Poll: On the assumption that an American costs $2,000 and Mexican is just under $1,000
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View poll results: On the assumption that an American costs $2,000 and Mexican is just under $1,000
American
12 57%
Mexican
9 43%
Voters: 21.
#1
Sorry if this is a frequent question. I've done some homework but wanted more opinions.

I've gotten to the stage where my next guitar will probably be the one for life. I've landed on the Strat, I know it's really generic but it just sounds the best to me, and so incredibly versatile.

My question; is the quality difference between American and Mexican worth the price difference?

I'm a student (studying guitar) with a part time job so I've not got lots of money to splash but can save long term if it's worth it. I'm happy to buy second hand. And I'd never buy a guitar having not tried it first.
#3
try a bunch and buy the one that really speaks to you. both sides of this debate have valid points but it really comes down to the individual guitar. i've played some MIMs that i thought were fantastic and some US that were kinda meh. there will never be a definitive end to this debate.

by the way the idea that this guitar will be for "life" is not the best mindset. believe me i've bought several guitars that were to be "the one" only to find something else down the road that was better. after 30+ years i just have "the one" for now and keep an open mind.
#4
^ Sorry, I'm English, so 1. Both models are more expensive and 2. I was using a well out of date exchange rate that I'd become in the habit of using before such changes to the world economy.
#6
I once heard a comparison, either you get one assembled by mexicans in Mexico, or one by mexicans in the US.

But I would say American.
We should start calling it "The Fact of Evolution", theory, even though correct, does not work with the ignorant..
#7
Really depends on the individual guitar. The average American one will be better, but you can find Mexican ones that are better than some American ones. Once you have enough cash go to the store and see if you can find a great Mexican one, if not take the best American one you can find.
#9
like alot of other people on here i say go try abunch out and choose the one that you think has the best sound and the best playability. I have owned a MIM strat and a MIM tele both were ok but if i had the money i would have probably gone with an american strat and a american tele. I also noticed that the MIM's needed some work after i had been using them for a few years. The american mades probably wont have that problem.

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#10
If you're not going to buy without trying first, don't discriminate. Play everything you can get your hands on, and when you hold one that feels like "the one" buy it,
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#11
I say an american deluxe. You get great pickups electronics and locking tuners. Plus americans are better if you like to use the trem. Any 6 screw trem arent great cause you have to constay tighten the screws down and youll also deal with tuning instability. But if you dont use the trem you can tighten the springs and keep the trem flush to the body. And you can always add new pickups to the mexican.
#12
PS: Having owned 3 Mexi strats, it is entirely possible to make a great guitar out of them, and if you get a good one, it is possible to be great right out of the box. I don't dig the American hype, I've played quite a few, and they were all quality, but I love my mexi's.
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#13
Mexican + callaham bridge block (or new trem) + new pickups

Just make sure you try a shit ton of mexis to find a great one, they can be found but they're not very consistent in my experience.


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#14
take a look at teh japanese-made tokais, maybe? you can often pick up a japanese tokai for less than an MIM standard, and if you ask me, they annihilate them. better-made guitars, and don't need upgrades either, basically.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#15
Played a Tokai, I've only played that one model but I wasn't all that impressed with it, I'd describe as fantastic value but in the league bellow the American strat.
#16
Quote by MissingNumber
Played a Tokai, I've only played that one model but I wasn't all that impressed with it, I'd describe as fantastic value but in the league bellow the American strat.

Was it a Japanese or a Korean?

(I think they're Korean?.. I haven't been up with Tokai in a while.)

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#18
yeah i mean if it's not a japanese one then that's not really going to help. i'd put the japanese ones well above the mexican. i'd probably put them level with the american ones easily, though it depends on the spec you want (if you want a modern spec fender then the tokais aren't really going to work).

Just to clarify, i mean if you prefer teh american fenders then by all means get one. just giving you more options.

^^ i think they're chinese now, lewis?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
If you're going to have it for the rest of your life, definitely get the American. It'll be worth more in the long run and might even play better/be better quality.
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc

^^ i think they're chinese now, lewis?

I haven't really paid attention to the lower end stuff in a while.. Had a feeling they might have switched.

I don't know if you can still get them but you used to be able to get unbranded japanese "tokais" (made in the same factory to the same specs) for peanuts.. They used to be the best value guitars on the market but were really difficult to get your hands on. Chandler's had a handful of them at one point and I wish I picked one up.


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#21
oh man don't say that

i think the emporium in belfast had those before it shut

they were about £100

maybe they weren't the same. i'll tell myself that, anyway.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Hm, in my experience (never owned any sadly but played plenty) it seemed to me that the mexi's were more comfortable to play but the american had an overall better sound and just feels like a professional instrument. A mexi strat/tele will most likely be my next guitar, but that's because I can't afford American. Sorry to give the stereotypical answer, but just try a bunch out. Also keep in mind the USA will retain it's value a lot better, just in case it doesn't turn out to be "the one".
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#23
first of all, i can't believe that your next strat is going to be 'for life', i've thought that each time i got a new one and now i'm on number 3.

i started with an american standard (still got it), then a deluxe, latest is a custom shop deluxe. i have been amazed with each change how the tone, playability, build quality is so much better.

go american, so much better all round.
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#24
If you can afford it the Deluxe. I had the 90's precursor (a 93 Strat Plus that I kept till '04) and the éxtras'over a MIA Standard are worth it IMO. One bigge people often overlook is the fretboard radius. Fenders have small radius and it can be hard to get normal action without fretout on bends. The compound radius on the Deluxe can really help with this.
I'm not knocking an MIM, for $500 you're getting a workable Strat, but even compared to an MIA Standard at $1000 which has better hardware, better pickups, better tuners, better woods and a hardshell case, if can stretch your budget it's btter than trying to upgrade the MIM. Just the opinion of an old (& ex-Strat) player
Moving on.....