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Shonks

Fender Mex jazz bass - a short review.

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here's just a quick word about my experiences with the standard mex Fender Jazz:

having owned several they all seemed all pretty good and useful instruments. I've heard a lot of put down reviews, and there's definitely a stigma attached to these basses.

The price tag on these are around half the price of a US equivalent, but by no means half the bass.
The worst thing about them for me are the tuners. They're ok, not to dissimilar the 'highway one' usa made basses.
They work and do their job ok, but could be better.

I recently sold a USA 2009 standard jazz and recently acquired by coincidence a 2009 mex jazz.
The USA neck was very pale in colour, very heavy in laquer and very short on character, whereas the mex bass finished in satin
with a very dark rosewood board felt like a jazz should feel. The maple also had a nice amber tint to it.
It took a bit of setting up to get it the way I like it, and after slamming on some new strings it sounded very much the Fender it was supposed to be.
It sounded better to me then the USA bass which had a bright modern sound, which I loved, but the mex, criticised for is dull sounding p'ups, with new strings, sounded just like a real vintage machine, with presence and bite.
Not much difference to the early CBS basses, which were also slagged when they first came out, and now players and collectors are paying small fortunes for them.

I really dont think your getting £500 worth of more bass when you buy the us instrument, sure the hardware is better, but they have to justify the price tag somehow.

If you want a good hardworking Fender bass without having to wrap it up in cotton wool before and after a gig, then you can't go wrong with a mex. I think the later ones maybe are more consistant, but check 'em out like you would any bass. Get a good one, and you've got a bass for life, not just for Christmas.

Edited by Shonks

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I think the worst thing is the shoddy build quality, they are built as cheaply as possible and over priced IMO.
The Squiers CVs are better IME and the Farida Jazz which is made in the same Chinese factory is even better, for less than half the price.

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[quote name='redstriper' timestamp='1349906896' post='1832242']
I think the worst thing is the shoddy build quality, they are built as cheaply as possible and over priced IMO.
The Squiers CVs are better IME and the Farida Jazz which is made in the same Chinese factory is even better, for less than half the price.
[/quote]check out the latest mex basses, they are really made well...really!!

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Agree, the last two MIM Precisions I`ve had were both very good basses, no issues on build quality or playability, just good all-rounders.

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I played a Classic 50's P Bass (black, gold plate, maple board) the other day and obviously that series are made in Mexico but after hearing all the put downs on MIM Fenders, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I will admit, if I ever bought one, I would stick some Seymour Duncan SPB-1 pickups in it but that's only because I have SPB-1's in both my main P basses (Steve Harris MIJ signature and 1987 MIA restoration project)

So yeah, my two pennies worth is to go try one before criticizing them. Great "bang for buck" as it were.

Ps, I really want one in LPB with a maple board... Yummmmm

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I've a 1998 MIM Jazz in sunburst. It has a beautiful dark rosewood fingerboard and dark stain on the neck. I bought it new and paid £250 for it back then. It's always played beautifully and was worth every penny. I think they are very under-rated.

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I now have a 2009 MIM J and I am really impressed! After a bit of a set-up, it plays beautifully. It even sounds good! I was fully intending to pop a set of Wizard Hammers into it, but I actually really like the tone produced by the stock pickups.

Only downside is a minor dead spot at the fifth fret on the D string. Not unusual in Fenders, even some of the top-end ones (as far as I am aware).

Bit of a result really! B)

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Great review. I agree after trying the standard american jazz with the mexican I fail to justify the price difference. I applied some custom 60's pickups to my mexican model and it sounds great now with its sharper high end and growl :D

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The only thing I would add (and I guess this applies to all basses in a sense) is try before you buy on these. I tried two different MIMs in the same day recently and they were miles apart in feel, weight and build-quality. The first was pretty nasty with a bad set-up, heavy and kind of dead sounding. The second, however, was a complete gem and sounded very nice indeed via a Fender Rumble 500. I suspect that quality control is perhaps not the best at the MIM plant, but so long as you give your bass a once-over before paying you can get something very nice for a really reasonable price.

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My first 2008 MIM Jazz was very good - couldn’t fault the build quality, hardware, finish and sound

 

traded it for a 2002 MIM fretless and whilst it looks and sounds great - the tuners are really poor quality with far too much play in them - very disappointed and they will be changed out soonest

as previous post variable quality so always play / check them out before buying

PS before buying the first MIM Jazz I tried it back to back with a range of squires - all the squires were weak in comparison 

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Re the tuners, I recently changed the ones on my 2015 MIM Precision for Hipshots - HB7s - and they are much better. The provided ferrules/bushes were a bit too small though, so I contacted Hipshot for a bigger set which they sorted for me, but for anyone wanting to et better tuning stability without having to drill new holes or mod the bass in any way, I`d recommend the HB7s.

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