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Old 11-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
Remnest
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Buying a Strat, Help me make a decision

As the title says, i'm in the market for a Strat. My problems start with me being lefty which narrows my options quite a bit lol. The idea is to change the pick ups when i buy it.

This is what i have in mind thus far:

1. Buy a MIM Fender strat
2. Look into an Amarican Made one, though since ive avoided Strats like the plague for years i'm not sure how big of a difference there is between these and a MIM one.
3. Buy a custom strat copy from Carvin.

The budget is ~800 though id prefer to stay way under that if possible. Used is perfectly fine with me. The sound i am going for is mainly Smashing pumpkins so i plan on putting some lace pick ups on whichever model i buy.

What do you guys think will be the best bang for my buck? And if its not these by all means suggest w/e you think is better.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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If I were you, I would either:

A. Buy a new or used MIM, and upgrade the elctronics. As long as you like the feel of the guitar, this would be your cheapest option.

B. Look for a used MIJ strat. You should be able to get on for around $500. I have an 85' and its great for blues/rock/pink floyd

You may be able to find a good deal on a MIA, if its your cup of tea, go for it. I personally would look for an 80's era MIJ over any newer MIA strat. You will pay less for the MIJ, and you can't even compare the quality of the two. Even Leo Fender admitted the 80's MIJ were superior to the MIA.
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Last edited by sheldonpardy : 11-25-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:13 PM   #3
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How much difference is there between the MIM and MIA?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnest
How much difference is there between the MIM and MIA?


Well, 1 fret, lower quality electronics, QC, and where it was made.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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MIA has better electronics, and hardware. I like the necks on the MIA better too.

IMO, I would rather stick with a MIM, and upgrade it. With the right electronics, it can sound as good as a MIA.

My MIM tele is completly stock, and I love it. I have been thinkning about upgrading the pickups tho.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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I bought a MIM blacktop strat its like 500 and its a great guitar! try that man!
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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I paid $350 for my MIM strat.
I must have tried 50+ different strats before I came across that one. Couldn't stand any of them until I came across that one.
It was love at first sight/play.
Its a 1996-1997 which some people have said was in the "golden era" for the MIM fenders.
Then I went and stuck some Custom Shop Texas Specials in it.
Its a great strat IMO.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
Remnest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
I paid $350 for my MIM strat.
I must have tried 50+ different strats before I came across that one. Couldn't stand any of them until I came across that one.
It was love at first sight/play.
Its a 1996-1997 which some people have said was in the "golden era" for the MIM fenders.
Then I went and stuck some Custom Shop Texas Specials in it.
Its a great strat IMO.


Did you need to change the pots or any other electronics?
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodeMonk
I paid $350 for my MIM strat.
I must have tried 50+ different strats before I came across that one. Couldn't stand any of them until I came across that one.
It was love at first sight/play.
Its a 1996-1997 which some people have said was in the "golden era" for the MIM fenders.
Then I went and stuck some Custom Shop Texas Specials in it.
Its a great strat IMO.



I agree, the old MIM are wayyy better then the newer ones!

With any MIM Fender, you're going to want to playing a few until you find one that feels right. I personally find that there are a lot of inconstancies in the necks on the newer ones, but that may just be me


Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnest
Did you need to change the pots or any other electronics?


You don't "have" to chage the electronics, it sounds fine stock. You can certianly imporve the guitars tone if you do decide to upgrade.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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Any idea on a good electronics upgrade kit?
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnest
Any idea on a good electronics upgrade kit?


Do you mean just pots, or pickups as well?

If you go to your local shop, they should have a selection of different pots/caps that will work. My advice would be to not cheap out on this stuff. This is the type of upgrade where spending a few extra $$ can go a long way in the quality, and durabality of the components.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:06 PM   #12
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I already know which picks ups i want, looking more at pots/caps etc
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:08 PM   #13
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I bought a new MIM strat not too long ago and I really like it, but sheldonpardy and CodeMonk are right. I had to try a whole bunch of them to fund one with a neck I liked that sounded like I wanted it to. I found that there were quite a few inconsistencies in the necks, but with patience hopefully you can find one that suits you.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:20 PM   #14
red.guitar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnest
I already know which picks ups i want, looking more at pots/caps etc


To be honest, almost anything that you will find (pot/cap wise) at a music shop would probably help the guitar. Another thing to consider, is if you really think the guitar is noisy, you can shield it. Shielding will alleviate a lot of the background hissing from electronics/poor grounding.

I'm going to shield my strat this week!
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remnest
Did you need to change the pots or any other electronics?


I didn't "Need" to.
But here's what I did to it :



It was more of a "fun" project (actually, it was a big PITA as far as the shielding goes).
Even the hole where the jack is is shielded, as is the hole between the jack area and the rest of it.

Yes, thats a PCB I made that the pots are mounted on.
I made it as a "quick disconnect" assembly. Although I have yet to build anything to swap out with

Edit:
Also, each pickup is controlled via an on-off-on toggle switch so I can shut off each pickup individually or set them in or out of phase.
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Last edited by CodeMonk : 11-25-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #16
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Haha thats awesome
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:37 PM   #17
red.guitar
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That quick connect is a great idea! It must make removing the pickguard assembly so much easier.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:53 PM   #18
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I have yet to try a MIM which has felt good in my hands. I have tried a coule of nice MIJ but MIA is consistently better.

I have heard that these days the MIA strats are as good as ever. they have actually made their guitars higher quality and at better prices which is great to see.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:20 PM   #19
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I don't know much about Strats, so forgive me about that.

Since you're interested in putting Lace pups in your Strat, I suggest that you look into a Fender Strat Plus. They are from the 80s to early 90s, and from doing a quick search on prices, they usually seem to go for about $700-$900 on average. If you can snag a cheaper one, then you can save money by not buying pickups since they're already there.

If that's a bit more than what you're willing to spend, you should buy a MIM Strat since I hear people say a lot of positive things about them. Also, you'll have a bit more money to spend on upgrading it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #20
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