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The myth of MIA being better....

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by The-Kid, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. The-Kid

    The-Kid Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 15, 2014
    I often hear remarks of members saying that they wouldnt bother with instruments that are made by foreign makers or stand by claims saying MIA is better and the best as far as instruments go.

    Is this just an ethnocentric view point or does this remark carry merit?
    Dmac73 and Guitarmageddon like this.
  2. Dmac73

    Dmac73 Strat-Talker

    May 29, 2018
    A guitar is as valuable as the person playing it thinks it is. Thats just my opinion of course.
  3. ryunker

    ryunker Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 18, 2014
    Crystal Lake, Il
    I love all of mine, no matter the origin. China, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea, and Japan. I have parted ways with more American made instruments than any other.

    When the setups are really done completely, frets level and crown, nut work and all that, they all play great! Don't think because it is made (fill in the location of choice here) it won't need a complete and full setup. They all benefit from it.

    This is my own opinion.
    ukoldgit, Raimonds, Chubbles and 6 others like this.
  4. Achyskic

    Achyskic Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 19, 2013
    All have good all have bad. I prefer MIA for 2 reasons. I support USA made products, and resale value. Where I live it’s extremely hard to move guitars that aren’t MIA unless you are just intimate making $20
    ocean, Stratbats, Neil.C and 5 others like this.
  5. blille

    blille Strat-Talker

    Oct 17, 2016
  6. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 10, 2016
    Rocky Mountain Way
    I love both my MIA strat and my MIM strat, but is the MIA a little nicer from a fit and finish standpoint? Why yes...yes it is, no doubt about it.
    jwj1701, ocean, CyFan4036 and 6 others like this.
  7. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 8, 2016
    I don't think a country of origin automatically makes something "better than" or "not as good as".

    People have preferences, and choices, and that's a good thing.

    I generalize here:
    A few decades ago, foreign (non american) guitars were usually not on par with the American ones.

    That stigma of inferiority has hung around for some people.
    Of course you can buy guitars made in other countries, and they can be spectacular instruments.

    With modern technology and building techniques, builders can achieve great results on a consistent basis.

    So lucky for us, we can buy excellent American guitars, and excellent guitars made in other countries.

    I love my American guitars. They are excellent players, good lookers, and they sound amazing. So, I'm quite happy to have them.
    2-Finger, Tone Deaf and The-Kid like this.
  8. hexnut

    hexnut Strat-Talker

    Jul 18, 2018
    Middle Tennessee
    I've seen some pretty nice ones come out of the Mexican factory.
  9. rich815

    rich815 Senior Stratmaster

    I’ve got a few MIM and a couple of partscasters using MIA Highway One bodies and they all play very nicely (teles and strats). But not long ago I played an American Professional Strat (the Antique Olive one from 2017) at a local music store and it was just perfect. Same thing happened today on a Custom Shop tele my guitar teacher had during our lesson this afternoon. Now, I’m a late beginner/early intermediate player and only played for two years so far but I swear those two guitars felt so nice, and played so smoothly and almost every lick or scale run I tried on them just rolled off my fingers perfectly. Maybe psychological? Maybe better set ups? Flatter more perfect fretboards? Maybe a combination of all that? I’m not sure but I swear if I pick up another MIA or some Custom Shop rig and the same thing happens I just might convince myself I don’t need multiple teles and strats even though I love building and having differing pickups and necks and such...
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  10. 1300Valencia

    1300Valencia Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 19, 2011
    The difference, to me, is in the hardware and electronics. Personal preferences matter a lot, too. The new Player series has the neck and fret profiles I like (just like the old American Standard) so I like those guitars. Have one, the set-up was fantabulous, which is really as important as anything else, as has been mentioned. But the wood was not as "perfect" as a typical MIA model.

    Mostly these imperfections are cosmetic, but someone paying MIA prices probably demands closer-to-perfection, and greater uniformity. I've owned MIM Robert Cray Strats, and once again, the electronics are upgraded American pickups, so I found these better than the average MIM.

    I will admit that I have owned a couple MIA Strats that were seemingly the exact same thing, same year, model and finish, etc., but there's always a "better" one.
    Set-up really can be everything.

    The reality is, you can buy a Strat made in Mexico by Mexicans, or you can buy a Strat made in America by Mexicans. Some things never change. Praise be.
  11. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    One would hope that the American made one would be better because of the higher price paid, but. There are Mexican models that I want to get, and for the money they are an excellent alternative for AVRI for those of us that don't have that kind of cash.

    I do prefer American ones though. The fit and finish seems to be better, and so do the pickups generally.
    Green Sub likes this.
  12. elduderinoTF

    elduderinoTF Strat-O-Master

    Mar 29, 2017
    I often hear the opposite on this forum... ST has taught me to overlook the nationality of a guitar.
  13. tery

    tery Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 31, 2014
    I sold my MIA to buy a MIK :)
  14. AfroBill

    AfroBill Strat-Talker

    Apr 7, 2017
    I think wood selection is part of the difference. I have a 2012 57 Avri and I just sold a Classic Series 60s. The classic series played amazingly, but the wood in the face of the sunburst body and the imperfections on the maple of the neck seemed second rate to what I consider close to perfection in my AVRI.
  15. cshere

    cshere Strat-Talk Member

    Aug 30, 2018
    Wow I've never heard racism tied into the preference of American-made instrument before. I've heard Amrican instruments get better quality materials.
  16. nadzab

    nadzab Peace & Love, my Brothers & Sisters...

    May 15, 2009
    The Great State of Maine
    This is a mildly different re-phrasing of a topic that's been beaten into the ground and is known to be divisive...what's the point? It's not like you're a forum newbie who doesn't know any better.
    Ebidis and elduderinoTF like this.
  17. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    If we're all so ethnocentric, how come we value Japanese cars so much? And French wines. And Kobe beef. And Swiss watches.

    America invented the electric guitar. America makes great electric guitars. So do many others. Many of us enjoy supporting the makers of fine American products.

    Next topic . . .
  18. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    MIM Strats seem to have a good fit and finish too. There was a MIM Strat I had bought one time though, which was the Deluxe Player's Strat (a MIM model) that was missing one of the pickguard screws. It didn't even have a hole drilled for that screw either.. I'm not sure how that made it past quality control. I haven't played as many US Strats, but I'd hope US Strats wouldn't have quality issues like that.

    Several years ago I bought a US-made G&L Comanche. The neck that it originally came with had a fairly weird/ugly grain on the back right near where the headstock started. I posted about it here and on a G&L forum, and the general consensus was to get them to replace the neck. Seemed like he best case was that it was just an ugly grain pattern, and worst case was it could indicate a weakness that could cause the headstock to snap off eventually. I did get the neck replaced - G&L was nice about it and replaced the neck for free, and the shop where I bought it from had their tech remove the old neck and put the new one on. Side note on that though, the tech at the store adjusted the trem to tilt all the way back for some reason.. It's a floating trem, so it's supposed to be able to bend either way. I brought it into another shop to adjust that for me, as I wasn't sure of the best way to adjust it back to floating.