Are Player Series a noticeable improvement from Mexican Standards?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by davidrf, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. davidrf

    davidrf Strat-O-Master

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    Hi there, I'm thinking of pulling the trigger for an "as new" Player Strat in Buttercream finish. I have to say I always owned MIA Strats (still have two) and never was a huge fan of mexican Standards (I owned a 2014 olympic white one for a few days).

    I hear the Players are much better than the Standards. Pickups are Alnico, for example. But what about built quality? Quality control? And the weight? In my own experience (MIM I owned, tried, owned by friends) MIM Standards almost always weighed more than MIAs.

    Thanks a lot to everyone who will chime in!
     
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  2. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    The Player, in my opinion, is the top of the line in the MIM category. I'd compare it closer to the American standard than I would a MIM standard.

    I really like mine.

    player2.jpg
     
  3. geetaruke

    geetaruke Strat-Talk Member

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    Generally, I’m of the opinion the Player series is the best Mexican series ever, generally.

    I only owned one for a couple months, it was fine. I only went Am Pro because of the slightly wider nut. I have picked up many Player series in stores and I’ve only encountered one that had a subpar -out of box- setup.

    This was the one I had. Wonderful guitar.

    38BE9967-3C24-46C4-B183-F97A64EBC9FF.jpeg 5217BA14-7905-4265-AC5C-38DF3BDDF531.jpeg
     

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  4. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    I made the direct transition from Standard (2011) to Player (2018).

    I only did so for the Alnico pickups.

    I didn't notice a difference in build. I really thought they were both very comfortable.
     
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  5. arct

    arct Strat-Talker

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    Same guitar, different name.

    rct
     
  6. Black59

    Black59 Strat-Talker

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    Agreed, I have a Standard (2005) and Player (2020).

    Very similar in build quality, but the improvements on the spec sheet are quite noticeable.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    I'm with the majority that they are step up from previous MIM's. Best of all worlds if you can get one "as new".
     
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  8. Mr Jagsquire

    Mr Jagsquire Strat-Talker

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    I would say that out of 6-8 Player Jaguars I tried last year they were all pretty rough. However, they had Pau Ferro fingerboards, I tried them in multiple shops too, ended up buying the cheapest one and just accepting I would spend some time smoothing the frets, in particular the very sharp fret ends and sharp fingerboard edges.

    After a lot of work mine plays really well, but if I didn't have the tools and ability to do the work it might not have been so cost effective to buy it then take it to a pro to sort out.

    On the plus side, my friend has a Maple fingerboarded Player Strat and that is much better to play than the PF Jaguars (and some Teles I've tried since). Maybe the thick poly helps smooth the fret ends a bit more, but his plays really nicely and was what got me looking at Player series in the first place.

    Just don't buy a PF one expecting perfection as they seem a long way off that...
     
  9. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    No.

    Same pickups, bridge and electronics as the American standard, more attention to detail, overall nicer. The Player has become a very popular and well liked strat and I doubt savvy strat shoppers would be buying it if it was just the same as the MIM standard.
     
  10. Mind Flayer

    Mind Flayer Strat-O-Master

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    Players are great. But, aside from the ceramic pickups on the pre-Player MIM standards, I also liked the older MIM standards too.

    Putting aside the different pickups, I’d say the Players are on par with the older MIM standards in terms of build quality. Some are great, others can be duds, you have to try each one out.

    I do love those buttercream players.
     
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  11. geetaruke

    geetaruke Strat-Talk Member

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    Yes, I do agree with that. My transition from the Player to the Pro was recent, and as mentioned, the Player was more than good enough for me. I just really preferred the wider nut. Now, I got a ridiculous deal on my Pro, and if not for that, I doubt that the wider nut alone would’ve had me pay double so easily.

    Saying that, there is a definitive better feel to the Pro for sure. Same question. Is it so much better that it’s justified paying double? I don’t think it’s better by that much (literary 1K for the Player to 2K for the Pro in Canadian dollars), but some may.
     
  12. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah the Jags were rough on the fret ends. Apples and oranges, though, compared to Strats.
     
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  13. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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  14. tygr1

    tygr1 Strat-Talker

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    This is mine:


    yellow Strat.jpg
     
  15. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    Weird to have Player vs MiM when it used to be MIM vs MIA.

    It seemed most folks liked MIM just fine with the exception of the pickups, which I think seem fine.
     
  16. Jmart1212

    Jmart1212 Strat-Talker

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    Yeah MIM and player are synonymous. They have updates, like a new bridge, new pickups, and 22 fret neck. I have a 2012 Lonestar which was referred to as a "Mexican Deluxe," the only difference I found were upgraded pickups, a PG humbucker with Texas Specials. Honestly MIM guitars are great, but need a little TLC, nut work, fret work, and upgraded pickups, then they can rival American standards IMO, YMMV.
     
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  17. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    I thought the pickups on mine were very good, liked them more than the ones on my American special, which had the Texas specials.
     
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  18. AJBaker

    AJBaker Strat-Talker

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    My experience is based on the slightly older MIM models:
    I've never been very keen on the Mexican standards, they always felt like something was missing or unfinished. The neck always felt kind of cheap to me.
    The Classic Players on the other hand (CP50s&60s strat, and baja tele) were fantastic instruments that felt 'complete' and 'right'. The kind of instrument you would want to keep forever.
     
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  19. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    The MIM Deluxe series (soon to be the "Player Plus" based on the leaks from a few days ago) are great out of the box.

    The body finish is the same as the player, but has rounded heel as found on the USA models... which means that slightly improved upper-fret access (can take the USA necks without the need to drill an extra hole... if that's a barrier.)

    The stock necks have a great finish, with a 12" radius board. The teles (at least) have narrow tall frets, which I'm happy with but some people hate.

    The Deluxe generally have "upgraded" pickups (if you think that noiseless are an upgrade). I'm not a massive fan of the standard player pickups... they're functional but lack personality. I currently have a set of 2004 USA Standard pickups in the strat, and a set of Vintera 50s in the Tele.

    The electronics use proper switches and CTS pots so those are fine out of the box. Ok, so they have plastic covered wiring instead of vintage woven, but I can deal with that.

    I haven't spent any time with a USA pickguard to see if it's different from the Mex. I doubt it. It's not going to affect the tone or playability.

    They have the standard Fender locking tuners, made by Ping in Taiwan I believe. Completely functional, and I don't know if they're any different to the ones on the USA strats.

    I have no issue with the MIM bridges (presumably also Taiwan/China). For those who can hear a difference, it's a reasonably cheap upgrade and not something that needs to be done out of the box.

    So at the moment, to me, the best value Fender is a Deluxe MIM with a USA replacement neck, with the MIM neck stuck in the neck shipping box and put in the cupboard for future resale, or flogged off to partscaster builders.
     
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  20. arct

    arct Strat-Talker

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    Indeed. I have both. I gig both, I record both. Nobody knows the difference. I'm not being dicky, nobody can hear the spec sheet. It's a Mexican Strat. You know what they cost and you know what you get for that money. They can call it anything they want and put whatever they want in it, lots of guitar players just pick up a nice Mexican Fender during a sale, regardless of the series, and put what they want in it/on it. The Player is just as popular and well liked as the previous Mexican Fender because that's what they sell. I can understand it if there are varying prices/levels/options of yer average garden variety sundry run-of-the-mill Mexican Fender but the fact is, there really isn't. Next year, two years, it will have a new name and be your basic Mexican Fender for $150 more with some other upgrade to the spec sheet, and it will be just as popular and well liked as this one.

    rct