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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Tempted to go American

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Jan 25th, 2017 07:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wanted a Strat for years, but being a bass player I waited until the rIght used one came along. In my case it turned out to be an AmStd, I never found a new or used MIM that spoke to me. And, the used AmStd with factory HSC and case candy was only slightly more expensive than a new sale priced MIM with a decent HSC.

I try to stick with American made instruments, too.

Contributing Member

USA/Taos, NM

Jan 25th, 2017 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Soon the prices may be equal (tariffs) and then people can decide if they want to pay almost the same for a MIM..."

No sweat. All you've got to do then is buy it while you're in Mexico and then toss it over the wall to your buddy waiting on the other side. (Hardshell case advised)


Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jan 25th, 2017 10:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The gap has closed dramatically between the MIA and MIM models. Still a bit of difference in my hands feel wise. Depending on the MIM model and what PUs are factory installed the MIM may fit right in for me. I do not like the ceramic PUs in the standard but with a set of Van Zandt's my MIMs sound wonderful.

In all fairness I swap out the stock PUs in the MIA Strats as well.

I do like my Am Stds and Deluxes better but again the difference is very small these days.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Jan 26th, 2017 07:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I rather wait and pay more for a US Strat. I can tell myself there is no difference or MIM is better, but I really can tell a difference in most cases, plus US have better resale/trade value."

Value is a consideration for me, but opposite than what we normally think.
I use the Strat for playing out alot and if it were ever stolen, I wouldn't feel as bad losing a $400 instrument as opposed to a $1000+ guitar.



Jan 26th, 2017 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

eh, life is too short to play in fear :) i play out with american guitars

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Jan 26th, 2017 11:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The gap between MIM and MIA has certainly closed. I had a few ‘90s and early ‘00s MIM Standards and they could be a bit rough with lack of attention to detail. It was a bit hit or miss. I had a Blacktop HH Start for a while and that wasn’t the best; lack of decent contours and the jack plate rout was skewed and looked a bit strange. I never bonded with that guitar and ended up off-loading it. The only MIM Standard I have left is a 2006 60th Anniversary, Blizzard Pearl with Tex Mex pups. I keep it for sentimental reasons but hardly play it because I never really bonded with it.
I had a 2011 FSR White Blond MIM Standard too. A seriously nice guitar with attention to detail, fitted with the standard ceramic pickups. This Strat showed me how far MIM Standards had come since the early ‘00s but once again I didn’t bond with it so off she went.

So, in general MIM Standards to me have been hit and miss. I have other MIM models that are awesome in every way and I wont get rid of them. These include a 2004 Classic ‘70s, a 2008 Cray Strat (even though the neck took ages to settle after much cranking on the truss rod) and a Classic Players HH (the replacement for the Blacktop). These guitars all have a high level to attention to detail and are very resonant and playable.

The only MIA Strat I have off-loaded is a HWY1, the version with the big headstock. A nice guitar in every way but once again I couldn’t bond with it. I have an AmSpec Strat that is awesome so it helped make it easier off-loading the HWY1. I have a bunch of AmSers and AmStd Strats that have awesome attention to detail, awesome playability and tones. They are definitely much better guitars in comparison to MIM Standards but are closer in comparison to non-MIM Standard models.

So… I would definitely recommend USA built Strats, in general and IMO, they tend to be more consistent with quality and playability when compared to MIM. There is a bunch of MIM models that probably equal MIA models and generally they are damn good. MIM Standard quality has definitely improved but I reckon they could still be hit and miss so if I was looking a buying one I certainly would have to try before buy (I’m certainly more comfortable purchasing MIA Strats without first playing).

My 2 cents for what it’s worth.


The Free World

The New World Order is DOOMED...
Jan 27th, 2017 12:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My Fenders electrics both are bona fide Mexican-American guitars. In 1999, Fender Corona sent body and neck blanks to the Ensenada (I think how it is spelled), Fender Mexico factory where they were painted and installed w/hardware...

Contributing Member

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Feb 2nd, 2017 04:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Feel relieved folks, because Mexico is still America.

However, for the heart over head debate..

If you really feel the USA Strat is going to make you feel better, go for it.

Recently one of my best friends reminded me he was a mere teen when I lent him an old Les Paul. He feels that having the real deal removed any doubts as to where his playing was going wrong.

I agree to some extent. It just removes that nagging doubt. The same way I have a reasonably hight end camera to remind me I am the limitation.

A well set up $30 Squier will play better than a poorly set up USA Strat.

Whatever you have in your herd, make sure it is set up right and tweak it a bit. If you still feel it is second rate, get what you consider to be first rate by hook or by crook.

Prepare to be disappointed though.

You are the major limitation.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Feb 3rd, 2017 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Absolutely! Which is why I've never spent too much on big ticket instruments.

The tone is in the chops, not the axes.

Maybe we'll just refer to any Fender made in Mexico or US as "Continental Fenders"

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Tempted to go American

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