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Real differences between MIJ reissue and MIA reissue?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by function, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. function


    Sep 7, 2005
    Specifically between the '62 Precision RI series? What would the major drawbacks to a MIJ one be as opposed to the MIA? Why did the MIA's jump in price $600 in the last year, too???
  2. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    Your first question:
    No drawbacks, they're only different.

    Some, although not all differences:

    MIJ (until recently CIJ) top line '62 basses: 42 mm width by nut
    MIA: a tad wider by nut, aren't they?

    MIJ: Body is Polyurethane (or some other kind of plastic) finish
    MIA:Body is Polyurethane covered with a layer of nitrocellulose laquer.

    MIJ: Comes with a cheapo gig bag
    MIA: Comes with a nice case + case candy, incl. covers

    MIJ: Tuners ok, but nothing more. Not "period correct". Looks more like Fenders '70 tuners.
    MIA: Top notch period correct tuners.

    MIJ: reasonably priced, IMO
    MIA: not reasonably priced, IMO

    MIJ: Top quality control
    MIA: Medium quality control
    (based on the two MIAs and five MIJs I've had the pleasure of abusing over the years)

    MIJ: Good quality pups of unknown origin
    MIA: Good quality Fender USA pups

    MIJ: Good quality electronics, however not "period correct" plastic covered wire
    MIA: Good quality electronics, however with "period correct" cloth covered wire.


    The MIJ is not called a reissue, it's more a model "based on the '62 Fender P". The MIA, though, is a reissue or copy of a '62. (although not a nitro finished body, it's poly + nitro, don't know how this will "age", probably not like the real thing though.)

    Anyway, IMO, two VERY nice basses! :bassist:
  3. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    I found my MIA RI one of the best playing and well constructed instruments I've ever owned, so YMMV.

    Also the pups in the MIA are supposedly reproductions of the original 1962 ones. You can buy them as drop in replacements - google 62 precision bass pickup.
  4. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    I'm sure the majority of the MIAs are well constructed.
    I had one that had a few issues, nothing major, just a few issues that didn't affect "playability".
  5. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I find that the older MIJ Fenders actually exceed the build quality of the MIA ones overall (if you took a sampling of 100 of each, I think that you would find more manufacturing defects and out of tolerances on the MIA ones vs the MIJ ones). My 1985 75'RI Jazz is KILLER!

    The later CIJ Fender are nice as well, but not quite as good as the older MIJ. Just my humble opinion... I still think that the CIJ's are a notch up from the MIA stuff overall, but I have read that the 08 and later MIA Fender are a lot better (but I have yet to own one)...
  6. whitespike


    Nov 28, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I had a 62 RI American Jazz and it was awful. The neck would not stay straight. I sent the neck back 3 times for a replacement before I gave up on it. On top of that, they did a crap paint job. The first time I took the back plate off to adjust the truss a big hunk of paint came off with it.

    I have an early 90s 60s MIJ P bass that's great. The neck is sturdy and it takes an act of congress for it to lose it's tune. The only thing I would change about it if I had the $$ is I would take the amount of laquer off, especially off the neck. Other than that - gold.
  7. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    That reminds me of another difference - the truss adjuster on the MIA is a old school phillips bolt, vs. the much more convenient hex bolt that I believe they use in the Japanese ones. Could be wrong. Have to take the PG off the MIA to adjust the neck. I think this is the price you pay for 'period correct.'
  8. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    "Fender version of Phillips" on both I believe.
  9. Why would a allen wrench adjuster be more convenient than a Phillips head. The likelihood of having a phillips head screwdriver in your home is greater than that of having the right size allen wrench.
  10. There is some stuff right here some stuff wrong. The basic differences are the neck seems to be not quite as wide on the MIJ model and the finish is poly vs. nitro.

    You can get the American pickups in the MIJ model. If you get the model that does not ahve the US pickup the body will be basswood and the bass is overall cheaper. If you get the US pickup the body is alder and the wire will be cloth covered.

    Quality control is good on both. I would not call the QA on the US model "medium" IMO they are the best production model of all the US models.

    They are expensive but find one used and go with the US model. Both MIJ models I had were nice and well made but just didn't seem to have the same ooomph that the US models have. Just my opinion of course.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Biggest difference is the resale value.
  12. Btone


    May 5, 2001
    No, not the same pickup. As I said, it's of unknown origin. I'm talking about the top line Japan Fender, and it's definitely not the same pup. They say it's a US made pickup, might be, but it's not the "Fender Original Pickup" you'll find in an American Vintage Series P.

    This is not the model in question, I'm talking about Fender Japan's top line with alder bodies and so called US pups.

    I've never seen a cloth covered wire in any of my CIJ Fenders. Not that it matters much, but the Japanese Fenders, like a PB62-US have plastic covered wires.

    The MIA does not have a nitro finish in the old fashion Leo F way, it's a thin nitro layer over poly, not at all how it was done back in the days. So it will age quite differently, I suppose. A marketing trick there from Fender, calling this a nitro finish, leading folks to believe it's done like in the old days.

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