Mid 90s MiM Strat vs. Today's Player

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by awarren82, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. uncle daddy

    uncle daddy Strat-Talker

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    I have smallish hands too, and find the Jimmie Vaughan signature suits me really well. A soft V profile over the first 5 frets, blending to a C profile further up. It has very little shoulder to the carve, but at the same time it's not thin either. I rounded the edges slightly too, to make it feel played in, plus the satin front and back (which is a bit unusual) has none of that grippy feel you get with a gloss finish.
     
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  2. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Strat-Talker Platinum Supporting Member

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    While I would suspect that on average a new Player Series will be better, any given 90s MIM Strat could be better than any given new MIM Strat. Fenders being what they are, at every level and every vintage you will find magical guitars and you will find lemons. Starting from zero I’d think you’d be less likely to get a lemon with the new ones, but if you’re asking, will a random Player series be better than a particular older instrument that you know and like, that’s a total dice roll.

    What does “better” even mean in that context? Pickups will be different, but that’s a matter of taste. The old ceramics are their own thing; some people prefer them, believe it or not. The new ones are okay, but not great IMO. The new hardware and electronics are probably a bit higher quality but the old stuff but it got the job done—it was basic Strat stuff; what do you want?

    I guess the question is what you would be trying to achieve by upgrading. If you like how the neck feels on your current Strat, any other shortcomings could almost certainly be addressed for much less than the cost of a new guitar. But sometimes you just want a new guitar. That’s fine. After 25 years, I don’t think getting a new guitar (or another guitar) is very extravagant. Full disclosure: I’m a chronic GAS addict and accumulator of instruments, so my perspective may be skewed.

    But having owned a lot of Strats, I will say that a 96 MIM was one of the best, believe it or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  3. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve got 3 Strats but the one I play the most is a 94 MIM Strat. Even though it’s not a select 2 piece body or anything fancy, it’s got good bones So I’ve updated the hardware and electronics.

    In terms of hardware, I’ve upgraded the Tremolo block to a full size one and I replaced the block saddles with bent steel saddles. I also replaced the tuners. I’ve tried a number of sets of pickups but the ones I really like are a set from bootstrap. They weren’t expensive but they are really quite good. Currently I’m going through a metal phase so I’ve got a SD humbucker in the bridge and the bootstrap singles in the middle and neck positions. There’s not a lot this guitar doesn’t provide and if it went missing tomorrow, I’d go find another. I like it that much.
     
  4. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    Never owned a 90s MIM Strat .

    I did have an 2009 Standard however and the Player is definitely an upgrade . ;)
     
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  5. michaeljohnr

    michaeljohnr Strat-Talk Member

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    I own a 2019 Player Series and would compare it quality wise to the mid 2000's American Standards minus the rolled fretboard edges.

    Mine arrived perfect and is a very good playing and sounding guitar.
     
  6. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I think if I weren’t prone to modifying guitars and messing about with them, I would simply upgrade. Since the Player models arrived Ive played a few at a local shop (before the plague) and I thought they were a lot like my old Am Standard Strat and the price is ridiculously good.
     
  7. greezy strings

    greezy strings Strat-Talker

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  8. arcticstrat

    arcticstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    I have 2 ‘96 MIMs. I agree they’re not too shabby. The black label has one of the finest rosewood necks I ever seen on any MIM Strat, and will hold its own against most MIA American strat necks. But after saying that, I will say my ‘18 Player is a step up from both the 96 MIMs that I have. IMHO

    The 1996 MIM’s:

    [​IMG]

    The 2018 MIM Player:

    [​IMG]

    ...and I totally get the “chronic GAS” addiction issue. ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. awarren82

    awarren82 New Member!

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    Which one is the black label? My guitar is identical to the one on your left. 95 or 96.
     
  10. arcticstrat

    arcticstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    They are both 1996. The MIM Traditional in Torino Red is the black label.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
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  12. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Strat-Talker Platinum Supporting Member

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    My '96 Strat that I liked a lot was also a Torino Red black label model, but it had a maple fretboard. Those are easily the most under-appreciated members of the Fender line.
     
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  13. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    These are my three Strats.

    The Eric Johnson on the right is obviously the pricier of the three. The sunburst with the rosewood fretboard on the left is a Classic Player 60’s, made in Mexico and a fantastic guitar in its own right. The black one in the middle is a 94 MIM Squier Series. It’s the predecessor of the black label Standards. I play it the most of the three by far. The neck is fantastic and with new tuners, a full size trem block and new bent saddles it has the same level of playability as the others. It cost $250 before upgrades and I’d buy another without hesitation. It’s sporting a Seymour Duncan humbucker and middle and neck Bootstrap pickups. It’s a killer combo.

    D40CF2B6-9F8F-4AEE-84C0-BBBE0C3168C3.jpeg
     
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