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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JKR, Jan 11, 2014.
Are there years to avoid? Thank you
I wouldnt say so. Personally, I like pre 1997.
Curious as to what was different?
I've read that the consensus is 2010 and newer have much improved QC, but I can't attest to that myself. I played a '99 MIM Jazz for a while and it had quite a few noticeable shortcomings in build quality. However, I own a '04 MIM Precision that is one of my favorite basses. It's build quality is great, IMO. Sounds like a P should, and plays very nicely. It seems that the MIM line is a bit hit n' miss, so most people recommend try before you buy.
Let me say this: the reviews I've read indicate that all things considered, odds are that a MIM is going to be a decent instrument. Prior to this week, I'd only played two or three at GC in brief sit-downs. My perception was that they seemed pretty good, and a decent deal at the price.
A week or two ago, I pulled the trigger on an '03-'04 Sage Green Metallic MIM Jazz here on TB. I figured that I was getting a decent bass that happened to have a great finish. Indeed, the finish is great, but the bass is absolutely fantastic playing-wise. Yeah, it needs some relief tweaking (already in progress) to make the upper register notes a bit less clanky, but in a live situation, that won't make a difference. The only structural "defect" I've noticed is that the routing for the bridge pickup is too long; 2-3 mm of space on the G string side of the pickup; however, the poles and strings line up perfectly. There is also a bit of neck pocket gap, but nothing more than a thumbnail on either side.
So, my experience, based solely on visuals and a great seller here, was a 98/100. My sense is that most MIM's are quite good. Maybe 10/100 are dogs, 10/100 are gems, and the rest are solid players, which is what they should be. I'm not sure about year to year variations. But in general, I wouldn't dismiss the MIMs in any way, shape, or form.
The hand full of newer MIMs I've owned or played are good build and sound. As always, I recommend trying before buying
The MIM Standards are just as good as anything else in their price range.
The Classic 50's/60's line can rival many Fenders costing twice as much, with retro features to boot.
From what I've read, stay away from 1999-2007. 2008 and after are supposed to be higher quality.
I had a late 90's MIM P and currently have a 2005 Jazz V, and neither had any issues; but it's the same as anything, you will get great and bad in any range, regardless of where (and who) put it together and regardless of year. It's just a case of trying and seeing if it's good before dropping the cash on it.
I used to have a 1996 MIM jazz. It was actually pretty good! But as far as MIM fenders go: the newer the better.
My 1999 5'er is exceptional. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Play the bass and make your decision from there.
My 2007 P is excellent.
I also have a 1996 P which plays well, but the electronics are poorly grounded/cheap.
I am the original owner of a 2000 P Special Deluxe. Just had a jack wire break. That's the only issue I've had with it. Solid, solid bass.
I had a 2001 MIM-P that was among the most live sounding Fenders I ever had. The pickups were hot and the build quality was terrific. Maybe I got lucky. I originally got it to part it out right away, then kept it for years. THEN sold the loaded body because it was such a good-sounding setup.
I have a 2001 Jazz.. It's terrific! The sound is immense.. But the bridge is a bit yucky.
Tuning and everything else is perfect, however. No problems.
The very earliest ones, (1992+) were rumoured to be made better because the Mexican factory was still new. Wood that was set aside for American Fenders may have been used for them. Its just a rumour. From personal experience, I have simply enjoyed every older 90s MIM I have played. Maybe it is because they are already broken in. The ones that came with the strat knobs are from that time period, and I enjoy them. I have a 1993 MIM jazz and 1995 MIM Precision neck that I enjoy very much. Something about them feels different than newer ones. I tend to like darker rosewood as well.
I have a 2000 P Bass with the strat. knobs, Plays great and sounds fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. That said, The newer ones are pretty steady as to build quality. The older ones can be hit or miss , so try before you buy definatly applies here. Good luck.
There are no bad or good years, just dig around on any specific year you will find a handful of people saying theirs is a dog and you will find just as many people saying theirs is a real player.