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Thoughts on fender std jazz bass MIM?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Redrama, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Redrama


    Apr 19, 2013
    Since all these "experts" keep saying that you need an instrument that costs 800+ bucks for gigging and ALWAYS to have a back-up bass. Even though I've never had a problem with my really cheap höfner...

    So, (before I start ranting) Is a fender standard jazz bass which is made in mexico worth the 700€ price-tag? Or should I just get a modern player?

    I play a lot of genres, but mostly rock and some metal.
  2. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    If you can, try both. See which looks/sounds/feels best in your hands. If you're lucky, you just might find a real gem, regardless of it's cost. Also, there's nothing wrong with buying used, just as long as it meets your criteria of sound and function.

    I'm certainly no "expert", but I've never let a low price tag turn me away from a bass I've purchased. Besides, there's just as many stories here on TalkBass of awesome sounding, but less-expensive basses as there are highly-expensive, but awful-sounding or unmanageable basses.

    I've even heard some stories of people going into the studio with the "nice bass" and snuck in a "cheap bass". After trying out the "nice bass" with the engineer, they'd slip out the "cheap bass" without revealing it's make and model. Guess which one the engineers liked best. :smug:

    Now, if I may make a recommendation, see if you can try out a Blacktop Jazz. It's a less-expensive MIM (costs less than a Standard MIM!) and is what I often suggest for hard-rock and heavier stuff. It's ballsy, high-output for being passive, aggressive as all Hell, and yet, it can be mellowed out for other musical-types by rolling off the bridge split-coil pickup to cop a decent, if not spot-on, Precision tone.

    On the back-up front, let me ask you this, "What the Hell are you gonna do if something goes catastrophically wrong with your primary bass?"
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    700 euro is around 975 U.S. dollars. You should be able to pick up a good used MIA jazz for close to that price.
  4. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    That might depend on the up-tick in price across the Pond.

    Redrama, could you post some websites of instrument retailers in or around Finland? I'm always curious what new and used basses sell for outside America.
  5. JCheung


    Jan 25, 2013
    Herndon, VA
    I don't recall a time where an actual expert with gigging experience has told me that I had to have a $800+ instrument to gig with. I've been to several and rarely have I seen a bass that was more than that. Many basses can be had for a used cost that will be far preferable to buying new.

    As to the Fender Standard Jazz, I know I've played several good ones, never one that was beyond a simple set up. They also make excellent platforms for modding with new pickups if you don't like the sound you're getting. If you can get a blacktop Jazz, give it a shot. I've only played one but the one I tried was pretty much how Malak described.

    As for backups, you just have to ask yourself. If something went wrong with your bass, would you be in a position to fix it in time for the gig to occur?
  6. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    ^^^ Agree, the MIM's are good solid instruments. The pickups are generally the only bits that IMO need upgrading in them. The weights can be hit and miss, so if possible find this out beforehand.
  7. Redrama


    Apr 19, 2013
    I always buy new basses from Thomann. Used I usually go to "muusikoiden.net"

    Also the blacktop is 12€ cheaper than the standard jazz, and I can't get a blacktop in sunburst colour.

    About the modern player. What's the point in having those dual microphone thingys? D:
    Might be something obvious. But I never really look into these things, I just play.
  8. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Sorry, you lost me on "…dual microphone thingys". Do you mean the humbucking pickups? Please elaborate.

    If it helps, here are the three different Modern Player Jazzes currently available;
    Which one are you talking about?

    I looked at Thomann-Finland and I noticed the sunburst MIM Jazz is actually 50€ more expensive than the Blacktop. It seems the sunburst gets a 38€ price hike.

    Here's what I find really weird; in The States, the Blacktop goes for $500 while the MIM Standards go for $600.
  9. Redrama


    Apr 19, 2013
    I'm talking about the 4-string satin.

    I have no idea how the pricing goes, probably some sort of import tax?

    I'll rephrase the question, what's the difference between the std jazz pickups/humbuckers and the modern player's ones.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    A good MIM Jazz can be as nice as a bass can be. I am currently in love with a fretless Sixtieth Anniversary Jazz that does everything I want it too.
  11. Wally Malone

    Wally Malone

    Mar 9, 2001
    Boulder Creek, CA
    AFM International Representative Endorsing Artist: Accugroove Cabinets & MJC Ironworks Strings
    I feel in heaven every time I pick up my 1998 Fretless MIM Jazz. And this after not playing passive basses and flat wounds in over 25 years. I just got this bass about a year ago.

  12. Jazzbassguy


    Jul 18, 2009
    Maybe I just got a good one, but I absolutely LOVE my used 2002 MIM Jazz that I picked up for $300 at GC a month or so back.

    Great neck, great tone, great player.



  13. Redrama


    Apr 19, 2013
    Have they ever updated the MIM jazz bass? Meaning, is there any difference between one made in -95 and one made in -14?
  14. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    ... just for clarity, MIM is a country of origin ... just like MIA, MIJ, CIJ, etc ... there are several models made in Mexico ... and yes, the made in Mexico STANDARD's have been changed since the mid early 90's ... most significant is change in the Jazz, is from two 'same size' pickups (neck size) usually made by Cort, to the more conventional Fender Jazz pup sizing of bridge longer than neck, and the raised A & D poles (2001/2 change) ... then in 2008 most MIM STANDARDS got a bit of a makeover with a different headstock logo, more of a neck and headstock tint (except the long running FSR nat ash Special Edition for Guitar Centers) ... also, body woods on the earlier were a toss up, poplar, agathis, etc ... from the '01/02 update, alder seems to be consistently used ...

    ... some models of MIM Standard J's in the mid-late 90's also used a one piece pickguard ... early models used 'strat' type knobs ... in '08, Fender began offering maple fretboards on the MIM Standards as well ...
  15. Redrama


    Apr 19, 2013
    So no changes since 02 if we disregard cosmetic stuff?

    Yes, I'm talking about the standard MIM.
  16. david894


    Mar 4, 2014
    I just picked up a 2000 model for $300.00 that had been put away for 11 years...It has a great neck on it and only required minor truss rod and saddle height adjustments...I also put DiMarzio DP-123 "J" stacked humbuckers which are totally quite and have a great all round sound...They work good for any style of music...I ordered a Sterling by MusicMan Ray 34 with the intent of selling the Jazz when the Sterling came in, but after playing the Sterling I cannot let the Fender Jazz go! As long as you get one with a good neck you will enjoy this bass for a long time to come...I cannot speak for the newer model Fender Jazz MIM....Love my 2000 model...It's not going anywhere!!!
  17. Jazzbassguy


    Jul 18, 2009

    Yes, good points, tjh. I neglected to mention in my earlier post that my 2002 MIM Jazz is a Standard.

  18. I have one that I just purchased (new) in Alpine white and maple neck. It sounds great, however I will be replacing the pickups/electronics with DiMarzios (in due time). She is a bit heavier than her MIA sister, but not by a lot. I've already gigged with it and love it. I will be switching back and forth from my MIJ Jag Deluxe and "Blondie".
  19. bskts247

    bskts247 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    Just to chime in here. I bought a MIA Jazz bass in 2010 and bought a used MIM (early 2000s) and the MIM bass is lighter to me. I would say that the only difference between them is the feel of the neck and the pickups. I honestly would recommend the MIM over the MIA because I now dont believe its worth the extra $600. maybe if youre working in a studio all the time but if thats the case you should buy a vintage fender :p
  20. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    .. I am not sure I would call the option of a maple board 'cosmetic', but in essence, the major changes took place in '01/02 ... with that said, based upon the MIM Standards I have seen/owned, since the '08 changes, Fender does appear to be paying a bit more attention to detail, and the basses seem to be more consistent ... it may be the luck of the draw (as with all Fenders), but I have noticed weight to be more consistent in the current models than the earlier ones, and that may have something to do with body wood selection ... speculation, but something that has been noticeable for me ...