MIM Jazz compared to MIA Jazz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gabu, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I am curious, what do you guys think makes the most deference in sound when comparing these two instruments?

    There are a number of factors; the wood... the pickups/electronics, the nut and the bridge. (more?)

    So, where would you say the most dramatic sound differences come from?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well- this topic has been "done to death" in the Basses forum - I suppose it makes a change to have it come up in setup! ;)

    My local shop has loads of MIM and MIA basses (and not much else) so I have had plenty of time to compare examples of each. I must say that I prefer the MIM 5-strings to the MIA Standard 5s.

    I have occasionally found some American Deluxes that I liked better, but only in London.

    For me the most noticeable difference is the neck profile and I much prefer the MIM neck; but I found the MIM 5 was preferable in every way to the American Standard 5.

    But as I say, if you search "Basses" you will find endless discussion of the differences
  3. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Thanks for your response. I am asking something a little bit different, so allow me to clarify.

    Each bass has a different physical attributes, and different equipment. If I take two basses, one that is MIM and the other that is MIA, with the most common configurations for their models, what is it that will make the most profound difference in their resulting tone?

    For example, is the most dramatic difference, the poplar body on the MIM? Or perhaps the electronics?
  4. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    Do search, this topics been beat to death :eek: ;)

    ok seriously now...

    IMO and IME with the 2 basses in question. What makes the most profound difference in the tones of the 2 basses is the body wood. Both basses have the same electronics in them, but the body woods are different as are the pickups, but the pickups wont effect the tone of the bass near as much as the body wood will.

    The poplar is a bit brighter and punchier than the alder is.

    The alder is warmer, deeper and a bit more mellow sounding. and sounds a bit better imo.

    MY old mia had the same exact pickups and etronics in them both. And thats part of the reason I came up with the body wood for my answer.....I now have an MIA that came with noiseless but swapped them out for the pups and etronics in my MIM DlX, and still say its the body wood. The swap didnt affect the tone all that much.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
  6. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    That's interesting. I prefered the sharp sound of the MIM to the more mellow sound of the MIA bass. Now I wonder if the pickups on the MIA were not what it was that I was not liking, but rather the wood?

    I liked the FMT, which is an alder body with a quilted maple top. The electronics are different though. (18v preamp instead of 9v)

    The MIA DLX is alder or ash, depending on color. I don't remember the various colors I played... I think they were all colored though. (No natural finishes)

    So maybe I just didn't care for the sound of Ash.

    Or maybe I just didn't like the combonation of Ash and Fender electronics... Hmm.
  7. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I pulled the dimarzio model j's out of my MIM to put in my MIA, and the most striking thing to me was a feeling that the MIM didn' have the same "thickness" to the MIA... the MIM sound was just not there with the MIA. Just my ideas from playing around with my two planks!

  8. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    its actually an ash veneered top on an alder body.