#1
Hi everybody
I have a Mexican Strat (bought for 335$) and i'm getting money to buy an American, but my friend told me that I would have more for my money if I just upgrade the Mexican (like changing pick-ups, arranging the neck, lowering the action, etc...). But I think the American is still better because the wood take age because its covered with nitrocellulose. So whats your opinions? (sry for my english)
#2
i say go for the upgrade the mexican. ive only had mine setup, and it is better than most americans i have played. the american is not worth the money at all. but yes, the upgraded mexican would give you alot more bang for your buck
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#3
The American will retain its value well about (80% of retail price) and possibly go up in value after 25 or so years so its not like it wouldn't be a good investment. The big thing that upgrades can't do is improve wood or finish quality and the Mexican Strat I had had a good alder body but terrible maple neck in my opinion. Fender quality control is pretty good so the money that would be spent on upgrades and setup can be save because you'll already have a decent setup and better hardware on a American strat. So if you can go for the American but if you need cash to buy something else upgrades aren't such a terrible thing.
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#4
As said above, the American Strat will be an investment. Fender quality finish and wood will be something of value in years to come. Look how much seventies strats are going for right now. If you have that guitar another 20 years, it'll fetch you a couple grand for the less than one you spend now.
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#5
Another vote for upgraded Mexi.

An upgraded bridge assembly, or at least the block, is key.

The stock blocks are awful pot-metal, with little mass (mass = sustain/clarity)

Stock Pups are hit or miss, but not much worse than Americans.

A new nut and fret dress would go a long way, maybe new tuners (schaller lockers ftw!) if you've got the cash.

A Callaham bridge, DiMarzio or LAce Pups, Schaller lockers, graphtech nut, and a good set-up/install of these parts will put you into the $$$ range of an American Strat, but play, feel, and sound head and shoulders above anything on the shelf from Fender.
#6
In my experience a lot of the MIM teles/strat necks actually end up feeling pretty good. A lot of them have a few sharp frets and the action needs to be tinkered with. Upgrade the pickups and maybe the bridge saddles and you have a tremendous guitar for probably $300-$400 less than you would buying a MIA.

I've got two MIA Fenders though and I would say if you think it's gonna get a lot of playtime for a good part of your life, save up the cash and pay for the extra goodness.
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#7
I would get the upgraded Mim strat if you are someone who doesn't trade gear alot.
#8
I've never even considered doing anything to my American strat and I've had it for 10 years. I can't think of anything that would make it better.
#9
Upgrade the mexi change the pickups get a graphite or bone nut, steel or graphite saddles or one of those acoustic saddle sets (to give your strat acoustic tones), straplocks, locking tuners, maybe a pre-amp/booster, heck maybe even a new custom warmoth neck
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#10
Quote by rooster456
As said above, the American Strat will be an investment. Fender quality finish and wood will be something of value in years to come. Look how much seventies strats are going for right now. If you have that guitar another 20 years, it'll fetch you a couple grand for the less than one you spend now.


OK, I don't mean to be a dick, but what are we basing the investment argument on here? How many guitars was Fender producing back in the 50s / 60s & 70s vs whats produced out of all their lines today? Isn't what drives price on these things a certain desirability (demand) + a scarcity of examples (low production volumes, defects, or flat out nobody wants to sell theirs)?

I don't really see a run of the mill american strat being a classic anytime soon these days. Same thing goes for Gibsons and the likes -perhaps some Customs if even that.

Oh and IMHO, upgrade the MIM: pickups $150 + Setup $100 + bridge $150.00 = $400.00. It won't say American, but it will feel the way you want it to for half (??) of what an off the shelf American will cost you.
#11
Ok thanks for your advices but im still very hesitating. I agree with rooster456 saying that its an investment, maybe I can have a good deal on an 80s strat or sometin like that. I want to buy a guitar that I will use the rest of my life, and perhaps the American is a better choice because the wood will improve and I will feel more attached to this guitar.