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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
heya all! I am thinking about getting myself a strat to play around with, and I have heard that the mexican made ones are really nice. My question is, to those of you that have owned/played both types, which did you prefer and why?

thanks in advance for your input =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so there is no quality or wood difference? I would basically just be paying more money for the "made in USA" sticker on the headstock?

thanks =)
 

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I'll throw in my two cents. I own a mexican made Strat and it has served me very well. A cheap, reliable guitar. Some negatives include the tuning stability(atleast on mine, easily fixed w/ locking tuners) and the pickups. They are horrible in my opinion. If you get lucky, a properly set up mexican Strat can play as well as an American. I would go for a mexican one and upgrade some things(pups, nut, saddles, tuners) or check out the used market for an American.
 

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I don't own a Mexican yet, but I have been thinking about grabbing one for a long time to keep my American company. I think they are great guitars, especially for the price. The trem is not my favorite thing, and I would probably change the pickups. The biggest thing for me is being stuck with the 21 fret neck ... but that isn't so important on a Strat. Of course, then I figure that I would practically be modding it right back to a higher end model -- but oh well, it would still be cheaper for a "play around" axe. I like some of the color choices better anyway. I'll probably end up buying one one of these days ... hehe.
 

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Newer mexican models are crap if you can get a hold of the older mexican strat that's good cos they're nearly as good as their american brother.
 

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What makes the crap and when did they become crap?
Personally if you could I'd shell the money out for the American Deluxe.
 

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Theirs an older japanese version of the strat rumoured to have been made in the fujigen gaka factory (god i ALWAYS misspell that). These were Fender branded stratocasters said to have been better than their american standard counterparts at the time in both build quality and tone. Im not stating this is fact this is just stuff ive picked up over the years. Is it even likely that ibanez would have done something like this? I can see a company like E.s.p. doing so (which ive heard used to do custom shop work for fender)
 

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I think the new Mexican Strats are the best Mexican Strats that have been built. At least the "Classic" series. They are excellent guitars that happen to be made in Mexico. IMHO.
 

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I actually have a japanese made fender strat made in the ibanez factory. It plays amazingly well. My advice is to pick one up on the bay if you can. The one I have could use some new pickups and perhaps better tuners but it's a solid guitar and I got mine for very cheap.
 

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mi2tom said:
Newer mexican models are crap if you can get a hold of the older mexican strat that's good cos they're nearly as good as their american brother.
you got that ass backwards.
 

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Just my opinion though :roll: I've notice the older mex strat have got better and solid machine heads than the current mex strat and the pickups that they have in the older mex start rocks, surely the american strat beats all
 

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I bought a MiM Strat as a toy. Their build quality (same CNC programs) is on par with the made in America brethren but the wood quality on the MiM is not as high. I put a Warmoth neck on mine which made it better but the bridge/trem on the MiM is kind of tinny sounding. As someone else mentioned, you could replace the bridge saddles. But I'm not too sure that would make that much difference if the bridge mass is less than the MiA one.

It's good for a bedroom/practicing guitar though.

Incidentally, after I bought the Warmoth neck for that guitar, I bought an entire Warmoth Strat and assembled it and it is great.
 

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My main axe is a MIM Fat Strat (HSS). Simply put, it's the best guitar I've ever played, but that's me. I do think they are outstanding for the money. The build quality runs circles around many guitars of the same price level from other manufacturers. I agree that the pickups may leave something to be desired, I swapped mine. With Evo and a Virtual 2 Neck, it's sound is easily up to par with much higher end guitars, and much more versatile imo.

If you buy American, no doubt you will get your money's worth. Made in the USA, it just sounds good. Feature wise, you'll get better pup's, the locking tuners, abalone dots, 2 point tremolo, an extra fret :), and the hand rolled fretboard edges, yum. Not bad at all imo.

Either way, you will get a well made, quality instrument. No doubt in my mind.
But let me reccomend, the Highway 1 Strat. It's made in the USA, but priced like a MIM or MIK. It's simply a stripped down American strat, or at least that's how they pitch it ;). The 60s style headstock is the deal maker, methinks, plus it's HSS! Check it out... and good luck.

Im actually deciding right now b/w Highway 1 or an American Deluxe, lol. My bday is Thursday, and it's my present to myself;).
Fender rules.

\00/
 

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elcid said:
What makes the crap and when did they become crap?
Personally if you could I'd shell the money out for the American Deluxe.
Agreed.

And if you're on a budget, pickup an early Jap Squier, I kid you not those things are great guitars especially for the price. Very solid!
 

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Yep, early Jap Squiers are superb. Wouldn't part with mine. To be honest, the new Japanese strats/teles are very good too, better than you'd think.

The grapevine reckons the Mexican Jimmie Vaughan strat is the one to buy at the moment. Lovely guitar and great value for money is what I've heard.
 

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This is a relatively easy one to figure out. Go to your local Fender dealer and try both. I was on the fence too, and after a couple of sittings playing numerous MIM Strats and US Standard Strats, the differences are obvious.

The biggest differences IMHO are the pickups in the MIMs (horrible) and the neck is finished and feels differently.

MIM Strats cost about $400, but after you get done upgrading you'll have spent just as much as a US Strat. The Highway One Strats, made in USA start at $600. I bought my Standard US Strat for $700+ change. Head and shoulders above any of the dozens of MIM Strats I played.

Bottom line is go try them and decide for yourself.
 

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mi2tom said:
Newer mexican models are crap if you can get a hold of the older mexican strat that's good cos they're nearly as good as their american brother.
umm...no.
the newer mexican strats are alder bodied, versus the older mexicans being poplar. newer ones have the large, milled trem blocks. the older were cast and had very little mass to them. the electronics on the old ones were crap, too. the switch was an import and was flimsy. newer ones have fender switches, which are very stable. the pots are even different. the only thing that really stayed the same are the craptacular pickups. being ceramic and single coil for a strat is a bad idea. if fender would drop a decent set of alnicos in them, they would have a smoking guitar out of the gate.
as far as the tuners are concerned, they are the same from mexican to american. fender/ping tuners are used from all of them. only differences are the vintage kluson style, the schaller F for the 70s strats and the locking schaller that is spec'd on the fender/ping's. the only other deviation comes from the cheap ass strats...made at the squier plant. those are the covered ones that are crap.
for me the mexican strats are awesome...after a few mods. i swap the string trees for american standard ones. swap pickups, and 250k pots for 500k. add a hot rail and push pull for the hum. they kill. the 21 frets suck, but for a used strat at around $200-300. great beaters.

rich
 

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I recently picked up an 89' JAP 50's Reissue, and I have to say, it's the best strat I've played to date.

The built quality is superior to current USA standard, and it's more strat than strat.

I hear the japanese can still buy JAP strats, and I'd be very interested in exporting a new one!
 
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