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MIM vs. Made in U.S. Fender Jazz Fivers - what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by swmmojo, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. swmmojo

    swmmojo Be up and doing...

    Is there a big difference in quality or is it about U.S. basses holding value? Are the factories different? Are the lines different? Is the QA different? Thanks for the info. I'm looking to get a Fender Jazz Fiver but not sure about making the U.S. $$$ dive.
  2. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    MIMs are fine basses. However, yes the quality of a good US Fender will be better. There are some design differences (hardware, pups, woods used, etc.). Some would say that the quality control is probably the same (pretty hit and miss for both) but a good US will play better that a good MIM (although this is subjective...I know). A US will also hold its value much better, and probably appreciate some if you hold on to it long enough. Although, a fifty percent hit on a $450 bass isn't something drastic enough where it should sour you from buying it IMO.

    As for buying one or the other. It depends on what you want. If you play enough MIMs, you'll probably find one you think plays really well. Then you can spend some money on upgrades and it will end up being an excellent bass. You won't recoup your investment, but that's only important if you intend on selling it.

    If you buy a US version, you won't really have to upgrade anything.
  3. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Virtually any MIM or MIA Fender can play great with a good setup and perhaps light fretwork, so don't let that be the deciding factor. Generally the MIA basses use better woods and electronics and therefore just plain sound better. Plus MIAs have GRNs, hardshell cases, maple fretboards if you like, and better fit and finish. 99% of the "bad" Fenders out there just have a bad setup and old strings and just need a little tlc. I have no problem buying a MIA Fender sight unseen.
  4. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I have found that MIA 5ers are head and shoulders above the MIM 5ers when it comes to overall quality, tone, and playability. However, they cost almost $1K more so there should be a huge difference IMO. The MIK Jazz 24 V is far superior to the MIM 5ers IMO as well, and they don't cost quite as much as the MIA models. Something to think about.

    Actually, the Squier Deluxe Active Jazz V smokes every MIM Fender 5er that I've ever played. If I were on a budget, I would the Squier over the MIM anyday. YMMV of course.
  5. decuchi2334


    Feb 4, 2008
    One thing that I have seen with the MIM, and even some older US models that had it, was a small crack develops by the B string tuner. That is the ones with the 5 tuners on top. Never seen it with the 4+1.
  6. Earthquake


    Dec 19, 2007
    If I'm not mistaken, MIM Fenders are rough cut in the Corona, CA factory and then sent to the Mexican factory for finish work and assembly with cheaper components. That would make a MIM Fender a hybrid MIA/MIM?
  7. I have a US 5 & a MIM 5; the MIA has the crack, the MIM does not. This is pretty common, & the crack was there when I bought the bass & hasn't gotten worse in the 3 or 4 years I've had it.

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