#1
Hey, so I had heard that late 90's made in mexico stratocasters were better than other mexican made strats because they used the same parts as the American ones at that time, and the pickups were better, and stuff like that.

I was wondering if this was true, and exactly what years this was true for, cause i was thinking about getting a mexican strat, and i wanted to get a good one. Was it like 95 - 99? Or 93-98? something like that? Thanks for the help
#2
I heard actually that the new MiM fender's are better and the old ones had worse hardware and quality.
#3
the 2009 ones are awesome but as is most of fenders stuff these days, its hard to find faults with alot of the new stuff.

i wouls say if you can find any of the fenders at the old prices (before the hike) you will be quids in
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#4
'91-'92 MIM are Fender Custom Shop quality of the time.

'94-'96 MIM are on par with the new improved quality standards put in place in Corona.

From mid '95, Fender gradually attempted to maximize profitability in both Ensenada and Corona while maintaining output quality.
Last edited by ColdGin at Jun 22, 2009,
#5
I can't speak for everyone, but I have an 08 mim and my brother has a 95 mim and the quality actually seems better on the 08. Not sure if that's the norm or not though.
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#6
No way - as someone who owned a 93 MIM Strat I can tell you it was not where the custom shop quality was at the time - or even the American Standard. They had cheap tuners, bridges and light bodies.

Good guitar for the money but nowhere near what the USA models were.
#7
Quote by parigod
I can't speak for everyone, but I have an 08 mim and my brother has a 95 mim and the quality actually seems better on the 08. Not sure if that's the norm or not though.

I think it is, they had a major upgrade with the 09 models also with improved hardware and pickups.
#8
As a owner of a 93 and 95 MIM strat I personally find the new MIM to be kinda cheap feeling. I cant speak for the very newest run but as of last year they didnt seem as good as the mid 90's to me. I love my MIM strats and I say if you can find one of the old ones especially one of the higher end models with the three ply pickguard and vintage style tuners it would be a much better deal than a new one.
#9
Quote by carl drew
No way - as someone who owned a 93 MIM Strat I can tell you it was not where the custom shop quality was at the time - or even the American Standard. They had cheap tuners, bridges and light bodies.

Good guitar for the money but nowhere near what the USA models were.


The Ensenada factory started producing Fender branded strats and teles from 2nd quarter '91, using parts made in Corona, necks, bodies, pickups and hardware.

The factory had a previous experience of assembling Squires since 1987.

Ensenada's job was to learn how to assemble guitars and tune up to the new upgraded Fender quality control processes all under the supervision of US staff. That's why the quality was top notch, exceeding required levels, as processing costs weren't strictly enforced as to teach what makes a quality guitar to newly hired mexican staff.

These parts lasted until sometime during the 2nd quarter of '92, when local manufacturing gradually took over the manufacturing of bodies and necks as parts ran out, pickups and hardware still being imported from China.

MIM quality dipped exactly at that time, management seeking profitabilkity, nailing the compromise between quality and costs.

On feb 11 1994, the Ensenada factory was reduced to ashes.

Read the story here:

Up from the ashes, Fender's new Mexican plant.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/15687115.html

In aug '94, the plant started putting out guitars again, again with parts made in the US and US based staff.

This time, MIM quality gradually dropped from mid '95 to mid '96 to current levels as more and more tasks were taken over by the local facility.

Incidentally, posted on TDPRI


Originally Posted by whitele


You might have heard of mexican made Fender guitars with a black headstock decal, sometimes associated with some mystery Squier Series made in Mexico. It’s true that there actually was a “Squier Series” that was made by Fender in Mexico and featured a black decal on the headstock, but not all mexican made Fender guitars with such a black label were part of that very “Squier Series”. Since there appears to be a lot of confusion and half-knowledge about these guitars out there, I decided to do some research on my own.

The black label was used by Fender Mexico for a limited time only between 1993 and 1998. It can be found exclusively on the rather short lived mexican “Traditional” and “Squier” series for the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Precision Bass. Usually, Squier is to Fender what Epiphone is to Gibson. In this very case, the use of the name “Squier” had nothing to do with the actual Squier brand, as the series was named “Squier Series”, but it was by all means a Fender series, not a Squier series. The keyword is “series”, not “Squier”. The regular mexican “Standard” series was available too at the time, but it already featured the same silver-ish logo that is still used for it today. However, between 1993 and 1998, both labels (the black AND the silver-ish one) were used for mexican made Fender guitars, but for (slightly) different guitars.

The guitars with the black label consisted mostly of overstock american made Fender necks and bodies. The parts were shipped to Mexico for assembly with mexican made pickups and far eastern hardware and electronics. The overall quality of these guitars turned out to be below the Squiers made in Japan and Korea, whose production came to an end around the time the mexican made guitars with the black label surfaced, yet above Squiers made in China and Indonesia, whose production had not yet begun at the time. The guitars ended up on the american and european market for just about as much as a guitar from the regular “Standard” series would cost at the time.

Some (not all!) of the guitars were sold for a few bucks less as they came with 1-ply pickguards and hardware of slightly lesser quality. Those guitars (and those only!) had an additional smaller “Squier Series” label on front of the headstock, right were the artist models have the artist’s signature. Though some owners probably sanded off their “Squier Series” label, it is not true that all guitars with a black label had a “Squier Series” label in the first place. Most guitars with the black label featured tuners and bridges of decent quality as well as 3-ply pickguards. These guitars did not have the additional “Squier Series” label and were called the “Traditional Series”, which was stated nowhere on the headstock but the guitars were listed, advertised and sold as such.

The “Traditional Series” can be considered the slightly better but the “Squier Series” sure is the more obscure. At the end of the day, there really is not that much difference between the two. The most significant difference can be found on the Telecaster. The Telecaster from the “Traditional Series” had the traditional through-body stringing, while the Telecasters from the “Squier Series” were Top Loaders with different bridges, saddles and no string holes in the back.

The guitars from that very “Squier Series” are official and genuine Fender guitars like any mexican made Fender guitar regardless, and if you have a mexican made Fender Telecaster, Stratocaster or Precision Bass with a black label and a serial number beginning with MN3, MN4, MN5, MN6, MN7 or MN8, you have a genuine Fender guitar – with or without a small “Squier Series” label.
#10
i really like my late year 95-96' strat.

it's better than any of the new mex mades i pick up to try at GC.

dont think i ever tried a brand new mex made tho.
Jenneh

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#11
i've got an early-mid 90's tex mex and to me it feels better than the newer models. I think though guitars can vary a lot even within runs so the best bet is to play each single guitar with open ears and find one that sounds and feels good to you.
#12
There are a few well made MIM strats of all ages, but you basically get lucky if you find one that was accidentally made well.