#1
Just a note - this is not just a "MIM vs. MIA - What's Better" kind of a post.

I'm sure there's going to be differences in sound quality, but about the differences in guitar quality and durability.

Some people have said MIA's are more "built to last" than the MIM Strats, but is it really true?

I'm just a beginner, but I don't really see myself buying a bunch of guitars in the future. Fender Strats are my favorite (and have been for years) and I'd rather buy 1 MIA than 2+ MIM's.

Is an MIA really going to last longer than a MIM?

Also, taking everything into consideration, is a MIA worth the extra money?
Last edited by yellowsnow4free at Dec 23, 2008,
#3
I would say the americans will last longer.

Better quality woods and hardware.

Take tables as an obvious example. A high quality mahogany one, will last longer than one made of cheap balsa-wood.

Thats an exaggeration obviously, but it gets the point across.
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#4
Yeah, I might just shell out the extra to get an MIA.

I really can see myself buying my 1st guitar and keeping it forever, which would be pretty cool.

Also, if I can get a good deal on an MIA, I can probably sell it back down the road for what I paid for it.

Based on my research, a MIA costs ~$200 to $300 more than a MIM, and considering I already have an okay practice amp (Crate GX 30M) I think I can splurge a little. Heck, I found my amp at a garage sale for $30
Last edited by yellowsnow4free at Dec 23, 2008,
#5
crate GX... eh, probably isn't as good as you think.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#6
Quote by yellowsnow4free
Yeah, I might just shell out the extra to get an MIA.

I really can see myself buying my 1st guitar and keeping it forever, which would be pretty cool.

Also, if I can get a good deal on an MIA, I can probably sell it back down the road for what I paid for it.

Based on my research, a MIA costs ~$200 more than a MIM, and considering I already have a decent amp (Crate GX 30M) I think I can splurge a little. Heck, I found my amp at a garage sale for $30

Really?
MIM's around here cost about 400 less than an MIA.
#7
Quote by cratskomodo
Really?
MIM's around here cost about 400 less than an MIA.


Same here.

But I think that unless you play for ridiculously long times everyday, the guitar falling apart wont be an issue. MIM's are decent quality. I'm sure that the MIA are better quality in many respects, but I dont think the difference will be enormous. Once you replace the pickups and possibly the tuners on an MIM, you will have a very solid guitar. Providing you didnt buy a lemon.
#8
Quote by JohnFrusciante6
they'll last the same time... the mim will probably start to go out of tune quicker than the mia. fretboard might decay a little bit but it's not like the guitar will fall apart.

atleast that's what happened to my guitars.


My MIM that i got about two months ago has still not gone out of tune and i go crazy on my trem as i mainly play Van Halen plus i play on it for 3-5 hours a day... If you are going to get a mim just make sure you try it before you buy it.
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#9
Quote by JohnFrusciante6
they'll last the same time... the mim will probably start to go out of tune quicker than the mia. fretboard might decay a little bit but it's not like the guitar will fall apart.

atleast that's what happened to my guitars.

I'd say it depends how good of a set up you have. The way I have the strings wound right now, it doesn't go out of tune at all. That being said, I'm sure it would be better if I had the locking tuners that some of the MIA models have.

By the way TS, where do you live? I bought my MIM Strat for $300 (used), MIA's even used are usually around the $850+ mark.
my MG15DFX has a button that simulates the sound of one of the expensive tube marshall amps


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#10
Well, I usually look for Strats used, and I've seen a couple MIA's for around $500, so compared to the typical MIM for $300, it's not too bad.
#11
Quote by oneblackened
crate GX... eh, probably isn't as good as you think.

Yeah, but better than my previous amp... a Toys R Us battery-powered piece of crap
Last edited by yellowsnow4free at Dec 23, 2008,
#12
Quote by madbomber233
Same here.

But I think that unless you play for ridiculously long times everyday, the guitar falling apart wont be an issue. MIM's are decent quality. I'm sure that the MIA are better quality in many respects, but I dont think the difference will be enormous. Once you replace the pickups and possibly the tuners on an MIM, you will have a very solid guitar. Providing you didnt buy a lemon.

Yeah, but if I don't plan on replacing the pickups & tuners, wouldn't the MIA be the better value?
#13
Quote by MustangSVT
I'd say it depends how good of a set up you have. The way I have the strings wound right now, it doesn't go out of tune at all. That being said, I'm sure it would be better if I had the locking tuners that some of the MIA models have.

By the way TS, where do you live? I bought my MIM Strat for $300 (used), MIA's even used are usually around the $850+ mark.

Really? My MIA cost $630.
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#14
Quote by FloyDZeD
Really? My MIA cost $630.

Well it depends how old we're talking here. I've only been looking on craigslist for a while now and I've yet to see one under $800 here. Then again I live in Canada and prices aren't exactly the best here, but I still got a good deal on my MIM Strat. $300 for only 6 months used.
my MG15DFX has a button that simulates the sound of one of the expensive tube marshall amps


Fender Stratocaster HSS
LTD EC-400AT
Traynor YCV-50 Blue
Peavey Envoy 110

Wishlist: Hamer USA Explorer, Gibson Explorer
#16
Quote by yellowsnow4free
Yeah, but better than my previous amp... a Toys R Us batter-powered piece of crap

it's still not good, man. IMO, get a Peavey Vypyr 30 and an MIM.
Current Gear:
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Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#17
Theres not an awful lot build wise between the two. My old guitar teacher has a MIM strat and still has it now..has had no problems with it...were talkin 16 years now..i still know him and he still uses it live...so they are built to last..but as the saying goes you get what you pay for so who knows maybe he got an exceptional one..long as look after it ok im sure it will b fine for a long time
#18
You can buy a Fender made by Mexicans in Mexico. Or you can buy a Fender made by Mexicans in the USA
#19
Quote by eurotrashed
FYI, MIM necks are made in the USA. Check out the tour:
http://reviews.photoweborama.com/allthingsguitar1/fendertour/index.html

MIA has better hardware and pickups, thats about it. The bodies are that much better either. For the most part they are all multi piece bodies and lots of 90s MIAs even had swimming pool routes

Multi piece doesn't matter so much, so long as its no more than about 3 pieces.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#20
If your going for the long run I'd get the American. Its made with higher quality materials, the pickups are a lot better, and they started putting a thin finish on them so the wood can breathe and age giving you a better sound with time. If you take of your guitars both of them will last as long as you want them too, but like someone said earlier it'll start going out of tune and the wood will weaken faster on the MIM. I'm with you though, I love strats!
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#21
Quote by oneblackened
Multi piece doesn't matter so much, so long as its no more than about 3 pieces.


I think there have been some MIA that were seven pieces with a veneer on top
#22
Quote by eurotrashed
You can buy a Fender made by Mexicans in Mexico. Or you can buy a Fender made by Mexicans in the USA

I sometimes make that same joke when I show people my guitar and they see it's made in mexico.
my MG15DFX has a button that simulates the sound of one of the expensive tube marshall amps


Fender Stratocaster HSS
LTD EC-400AT
Traynor YCV-50 Blue
Peavey Envoy 110

Wishlist: Hamer USA Explorer, Gibson Explorer
#23
Quote by eurotrashed
I think there have been some MIA that were seven pieces with a veneer on top

I thought they were for the MIM's... That's what I read on the kisekae site.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#24
By the american.

It's likely that the people telling you to get the mexicans own mexicans and the people telling you to buy americans are people that own americans.

They will both be very happy of course. I'm not saying either are bad instruments.

As an outsider (I have an old tokai and have done for a good few years) I can tell you that the americans are better. End of. When on my last guitar buying spree I must have tried at least 60 american, mexican and japanese fenders. The americans WERE BEST. The mexicans, when compared side by side just didn't feel anywhere near as nice. the japanese were very nice, but felt a little cheap too.

If you buy anything else but an american, you will be left wanting an american until you have one. It's just one of those things.

I have an elitist epiphone, which is every bit as good as most gibsons. But I still want a gibson. It's just the way it works.

Please listen to me, buy the american and be happy ever more. Instead of buying anything else and buying an american later on, wasting lots of money in the trade.
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#25
Quote by willieturnip
If you buy anything else but an american, you will be left wanting an american until you have one. It's just one of those things.

+1

Exactly why I got an American even though I have a nice MIM. I just needed an American Strat.
Did you know the odds of a Vault-Tec shelter failing are 1,763,497 to 1?

So imagine life in a Vault-Tec Vault. Not just a future.
A brighter future... underground.

Patrolling the Mojave almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter.
#26
Well, I'm not in a rush to buy a Strat (although I can't stand this Toys R Us guitar much longer) so I'll be keeping my eyes out for a deal on a MIA...

Thanks for all the help everyone!

PS: Why does everyone seem to hate my Crate GX 30M amp? I know there are definitely better amps available, but for $30? How can you beat it?
#27
Quote by yellowsnow4free
Well, I'm not in a rush to buy a Strat (although I can't stand this Toys R Us guitar much longer) so I'll be keeping my eyes out for a deal on a MIA...

Thanks for all the help everyone!

PS: Why does everyone seem to hate my Crate GX 30M amp? I know there are definitely better amps available, but for $30? How can you beat it?


Good to hear.

I have nothing against it. A dollar a watt. Who cares what it sounds like?
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#29
mim strats are a great value maybe the best budget guitar out there.

honestly i own a 2003 american and a 1994 mexican and truth be told the

mexican get's played 300 times as much as my american i just like the way it plays

better, the american feels like it is built better but the mexican is my go to.
#30
any guitar will last as long as you take proper care of it.

the mia's will probably last a little longer than the mim, which are also good, but if you have the money, just go ahead and get the mia. its worth the extra money
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#31
Granted the MIA is better out of the box, but if you plan on changing anything to find your sound, you are getter getting a MIM

My MIM was $300 new. I spent another $100 so far replacing stuff, in the end the MIM will have cost me like $550
#32
If you can afford a MIA, get a MIA. It's much better than a MIM. The MIM's are good guitars, they just don't compare to the MIM''s even in the field of durability you specified. At the same time though, the MIM will probably take more dings and stuff since the MIA's finish is a thinner Polyurethane finish, and the MIM's have a coating to the point you can probably hit it with a hammer and it'll be fine(protip; don't hit it with a hammer. Not guarantees).
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