Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum



Warmoth.com Amplified Parts lacemusic.com seymourduncan.com


Go Back   Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum > Main Stratocaster Guitar Discussion Forum > Stratocaster Discussion Forum
Forgot Username/Password? Join Us!

Stratocaster Discussion Forum The Strat-talk.com Fender Stratocaster Discussion Forum

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old March 6th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Strat-Talk Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
Mim > or = usa fender is a lie!

Over the past few years, I have read the countless arguments and forum posts here and elsewhere stating that mim fender guitars are "just as good or better than" their pricy USA siblings, and was led to believe the USA strats weren't worth the money. I bought up quite a few min guitars, and have since sold most of them. To be completely honest, I am not the greatest guitar player. I am not bad, but I'm always trying to learn something new, and have made it a habit to make sure I play or practice for a minimum of 30 minutes EVERY day.

I recently had the chance to purchase my first American standard strat, and I was finally able to justify owning a more expensive guitar (I understand that there are better and more expensive guitars out there). As soon as I brought it home to play on my own gear, I could tell there was a HUGE difference between my new USA strat and my other mim guitars. The looks, the feel, the sound, everything was different, everything was noticeably better.

The USA strat had never had any work done, it was bone stock, but all the mim guitars had some kind if modification or work find to meet my expectations. The nut, string trees, saddles, pickups, pots, switches, even bridges were sometimes changed out, but none of my mim guitars ever stayed stock.

I wrote all that to say that I will no longer blindly follow the trend and convince myself that my mim guitars are as good or better than a USA. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just stating my honest opinion: my American standard is better by a mile.

How can anyone say their mim is as good or better? Maybe they found a diamond in the rough? Is it just an exaggeration, brainwashing by others? I can see where having a thicker finish is better for handling abuse, or cheaper prices make them easier to replace, but I just can't buy into it anymore.

Is there anyone out there who feels the way I do about this issue?

marktg83 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Blackmore Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: The Midwest
Posts: 2,158
This should be an interesting topic--not sure if its ever been discussed here before!
Blackmore Fan is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Yogi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Age: 27
Posts: 4,138
The problem is that you relied on the opinions of other to base an opinion of your own, which is never a good idea. I can come on here all day and say Mustangs are better than Camaros. It could be absolutely true for me, but it may not be for you. Bonding with a guitar is a very personal experience and unique to each individual. Some features and tangible experience just work better for some people and not at all for others.
__________________
1972 Fender Stratocaster
'99 Fender Custom Shop 65 NOS
1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe
1962 Epiphone Sheraton 50th anniversary
Yogi is offline  

Sponsored Links   #
Sponsored posting
 

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
Strat-Talker
 
jackdragbean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Silver Creek, MS
Posts: 213
Maybe you screwed up all of your MIM's when you modified them.
jackdragbean is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
Strat-Talk Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
I'm sure this has need discussed her before, heavily, but I needed to post it.

The best way I can describe my experience is this: I feel like I was wearing color tinted contacts or glasses without knowing, and with them everything seemed so much alike. After having them removed, I see the contrast so vividly.

I'm sorry for the cheesy analogy, but sometimes that helps ME understand things.
marktg83 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
Strat-Talk Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdragbean View Post
Maybe you screwed up all of your MIM's when you modified them.
No, I'm sure that's not the case. I have owned a couple that didn't need parts swapped out to sound better, but the fret overhang was so great I would cut my hands while playing, or the fit and finish had noticeable imperfections that made me unhappy.
marktg83 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
Strat-Talker
 
Biff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 397
I am lucky enough to own both USA and MIM Strats and Telecasters.

The MIM Tele is by far inferior to my 1978 USA Tele, not just the sound and tone but the build quality too.

My USA Strat has better build quality than its MIM counterpart, they both have a different tone and sound, due to one having Texas Specials and the other Noiseless pups. But the MIM is easier to play for longer due to the big clubby neck on the USA Strat.

I'd be hard pressed to get rid of either of the USA made guitars, and very reluctant to part with the MIM Strat, but the MIM Tele is getting nearer and nearer the door as each day passes.
__________________
Biff is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
xoso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Birmingham UK
Age: 55
Posts: 1,410
Perhaps you found a 'diamond in the rough' with your MIA Strat?

For me, having owned MIA and MIM strats I remain convinced MIA strats are not worth the extra money - but then I'm in the UK where MIA strats are ridiculously expensive. If I lived in the states and could pick up MIA strats as cheap as you guys can I probably wouldn't think the price difference was that big a deal.
xoso is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
vgp001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Location: Location
Posts: 926
I've had the opposite experience.

My first electric guitars were a Fender American Standard and a Gibson Les Paul Custom.

Coming from instruments like piano, saxophone, oboe, and bassoon the electric guitar seemed really economical. Mind you this was the mid-90s in the Midwest of the US in he dawn of the internet. MIMs weren't what they are now and Squires were headed into the budget brand territory.

Not too long after that I came across a MIJ classic 50's. Since then I've been hooked on MIJ Squiers and Fenders and recently an early MIK Squier.

I won't say they're equal but close once the electronics are replaced. But you for sure don't get the biflex truss rod, microtilt neck adjuster, etc.

For the most part, you're ring that the AmStd is good to go out of the box but.....

For the going price of $600-700 AmStd used, I'd prefer finding a MIJ and some cool pickups for a lot less money.
__________________
It's just as important knowing when to play AND when not to play.

If you can't make a Squier sing, you'll make a Fender fart.
vgp001 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
---------------------------
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 62
I have a Mexican tele deluxe and I prefer that to my American standard.
AndyRoss97 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
vgp001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Location: Location
Posts: 926
Quote:
Originally Posted by marktg83 View Post
No, I'm sure that's not the case. I have owned a couple that didn't need parts swapped out to sound better, but the fret overhang was so great I would cut my hands while playing, or the fit and finish had noticeable imperfections that made me unhappy.
Then why did you buy one that cut your hand and has such noticeable imperfections? I assume you bought it new.....
__________________
It's just as important knowing when to play AND when not to play.

If you can't make a Squier sing, you'll make a Fender fart.
vgp001 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
Strat-Talk Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
I bought it new because: I know how to work on my own guitars, was able to fix the fret issue problem myself, it looked and sounded better than any other mim guitar at GC, it was a fsr, and I was able to haggle the price low enough to make it worth while.

Also the examples were not all one guitar, but several examples. The fsr didn't have any finish imperfections.
marktg83 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
Strat-Talker
 
arithon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 238
I don't know why this is such a mystery- Both MIM are MIA are mass produced wooden instruments, made with differing materials, workers, methods, factories, climates, etc. Alot of the process is still manually done with the hands, etc. The point is there are a million variables at play with these things. No two guitars are going to be exactly alike.

I've played MIM that are really great, others not so much, just like the MIA. I would say you are more LIKELY (from a statistical viewpoint) to get a higher quality guitar by going with the American, but again that can easily be proven untrue.

I have a Classic 50's MIM that I think is just as good as any American strat. But in the 90's I had a MIM Standard strat and that one was a bit of a dog. It's never the same situation!


So it falls to the default answer- check your bias at the door, PLAY everything, and pick the one that speaks to you and ignore the label on the headstock till its time to pull out your cash.
arithon is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
Strat-Talk Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
Maybe my MIA was an exception. I couldn't tell you if the previous owner hand picked it from many, but it is a great instrument. I also think that MIA is more likely to be better than a MIM statistically speaking, and I'm sure there are some MIA dogs out there.
marktg83 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Namelyguitar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Midwest U.S.
Posts: 3,508
No, I would not say that my MIM Standards are as good, or better...

Glad you found a real keeper, there.

I would recommend that anyone with access to stock versions of both in a store-perform a side by side comparison-before spending any $$.

The funny thing about comparisons at some stores (GC comes to mind) is the background noise, or beginners cranking it up-in the background. We've got a couple of Fender dealers in town, and the non-GC store is 'dead' quiet much of the time as compared with the GC, 5-10 minutes from their door. Part of the actual fun trying to hear through an amp at GC is their stinkin' music that's turned up in all the rooms!
__________________
Hammer On!
Namelyguitar is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 06:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
Strat-Talker
 
Elypsis44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 420
Welcome to the club. You're now a "corksniffer" and a "gear snob". So am I.

Have a look here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by marktg83 View Post
How can anyone say their mim is as good or better? Maybe they found a diamond in the rough? Is it just an exaggeration, brainwashing by others? I can see where having a thicker finish is better for handling abuse, or cheaper prices make them easier to replace, but I just can't buy into it anymore.

I chalk up most of it up to cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.
Elypsis44 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 06:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
Strat-Talk Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 63
"So far I've gathered:

1. Every guitar player on the internet has spent 'hours in music stores' trying every guitar they had. "Played every one" in fact.

2. Every guitar player on the internet had the cash for an American Stratocaster, but they all just happen to find a MIM that "blew everything else away".

3. Fender makes all their guitars the same (or so close), only some say "Made In USA" on the headstock. There's really no real significant difference in any of them; Fender hopes that the "Made In USA" thing will get some to spend more out of patriotism, snobishness or 'compensating'.

4. Squiers sound just as good as Custom Shop guitars. All you need to do is add good electronics. (This contradicts #3 above, but I digress.)

5. $1K is too much to spend on a guitar if you have a mortgage, kids, bills, etc. However, two or three $500 MIMs are acceptable though (saving for an MIA is out of the question).

6. If you can discern the tonal and quality difference between a MIA and MIM, you are a 'gear snob', 'corksniffer', or any other term those wishing to support their cognitive dissonance comes up with.

7. Those of us that have played MIMs for years and ultimately upgraded to MIA and noticed a tonal and quality difference are delusional; seeing and hearing only what we want to see/hear. Gotcha. The confirmation bias on this subject is staggering. Really."

I love it, and I'm not sorry I stole it, and shared it... I wasn't sure how to quote it on this thread, so I did the good ole' copy & paste
marktg83 is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
Futurologist
 
bbarott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Marietta Georgia
Age: 61
Posts: 5,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by marktg83 View Post
...
I wrote all that to say that I will no longer blindly follow the trend and convince myself that my mim guitars are as good or better than a USA. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just stating my honest opinion: my American standard is better by a mile.
...
Well, first it's more of a question than an issue but truthfully I've never heard anyone on this forum maintain that MIM stratocasters were better instruments, on balance, than a MIA. That being said it's certainly possible for a lemon to escape the Corona plant.

What I hear are questions more along the line of 'is the difference worth it??'. I can tell you for me, and you'd probably at this point agree that yes, it absolutely is. But it likely is not so for everyone, in fact I'd wager serious coin that it is not.

In any case, congratulations on your new guitar and if your experience is anything like mine have been, you're gonna love it.

b.
__________________
This is my strat. There are many like it, but this one is mine!
bbarott is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Tee H C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London
Posts: 3,869
Someone has moved up the ladder and is biting their thumb at those on the lower rungs.

And I will also probably think the same the day I can play good enough to justify/deserve an American Strat. But until then my Mim is beautiful.

And so was my Squier Strat before that. And so was my Sunn Mustang before that. Only were they mooted by their more expensive counterparts.

It's called progression.

Has anyone seen that South Park when they all buy Hybrid Cars ?? And all drive round saying "good for you" just wondered.
__________________
http://soundcloud.com/tyler-vanner

BE WARNED Strat-Talk Gives you GAS
Tee H C is offline  

Old March 6th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
Strat-Talker
 
Elypsis44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by marktg83 View Post

I love it, and I'm not sorry I stole it, and shared it... I wasn't sure how to quote it on this thread, so I did the good ole' copy & paste
Have at it. I wrote that back in 2011 after about the 1000th time I'd heard all that nonsense.

Elypsis44 is offline  

Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Untitled Document

Untitled Document

» Recent Strat-Talk Discussion
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



 


Design by: vBulletin Skins Zone
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2


The words Fender®, Telecaster®, Stratocaster® and the associated headstock designs are registered trademarks of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
Strat-Talk.com is an independent, member supported forum and is not affiliated with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
© 2007 All rights reserved.

Strat-Talk.com is not responsible for the content posted by private individuals on this website. The views expressed herein are solely the opinions of the individuals that produced them and not necessarily the views of the owner of this website.