american vs mim Fender strats?

guitar_randy

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I am mainly a Gibson/humbucker guy but I do own a strat. I had it for a good 7 years now. Its a mim strat. I still to this day cannot tell any difference in tone from the mim fenders compared to the American ones. Are they made with the same electric components? When I was shopping for my strat I had in my mind that I was not going to make my decision on which guitar I purchased based on price or where it was made but by the way it felt and sounded. I tried numerous different strats in different stores before selecting the one I bought. I tried American made,mim,all the different pickup options,etc. I narrowed it down to 2 mim models and a highway one. One mim was a standard sss and the other was a hss. I picked the hss in the end. Its a limited run mim strat. It has texmex pickups,special paint color with matching headstock and a rosewood fretboard.
Other than being made in a different location and possibly different quality assurance methods,what really are the differences between a mim fender strat and a mia fender strat? Are the electronics the same components? Is something different in the wood or body construction? Is it just the fact that one is made in America and supposedly has better quality assurance/inspection methods over the other?
The other thing I never understood with the fender single coil pickups is the upgraded pickups they have as an option that are called noiseless. To me they sound just as noisey as the regular pickups.
 

Bigneil

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I have had 2 fenders, one was an American standard strat' and one was a mexican roadhouse deluxe strat' with texas pickups. the standard sounded nicer clean, and the Mexican sounded better dirty, both felt very nice to play, the mexican one was a little neck heavy. But ultimately, the layout of the controls (I don't like the volume so close to my strumming hand), and the lack of a humbucker doomed them to the "for sale" pile.

I sold the American one to raise money towards my first Gibby lp, and sold the Mexican one to raise money towards my Ibanez SZR.
 

Zack

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most people cant heat the difference between them... imagin lp studio vs standard... very similar sound
 

Jim

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The thing is, all of the parts for Mexican Fenders are made in America, including metric parts for the Mexican and Japanese lines. They are shipped to Mexico for the cheap assembly labor.

You're getting an American Strat assembled in Mexico.
 

slapshot

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really?gotoh hardware is made in America?
 

AngryHatter

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...I still to this day cannot tell any difference in tone from the mim fenders compared to the American ones.

No one can, that is the beauty of it.


[SC]http://soundcloud.com/eband/snappin-mah-gum[/SC]
Is that the pine Chinese tele? Or maybe the ash MiM?
(You can guess, but it is impossible for human hearing to discern the difference)

MiM is cheaper only in terms of labor. The stuff under the pickguard is the same.
Much of the stuff built overseas is done to the same OEM specs used in Corona. It is the outright ripoffs to avoid - like Turser.
 

SteveGangi

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I have two MIM Fenders. To date, I can find nothing to bitch about, on either of them. Also, I like to THINK I can play the hell out of them both.
 

Jim

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really?gotoh hardware is made in America?

Fender claims that their hardware is made in America, though I cannot verify this.

I CAN verify that bodies and Necks are MIA.
 

RetropM

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Fender claims that their hardware is made in America, though I cannot verify this.

I CAN verify that bodies and Necks are MIA.

All of the metal hardware for Fender USA, Mexico, and Japan including the custom shop is made in Japan by Gotoh. The only exception are the Schaller-type "Fender" tuners which are made by Schaller in Germany, This includes the OEM parts marked Fender thatare packed in Fender packaging and sold in stored.


As a side note, this is also true of Gibson with the exception of Grover tuners and Bigsby vibratos.
 

CHUNKYNECK

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I can't tell the diff. After owning both usa and 2 mim strats i've decided partscasters are the way to go. A custom guitar just how you like it and for less money if you shop smart. It takes more time and effort than just grabbing one off a rack at the shop but it's more satisfying and you end up exactly what you want.
 

Seneca SS

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i had a American Deluxe and a new Blacktop Strat--there was no difference i coud see or feel--both had similar necks and played equally as good--i would not be afraid to order a new MIM at all...sold both only to fund my new PRS Studio, otherwise i would have kept both...:thumb:
 

sg13

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MIM Hardware should be built by Ping as far as I know. It's still good quality in my opinion. String spacing is different. MIM's are 10.5mm, and I think the standard American strat is 11.25mm.

As far as I know now, the pots are the same as in the MIA's.

Now I know that the necks are built in the US and completed in Mexico. I see that people say the bodies are built in the US.. As far as I know they weren't but there is a possibility that I am outdated and wrong on that.... I would just like to know when they changed that if so. Just curious for my own knowledge!

I know once again the big debate with the bodies is the number of pieces of wood used.. I know the general consensus was more pieces build the MIM. I find nothing wrong with those bodies personally... I have MIM Sunburst body with an awesome veneer that has a slight flamed to it.. I love it!

I personally love MIM strats and think they're a great deal for the money. I still would like to pickup a MIA Strat though just to check them out.
 

CHUNKYNECK

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fender japan still wins

I can't speak from recent experience on that but my first strat was a used Jap made fender strat i bought in the mid 80s. It was the best strat i've owned. And to think i used to try hide the made in japan decal on the neck.:slap::thumb:
 

framptone54

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I have a mim strat (pictured on the left) and liked it so much, went and got a mia strat.
The mia is gone and replaced with a mim tele. ( Which I love! ) Both my mim's are great guitars.
I don't buy my guitars to collect or worry about re-sale. I just don't see how the Americans are worth twice the price. You can take a mim, mod the crap out of it, and still not sniff the price of a mia.
As always, you should play before pay but , to me, there is nothing wrong with a Made in Mexico Fender

I will now continue to save some cash for my American made Les Paul (that, I won't settle for anything less) if my children don't spend my cash first.
 

redcoats1976

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you will notice a tone difference between MIM and AVRI strats,MIMs have a more modern sound.the difference is the AVRI has 57/62 pups.quality wise you would be hard pressed to tell any real difference.
 

SexyGibson

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I have always said that for the most part a Strat is a Strat. I have owned ALot of Strats; MIA, MIM, Squier, and G&L. My favorite Strat over the last few years was a Squier Classic Vibe, I loved everything about it; the weight, feel of the neck, and I liked the pups better than the Texas Specials I had in another Strat.
 

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