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What would you guys recommend? (American vs Mexi)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lowpro, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    hey guys, I'm in the market for Fender Deluxe bass, and at my music store I've had the chance to play the Mexican version. Now, I've played an American Precision bass but I just don't like their tone as much as I like the Deluxe's tone (say you're allergic to batteries all you want, but 9 times out of 10 I prefer active basses)

    The problem really comes down to the differences between the Mexi and American versions of both. I don't know what differences there are besides overall build quality (I dare you to convince me there's a difference =P) etc. Also with Mexi's there the ability to mod them out for an overall cheaper price (maybe I can put in some basslines and an aguilar preamp for it, etc etc)

    This is for my own Christmas gift so I have time to think about it, but I'd just like input from you guys.
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    If you're going to plan on modding, I would buy either an American Peavey Fury and add an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp (and possibly some Nordstrand Signature Series pickups). Or maybe an SX. But probably the Fury. You can find them pretty easily in excellent shape for $100 - 150.

    I don't see any reason to spend the money for a MIM (or even a Squier), if you think you're going to want to upgrade it anyway.
  3. I love my Mexican Fender. If you have a mod itch, I recommend you save some cash by getting the mexican. Then scour Ebay and the TB classifieds for parts.
  4. kelleysdad


    Dec 12, 2007
    MIM= made in Mexico by Mexicans
    MIA= made in America by Mexicans
    They both say Fender, get the one you like!
  5. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    Well I can actually make a complete trade on the Mexi with one of my other basses which is the nicest thing.

    And really I have no interest in an SX because their necks suck in my opinion

    Really it comes down to overall build quality on the American vs Mexi.

    If machines make the overall production worse then I'll go for the mexi; if the human element provides 1000 bucks worth then I may consider it.

    And I'm not saying I have the mod itch at the moment, but changing a preamp can REALLY bring a bass to life; I would gladly buy another aguilar preamp or even try the ACG preamp for kicks. It's better than buying a better amplifier!
  6. Make the trade, go Mexican.
  7. Oh now you've done it.
  8. buffalobillh


    Jul 20, 2005
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    I've owned both, and while there are certainly some differences, I don't know that I'd spend that much for a US model if you are going to mod it. I have a great MIM Precision. I wouldn't trade it for a USA, as it does what I need. I had a fantastic MIA Jazz, but I've played some MIM's that would do just as well. IMHO, you have to try examples of each. I almost bought a new MIA Jazz V last year. It played like a dream (better than any other fiver I've tried), but it was an awful, hideous orange color. I still yearn for my Jazz V Deluxe MIM. Fit and finish were excellent on this guitar.

    Go play a bunch of MIA's and MIM's and find the one that works for you. Just know that the MIM label doesn't mean it's not a worthy axe.
  9. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    >.< actually the MIM that I played was great but it's this silver color with a gold pickguard and I really really REALLY don't like the silver. It only comes in Blue and Red as well...

    I'd MUCH rather have a nice wood finish though >.<


    Apr 1, 2010
    The MIMs (and Indonesia and other off shore factories) are assembled from parts cut on computer guided wood cutting machines. The cuts are exact and consistant and the parts can asembled by relatively low skilled and low paid workers and still get a good solid bass. The MIAs have more hand fitted work done by more skilled and higher paid workers. Also the electronics and hardware are better in the MIAs. So hold them, play them, and see if the trade offs justify the price for you, your hands, and your ears.
  11. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I'm guessing you are talking about the Deluxe Jazz, but maybe you're looking at the P. Anyway, the stuff I would call significant on the Jazz models...

    Pickups: Dual-Coil Ceramic Noiseless&#8482; Jazz BassĀ® Bridge Pickup with Nickel Plated Pole Pieces
    Active Electronics: Master Volume, Dynamic (Pan) Control, 3-Band Active EQ with: Treble Boost/Cut, Bass Boost/Cut, Mid Boost/Cut
    Neck: No graphite rods.
    Includes: Gig bag.

    Pickups: N3 Noiseless&#8482; Jazz BassĀ®
    Active Electronics: Master Volume, Pan Pot (pickup selector), Treble Boost/Cut, Midrange Boost/Cut, Bass Boost/Cut, Active/Passive Mini Toggle
    Neck: Blocks, binding and graphite rods, rolled fingerboard edges
    Includes: Molded hard case

    And, ultimately, as others have said, play 'em both and see which fits you best. :)
  12. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Well, I just looked back at the OP and realized you are looking at Precision basses, but the above comparison still hold except adding the split P pickup and no block inlays on the neck.

    I'll just add that if money isn't too tight, I'd sure go with the MIA, but I also know money is tight for most of us! :)
  13. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    El paso, TX
    The MIMs (and Indonesia and other off shore factories) are assembled from parts cut on computer guided wood cutting machines.

    so are the us basses. actually, both mim and us basses are cut in california, some are sent to ensenada to be put together, and some stay in the us to be put together.

    And knowing what talkes places during final assembly... well, maybe even a trained monkey can turn a screwdriver. If you've seen a modern manufacturing facility, you'll know that that's as much as any worker will be doing. One guy will glue in the weatherstrip, next guy will solder 3 pots, next guy will solder the pups, next guy puts the bridge in, next guy puts the pickguard and screws, etc.

    After the first 500 basses you probably become an expert. Same thing goes on in the states, mexico, china, etc.
  14. Yeah, I sometimes wonder at the apparent attitude from some that somehow, American workers are somehow more skilled than those in other countries. The foreign workers are not necessarily less skilled, they just make a whole lot less money, and that only because of where they live, not because they do shoddy work.
  15. Martin89


    Nov 8, 2010
    Glendale, AZ
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    Are you talking about the P Special? That is a great Bass, I'd get that and you could mod the paint by sanding it to a natural ;)
  16. This is the tipping point for me. The MIA necks with the graphite rods. This is one of the most stable necks I've ever played.

    All-in-all, I always felt you got a lot more bass correlating to the higher price with MIA than MIM. I own several MIM products, but my MIA stuff is just killer.

    Of course, as others have said, if you're going to do a bunch of mods, no sense springing for the MIA.
  17. Lowpro


    Sep 25, 2006
    Birmingham, AL
    I've never owned a bass I haven't modded (although changing the bridge/tuners or adding a switch selector is generally the most. my TRB has an aguilar Preamp and it's killer now, so I've been messing with electronics MUCH more)
  18. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I just bought a 2010 MIM P Bass and I love it.... everything i could ask for in a p bass....
  19. lfbassguy


    Jul 4, 2010
    west texas
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland
    really, they have a factory in mexico cutting and making bodies and necks. there's even a video of it on youtube.
  20. From my neighbor's son - who works at the Corona plant:

    The wood is the same on the necks, and one is no better than the other functionally.

    Cosmetically, it may be a different story although I have ZERO complaints about my MiM Deluxe Jazz.

    Some times MiA necks/bodies are just shipped to Mexico to keep them busy and that swings more emphasis on the overall QC of the MiA line - remember that this is not just BASSES they do this to/for, but the whole Fender line.

    Bodies - although there are some cut in Corona, most are cut to the same specs in Mexico and the electronics are both off-shore acquired for both MiA and MiM anyway. Labeling may be different or a perhaps different assembly line is used - but primarily they are all spec'd to the same standards on each lone.

    Finally - the assembly is manually accomplished in any of the plants since they haven't been able to teach monkeys OR computers to do that yet, and obviously the paint is shot at the individual plants too.

    Ya gotta admit that the paint is flawless, deep and lustrous on either model, although the US versions tend to carry a thinner coat over the body. Not known by me for sure - the Nitro is only on some MiA models though.

    Artisans and luthiers also work side by side in both facilities - and prolly even so in Indonesia or China or Japan. The economy's drop and resultant stale sales for the high-end Fenders have moved many of the better talented persons to other positions and the lesser-artisans have been laid off.

    This is all for the good for the current buyers, as the QC on even the lowest line of OLP Fender stuff (e.g.: Squier) is all seriously upgraded.

    The time to turn one's nose up at a Squier is gone now with the great designs and voicing of their instruments. Consumers are the big winners here, but the factory gets to keep it's doors open and some of it's most talented people on the payroll - for a while.

    It's anyone's guess where this trend will end up --- will Squier continue as it is, opening new market share from the Fender line or will Fender slow the production of the Squiers down when the market makes a favorable upturn?

    I dunnow. But I'm taking advantage of what's going on NOW.

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