MIM vs MIA Fender P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by camardelle, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. I located a few threads here trying to figure out why the MIA bass was better than the MIM ones. I'm currently using a Squire P and a Squire Jag Jazz and I'm really liking the p bass better so I am exploring the purchase of another p bass.

    Am I barking up the wrong tree? Should I just be happy with the Squire or shoot for the bleachers and try to snag a Fender p bass? And are the MIM ones really worth the price over the Squire line?

    I'm just learning, but I want to learn with good equipment. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Like any instrument, you may have to try out a few to find one that suits you. As a Fender player, I am very happy with my USA built Precisions.

    I think they are worth it.

    The entry level stuff is also worth the values they retail for.
  3. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I have two MIM P's.... One a 2010 model & the other a 2006 model and love both of them....
  4. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    keep with the squire for a while if you're just starting. if you're a new player then you're going to sound bad on any bass

    (but im also MIA p all the way, mexican ones i've played just didnt quite have the same feel)
  5. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    In general, the MIA basses should be made a little better and have better quality parts. In particular, you will see more attention given to the neck and frets.

    HOWEVER - the new VM and CV Squiers are incredibly good, probably better than some of the MIAs and can easily be upgraded.
  6. Never really played a squier so I don't really now what they're like, but alot of people attest to their quality. I do have a 95' MIM P and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Best playing bass I have and everything about is just perfect. I got it in a trade so I don't have a market value. I borrowed a MIA jazz once for a gig when one of my other basses crapped out and I didn't find anything that stood out to me about it. Don't get me wrong it was a great bass, but I just didn't feel it like I did with my MIM P.

    My recomendation would be to try out every bass you can and don't let where it's made sway your choice (unless its all about straight monetary value).
  7. SubNoizeRat3691

    SubNoizeRat3691 Lovin' the lows

    Feb 1, 2010
    Davenport, IA
    I have a 03 MIM Fender Deluxe Precision Bass Special. It's the P bass with an aluminum pick guard, PJ pickup configuration, and a Jazz profile neck. I thought the Mexican fender was going to suck, and it did when I got it, but after I spent some time setting it up it plays wonderfully. Pickups are a bit noisy, but the tone is awesome!
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I've got a MIM P and an MIA P. While the MIM is a nice bass, it's not as nice as the MIA. Tone wise they are very similar, but I've upgraded the electronics in the MIM. The neck, fretwork, and general fitament are noticeably better on the MIA.

    I've found the MIM and the Squier stuff to be fairly close to each other. They are hit and miss, so it's advisable to try before you buy.
  9. punkjazzben


    Jun 26, 2008
    I have a Squier Affinity P-Bass and a MIM Fender Precision Bass, so hopefully I can help.

    The Fender is a step above the Squier with regard to build quality and tone; it simply feels and sounds better in my hands. That said, I experimented with some LaBella flatwound strings on my Squier and the sound was incredible - I couldn't believe it! That's a cheap option for a tonal upgrade. Nevertheless, the Fender MIM is still my main player.

    There is also a general opinion circulating here on TB that the Squier Classic Vibe series are of equal or better quality than the MIM Fender products; some even say they prefer them over MIA Fenders. I have a Squier CV 50s P-Bass, and I would agree that it is on par with the MIM Precision in terms of build quality and tone.

    Another word of advice: some people might tell you "just pay a tiny bit more and get an American Fender." First thing - they're not always better. Second thing - they're more than a "tiny bit" more expensive and no one should feel bad because it's out of their preferred price range.

    Ultimately, the best advice is to play as many Precisions as you can and work out what YOU like the feel and sound of.

    But, IMO, I reckon you should consider the MIM Fender. I would highly recommend it as a second bass for someone looking to step up a bit. Being 'Fender' branded, it may hold its value a bit better if you choose to sell it down the track, also. Remember to try before you buy and get someone with a good reputation to do a setup on it - the setup on a new bass can usually make or break the deal for many people.
  10. The vintage Modified squiers are where it's at. Absolutely gorgeous maple body, fantastic neck with binding (I'm talking about the VM jazz here), and it sounds as good or better than the MIA jazz bass I played. Buy one and NEVER regret it. My only complaint is that the neck feels a little bit cheaper and the fretwork isnt as good, but that can be fixed with a file and a refinish. Hope I helped!
  11. Of the whole lot, I'll take a solid MIM Standard any day.

    I have two 2010 MIM Precisions, this must be a very good year for that model. Both set up quickly with low action and playability right out of the box. I simply touched up the nut slots and put my patented set-up on them, and they are among the best playing and sounding Precisions I've ever touched.

    I can't justify the extra expense of the MIA Precision (although I have a couple of nice MIA Jazz basses).

    Some of the Squier line is quite good. I have a CV 50's Precision I'm fond of. But if I had to aim at the middle and still be happy, I'd go MIM.
  12. deshi00


    Mar 26, 2010
    columbus ohio
    I picked up a used fender mia pbass.. And love it,well worth the money, the neck just seemed so much smoother than the mims I'd played.. Don't have much input on squiers but hear great things about the cvs and vms
  13. Probably the most honest thing I've heard all day. LOL

    Like I said, I'm just starting (and starting late at age 54) but I'm having a ton of fun with the lessons and practicing almost every night. I'll never be where most of you guys are or be in a band or anything but I am enjoying myself.

    Thanks for everyone's input. I really appreciate the help.
  14. It never too late to do either of those things man!
  15. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    +1 to this. However I too will say if you are able to get a good solid MIM then yes they are worth it. Generally can be had for a fraction of the price of a MIA as well. It's really up to you and how much you are looking to spend. Each has it's pluses and minuses. I agree as well to the point to go into your local music shop and try one or more MIM and MIA P basses if you are able too. I have had three MIM P basses and they all were good basses. P basses are great, been playing them all my playing career myself.
  16. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    +1 to this as well. Overall though as long as you are having fun with it that totally counts for a lot! ;)
  17. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    My mim 50's classic is pretty amazing, imo. It all depends on what you like. My 04 squire p has the best neck I've ever played, so I don't know.
  18. I think this point applies to all gear purchases, Fender basses or otherwise. I'd add to it that you shouldn't let where it was made *or* the name on the headstock sway your choice. If you love how it sounds/plays/looks, then get it.

    I've owned MIK, MIJ, MIA, and MIG basses from four different manufacturers, and they've all had their good and bad points. Well, ok, maybe my MIG Warwick has nothing bad about it... :D

    The point is that I didn't buy any of them because of where they were made or who made them, I bought them because I loved how they sounded/played/looked, and early on I also gave a lot of consideration to what I could afford!

    Shop around, try out a lot of basses, and pick up what fits for you. Good luck, and have fun!
  19. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Any time you try to upgrade from something that is already quite good, as the Squiers tend to be, to something Even Better you will find that the price of the incremental improvements gets quite high with respect to the value. This is true of nearly everything in life. A MIM is not really a better value than a Squier but they are better. The same applies to MIAs with respect to both. Now there are some truly horrible MIMs and MIAs out there as the Squier fans like to point out so some Squiers are far, far better than some MIMs and MIAs. Someone recently reported finding a MIM for sale in a store that had only one slot cut in the nut, the other three strings were just strung over the top of the nut! :rollno: But that is an exceptional case and you can find truly horrid Squiers out there too.

    Anyone at any level of skill could be well served by a good Squier. Your Squier is not going to hold you back. But, if you really want to upgrade then both the MIM and MIA Fenders are well worth considering. These days there are also the Modern Player Fenders which are made in Asia, perhaps even in the Squier factories, according to some anyway. They are all good basses and as always the best way to find out what gives you the value you are looking for is to try them in stores.

  20. It really helps to just get out there and beat the bushes, as it were, and play whatever's on the walls. My advice is to look for a good used MIA and see how that goes.