Would upgrading to a MIM fender strat worth it?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by basselvm70s, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Jam Handy

    Jam Handy Strat-Talk Member

    Jun 8, 2017
    Florida, USA
    Here in the states you can swap out the pots, switch, wires, caps and jack for about $30USD. Then drywall the entire control cavity under the pots and under the pickups, and on the back of the pickguard with copper shielding tape. A roll of that stuff varies in price depending on how much is on the roll and where you buy it... $10-20 for that stuff.

    You can also just unsolder the entire wiring harness and stash it somewhere if you don't like the results.

    Leave the pickups in the guitar.

    I've done that change to several Squire and Mexican Strats, always with good results. By replacing the cheesy/cheap pots, switch, etc, etc the pickups you have can now breathe. Very similar to installing a set of headers on a small block Chevy motor. The cheap electronics they use are strangling the potential of the pickups.

    By making a sort of "can" out of the copper shielding tape, most all of the typical single coil hum will be gone. A lot cheaper fix than buying Noiseless pickups.
  2. DeanIversenGreen

    DeanIversenGreen Strat-Talk Member

    Mar 18, 2016
    Seattle, Wa.
    honestly I have both, if its a 90's MIM, maybe, but a modern vintage modified with alnicos and a big block you may be trading backwards, as in the MIM may not have a big block and it may have ceramics.. 90's wood and craftsmanship are equivalent..

    most MIM's do have ceramics, very few MIM's have big blocks specials and so forth will have big blocks but.. also fretting may be on the squier side as today squier is pumping out fantastic fret jobs while in the 90s frets were the Achilles of the MIM, unless its a special so forth, or a fire strat..

    2010 on up, maybe 2015 MIM? keep the squier no matter what, the modern MIMs are garbage, fret sprout, ill located bridges, bad fret job, very very bad woods, found em with knots and so forth, they like to use the CRAPPIEST of wood then lay a thin veneer over the top and back, oh boy they can get funky and very hard to refinish cuz the veneer is so thin by the time you level it all up after removing the finish the veneer is vacant in some spots and that's that, it just keep lifting, some squiers are like that as well..

    hale I have CXS and NV Squiers will blow your mind, the NC bullets with the 60's necks? some of the best strat's I have honestly that's no jokes, I have 5 of them with 60's necks and the necks ROCK! I could find a bare strat body of lightweight paulwina ash or alder, toss a thin coat of lacquer on it and its going to feel like any genuine vintage out there, with my fret jobs maybe even better?

    I have one thats a tobacco burst and the paint begin to flake here and there, very thin coat indeed, I sanded it all down to lose the sharp point of finish where its chipped off, did some work to it, slapped a vintage set of Evans pickups in her, bridge is large font reads 22.34k, no chit, middle is small font reads 11.k and the neck is 12.5 k and its ridiculous to play and sounds like welp, ya just gotta hear it, she'll take on all comers, the bridge pup is ridiculous and sounds better the more juice ya pump through her.. seriously

    from left to right, the white on left is a squier NC body, I put a vintage reissue MIM neck on it, works real nice.. it has oh Sullivan vintage 60's perfect too, brown wire, yup, nickel frets, medium, top wiring cloth, top pots, everything..

    in the rear an all black NC with the 60's neck, this has pickups off'n a 80's fender standard, I put the black guard on it, and wired it up with primo components, did some neck work and it runs like a CHAMP!

    front center is the tobaccoish with the Evans, needs to introduction its a beast and so so comfy for me.. these NC bodies they came more forward with the tummy route so it fits well, why I like em really, they aren't too heavy not too light, good resonation, all around good, not perfect of course but darn good..

    far right is an American made neck and body sent to mehico after the fire, yup shes a fire strat, you can point it out in a jiff by the walnut plug in the head stock then the hole pattern on the pick guard, for this model so it wouldn't get confused with any other, as in bodies and necks form the USA they moved the typical screw hole above the middle pickup forward about oh 3/8th"..

    NO OTHER STRATS OF ANY KIND HAVE THIS HOLE PATTERN! they did it to signify that it was an MIM with american parts after the fire, they wanted a subtle designation aside form the neck in case they got separated, and its a VERY VERY nice MIM stratocaster, the feel of the neck is unreal! I wouldn't try to put a dollar amount on it but with the custom ferarri lace sensors and everything I have done to it it would have to be upward of $1k, I couldn't build another like it for less, and I am not sure where to find these fire strats, they didn't make many and you don't see em for sale ever, people get em for a song cuz folks just think they are 90's MIM's..

    I've seen a lot of peeps think they have one but they don't, it MUST have a walnut plug and the distinguishing plate bolt pattern, I believe there is one other strat with this screw pattern but for the life of me I cannot remember???

    I have a ton of Squeirs. a TON. literally, about a tons worth, most are rare but then I have a thing for these NC's from china and then the CSX and bronze label Affinities, the alder body models... those are SO SO sweet, cuz they have such a fat neck, very cool pick guards and decent bodies, the necks on the CSX are so fat you can whittle em down to your desired profile, dual profile? why not, if your good enough with a rasp or spoke shaver right? I even have a very very rare squier affinity heel adjust neck, very rare, mine is the only one I ever seen and I equate it to a baseball card error card, I think it was a mistake, its in no brochures and I have seen many and I have never seen another..

    I believe it was a mistake all the the way? into the box and into a shop, used and into my hands via an auction site for a song.. fact I'll post a pic see if anyone else has one? oh and I also have a thing for heel adjust necks too...


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    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  3. Lankytwang

    Lankytwang Strat-O-Master

    Mar 17, 2020
    Lancashire englandSTRAT
    I know I'm old but its not me!:p
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.
  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

    May 21, 2010
    I know exactly who it is mate, I know him very well. :whistling:
    Lankytwang likes this.