazing regardless of their price. In fact, I played a Hwy1 P-bass at my local GC which marked down to $650. It was honey blonde, which I didn't like, but I played it since it was so cheap and, based on how it played and sounded, I almost bought it. I actually played a MIA P-bass the same day and preferred the feel and tone of the Hwy1. If you love the Hwy1, and can afford it, go for it.
  8. i dunno bout this mex parts assembled in the USA, my highway one jazz definately has a USA jazz neck. The sound of this bass is amazing. when i first played it I was after an 08 USA standard jazz and played both back to back in the shop. While the USA had a slightly louder and marginally bassier sound and a gloss finish the highway one was half the price, played amazingly and sustained forever cos of the badass II bridge. suprisingly since the HW1 has vintage style alnico pups my HW1 jazz has far more growl than the USA jazz did. The neck pup gets a lovely growly but also warm sound and the bridge is very jaco, articulate and deep. The only thing i've changed on mine was to swap the grease bucket tone pot out for push pull pot with a "normal" tone roll off and push pull grease bucket option so i have both HW1 and Jazz bass tone options. dont let the finish put you off buying a great bass. yeah it dents easier than the high gloss of the USA models but i actually like the blonde finish on mine and a few battle scars just add to the broken in look and feel. I love mine, i'm sure you'll learn to love a HW1 easily and quickly :hyper::bassist:
  9. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Go with the HWY1 and save your money. I have several and they don't disappoint.
  10. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    The Hwy 1s are pretty cool, but I do prefer the american standard basses over them. The finish is better, the hardware is better, you have the option to string through the body with the american standard and I also believe the pickups to sound WAY better in my american standard than any hwy 1 I have played.

    Look on here, or Ebay for some killer deals on American Jazz basses. You can usually find one for about 7-800 dollars.
  11. hesham8


    Mar 21, 2008
    Now, I normally don't do this...But "none of the above."
    If you're going to be in that price range, you have a Geddy Lee or an L2000 waiting for you. If you insist on one of them, the Highway One is wonderful.
  12. Thanks for the input. Sadly, I'm back at square one with the diversity of opinions!

    I'm thinking about just putting a new bridge on my MIM, but there's something about owning the best in your line (or close to it) which is attractive. It's sort of hard to put one's finger on.
  13. jk3


    Jul 25, 2007
    I've had a Highway One Jazz for a little over a year now. i like it but dont love it.

    I would strongly suggest to wait it out. sounds like you've got a nice instrument now. test, test, test all the brands that make J copies. I didnt wait, just figured its MIA, its gotta be amazing. And while i like it, knowing what i know now, i would have bought a Lakland Skyline JO. just out personal preference of what i find to be the better instrument for me.

    Good luck.
  14. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I dont know about that. I am an advid MIM user. A good MIM with a few mods can be an awsome bass and sound and play like any MIA or hwy 1. Just because its not a MIA shouldnt make you rush out to get an MIA for where its made. Its about the tone, feel and how it plays.

    I have MIM P i got used. I put an american bridge on her a set of 62 reissues and american tort guard for looks and this bass kills. I have put it up against my buddys late 90's MIA and even he liked my MIMs tone better.
    I also love my MIM 50's classic which are assembled in mexico but are from USA parts. When i tested out the bass at my local shop i had three to choose from the 50's classic, a hwy1 when they still had the old style bridge which i prefer, and a used but like new 01 MIA P bass. I bought the 50's P over the other 2 and the hwy1 was second over the MIA. I spent at least a half hour with each bass before i decided.

    So being best in line has nothing to do with it. All 3 are good bases with each having its features and sometimes the only difference is price. I go with modding that MIM.
  15. I'm going in circles now.

    I think the practical thing to do would be to purchase a BAII bridge for my MIM and then save up for the American Standard and forgo the Highway One. Is there any way that the H1 could sound better than the American Standard? I noticed that they have different bridges, and I don't know what "stringing through" the body would do to the sound. Finally, I sort of like the matte finish of the H1 to the shiny-ass Standard (and MIM that I have for the record).

    You guys may be too knowledgeable!
  16. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    You are thinking too hard. The Hwy1 is MIA. The sound is very similar to the American Std. Where the two will differ the most is their features. The American Std has a nice hard case, better tuners, different (but not necessarily better) pickups, availablility of a maple fretboard, and a more durable finish.

    If none of that stuff is worth the extra dough to you, then get the Hwy1. Find a store that has a few of them in stock, play them all, and take home the one you like best. Don't make it overcomplicated. And don't mod a bass that you are planning to replace. It would be throwing money away unless you plan to continue using it after you get the Hwy1 or Am Std.
  17. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    IMO the badass ads nothing besides being ugly and adding weight to the bass. This is highly debated on TB BTW.
    As my example said i felt the hwy 1 that I was attempting to buy did sound better then a MIA P bass so ya i can happen.

    I prefer the old style Fender bridge and if i mod put on an american (fender) or aftermarket like it not a badass. This is up to you. On the matte finish. Its ok not a big deal and if you like it great. Both are great basses. Mod the MIM and save up for one of the others.
  18. I tried out some MIA basses, and I may be crazy but I hear more variability between them than between a bunch of MIMs. That said, I also hear a huge sound difference between them and the MIMs, overall. Highway One, not such a big difference, but I figure if I'm going to shell out the money, I should just get the big cheese. I wish they had some better colors, though. The neck seems bigger to me.

    I also tried the Geddy, and while I can see how some people would like it, there was something plastic about its tone to me, sort of hard to put my finger on, and also, I can't get over how ugly they are (although I know a lot of people think the exact opposite).
  19. bassfrenzie


    May 26, 2008
    I got an '08 H1 Jazz.

    I'm loving it to pieces.

    I had a '75 Jazz. The H1 is better IMHO. Plays just as smoothly + A lot more tonal options.

    Maybe I lucked out and got a freak Highway that's better than usual or something - whatever, it's a killer bass.
  20. RDW


    Feb 5, 2008
    I played an H1 bass at a local music store and it convinced me that a Jazz-style bass was the way to go. Great neck, good body, cool nitro finish, and a nice feature set.

    Ultimately, I built a Warmoth Jazz that I am completely satisfied with, but I don't think you can go wrong with the H1....

    If it feels good and sounds good, go for it. Everyone will have an opinion, but in the final analysis, if the H1 is right for you, you'll know.

    Good luck in your choice.

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