Hi guys.

So I've been playing a Yamaha RGX-520FZ for three years. It was my first real guitar, as my first purchase related to music was a $100 guitar/amp set. It's been a pretty awesome guitar, loved the sound of it.

Recently I've been craving for a change, though. Since the Yamaha always sounded somewhat dark, I've always thought that it sounded similar to a Les Paul. So now I'm looking for a Stratocaster. I've never really been much of a Les Paul guy (always preferred the look of a Stratocaster over a Les Paul).

That's not the only reason, though. Much of my musical heroes (Hendrix(ahem), Gilmour, Billy Corgan and Jonny Greenwood, to name a few) used single coil pickups. So I had to decide between a Tele and a Strat. I've recently decided to go for a Strat.

I've already been looking at the Classic Vibe series, and the Fender MIMs, as my budget is around $500. At first, after reading the reviews about the CVs, I was all set to buy one as soon as I got home (I'm abroad right now), but I've read some recent posts that said their quality has been going down. So now I'm really undecided. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
haven't really noticed any quality issues with either series of guitars myself. i stop into GC regularly and play them. either should be fine. best bet is to try a few out and pick the one that really speaks to you. you will find that some are better than others with both series.
I never liked the classic vibe series. Something feels cheap about all of them. the mim fenders are great though. i'm actually hoping to pick up a mim strat in the coming weeks
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.

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Made In Mexico! MIM strats are nice! I love my roadhouse strat.

PRS Santana SE
Ibanez MBM2 EMGs
Fender MIM Roadhouse Strat
Ibanez AS93 BLS

Carvin V3m
Blackheart 4x12 cab

Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff
Zakk Wylde Wah
JamMan looper delay

The CV series are great for the money, but IMO the MIM is a nicer guitar and is a better platform for upgrades.

Try to find a used MIM and throw some new pickups in it. I recently put texas specials in my MIM standard and i'm loving it!
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll try out as many CVs and MIMs as I can as soon as I get back.

In the meantime, what do you think about strat copies?
Really depends on the brand, there are some great copies out there and some very bad ones. I really liked the G&L legacy I played, so that might be worth a look. I think you could find one in your price range
If you had to choose between a G&L legacy and an MIM, which would you pick? And for what reasons?
That's a really tough call, and it really comes down to personal preference. Try to play both and see what you like best. I'd probably pick the G&L, it just felt better and seemed to be better build quality. Very similar guitars though (G&L was founded by Leo Fender), you can't go wrong with either one.