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My 1st Experience w/ a bass better than a MIM

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gandhirrea, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. So, today I went to the local guitar store to buy a speaker cable for my schroeder (which still hasn't arrived btw :bawl: ). I noticed a few basses on the wall. So, I ask the guy behind the counter if I can try one out. I tell him all I have right now is a MIM P Bass, so he grabs a MIA P Bass (brand new btw, with an s-switch? anyway...) and hands it to me.

    The first thing I notice, before I plug it in, is that the action is much, much lower than on my MIM. Also, the frets look much different than my MIM (crowned?). Then I plug it in (they had an Ampeg head--don't remeber what kind, just that the dial levels were shown by a series of lights around the dial, instead of just the usual numbers printed around it--that ran into an Ampeg 4x10) and the sound is incredible: night and day compared to my MIM. They had it set up nicely in the showroom (like I said earlier, very low action) with no fret buzzing at all (and the intonation sounded good as well).

    The point of this thread? To tell how good Fenders are? Maybe. But no, theres a catch (sorry, you can't get away with just reading this large post): I have a few questions.

    I have been considering purchasing a new bass (not until after my b-day--I love living with the parentals ;) -- which is accually approaching quickly). I had a couple in mind already:

    - Peavey Cirrus (yes, I always believe the hype)
    - MusicMan Stingray

    Notice the absense of the MIA?

    Here are my questions:

    Is the MIA compareable to the other basses?

    Is the Cirrus good for finger style playing (I've heard it's great for slap)

    What is the string spacing on the Cirrus (I've heard it's smaller; Is that only on the 5 string version?)

    Has anyone tried 2 or all 3 of these basses and have an (honest, please) opinion on which they prefer and why?

    I am now thinking about getting the Fender (mainly because I can play it before I buy it, and because it is cheaper than the other two) or at least adding it to the list.

    I dont have a way to try the Cirrus, but I've heard Guitar Center carries Musicmans (theres a GC that's farther away, but I would drive quite a way so I could try this before making a decision), so I would need some good reasons to buy it "blind."

    Hopefully GC has a well set up MIA and a Stingray that I can A/B on my rig. But, before I go, I'd like some more info on each (and incase they don't have a MM in stock).

    Thank you for reading my book, and thanks to those who will shed some light on my dilema.

    EDIT: Oh, I am not just considering the P (that's just the only Fender I tried) I was looking at a P/J on the wall too (or a J would be nice)

    EDIT 2: BTW, I play basically everything imagianable (exept country and punk) jazz, funk, reggea, metal, prog, blues, rock, rock, rock... (you get the picture).
  2. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    I say go with the Fender. Honestly, I think Stingrays are pretty solid basses- but waaaay short of what they cost. A Fender's gonna give you more bang for your buck. And I just never liked the feel of the Cirrus.

    Of course- just my personal opinions.
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Why are you going to use a stereo cable with a speaker cabinet? Only ever use speaker cable (two conductor non shielded), not instrument cable (single conductor plus shield). Not optional.
  4. woops, thought i found all the typos :rolleyes: . It's a standard 100 Speaker Monster Prolink Cable.
  5. I have played all three quite a bit. Every different Fender/MM/Cirrus is going to be different, sound different and feel different.

    I personally have yet to play a bad cirrus.
  6. Aerolithe


    Jan 23, 2005
    Columbia, MO
    I like the Fender due to personal preference, but I just think you should know that you can't count on a good setup at guitar center. In fact, don't expect one, because it isn't too likely in my limited experience.
  7. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    As he said. The three models all do different things, and even the variations within the models will provide differences. The most noticable will be in the Cirrus, as that provides the most options, especially in factors like choice of woods. From my experiences, the Cirrus is going to be the most versatile. Sorry, can't comment on the string spacing, as the only Cirruses (Cirri?) I've played have been 5 and 6 strings.
  8. the store I tried the MIA in was not near the size of GC, so I'm assuming most of the guitars are set up well. Thats what I was afraid of about trying a bass in GC...
  9. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I don't think you could go wrong with any of those basses. I personally prefer the Cirrus (I play a 5) and am saving for a second Cirrus. Fender produces very good basses that will be acceptable for a wide variety of musical situations. I loved the Jazz that I used to own, however it financed my Cirrus. Best bet, play each one and pick the one that speaks to you the most.

  10. well, based on looks alone, I can grow a few inches just looking at the mahogony cirruses, good god.

    I forgot to mention, the MIA was very comfortable (of course I'm used to the shape)
  11. What rig have you been playing through with your P Bass? Maybe it was the Ampeg you were loving. The MIA P Basses are really nice too, though.

    Of your 3 choices, the Cirrus is going to be most versatile, tonally. You should try to play these basses before you buy just to get a feel for them. I'm assuming your budget is in the $800-$1400 range. If it is, you should also look in the used market. You may be able to get someting even "better".
  12. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Definitely. If you're patient, you can find some great deals- and maybe even get one of those three basses for a lot cheaper.
  13. debbandruss


    Jun 10, 2004
    Hi Gandhirrea, I own both MIA & MIM basses and by reading your post I believe you may have greatly under valued the quality of the bass you already have. Firstly you mentioned the action being lower on the MIA bass than on your MIM bass, that simply is a matter of a basic setup. Next I belive you mention the frets, the MIA's do use a larger frets than the MIM's, this is a personal choice of course, I prefer smaller frets myself. Thirdly was the tone, though the MIM pickups sound decent they are noisy and I don't really like them either so I agree with you there, but again a simple pickup swap of your choice - problem solved! And then youn mention the intonation, again this is all part of a setup you can have done by a tech at any reputable music store. I say all of this for a couple of reasons, #1: my tech has been to the factory in Mexico and spent some time with the American Co-President, and found out the reason the quality of the instruments coming from Mexico is so high is because the workers themselves are doing everything they can to get other family members work, so they are all trying to out-do each other to gain favor from thier bosses and so help thier families. #2: I would'nt trade my MIM Jazz for a MIA today if you offered! Get it set up by a tech! and put some killer pickups in it! You can put that money towards a nice amp or just save it for down the road. Anyway its all IMHO so whatever you do, don't stress, have fun.
  14. Thanks for that deb or russ!

    Nice to hear that the MIM's aren't totally ****. I've got a MIM P special, and what a difference after a decent setup. I don't really like the J pickup, but could be that noise issue you're talking about. New pickups might be in order ....
  15. I set up my MIM myself using the information on this Gary Willis site. I have spent quite a long time getting the action as low as possible w/o having any fret buzz. I beleive the truss rod is set up as good as possible (but the saddles may need a little adjustment as of now) and the intonation is perfect.
    Will a tech really be able to make it so much better that it will make the bass feel and sound almost as good as the MIA?
    Also, I have been looking at the used market; I am EXTREMELY cheap so this is were I would look 1st (but I am willing to spend up to the $1300 range. I would rather it be lower tho...)
  16. Yes, this is a possiblity. But it wasn't just the tone that blew my away. The MIA just felt "right." (of course, look at the title, the MIA is the "best"--can you say most expensive?--bass I have tried yet. I deff. need to sample the market before I make a decision.
  17. buy a used fender, perferably before cbs sold the company off for a good price. my p bass neck feels MUCH similar compared to the jazz basses that are in current production, it amazes all of my friends. but ultimately, what it comes down to, is what feels and sounds good to you. if you like that MIA fender, why not just go with that? feels right, sounds right, looks right, must be right you dig?