Now I understand MIM vs MIM vs MIM

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by yamaha, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. yamaha

    yamaha Guest

    Apr 7, 2006
    Another gear trial afternoon today. Tried many basses, but mostly Fender Jazz, and specially MIM models.

    One store had 3 MIM's, all in the 549$-619$ Canadian dollar range. All made in 08.

    Man, first one I tried felt like a cheap 199$ bass. Bad feel, so-so color (blue, but not so nice blue), ugly cheap tone.

    Second one was a sweet one, 90% MIA tone, 80% MIA feel, truly a beautiful instrument, completely worth the sticker price.

    And 3rd one was also different. Hotter output, but not great tone. Very low action, without any problem, but didn't feel very warm. Seemed like too much varnish on back of neck, and too hard of a fingerboard.

    I heard many times about MIM were sometimes great, sometimes not, and I did notice a difference from time to time, but today's trials were very revealing to me.
  2. Brass Nut

    Brass Nut Guest

    Dec 31, 2006
    SoCo Rhode Island USA
    Seen it many times, and not just Fenders.
    Some just have the right Mojo, others don't.
    I feel foolish sometimes trying to describe what I really like.
    Comfort accounts for 80% of the satisfaction in my mind.
    If it feels right, you can make it sound decent with technique,,, sorta,,, if you try real hard,,,,, maybe.
    But if it don't feel right nothing makes it right.
    Basicly, if you're not happy,, it'll show in ugly ways.
    Price doesn't always = satisfaction and "goodness" either.
    Kind of like a pair of gloves. If they don't fit just right, they can be clumsy or restrictive. If they are right, they just feel natural like good Mojo.
  3. Zoidberg523

    Zoidberg523 Guest

    May 26, 2008
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Yeah, I've noticed this too. Many times, actually.... My MIM Fretless Jazz just feels wonderful. Warm in the hand, yet cool on the fingers. Beautiful tone, smooth fingerboard, perfect neck, and ultimate comfort. So I try another one (mine is black, and I was looking at a sunburst to be it's fraternal twin). Same bass as far as year of manufacture and specs go. Both fretless jazz basses. But the similarities ended there. This one just felt..... wrong. It was heavier feeling (even though I'm sure the scales would have said that they were the same weight) and was awkward. The tone seemed like it was a dried out old banger of a bass, and the fretboard had a parched, yet greasy, look and feel to it.

    Another time I saw an Epiphone Thunderbird Goth IV at the same music store where I had bought mine. I picked it up to play it out of curiosity (as one often does when faced with a mirror image of one of his own basses) and it instantly felt wrong. Whereas my Goth's neck was smooth and velvety, this one was chunky and slow; my Goth's body is hard, heavy and resilient: warm and resonant. This one felt just plain cheap and cold, with the resonance of toothpaste. The body on this one seemed thinner and the whole bass looked, and felt, cheaply made compared to mine. The tone was horrible too, and the fretboard's rosewood was lighter and had a shifty, uneven, and generally bad grain.

    It seems to me that, indeed, some basses just have better mojo than others - even if, specs-wise, they are exactly the same. Tis why I try not to ever buy a bass without playing it first, unless I REALLY trust the brand.
    BTW, sorry for the long, pirating, post. :D :bag:
  4. I found a MIM 2001 P-bass used for 250.00 and it rivals the HWY 1 and MIA models I have had. Great construction weight and neck. Thew in a basslines 1/4 pounder and it is my gig bass!

    But I also picked up an 06 Jazz bass from TB that is not as good as the 01 P. The neck I had to really work on and just does not seem as good. The lesson is pick them up and pick out that great body neck combination because you are most likely to replace the pickups anyways.

    I am sure in Mexico the don't care which neck and body they throw together because they are just racks of parts.
  5. A couple of years ago I went with a friend of mine to the local fender dealer to try out some basses. He had already made up his mind to purchase a fender jazz, money being no object. We tried MIA, MIM, Highway ones, 4 strings, 5 strings.

    There was quite a difference between the models and we both agreed that a fender highway 1 was the best sounding, best feeling instrument.

    I've heard however that with the 08 models, a certain degree of consistency and quailty has been achieved. I sure hope so because I'm waiting on a American Standard fender Jazz V as we speak.
  6. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    When I purchased my 2001 Standard Jazz, I too compared three “identical” instruments from the same store. Yet there were subtle variations from bass to bass, and I ended up purchasing with one that I thought was the best of the three. Regardless of the minor faults, it’s still a great value and a great instrument.

    One of the proprietors at my local “mom & pop” music store recently told me that he returned almost half of the new MIMs (both basses and guitars) shipped to him late last year due to problems that could not be remedied by his in-house tech before sale. Not exactly comforting news — especially given Fender’s recent price increases. However, I’m still a big fan of the MIMs, and am currently awaiting delivery of a Deluxe Jazz.
  7. Agreed!
    Especially If you can pick up a used one for 250-275 range. That is a great bass for a great price.

    Has anyone used the Stewmac Tuners on these they look pretty good? $30 for 4
  8. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Imagine, wildly inconsistent build quality from a 2nd world factory... huh. Whooda thunk it.
  9. Don't buy one made on a Friday!
  10. pjh2112

    pjh2112 Guest

    Jan 28, 2009
    I picked up a Squire VM J bass 2 Christmas's ago and love it. I like it better than my Traben and Fender Geddy Lee combined. It's all about the feel. I played it for 1 hr at GC and I've had more compliments about the sound.
  11. I really want to try the Squier Vibe P and J models!!!
  12. Better than a Japan Geddy is saying a lot!
  13. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I can't stress this enough; when looking to buy a MIM fender (as well as squires), you gotta play 'em all, & pick the best one. They will all be a bit different, IMHO. I pulled down 3 different VM squires off the wall at a local GC, they all felt totally different from one another as far as action, neck bow, etc...