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MIM Squier-- what kind of wood?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dougjwray, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. don't think they made squires in mexico
  2. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010

    You might have heard of mexican made Fender guitars with a black headstock decal, sometimes associated with some mystery Squier Series made in Mexico. It’s true that there actually was a “Squier Series” that was made by Fender in Mexico and featured a black decal on the headstock, but not all mexican made Fender guitars with such a black label were part of that very “Squier Series”. Since there appears to be a lot of confusion and half-knowledge about these guitars out there, I decided to do some research on my own.

    The black label was used by Fender Mexico for a limited time only between 1993 and 1998. It can be found exclusively on the rather short lived mexican “Traditional” and “Squier” series for the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass. Usually, Squier is to Fender what Epiphone is to Gibson. In this very case, the use of the name “Squier” had nothing to do with the actual Squier brand, as the series was named “Squier Series”, but it was by all means a Fender series, not a Squier series. The keyword is “series”, not “Squier”. The regular mexican “Standard” series was available too at the time, but it already featured the same silver-ish logo that is still used for it today. However, between 1993 and 1998, both labels (the black AND the silver-ish one) were used for mexican made Fender guitars, but for (slightly) different guitars.

    The guitars with the black label consisted mostly of overstock american made Fender necks and bodies. The parts were shipped to Mexico for assembly with mexican made pickups and far eastern hardware and electronics. The overall quality of these guitars turned out to be below the Squiers made in Japan and Korea, whose production came to an end around the time the mexican made guitars with the black label surfaced, yet above Squiers made in China and Indonesia, whose production had not yet begun at the time. The guitars ended up on the american and european market for just about as much as a guitar from the regular “Standard” series would cost at the time.

    Some (not all!) of the guitars were sold for a few bucks less as they came with 1-ply pickguards and hardware of slightly lesser quality. Those guitars (and those only!) had an additional smaller “Squier Series” label on front of the headstock, right were the artist models have the artist’s signature. Though some owners probably sanded off their “Squier Series” label, it is not true that all guitars with a black label had a “Squier Series” label in the first place. Most guitars with the black label featured tuners and bridges of decent quality as well as 3-ply pickguards. These guitars did not have the additional “Squier Series” label and were called the “Traditional Series”, which was stated nowhere on the headstock but the guitars were listed, advertised and sold as such.

    The “Traditional Series” can be considered the slightly better but the “Squier Series” sure is the more obscure. At the end of the day, there really is not that much difference between the two. The most significant difference can be found on the Telecaster. The Telecaster from the “Traditional Series” had the traditional through-body stringing, while the Telecasters from the “Squier Series” were Top Loaders with different bridges, saddles and no string holes in the back.

    The guitars from that very “Squier Series” are official and genuine Fender guitars like any mexican made Fender guitar regardless, and if you have a mexican made Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster or Precision Bass with a black label and a serial number beginning with MN3, MN4, MN5, MN6, MN7 or MN8, you have a genuine Fender guitar – with or without a small “Squier Series” label.
  3. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Okay... so, alder?
  4. Bootzilla


    May 4, 2009
    It's most likely alder.

    Edit: yes I guess so. The standard series was alder and the surplus parts from america would be alder (I believe, to lazy to check).
  5. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    My post was more in response to jmercer91's post
  6. Hate to throw off some of your research StarangerDanger. Most of what you said is accurate about my MIM Squier Bass but I wanted to clear up a few things. My MIM Squier is a Jazz bass not a P. Also, it has the gold Squier logo not silver or black. It is not true that the pick guard is one ply for my bass atleast, and also what's weird is that it was all pickguard, not a guard and seprate control plate.

    Pictured here next to my long gone Affinity P.

    It does not say series anything on the headstock. It just says Squier Jazz Bass. On the back is the MIM info. Bass was purchased new in 98 as a gift at Mars Music in Tampa, Florida. I didn't pay for it but I believe it was around $200+ brand new. Maybe closer to $300...not sure. I always had a feeling that my Jazz played as well or better than some of the Fenders I have tried. I am going to check the serial number to see what I can figure out about it. Thanks for doing this research. I have asked here before if anyone knew anything about the Squier MIM basses and this is the first time I found something good about it. I actually found the thread on google thinking that no one on TB had a clue about it. Glad to see I was wrong. :hyper:
  7. I think every MIM be it squier or fender bass Alder or poplar, I am pretty certain no other woods were used
  8. OK, I can't find anything about my MIM Squier Jazz Bass. Now I am nervous about doing anything to it further. I already filled and redrilled pickguard holes. Is this some rare gem? This is the only thread I have seen on TB talking about it and only the black and silver series was mentioned. Can anyone tell me anything about my bass? There has to be some Fender/Squier guru lurking around on here.
  9. Aspidites


    Oct 20, 2009
    Berkeley CA
    I had a Basswood MIM back in the 90's.
  10. Does anyone have info on the Gold MIM Squier basses?
  11. grassi55


    Apr 17, 2011
    sorry to post in an old forum but im intersted in finding out about my mim squier jazz as well. its not squier series just a squier logo. mine came with a 3-ply pg with no control plate. this thing is an awsome bass feels better to me than any other squier ive layed hands on(only been playing 1 year so limited expirience).
  12. justbark

    justbark Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.

    Aug 20, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Back from the dead - again.

    I also have one of the gold label ones sans pick guard. Serial indicates a 1998 build year. I LOVE this bass but cannot identify the wood. There is no grain to speak of. It is very lightweight - much more than my alder bodied Affinity V.




  13. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Looks nice - The subtle grain makes me suspect it's basswood. Is it light?
  14. justbark

    justbark Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.

    Aug 20, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Yes, it is light. I'd say the weight is close to the new agathis bodied Squiers, but I do not think they used agathis back then.
  15. Tim Marshall

    Tim Marshall

    May 26, 2012
    Yes, I have one of the bass's you are talking about. the squier decal is gold. under the squire label it has by fender then it has precision bass. on the back the number's say MN8102488. I have taken all the hardware off and replaced everything. with bill lawrence p46, tuner's, rotosound swing bass 66 string's and a fender vintage bridge, a .1 cap. cts 250 pot's and this bass is nothing but big top. you talk about fat and clean it has it. You might find out what type of wood fender was using in 1998 in the us factory for the p bass's that might help. t. marshall nashville tn. ps. I would say the wood is, like the man said, picked over alder.
  16. CArthurNeal


    Feb 27, 2020
    Late to this conversation myself, but yes, they're alder. I have a MIM Gold Label Squier Jazz that I recently modded extensively, including adding active circuitry. When drilling/routing it out to accommodate that, the reddish sawdust it generated made me about 99.9% sure that mine, at least, is alder.
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 24, 2020

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