MIM or American?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by AlFromNY, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    If you land on the Player...let's talk about amps...... :D
     
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  2. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    I have one of each. I think that if the ProII is in the budget, you should go for it. But . . . BUT . . . if you've been out of the game for a while and you're not sure what you want out of the guitar, the MIM is financially a safer bet and will still sound excellent.

    The ProII has a few features that set it apart for me. The pickups and trem system are both objectively better than the Player's. The frets are a little taller, which makes for easier playing. The AmProII's neck is satin rather than gloss, which is extremely smooth and fast. The AmProII's neck is slightly thicker than the Player's "modern C", which for me means that I don't have to use my grip muscles quite as much (inner elbow inflammation is a problem for me), making for more comfortable play. And the AmProII has the option of a rosewood fretboard, which I prefer over maple and pau ferro.

    If these specs mean nothing to you, then a Player will be a very nice guitar. You could also find an older Mexican Standard with ceramic pickups easily for under $400, even around $300.

    Or, you could get a used Player and AmPro for the price of a new AmPro.
     
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  3. stormsedge

    stormsedge Senior Stratmaster

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    Oh...and Welcome! :thumb:
     
  4. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Where in NY?
     
  5. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    I see you went for the best bang for a buck on your amp as well. :)
     
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  6. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Stop chewing on your neck, it's not a slim jim.
     
  7. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Oh lord.

    His head's gonna burst.
     
  8. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    LMAO.... Hell..I'll sell him a mint Player and a mint Katana 100 MKI and he'll be out the doors for under a grand with the shipping. Good to go!
     
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  9. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    I really like my friends Player Strat, it's a fine guitar.
     
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  10. Monkey

    Monkey Strat-Talker

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    I have a player series they sound good , good action nice guitar , as other members have said the amplifier you are using can change your opinion about the guitar. That is to say plug my player into a marshall valve amp sounds great, plug the player into a transistor fender amp some of bell like sound has gone . some of the fret ends needed a little cleaning up , about 4 in total. many of the parts mia and mim are the same. cheaper to make parts in mex. some of the working bands will buy player series to take out to there bookings , keep there mia strats at home . player will meet all your needs that is my advice.
     
  11. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Strat-O-Master

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    Like has been said, play both and get the one that speaks to you.

    The quality is very close IMO. The only MIM Fender I own is a 2016 50s Road Worn Tele, but it's great. One day I tried an American Special, a few American Professionals, and a couple of MIM 50s Road Worn Telecasters. I ended up buying the best of 3 (to me) MIM 50s Road Worns. I especially love the neck, and it sounds great, like an old school Tele should. I added compensated brass saddles and a treble bleed circuit at a cost of around $44 bucks. It's been a gigging workhorse ever since. I would spend the bigger dollars a really good amp.
     
  12. Stratocaster4life

    Stratocaster4life Strat-Talk Member

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    I have a '97 Mexican Strat. It cost $400. It looks like the price has appreciated based on Reverb listings of late 90s Mexican strats.

    I upgraded to an American Strat neck. The American neck feels smoother. The Mexican neck was good though, just the frets were worn down to the fretboard.
    I replaced the pickups. Although the original pickups were noisy, teenager me didn't even notice. The American ones are noisy too.
    The hardware lasted for a good 15 years before needing to be replaced. Probably no difference in stock pickups or hardware.

    Really, you're just paying for the better American neck. However, its the neck that gives a lot of the intonation and harmonics, and is very important for playability.
    If you plan on doing a lot of practice, I would recommend wearing out the cheaper Mexican neck.
    If this fledgling guitarist is planning on doing shows and recording, then the American.
     
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  13. Stratocaster4life

    Stratocaster4life Strat-Talk Member

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    My Mexican neck's frets lasted for maybe 5,000 to 9,000 hours, but not all the way to 10,000-hour gold-standard.
    I have since cut down my practice to a couple times a week and the frets on my replacement American neck are not worn at all.
    Hopefully you're right on it lasting longer and I'll never have to replace it again.
     
  14. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I would go by what features you want vs. country of manufacture. I've got both MIA and MIM Teles and Strats and don't see any differences in quality or playability in any of them. In fact I just sold my old MIA Lonestar Strat a few months ago and bought these two MIM Deluxe Roadhouses with the money, one new and one used. The one on the left is probably my favorite Fender I've ever owned. It's a 2020 and came with Vintage Noiseless pickups. Bought it new for $824.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Senior Stratmaster

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    Hello Al, welcome to the forum. Glad to have you here.
    Lots of good answers above. I think I would choose the MIM and an appropriate amp, if it were me. I have a CV-50 Squier and an older MIM both are fine Strat's to for me.
    Enjoy the hunt and try them both if you can.
     
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  16. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    Both beautiful, that sonic gray is a real standout.
     
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  17. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    Facetiously: MIM is a guitar made in Mexico by Mexicans. MIA is a guitar made in America by Mexicans.

    That's not completely true, but the factories are less than 200 miles apart, use the same CNC machines (largely), and share some materials.

    In short: The players are great instruments. Don't be afraid to save yourself a few hundred bucks by getting a player and having a recommended luthier set the thing up with your chosen gauge of strings. Later on if you don't like the sound, spend that money on a set of pickups that suits your playing style.

    The bits on a guitar (in order of importance ... in my opinion):

    - Neck
    - Electronics
    - Hardware (tuners, bridge, nut, etc)
    - Body

    Unless you want a semi transparent or burst body, you aren't going to notice any difference between a 2 piece and a 4 piece body under the layer of paint. Some people can hear the difference between a nitro finish and a polyester finish... but that differentiation isn't a consideration on the factory guitars under discussion.

    Electronics in a MIM Fender are fine... I just don't like the standard MIM pickups very much... but that's nothing inherently wrong with them. As you'll see on this forum, most people will fiddle with the electronics at some point. Both American and Mexican bodies vary in weight from unit to unit. It's not something Fender quote in their specifications.

    So it comes to the neck. This is the bit you are interacting with, and is the single most important thing on how a guitar feels. There is nothing wrong with the player necks, but some USA necks are just that little bit nicer. When I was starting out, there is no way I could have told the difference... or if I had, whether that would be important. Sure, you can go and sit in a shop and play both, and the salesman will convince you can feel a massive difference... but frankly once you get it home and start playing, it will become your neck. It's like TVs... easy to see a difference when two models on display next to each other... but once you get it home and set it up, your eyes will get used to what you have.

    American necks probably leave the production line slightly better than the mexicans, but all will benefit from a good setup: Make sure the frets are level, the ends are filed, the truss rod and bridge are correctly set, the nut is filed correctly. If you get a rosewood/pau ferro fretboard you can even have the edges rolled slightly if you want. A well setup Mexican will feel better than a poorly setup American.

    The one difference you will notice is the frets: Medium jumbo vs narrow tall. I have guitars with both (as well as Jumbos), and I have no issue with any of them. Other people are passionate for one fret size over the other. If you are happy with Narrow Tall, you could also look at the Mexican Deluxe series. MIM, but with USA electronics.

    Everything else: Pretty sure all the tuners are made in Taiwan. The bridges are either made in Taiwan or the USA. I have never felt the need to upgrade either my 2 point nor 6 point Taiwanese Fender bridges (though I have upgraded a Floyd rose on another guitar). Knobs are knobs. Pickguards are pickguards.
     
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  18. Green Sub

    Green Sub Strat-Talker

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    I’ve got American Special, Mexican Player, and Glarry Strats.

    Here is what a $75 Glarry sounds like in the right hands. I think it’s more the guitarist than the guitar. Thanks Miguel for making this video.

     
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  19. beerbelly

    beerbelly Strat-Talker

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    I've built and modded many guitars over the last 15 years and owned several Strats; a MIM and 3 Classic Vibes. All were good guitars, but I was always wondering how much different they were compared to a USA model, and often added USA parts to try to improve them. I finally bought a used (2015) American Standard in mint, all original condition, with a Fender hard case and a Fender gig gag, for $950. Not drastically more than a new Player series, and it has a case. This was a $1500 guitar new. I'm not bad-mouthing the Player series; I've heard many good reviews, and I thought about buying one also.

    From my perspective, I no longer need to modify non-USA Strats, attempting to somehow create one; it's the gold standard, and the end of my search. I can tell you that you'll know you're holding a premium guitar; all the little things do add up and make playing so much easier and enjoyable.

    As an old timer myself, I'm sure you can relate to the automotive quality & pricing structure used by the Big 3 back then. GM for instance; from low to high- Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick, then top of the line Cadillac. Guitar manufacturers are no different, with slight variations in components and features, manufactured to a price point, until you get to the top of the line.

    So if you can afford either one, my vote is for the USA model. But if you have the opportunity to try both out, and have no preference, the Player would be a great option.

    Strat & cases.JPG
     
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  20. pcampbell

    pcampbell Strat-Talker

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    There's a lot of good advice above. I lean toward the MIM models, but probably the best thing to do is make sure you play some of both (enough to feel as though you've got a good feel for the differences), and decide based on what feels right to you.

    Good luck, and enjoy!
     
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