Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by hambonehamula, May 4, 2005.

  1. hambonehamula


    May 4, 2005
    I just got on ebay a few weeks ago to try and see if I could build a bass for under 300 bucks. I won the following auctions over the space of 2 weeks. A mexican jazz bass -$220, bartolini 9J pickups -$75, brass nut -$8, and a badass II bridge $12 (tarnished gold). With shipping it was all under 350 bucks. I just had to tell everyone that the bass has "god tone" and plays great -especially for the money.

    Has anyone else had that kind of result? I took a chance and saved big bucks...

    Anyway, I want to hear any stories with the MIM jazz basses, Badass bridges, or bartolini pickups.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Congrats on the bass, and the deal. :)

    I have an MIM Jazz I picked up new after trying a whole bunch of Js, both MIM and MIA, in my local store. I swapped the bridge for a BAII (I thought the stock bridge seemed flimsy and two of the saddles moved slightly when playing hard) and put some EMGs on, mainly because I didn't like the hum and hiss from the stock pickups. The tuners seem fine, BTW. This is now a really nice bass. In fact it's the bass that made realise how good a good Jazz bass can be ( I have played a few not very nice ones!), and I use it more than all my other basses, which include a Rick, a SR4 and a Status.

    I have a very nice Warmoth/Status fretless J that is just fantastic, so I'm putting together a similar fretted bass to match it. But the white MIM is the bass that started up my Jazz bass GAS again and at the moment is still the one I gig with the most. Clips and a video of me playing it are on our bands' website - click the link in my signature below if you want to check it out.
  3. I have two eBay Fenders: MIM-P and MIM-J fretless. Both were a steal, as the J was used-mint, and the P was new. I paid far less for each, than I would buying new from a discount mail order dealer.

    I have Model J for the fretless, and currently running a DiMarzio Will Power Middle with series/parallel switching in the P. I have a Duncan Vintage P waiting to go into the P, but am not inclined yet to install it.

    Later model (post 2001) MIM J-basses are using standard pickup sizing, so all the aftermarket pickups will fit without modification. Older MIM-J did not do this, and some routing was required.
  4. hambonehamula


    May 4, 2005
    I have never heard of anyone having a bad experience buying a mexican made fender bass. The fact that we got them on ebay without ever going through the touch and feel experience of shopping for the "perfect" instrument is quite amazing. However, everyone always seems to gut them for better or different electronics. Would you say that a mexican fender that has all new electronics is basically the same as an american (ala EMG etc)? Does anyone know of any well known pro musicians that play them live? I record at home and play out occasionally and am completely satisfied with my bass.
  5. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    New Orleans, LA
    i have a MIM fender jazz fretless which i just put a BAII on and Bartolini 9J pickups in. I absolutely love it. I bought it used for 300 bucks(it came with EMG's so i thought it was worth it) and after only putting around a hundred bucks for the pickups, bridge, and brand new pots, i am one happy camper. I love the fact that my "cheap" mexican sounds and plays better than $1000 MIA Jazz basses. I think its better that you customize your instrument and make it your own. It's cooler that way.
  6. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Just went thru this recently too! Did mine for under $350 and it plays and sounds soooo sweet. Click here --> Build-a-Bass for under $350!
  7. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    The used MIM Jazz bass is a very stable commodity on Ebay.
    I have bought and sold about 6 such basses, from stright out of the box (no gig bag supplied) original bass, to fully modified (new pickups, added electronic, new pick guards). I have found the prices are fairly stable from $225 to $350. All basses have been in good shape.

    My most recent purchase was a MIM 2003 fretted with a foto flame finish (fairly rare) and upgraded pickguard and hard case for $321.

    My most recent sale was a MIM black with Barts, tort pickguard and electronics for $340.

    An easy way to swap necks as well. Rather than buy a fretless neck, I have purchased a fretless MIM bass and sold the same bass with a fretted neck from a bass I had. Heck, I have even sold a mim neck with a broken truss rod (and avertised that way) for $90.

    The beauty of eBay is that if you know what you are buying and don't over pay, you can easily sell for about that amount. I view MIM bass transactions on Ebay as a lending library. Can't do that using retail.
  8. big evil robot

    big evil robot

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Innovations Music - Retailer
    I love my MIM jazz, its a beast. Its the heaviest instrument I've ever owned.
    I dropped DM ultra J's on, a bart 2 band pre, and BAII bridge. Right now I'm hoping to get a block inlaid neck next, mostly for the look.

    I've been considering trying to get another one through ebay, I'm just waiting for the right one to show up. I don't really want another black bass.
  9. thisSNsucks


    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Does anyone know of any well known pro musicians that play them live? I record at home and play out occasionally and am completely satisfied with my bass.[/QUOTE]

    He's not exactly the well known but the bass player from a punk band called tsunami bomb uses Mexican fenders hooked up with active EMG's live. I heard them at the warped tour and he had a pretty nice tone.
  10. big evil robot

    big evil robot

    Feb 27, 2005
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Innovations Music - Retailer
    i know the guy from Samiam has said he prefers them, but thats about as famous as tsunami bomb i guess.

    I noticed on the Coheed & Cambria dvd that their bass player switches between spector legends and GL jazz basses(MIJ), thats almost kinda close.

    I've always found the mid price range bass is the mainstay of the punk band, MIM J's, Musicman SUB's etc etc.
  11. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Used '91 MIM Jazz bass (rare gunmetal blue color) in pristine condition off Epray : $220.00
    Used Fender American pickups: $ 40.00
    Professional setup n new strings: $ 50.00
    Getting a great looking, playing and sounding bass for under 320.00 dollars? Priceless.
  12. gilbert46


    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    and i thought i was original.... ;)

    Ive got a brand new mim jazz with barts a ba2, plus the j-retro preamp. LOVE it.
  13. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I bought a nice SX jazz bass off ebay for $129.00 and added a Gotoh bridge for $40.00, some EMG jazz bass pickups used for $40.00 and a pearloid pickguard for $22.00. I want to add a preamp and new tuners. I think I can finish this project for well under $350.00 and most importantly it sounds and plays great.
  14. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    Those SX basses look great for the money. :bassist:
  15. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I've done pretty well off the GFS here and over at the 'pit. My main fretless is a Mity Mite body, MIM lined neck w/stock tuners and Graphtech nut, Duncan's, full sized CTS pots and orange drop cap, BA-II bridge. I think I have around 350 in parts and another $40 in setup from Arrow Guitars another $40 in D'Addario Chromes. I've had other bassists pick it thinking oh, Fender ... and go whoa ... this thing is sweet!

    I have to say that the money I spent with Arrow was very well spent. I really do a pretty decent setup on my own but I'm not in his league, not by a long shot ... Paul's 'Pablo' real interest is in acoustic instruments. He takes on setup work as fill in. The tour of his shop and seeing some of his instruments in progress was really interesting. If you have a local luthier show him some love. Give yourself and your fav DIY bass a treat with a little of setup work! If your experience goes like mine, you won't regret it.