Why MIM Fenders are bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cmgkhn, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Yes

  2. No

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  1. cmgkhn


    Oct 12, 2018
    I keep seeing posts here and in other forums criticising MIM Fenders about different aspects.

    I trusted this community on lots of things and I would like to get your opinion.

    There are lots of people saying that if you can find a good Squier, it's pretty close to a MIM Fender, Sire basses are pretty good and better value for the money, MIM Fenders are rip offs by using company's respected name, you should be extra extra cautious if you want to buy a MIM... Of course there are huge differences between a Chinese knock off brand and a MIA but comparing MIM and MIA like this doesn't sound that right to me...

    All of those and some other criticisms, of course I started questioning MIMs myself too.

    Please keep in mind that my questions are about buying a stock new bass, instead of used/self proven ones or modded ones. Financially it is obviously better to buy used, but the questions are not about that. Also I am asking about the same year/season products because there are of course big differences comparing different times.

    1. How does someone find a good MIM Fender?
    2. What actually is better/worse? Is it the build quality? Is it the wood quality? Is it only the tone? Is it the workmanship? Is there a secret serial number to be deciphered on the good ones (lol)?
    3. How much do these aspects differ amongst these basses (same design, different series/brand)? For example, maybe the wood is far superior in MIAs but what about the electronics?
    4. Is there really a huge gap between the good and bad MIMs or is it exaggerated? How much can two MIMs be different?
    5. Lets say that you ordered one online, do you think that its pure luck to actually get a good MIM? Or is it your bad luck that you got an exceptionally bad one? What are the odds of ending up with a bad one when picking blindly?
    6. Finally, what are your opinions about the latest (2018) MIM Fenders.
    I know that there are people who are going to say that 'go try before you buy' and they are right. But what I want to know is your personal experiences when you went out to try these. Musicians here have probably tried thousands of basses in total which is more than I will ever see in my life. I am aware that it is always better to try yourself if you can.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I am pretty sure you'll find the consensus here is that they are good.
    pht2356, mongo2, saabfender and 39 others like this.
  3. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    I have a Road Worn Fender Precision. It's MIM. I put a tug bar and ashtrays on it, because if you are going to pose, pose all the way. It's the first and only MIM I have ever played, and it followed me home. So, as far as I'm concerned 100% of MIM Fenders I have ever played were excellent. It's a small sample size.
  4. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I purchased, sight unseen, a '17 MIM Precision (CAR) from CME... had some built in 'mojo', which was discounted on top of the great price...

    ... unsure where you're getting your information, but I think these are high quality instruments, especially at that price point... I love mine!

    ... welcome to TB, though!
  5. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    and desirable since many of us can 'upgrade' them with parts of our choosing like better p/ups, bridges and electronics - personalization. NO guilt.
    Malak the Mad, shughey, City and 5 others like this.
  6. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Just out of curiosity... what exactly are you afraid of being "bad" with a MIM bass?

    They are made up of all the basic parts that make up a playable instrument. Even if you get one that is not great out of the box, it can almost assuredly be setup and adjusted to your taste and be a good, serviceable instrument.

    Setups, adjustments, fretwork... etc. are all subject to needing tweaked to user preference on almost any instrument.
  7. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    IME the very early ones suffered from poor fretwork and lesser grade materials but a few years after that they stepped up and got the quality way up . I've played some very Good MIM Fender instruments , I still own a couple .
    Mister Boh, TN WOODMAN, MCF and 3 others like this.
  8. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I bet Fats Domino could have taken an MIM and beaten you in pool...

    ... (mic drop).

    It's not the instrument, it's the playah.
    mikeyjm2, Alik, Gyver and 9 others like this.
  9. PullThePlug


    Jan 8, 2014
    The current line of Mustangs are MiM (except for the JMJ), and they are vastly popular here.

    EDIT: As pointed out, the JMJ is MiM as well! And they play like butter. But I wouldn't want butter on my bass.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  10. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Do you mean Minnesota Fats? I didn't know Fats Domino was a good pool player...
  11. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I had a 2000 MIM Precision that was one of the best playing, best sounding, lightest Precisions I've ever played (and I've played quite a few).
    Was it a fluke? Possibly. Was it a great bass? Yes.
    Obviously there will be 'dogs' out there, but my experience was great.

    Full disclosure: I did put tort and proper Precision knobs on there... The Strat knobs don't work for me.
  12. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    I don't think they're bad. However I do think some Fender aficionados prefer the American and even Japanese made over the Mexican made. It is more just a preference as well as knowing some of the hardware and wood are better on the American versions of similar model bass. My teacher borrowed a Fender Jazz bass from one of the other teachers the other night because all of his were home at the time. It was a fairly new MIM Jazz and it was gorgeous and sounded great with no noise.
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I've had two roadworn Jazz basses, and still have one of them. Amazing basses. The only Jazzes I like better are my CS jazz, and a newly arrived 2007 Nash heavy relic J63.

    Also had a 2007 MIM Telecaster, a 2007 MIM 60's classic Jazz, and for a tour, borrowed a 2004 MIM P-bass that belonged to a friend. All these instruments were fine, and reasonably priced.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
    MCF likes this.
  14. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    No, I meant Fats... :thumbsup:.*

    *Trying to keep the 'spirit' of this thread alive... does this mean you're not taking the bet?
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    In general, Fender/Squiers are decent. But not every one is the same. The more you spend, the less likely you are going to get one that barks like a dog.

    I've seen people gigging Affinities. I've seen people playing custom shops in their basements, and still being unhappy.
  16. cmgkhn


    Oct 12, 2018
    I have an Ibanez bass (the cheapest one probably), even it is a cheap model, its a trustworthy brand IMO.

    But I got these issues; 2 of the 3 pots were really scratchy (not the sound, the feel when turning them), this started after the end of the warranty and it didn't go away with contact cleaners or tightening the nuts and after a while one of them broke internally and I had to replace it. That bass never left the house and I played it only 2-3 times a month. Also the washers under the nuts were the simple ones, not locking ones, so tightening the nuts of pots was kind of poor.
    The pickup heights couldn't be adjusted so I took them out and saw that foams were looking melted (because of the way they have been placed), I had to replace them too. The conductive paint in the internal parts was applied like patches so some parts were not grounding through it.

    These are the problems that are not supposed to be there IMO. For example, the fretwork is not the best but it is very acceptable, this is normal.

    Other than that, any average instrument can be adjusted to the taste.

    After all I am actually happy that I learned lots of solutions to the problems.

    Just looking for a new bass that will meet those simple quality aspects.
  17. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Can you point some out?
    Madhouse27, pcake and St_G like this.
  18. cmgkhn


    Oct 12, 2018
    Thanks! I have been following here for a long time, time has come to create my own post!
    MCF and Spidey2112 like this.
  19. cmgkhn


    Oct 12, 2018
    You can have a look at any MIM vs MIA or MIM vs Squier VM or MIM vs Sire posts to see criticising. It is normal to criticise different things in different brands/series when you have tons of different options in the price range. There is no ultimate instrument for everyone's liking.

    Forgive me if I seem rude, I am just trying to express the situation from my point of view.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  20. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    MIM Fenders aren't as harshly criticized as you perceive them to be.
    P. Aaron, GregC, ppiluk and 14 others like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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