Is that typical for Fender MIM workmanship?

jrw32

Member
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741
This isn't a rant or complaint, I'm just curious if this is typical for Fender MIM quality control and what we can expect for under $500. I've owned lots of MIA, and a few Squires, but never a MIM. Never noticed these types of issues on any of them. This is a Fender Mustang Bass PJ I bought new, came right out of the factory box with a few minor issues, but enough I noticed each of them:

Can see writing on back of neck/body joint through the finish (pics don't do it justice - it's much more obvious in person):


Some paint blotches:


Chip broken off bottom of nut:


Some fret spout and buzz here and there, but nothing too major or that I'm hearing through the amp. I'll probably keep it as it's just for recording and plays/sounds good enough, just was curious if this is consistent with the QC on most other MIMs. Thanks.
 

luv

Member
Messages
3,152
I've had a few MIM fenders. All Strats. Only issue I ever had was lines in the finish on solid colors where the pieces of the body were glued together. Not enough filler and sanding done before spraying. Very obvious on black Strats.
 
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jcs

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8,093
Nothing really out of line from my experience with MIM in general.

I buy used......I expect some flaws and things that need sorting out as I tend to do whole setups.

My black 90's MIM Strat I can see wood joints....doesn't bother me much if any really, as the rest of the guitar was solid and resonant and felt "old and worn in" which I prefer over my late 2000's MIM Strat.

The new MIM's look very good overall to me....they still feel too "new" but I think lots of these MIM will tend to age very well....and hey, they do say 'Fender' on the headstock.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,722
This isn't a rant or complaint, I'm just curious if this is typical for Fender MIM quality control and what we can expect for under $500. I've owned lots of MIA, and a few Squires, but never a MIM. Never noticed these types of issues on any of them. This is a Fender Mustang Bass PJ I bought new, came right out of the factory box with a few minor issues, but enough I noticed each of them:

Can see writing on back of neck/body joint through the finish (pics don't do it justice - it's much more obvious in person):


Some paint blotches:


Chip broken off bottom of nut:


Some fret spout and buzz here and there, but nothing too major or that I'm hearing through the amp. I'll probably keep it as it's just for recording and plays/sounds good enough, just was curious if this is consistent with the QC on most other MIMs. Thanks.
Literally had never seen that before, have owned several strays and teles
 
M

Member 1963

I've had about 10 MIM's and one was utterly horrific. I'd list the flaws but it would take all day. It was a '06 anniversary 60's tele. Utter junk, but it sounded great ! Talk about a factory friday guitar ! The rest were anywhere from very good to "i'd put it up against a AVRI any day". (with upgrades) I'm talking classic series here tho, i never owned a MIM standard. They are not on the same quality level.
 
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5,026
I think that guitar you have is an outlier. I think MIM Fenders are equivalent to MIK stuff from other manufacturers, the ones I've owned have all been flawless.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,483
Not typical of older ones, I haven't looked much at them in the last few years though. I don't feel a recent MIM neck I bought is as good as they were 15 years ago though...... as far as fret end finishing etc.
 

stahlhart

Member
Messages
2,684
One Classic '70s, two Classic '50s, all three are fine. Only quirk of note is that the black one appears to be a repainted surf green one, which shoes in a few tiny spots if the neck or pickguard are removed.
 

jrw32

Member
Messages
741
Thanks for your comments all. I kinda figured this one was a bit of an outlier, but it's mainly cosmetic and I don't think it bothers me enough to return it since it plays well. Happy holidays!
 

bryan83

Member
Messages
1,119
The only problem I've ever had with my MIM strat was the pickups. Couldn't stand them. The guitar was excellent but pickups were awful. Fixed that with a set of Fender CS 69's.

In my opinion, I would deal with just the paint spots on your bass, but that nut is bad. I'd send it back.
 

shovelhead82

Member
Messages
1,077
Send it back for a replacement. My 2000 MIM Standard Strat is a very nice guitar. It gets played in rotation with vintage and custom shop Fenders. I am planning a PU swap, however.
 
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5,549
Both of my current Telecasters are finished well with tight neck pockets and good fret jobs. I can't recall the last time I saw a MIM Fender with any significant flaws.
 

Shreve

Katzenjammer Kid
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,791
I've had 2 MIM black Strats. Gave the first away to a beginner, but ended up missing it, so I bought another, identical guitar. Both are/were great guitars for the coin.

Sounds like a return. Good luck!
 

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
2,487
I've had a few MIM fenders. All Strats. Only issue I ever had was lines in the finish on solid colors where the pieces of the body were glued together. Not enough filler and sanding done before spraying. Very obvious on black Strats.
I had this same issue on my Japanese Geddy Lee bass.
 

filtersweep

Member
Messages
4,911
My last two MIMs were flawless- aside from one where the tone and volume knobs were reversed ( wrong knobs in the wrong place). Both have excellent necks- by any standard. My Tele Deluxe has flawless paint- which isn't trivial considering it is a metallic sparkle. Neither retail below $500.

The Cabronita makes me wonder why anyone would buy American- aside from the bridge and pickups. It even has 22 frets. It is black, and at the right angle the body joints are subtly visible- but that is common on black guitars.

Frankly, I wish all American Fenders were lacquered- and that lacquer was the differentiator.
 




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