How many of you have bought up from another strat?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by pickleweed, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. pickleweed

    pickleweed Strat-Talk Member

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    Curious how many of you had a lower/mid level strat and decided to upgrade.

    I have a MIM that ive upgraded. new block/bridge, new pickups and tuners. Truth be told, it sounds great, and ive been playing it long enough that it feels like home.

    but it'll never be a guitar its not. ive always wondered about higher end strats, and ive started thinking about getting an american original. problem is.....id likely need to get rid of the mim for space reasons, and im having real hard time justifying it in my head since its the "same" guitar so to speak. Money is whatever. im not worried about the cash part of it, just the hoops in my head.

    No one has an originals by me (especially since theyre all backordered), so its hard for me to try and find one. But they sound spectacular from everything ive seen and heard.

    How many of you have made the jump from a mid level strat to a higher end one, and whats the take? worth it or just chasing a dragon?
     
  2. cranky

    cranky Strat-O-Master

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    I think it's worth it. I have a MIM Player and an AmProII. The Player is great, but the Pro has a way better trem, neck (thicker and satin), pickups and circuitry, and frets (the narrow tall frets are much nicer than I thought they'd be).

    I practice more on my Player. It's there for me. I don't worry so much about wear and tear on it. But the Pro is The One. They sound similar, but not the same. The Pro has more tonal options. And they feel quite different from each other.

    I would make space for both of them. Picking one over the other is a false binary to me.

    The AO would be an even bigger difference, I think. I've had a Player Jag and an AO Jag, for example. They're hardly the same instrument.
     
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  3. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Strat-O-Master Silver Member

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    I "downgraded" from my '97 US Lone Star to two recent Deluxe Roadhouses (MIM). I like both my MIMs better than my old MIA.
     
  4. MugHimself

    MugHimself Strat-Talker

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    I can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve never played an upper end Strat that felt like a better value than my modded guitars. There’s obvious quality differences in the off the shelf instruments but everything below the neck can be easily brought to spec much cheaper than buying it that way even on the neck you don’t need to be a master luthier to clean up any QC issues.
     
  5. geetaruke

    geetaruke Strat-Talk Member

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    I had a Player series. Sent it back for the AM Pro, mostly because of neck shape and nut width preference.
     
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  6. Martins Strat

    Martins Strat Strat-O-Master

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    I have done this but with a 22 year gap in between!

    I started out playing a Squier in ‘94 and then onto a MIJ Strat in ‘96. I played that guitar for the next 22 years as life happened and playing was just a hobby. I did upgrade the pickups to Texas Specials. But I always fancied getting a US Strat I just couldn’t justify it.

    Then the MIJ Strat started needing a refret so I took the opportunity to get an AV56 that I found at a reduced price as the American originals had just come out and the store wanted new stock.

    It worked out great for me, the AV56 is the best guitar I’ve ever played, I’ve played a few CS guitars in shops before when I’ve tried out other gear but my AV just fits me better than any other guitar I’ve ever played. I don’t need more than 1 Strat either but I can’t ever sell the old MIJ, I just see it as semi retired and keep it in the case while the 56 stays out on the stand.

    I say go for it, but keep the MIM too, unless years down the line you really do not play it.
     
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  7. WelhavenT

    WelhavenT Strat-O-Master

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    I «downgraded» too. The last five-six years I’ve owned several CS LPs, Collings, Maybach, a few hand-buildt teles and strats. Right now I’ve two MiA, two MiJ and one modded MiM that I almost didn’t buy because it was made in Mexico. The latter is currently my favourite guitar. So this week I’m ordering another MiM.
     
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  8. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Strat-O-Master

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    I've been up and down the ladder a few times. It's not the most popular opinion around here, but I don't think CS and other high-end Strats are necessarily worth the extra money. It's such a simple guitar design, with common parts, that the "luxuries" at the top end - handpicked woods, hand sanding/finishing/relicing, etc. - aren't worth the thousands of additional dollars (to me, anyway). I'm now deep down the partscaster rabbit hole and I think it's absolutely the way to go - every spec exactly like you want it for WAY less money than a custom build from Fender.

    YMMV, of course...
     
  9. Roca81

    Roca81 Strat-Talker

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    I had 90's model Squier Standard and epiphone G400 66 reissue a couple years ago. I sold them to buy my truck. I upgraded to an 2000 American Standard and I got a really good deal on it.
     
  10. Belexes

    Belexes Strat-O-Master

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    My first strat was an AM Elite from 2017 and the next 3 strats are all "downgrades". I don't consider them downgrades unless you go by the price I paid. I still have them all, so nothing has been replaced. The next 3 strats in order were a '98 California Series, 2013 Squire Vintage Modified, Ritchie Blackmore Sig.

    I did put a Mexican Bridge assembly and American Vintage tuners in the Squire and it plays great. Maybe someday redo the pickups, pots and switches. No hurry for that however.
     
  11. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    All my Strats are MIA. I would like an old 80's JV \ ST-62 but that's just window shopping. I bought an Affinity PJ Bass for my pub band so we could swap guitar playing but it's never seen the light of day at the pub yet. I dick around with it occasionally because I paid a premium for it (lol) and DIY'd new pots. It plays well enough that I doubt I will ever upgrade to a different Bass.
     
  12. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Strat-Talker

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    I kind of went a different route, and I don't really consider it "upgrading" so much as "filling a desire."

    The first guitar I ever purchased was an 88 Strat Plus. I sold it a few years later, and eventually bought a Lonestar Strat. Then I sold that a few years later. Then a few years ago I bought an Am Std. Last year I bought TWO Strat Plus's. Depending on what you're trying to accomplish, it's not necessarily an upgrade. To me, the Strat Plus is a better feeling and sounding guitar than the Lonestar or the Am Std. But not for everyone!
     
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  13. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    First - WELCOME to the forum. Let's see some pics of your strat. Price of admission.:D

    Now to answer your question - The bigger difference is in price these days. The quality of the MIM has gone up quite a bit. There IS a difference though, no matter how slight some perceive it to be. That little bit makes a big difference for some but not others.

    On a side note, I would see no reason to get rid of one guitar to make space for a new guitar unless you had so many guitars you didn't have room for one more. If that's the case we want to see LOTS of pictures!:D
     
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  14. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    +1 Me too.
     
  15. Ave

    Ave Strat-Talker

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    The only way you could classify it as an "upgrade" is if it is such in your mind. Sure they probably have better QC and other sorts of things like that, but it'll never be the same soul that I enjoy, which is why I keep playing my partscaster.

    Not saying I'll never get a Fender Strat thought ;)

    Ave
     
  16. LTigh

    LTigh Strat-Talker

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    Play and try before you decide (yes, I understand your particular circumstances, but read on), since the idea you have in your head may not match the reality. It may turn out that the AO or whatever doesn't live up to your expectations or far exceeds them, or you may just prefer the feel/tone/whatever of your MIMs. That may play into if YOU feel that the price difference is justified or not.

    As someone who tinkers all the time and "upgrades" their lower/middle end stuff on a regular basis, I'd say you should do it because it's something you find fun, not because you want to make it the equivalent of something it's not and was never designed to be, because THAT is "Chasing the Dragon."

    Then again, my first experience with something labeled "Fender" was a MIJ Reissue 60's Stratocaster (after slogging it through my teens with an el Cheapo Kramer knockoff and an even CHEAPER strat knockoff that was supposed to be someone's idea of a 57 strat built by someone who had never played a Stratocaster under the directions of someone who'd never seen one except maybe in an outdated catalogue), so it was a rather high bar to begin with.

    Since then, I've gone through the entire gamut from Squiers to Classic Players/Classic Series, Deluxe, Fujigen MIJs, the more modern Dyna(?) MIJs, American Standards, American Deluxe, AmPro, etc., etc., etc. Tried some AVRIs (the old version of the AOs, more or less), found that I preferred the feel of the older Fujigen reissues (probably due to first impressions) versus "authentic" vintage specs-- going back to that "idea in your head" thing.

    Also, this place being what it is, I'll throw in a vote for "get the AO, keep both," since we're enablers, here.
     
  17. jaygold14

    jaygold14 Strat-Talk Member

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    Being a Squier owner since I started learning the guitar a couple years ago, this is something I've always struggled with in my mind.

    I've held an American strat in my hand. And yes, the body felt heavier, the plastic knobs and switches more sturdier, and the finish, glossier. It felt very good.

    I still haven't played one. I'm a bit hesitant I guess. It's a mixture of not wanting to be let down and feeling like I'm not good enough for such a quality instrument.
     
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  18. runningonempty

    runningonempty Strat-Talker

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    space reasons? it’s a guitar, not a piano - stick it in a case and put it in a corner.

    have you played a MIA? if not i highly suggest you do so. maybe you’ll find it’s not what you expected and you prefer what you already had or maybe you’ll love it. after all the hype i’d seen and heard about the AmPro2 I almost bought one sight unseen and was sure i would love it, then i played one and was surprised when i didn’t really care for it.

    now if you get a MIA and you love it then go ahead and sell off whatever overage you have.
     
  19. BK201

    BK201 Strat-Talker

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    I don't know about upgrade, in 2012 I played every strat Tele and jaguar MIM, MIJ, MIA at my local music store even some classic vibes(neck's were to thin but liked sound was surprised at quality tbh) from standard to elite etc.

    I walk out with standard strat MIA, in a way I look back and regret not getting a 2 MIM guitars instead, in another I got the best playing strat to me I've ever played and am really happy to play it. I don't regret not grabbing the elite maple top or deluxe, AVRI's were a little out of my price range though tbh :/.
     
  20. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    I've done that...
    If money isn't really an issue for you, I'd say go for it.
    But, be mindful of what lineup you're going for. I think the American Original are excellent guitars, but you have to understand yourself to see if you're good with the "upgrades". The purpose of the Original series is to have high end instruments that many vintage-correct specs that players appreciate.

    The question is: are you a "vintage correct" player?
    Because virtually for the same money (and quality), you could get an American Ultra strat. I'd say in terms of quality they are comparable, but the specs are very different.
     
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