I'm looking at picking up a used guitar. I want to buy a Fender, but I just have a few questions and maybe you guys can answer them for me. Ok here we go:

1) What are the differences between:

Fender Squire Stratocaster
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mexican Stratocaster
Fender American Stratocaster
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster


Fender Telecastor
Fender Deluxe Telecastor

I mean, its kind of overwhelming with the variable amount of types.

Basically I want the guitar that has the thinnest neck for a small hand/fingers. I also want a low bridge and something that has the best sound/tone for under $400 USED.

Which one of those Fenders, or a Fender that is NOT on that list would your recommend for me to buy for under $400 USED. I already have a good AMP.

Also, what type of pickup arragement is best? 3 of them? 2 of them in pairs? 2 of them seperated? 2 of them and the 3rd is slanted? Forgive me for the not using the technical terms on the pickup configurations. =)

PS: I only want a Fender.

Squiers are the cheap line of Fender guitars. My Squier Tele is worth about 160 USD
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Last edited by food1010 at Feb 25, 2009,
For that price you could get a new Mexican.I doubt you could get a used American though. Maybe if you were lucky. You could probably get a used special mexi strat like a players strat or a classic 60's or something. I really don't want to explain all the types but someone will. Basically with the Fenders, mostly the same parts, American are slightly better, one made in USA one made in Mexico. American deluxe has nicer pups and binding on tele's and nicer finished etc. The mexican is in a lot of ways no different than the American. But I think the American feels better and sounds a little clearer to begin with.

I think just a straight SSS (all three) is the best for a strat.

What kind of amp DO you have though?

Your best bet if you want a plug and play strat is probably a nice MIM or one of their special models.
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Last edited by Artemis Entreri at Feb 25, 2009,
squires are cheap fenders. around 150-200 dollars

standard american and standard mexican fenders.. the difference is price and quality. americans are twice as expensive as mexican made fenders.

the difference between a strat and a tele.. is teles have thinner necks, 2 pickups, and a more brighter treble ended sound, and a strat is pretty much a tele with a thicker neck, 3 pickups, a more smooth sound, and a wicked body .

if your just starting out, id get a squire.. you could get a mexican strat or tele for around 400, but i wouldnt dish out the money just yet if your a beginner. you might not like fenders .
Last edited by pepsi1187 at Feb 25, 2009,
Fender squier is the lower end brand of fender, these guitars aren't the best out there, although they are excellent beginner guitars (no matter what people say, I've played on a squier bullet that played better than a mexican strat)
The fender guitars are then made in either Mexico, Japan or America ( I think Korea too, but I'm not that aware of it). Basically, made in mexico uses lower end wood and electronics and everything to make cheaper guitars that don't sound as good. The made in america guitars use better finish, better woods, etc. etc. etc. and are claimed to be the best guitars in the world (no matter what the brand is). Made in japan (Crafter in japan, in the case of recent fender) is between mexican and quality and american quality, although it's closer to american than mexican imo.

The telecastor doesn't exist, it's called telecaster ;-)
just see the deluxe versions as better looking guitars, I think that's the only difference, although I'm not so sure, so don't quote me on that.

Price ranges for MIM are around 400-650 dollars, CIJ 650-1000 dollars and MIM 900-infinity

The pickups arrangement depends on you, on what kind of sound you like, A single coil will give you a cleaner sound, brighter, closer to an acoustic guitar (kind of) but a humbucker (or a pair, as you called it) will give you a warmer sound and more distortion if you ever need any.
I don't know what the slanted pickup is for though.

1- Why only a fender? I know they are great guitars, but you shouldn't be too close minded, some other brands are great.
2- What is your good amp?
3- If you wanna go for under 400 used, I'd say a higher end mexican strat/tele, I think they would fit in this
For that money, see if you can find a used MIJ (Made in Japan) Strat. The action is really good and the neck on mine is a little thinner than my Squier. They come in a variety of pickup configurations, but you can definitely find one for under 400, and I'd say their quality is on par with most American Strats.
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I can usually find good deals but $400 fro a good MIA is going to be hard to find. But if you can find it, I would suggest watching your local CraigsList. I think eBay will be too competitive.
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PS: I only want a Fender.

Yes! Great taste man.

$400 will most likely get you a Fender Standard Stratocaster (MIM) though I have seen some MIJ models and a couple Fender Deluxe Stratocasters (MIM) in that range.

Basically, both standard models (Fender Standard & American Fender Standard) have similar stuff. Basically the average Strat. The American (MIA) has a smoother neck, rolled edges of the fretboard, and the fretboard is varnished a little.

Both Deluxe models (Fender Deluxe & American Deluxe) have the Fender noiseless pickups, and a "boost" button. Also, on the American the base of the neck plate is curved (easier for solos).

I believe that's it really. Best to just spend some quality time in a music store and see what you like. Just keep in mind that for your budget, you're most likely not going to find an American (maybe a Highway 1 though).

PM me if you have any more questions; I'll try and answer them to the best of my ability.

EDIT: If you want that classic Fender tone, go for a SSS (3 single coil pickups) configuration. HSS (1 Humbucker, 2 single coil pickups) isn't bad either though. Once again, this is just my preference, so just try out both and see what you like.
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Last edited by yellowsnow4free at Feb 26, 2009,
If you have $400 don't mess with squiers. If you want a fender, with that money you should either get a Mexican Stratocaster or Telecaster. The two have pretty different sounds, so you should try em both. Tele's have a lot of "bite" and "twang". Strats have an very recognizable sound, think hendrix/srv/clapton, very versatile instrument. Some people describe them as "woody".
You'll have a little trouble finding a MIJ strat for 400 but they are sometimes around. If you can grab one for 400 do it.
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Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
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Random Rack Gear

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American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
I would recommend walking into a shop and trying them all.
So many Fenders, go and find ones which play nice, sound nice, and have everything you need/want.
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