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My thoughts on a new MIM Deluxe active Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by genmed42, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. genmed42


    Dec 31, 2011
    Hi all first post, so take it easy on me, well I've been playing bass on and off for at least 22 years , but recently got back into it again, with that being said I needed a new Bass so I did my search went to Gtr Ctr tried out a few there, then to Sam Ash, and the crazy thing is I picked up a MIM Active Deluxe Jazz Bass, and was impressed to the ease of playability , feel and tone and heck what else can I say , And yes I did try out some American Fender basses , but at the end for half the cost I just could not find a logical reason of not to go with what felt so good to me at the time , and off course a he'll of a lot cheaper. I know that the American Jazz bass is built in the States and with the woods etc sounds a little better, but can somebody tell me in description what are the major differences in sound and tonality? Thx
  2. The modern metal and slapper players don't tend to like the active part of the bass - I guess it won't give them what they need.

    I love my bass - it's prolly the same as yours, just it's a 2010 1/2 model and I've left everything stock but for Elixir Nanos and some hardware with chrome parts. Electrically it is stock.

    Since I like the Motown and early pre-Beatles music and some smooth jazz, this bass fills that area very well.

    It will dial from super Low thump to some fairly crystal-shattering Highs though so I don't feel any sonic inabilities in it at all.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Generally speaking, there’s really no universal difference between MIM and MIA Fenders with regards to “sound and tonality.” There may be differences between specific models, but I don’t believe it’s possible to make a blanket statement that aurally compares the instruments based on their country of origin.

    For example, if you were to A/B a new Deluxe Active Jazz Bass (MIM) and a new American Deluxe Jazz Bass (MIA), there may in fact be a distinct difference in sound and tonality between the two instruments. But the difference could be attributable to the fact that the preamp circuits are slightly different, or the fact that the MIA uses the newer N3 noiseless pickups, whereas the MIM uses an older noiseless pickup design. Another difference: by design, the MIM’s preamp and EQ are always engaged; whereas the MIA has an active/passive switch on the control plate. Yet another difference: the MIM utilizes a top-loading bridge; whereas the MIA bridge offers the option to top-load or string thru the body. (There’s already plenty of healthy debate here in the TalkBass archives as to whether either stringing method has an effect on sound and tone, so I won’t broach that subject.)

    To SurferJoe46’s point, there’s a significant difference between a Standard Jazz and a Deluxe Jazz. Both utilize passive pickups, but the Deluxe’s preamp and EQ allow for enhanced shaping of tone. Some bassists like this feature, some don’t. Fender chose the term “Deluxe” for marketing purposes, though “deluxe” doesn’t necessarily equate to “better.”

    I’m fortunate enough to own a few Jazzes, including MIMs and MIAs. I can report that my 2008 Deluxe Active Jazz (MIM) is a terrific instrument, and gets just as much gigging time as the others.
  4. genmed42


    Dec 31, 2011
    Thanks for your pov's guys that make s a lot of sense , I guess I'm Just gonna have to get the best of both worlds and eventually lay the dough down for an MIA in the future.
    But for now I'll enjoy jamming with this beauty.
  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    One of my sons is considering a MIM Deluxe Active Jazz V to use in his praise band at church. Do any of you guys who are experienced with these have an opinion, good or bad, regarding the B-string? Thanks!
  6. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    The general opinion here is that pre 2008 the B is meh and after it is great. I own a 2002 MIM and the B string is usable but certainly not great. And the tone of the MIM "noiseless" pickups leaves a lot to be desired too. Now some folks go on and on about the MIA neck with the carbon reinforcement. I'm sure that is great, but my MIM Fender V neck is as stable as any I own save the full graphite Modulus.

    The key to buying one of these in ANY version is to play them first. When I got mine I went around playing any I could find. I was about set to get MIA when I found this used MIM for $300. As far as playability etc. it was better or equal to any of the MIA ones I tried. The MIM bodies are multi-piece but with veneer so they look like a million. I wonder if that affects the tone, but really I can't say that it does.

    So my opinion is optimum would be a post-2008 either MIM or MIA depending on the way they feel when you play it. Be aware that although the MIM will be cheaper you'll likely have to add in the cost of new pickups (I've still got to get a set of Nordys for mine). MIA is no guarantee that bass will be great as MIM is no guarantee the bass will be crap. Try before you buy.
  7. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    My MIM Jazz Deluxe is one of the nicest playing Basses that I have owned.
    It's without a doubt my #1 bass.

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