This is it. The BIG one. The POLL OF A LIFETIME !!!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Andy Daventry, Aug 20, 2001.

Are MIA Fenders better than MIMs?

Poll closed Dec 18, 2003.
  1. Yes. They are built to a higher standard with better materials

    100 vote(s)
  2. No. The only difference comes from higher US labour costs.

    18 vote(s)
  3. What's a Fender?

    38 vote(s)
  4. I dig the special, carrot-colo[B]U[/B]red fenders

    14 vote(s)
  1. Are USA made Fenders better than Mexican Fenders or not?

    This is something that has been running through my mind for years, ever since I started posting on bass BBS.

    I am at a loss to know how anyone can consider MIMs comparable to MIAs. So let's see how many people really believe it.
  2. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    1. MIA
    2. MIJ
    3. MIM

    My preference. Funny but the prices are in the same order.

  3. G


    Apr 12, 2000
    This is a very subjective topic. I voted in favor of the MIAs, however you really need to consider this question on a bass by bass basis :rolleyes:.

    I have two MIAs and one MIM, and I feel that the MIM is the best of the three. THis is a personal thing, and is not a slant against the MIAs, just how I feel. On the whole though, MIA all the way.
  4. Hmmm...Strange. A conspiracy, perhaps?
  5. This is the sort of thing I mean. I respect your judgement, and accept you know what you are talking about. But why have I never seen these grade A MIMs? I must have seen 45-50 MIM guitars and basses in my life, and not one of them holds a candle to the USA made item.
  6. TonyS


    Dec 13, 1999
    I have found the "Fender Americans" to be manufactured better than the MIM's. The overall fit and finish is generally more consistent and the hardware seems to be better (heavier duty).
  7. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I voted MIA is better; however, all of my Fenders are MIA, and I have very limited experience with MIM, and no experience with MIJ.
  8. My experience with MIM vs MIA (I have never played a MIJ) is that I can not justify spending the difference in price between a MIA and MIM, which could be as much as 3 times the cost. My MIM, as has been brought up a few times on this board, is quite nice, and I cannot say that I prefered the MIA that I brought home to test out, or I would have bought it instead. The "updated" features on an MIA do not make up 2/3 of the price, nor to all those extra features, IMHO make the bass play any better, and that is what I am really lookng for in a bass, I voted for the MIA's being made with better materials however I would not buy one over the other because it says MIA or MIM on it:rolleyes:. I respect your opinion as well, however is it not possible that there are many people out there who would say that the MIA's are superior to the MIM's simply because they were made in the US and people are trying to justify the large price difference?

    I say if you're happy with the sound you get out of a MIM then that is the bass you should play, if the MIM doesn't do it for you, and an MIA does, then that is the bass you should play.:cool:
  9. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    HWK2, I agree with you about the price difference. I would consider the MIM to be an overall better value for your $$$.

    On the other hand, I bought a NOS 98 MIA P this year for $529, not quite as big a difference. I've never owned an MIM bass, just played em at the store and I think they are a great value.

    I do own an MIM Telecaster guitar and I don't think I would spend the extra $$ on an MIA Tele.

    But then it's only a guitar. :D
  10. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    GENERALLY....I would say A., J, M.
    HOWEVER.... as with any production line instrument, quality varies and I would not think it at all that unusual to see a Mexi spank U.S. booty.
    A better finish buff, cooler knobs and better tuning keys won't make a bass SOUND better.
    Neck pocket fit will, but that's manufacturing tolerance and I would be surprised if Fender spec'd more slop in one than the other. It's just a question of how often you check the machines.

    I think the price difference has a lot more to do with relative labor costs than one country slapping them together faster than another.

    I have an early 80's walnut P- special that cost $1400 twenty years ago. That same year I bought a MIJ Squire that cost $150 and came with a FREE 40w practice amp.

    The Special looks better, the Squire plays better.

    It chaps my fanny to admit that but it does.

    You have to look at each one on an individual basis without prejudice and make your own decision.

    Ain't that part of the fun?
  11. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Hmmm. I've thought about this alot.

    I have one MIM jazz from @ 92. It is the best MIM jazz I have played. Every so often I go into GC and SA and play the MIM and any MIJ to compare them.
    On my MIM I've changed the pups to Dimarzio Ultra jazz and changed the bridge. This is partial the reason it sounds better, but the construction on mine seems better than average.

    I use this bass alot, esp for slap, but at some level it lack the bass response on the thump. I bought an Am Std jazz with a maple neck, which to me sounds better, though I do prefer the playability of the neck on the MIM. (The Am seems thicker front to back). I don't regret the purchase.

    On both the MIA and MIM series, I think there is alot of variability in tone and construction, but for a good specimen of each, I'd take an MIA. MIM is a
    servicable instrument (with some upgrades), but
    the MIA is better in the construction, parts, and tone.

    1 bass junkie's opinion
  12. i must say my '98 MIA Jazz V tracks and sounds better than any other bass i've played. i can't stand active pickups, and the big fat round tone i get from my MIA Jazz V is huge. I tried a couple of other MIM's, and MIJ's when i bought the V, but nothing came close to what i got. I really think it has to do with the player, which is why i prefer passive to active. i can make an active sounding snap or a punchy tone just by how i pluck my strings or where i position my right hand... of course the construction of the actual instrument comes into play too.... i've been able to get good solid tones from my stock $199 Squier jazz basses.... go figure...:D
  13. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    1. mia
    2. mim
    3. mij

    I think mims are the best deal, though. I'll take a mim with barts or seymour duncans, an upgraded bridge, and upgraded tuners over a mia, though.
  14. JOhnk


    Mar 31, 2001
    burlington, vt
    hm.. everybody likes the american ones. I actually prefer Mexican ones. I've played a few american fenders, and compared to my p-bass and strat, they're ****e. The american ones feel weird to me. I don't know why. The differences are little, but they're there. It's all about the playing anyway.
  15. JOhnk


    Mar 31, 2001
    burlington, vt
    nuts. I was trying to be all english n' dignified with my profanity.. next time I'll say poo.
  16. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    mexican with upgraded pckups are a real bang for the bucks. MIA are way too expensive here in italy...
  17. rickreyn

    rickreyn Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I like the string through the body feature on the MIA. Seems to be all around better made. I had a MIM Jazz and its neck was very smooth and playable, but the guitar was buzzy. The MIJ I have played have sounded great and have been better looking (styles are cooler) than the traditional models. I'd say MIA, MIJ and MIM with no regard to cost.
  18. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    now now...we don't want to get bruce angry.


  19. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    Has anyone noticed that MIM's sound like soaked cardboard?
    (Sorry, just having a little fun with POTracy there...)

    My $.02:
    I've not had the priviledge of playing one of those uber-MIM's yet (where you've kept the wood and replaced everything else... ).
    Have played many other permutations though; MIA's (I have a J), MIJ's, and good ole MIM's.
    Haven't been thrilled by a MIM yet. Most of the one's I've played have been rather 'blah' sounding with the requisite construction glitches. I'm glad there are good ones out there, just wish I could meet one.
    The MIJ's I've played were nice, but I really feel a difference between the MIA's and the others. To me it's pretty obvious in the guitars too; we've got a Fender MIJ '69 Tele re-issue and a MIA Tele in the studio, and you can see, hear, and feel the differences...this is just 'my experience', and is not meant to be antagonistic in any way.
    I don't have anything against any of them, as already mentioned in other posts, there are good and bad specimens of each out there. Until I've played every bass ever made, I feel a little unqualified to try to compare objectively.

    One question though;
    What is it about a MIM that is so appealing that some want to keep only the neck and body, but change everything else? Why not spec out a bass that's already set up that way? Is it the logo?
    The wood? Certainly you could get wood of comparable or better quality from other sources...
    Can you help me understand the mystique?
    I cornfused :). Apologies if this has been addressed before.

    And since the original post said nothing about price or bang for the buck ratio, I'd say MIA, MIJ, MIM.
    I guess that's a pretty widely held opinion amongst those who've actually played them all, and I can't disagree.
  20. Xush suns up my view.

    Now. which ******** moderator has been buggering about with my poll? what's all this "orange" stuff, eh?