So, I've been playing on my Squier for over 5 years now, modded the hell out of it, and I'm now seriously considering what my next move is going to be. I've exhausted all mods I can do with this guitar, and it's just starting to wear out to the point I can't keep fixing it. So I'm come to the conclusion that I need to start saving up for a new guitar.

This is not another which guitar is better, or what guitar I should buy thread, this is simply me asking what the pros and cons are of the MIA series Fender Strats from your personal experience, as to help me or anyone else in buying a MIA Fender Strat and what upgrades it's gona need when I do, and what I should plan for.

I already have my Bareknuckle pickups, HSS config, Painkiller in the bridge, and two Trilogy Suites in the middle and neck, so I'm good on pickups. My amp is a Valveking that has brand new tubes and a WGS V-30 speaker, so I'm pretty happy with it. I don't play any one style, I jump around a lot, so no particular style. Just in case ya'll ask.

I do want a HSS style Fender, and I'm already eyeballing one on musiciansfriend, which I can hopefully find at my local music store.

On these modern Fenders, do they still have the bare bones volume, and 2 tone controls, or do they have all this "grease bucket" stuff on them?

Hows the bridge? Saddles? Tuning stability? Tuners? Nut? What do you think needs to be improved?

Basically those kind of questions.

This is the exact one I'm eye balling, I'd like to keep it under $1500, and I might not get this guitar for a year or two, but it's a goal.


Thanks guys.
If you're going to get an american strat try to get one post 2008. They redid the whole line of american fenders and they're really nice now. I own a 2008 sienna burst american strat with a maple neck. its beautiful and sounds great with no modifications.
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MIA Strat
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I'd recommend this strat, mainly because it has locking tuners, a roller nut, and the standard two point tremolo. I've played it many times at Guitar Center and damn I wish I had the money for it, it's a lovely guitar.
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call me crazy but i love the road worn ones, used one for a few weeks and it was amazing, tunability was great, hardly went out even when doing big bends and using the trem alot. although this is mainly based on the feel of the neck for me, i still found it a great guitar, was a 2008 i think too, not too sure, but def wasnt that pricy.

If thats the one you want, id be looking to locking nuts over locking tuners, its just easier to work with personally.

they still use one volume and two tones. Im sure they are just off the shelf items, but ive never had any issues with mine, nor has my mate.

as far as improvements, the bare knuckles you have will do fine. I really doubt you will need to upgrade anything else at all tbh.
hey ethan. i would consider buying a pre enjoyed strat. better deal at this point than new. as for what needs to be done well that depends on what you want soundwise. fender humbuckers aren't very high output so keep that in mind if you may need something with more balls. the nuts are usually pretty decent however a pro set up would be recommended. locking tuners will help with tuning stability. of course i'll have to pimp the strat plus as that is my fav. they are SSS however the lace sensors are almost noiseless. if you can find a strat + deluxe they have the upgraded lace sensors including a fairly high output bridge pup. they already have locking tuners and of course the roller nut for greater tuning stability. these are great guitars and can be found for way under the $1500 you mentioned.
I have a 1997 USA Roadhouse, and it's phenomenal. Better than anything I've tried off the shelf. Routed for anything too, so no digging necessary. A friend of mine has a 90's Lonestar, which is the same thing but with a bridge humbucker, and it's also a great guitar. A lot cheaper than a new one too.
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I own a 2008 American Standard. Couldn't be happier with it. It depends on you, but I don't think that you really would need to improve anything - aside from straplocks which is the only thing these guitars doesn't come with that is absolutley necessary.

I am upgrading mine, which is a SSS, with a Seymour-Duncan JB Jr. However, I still like the bridge single-coil very much and if I only wanted to use this at home I would probably keep it like it is. Kind of starting to doubt my decision... Still, this guitar is extremely well playing and a humbucker just makes it easier to use and get good tone from even with an amp I am not familiar with - with less noise.

Tuning stability is great, I have no problem at all with anything on this guitar.

When playing my Strat and then switching to my Esp, or something else; I just wish every guitar had my favourite features of the Strat - body contour, volume-knob and switch placement and last but not least the feeling that this instrument will last me for the rest of my life.
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Last edited by HomerSGR at Mar 23, 2011,
I own a 2006 MIA Standard Strat and couldn't be happier with it. The stock bridge pickup is great for bright cleans and a slight overdrive but I swapped it for a Bareknuckle Sinner for more output. Good call on getting Trilogy suites, they are phenomenal. I agree that you should look into getting a post 2008 strat. They really improved the bridge and finish.

I didn't have to do any modifications except for changing the bridge pup. I'd recommend getting locking tuners and a strap lock if you have any extra cash though. Be aware that strats often have a difficult time staying in tune.

My Gear

Peavey 6505 head
Mesa 2x12 Recto Cab w/ Celestion V30s
Carvin Legacy 2x12 Cab w/ Celestion V30s
Fender American Standard Strat w/ Bare Knuckle Sinner
Malekko Ekko 616
Dr. Scientist RRR
ISP Decimator
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
It sounds like you simply want the project. You know the sound likely won't "improve" unless you think it is improving.
What would change? What could change? It sounds like you want change just for the sake of something more so...

Leave stratland, skip set neck to go for a neck-through
Fishman TSV powerbridge (stereo jack out)
Push-pull volume could swap standard pups for acoustic bridge
Custom spit wire your HSS
Set one tone control for treble bleed for all input with silver-mica cap
Push pull control to produce alternate pickup combinations:
Where HSS is written as B+T M N rewire with a push pull as:
strat B, B/M, M, M/N, N
hum H H/M+N, M+N, N, N+T
Set one tone control for bass cut control (.003uF)
Push pull to invert the Humbucking bridge for noise cancelling inversions
.. adds M!T M+N!H and N!B (hum cancelling) selections
(and T, which may sound different where H=B+T and B & T are different)

Roller bridge? yeah... could do along with locking tuners.

Strap locks. Sure.

What makes the biggest difference in sound? Having a bass-cut on the guitar (matters when plugging directly into a PA) plus having the 9+3 switching modes (plus the acoustic bridge for a Lucky 13) may keep you happy. The bridge will be costly and a roller nut would probably be in line with the mods when adding the bridge but redoing the wiring is both inexpensive and fun.

Have you silenced the guitar electrically?

- Ron
USA Deluxe 2005 owner here.

I've played a LOT of guitars. This has been one of the best.

Honestly, no cons, all pros. Cons maybe if you're a super shredder and you need those 2 frets.

The deluxe series really owns the standard series. Locking tuners, the access cutout in the body for fret reach which is honestly genius, the saddles are block not classic (those classics are not up to par imo).

Pull the trigger man. See if you can land a used Deluxe.
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Quote by guitar nubsauce
Cons maybe if you're a super shredder and you need those 2 frets.

Yngwie doesnt Deluxe rocks!
Quote by funkbass369
If you're going to get an american strat try to get one post 2008. They redid the whole line of american fenders and they're really nice now. I own a 2008 sienna burst american strat with a maple neck. its beautiful and sounds great with no modifications.

I've got an '08 american standard loaded with texas specials, haven't had any troubles at all, they did outstanding on the quality of these guitars, I'd only change the pickups if you absolutely wanted to, and don't be to quick to buy one at a high price, mine was scratchless, came with the hard case and all of the case candy, a fender gig bag, and texas specials all for the price of 625 (u.s.) I felt like I stole that thing! But yes they are great guitars, no mods will need to be done unless you wanted a floyd rose or better pickups, 10/10 on these man!
Since you have your own pickups, the big thing you're going to want to look for is quality in hardware.

Most Fenders today have the 2-screw trem. Generally the 6-screw is accepted as the most stable, so if you can find that, I'd recommend it. Some of the American series guitars come with Fender/Sperzel locking tuners. Those are always a plus on a Strat.

As far as the circuitry, you shouldn't really have to worry about it. Pickups in a strat are drop and solder. If you've done it before to your old strat, you should be set. I'm pretty sure the American strats now come with 250k pots, so plenty enough.

The new Deluxes come with rolling nuts, locking tuners, and compound radius. Sexy. Also, it has the pop-in trem arm, now. So you'll have to be wary not to buy the old screw style trem arms from the store.

Oh, and candy apple red strats are super lame.

As with any guitar, play it before you buy it.
Quote by JustRooster

Oh, and candy apple red strats are super lame.

Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.

Fender MIM Stratocaster
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Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
NYC Big Muff Pi
Go used and get a Deluxe or something better
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2001 Schecter C-1 Classic
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All for sale!

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Quote by JustRooster

Oh, and candy apple red strats are super lame.

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