#1
Hi, I'm new here, but definitely not new to guitars, nor forums. Longtime active member at Talkbass, but about to buy a Strat and figured it best to come here for help.

1st and foremost, I want a traditional 3 pickup Fender Strat. Not interested in G&Ls, Squiers, or anything else. Need it to pacify the child in me that didn't get one when he was 15, and no other guitar is going to do the trick. I've narrowed it down to 3.

A standard Mexican strat - $499 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...aple-fretboard

An American made nitro satin - $799 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...lectric-guitar

And and American special - $949 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guita...lectric-guitar

My wants, needs and concerns:

I've owned over a dozen Fender basses, along with about 100 from other manufacturers. I'm not a Fender fan, although I hung on to and love 2 of the handful I purchased. One is MIJ, the other MIM. At least half my Fender basses were MIA and most of them were really bad news. Tons of issues I won't bother getting into, but yeah... I don't have a whole lot of luck with Fender, and I know how hit and miss it can be with their basses. The general rule is to try before you buy, but that's not an option as I'm going to be buying online. I've learned I can save almost 30% off store prices doing that, and money is a concern. So, that being said...

I love surf green, it's the only reason the Special made my list. And I'm wondering if there are any real significant differences between the MIMs and MIAs, or between any of the guitars above. Or is it really just hit or miss? I'm going to be using the guitar primarily for recording, maybe an occassional gig... and I'm looking for the old school Hendrix/Blackmore kind of bite.

Which would you get, and why?

And are there significant, discernable differences between the MIA and MIM?

Thanks.
#2
My mate did a lot of research into the bass MiM v MIA and found there to not be that much difference these days. So he bought a MIM and modded it.

Ive got a 92 MiM strat and my other friends got a 94 MIA strat. Tbh, I cant really tell much difference in terms of play-ability wise. Sound is a lot different (he's got BKP HSH combo in his, mines standard).

Out of the three, id personally go for the MIM one and then you have a bit of cash left over to make any tweaks to it that you might find yourself wanting.
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#3
My Fender guitars were all made in Corona USA but I have played some nice Mex Strats and some pretty rough ones. A USA Strat does tend to be better but maybe only 10% better, not 100% better. Try a Mex and if you don't get a sweetie, return it for a different one... Or buy used so you know exactly what your hands and ears tell you.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#4
so... im not a strat fanboy. im the guy who would probably suggest a G&L. however, cant deny they re fantastic instruments. my issue is that despite the incredible tone they produce, i cant see great build quality., nor can i discern levels of quality that justify price. what i mean here, is that i look at a prs. elegant. i look at a strat with screws, nuts, bolts, plastic covers and knobs, etc everyhwere and say...."how does this 8th grade shop project gone wrong compare?". fact is, they sound sexy.

my second point is - beyond a japan strat, i cant justify cost. 500-600 for a japan is a GREAT guitar. 1200 for a USA is a great guitar. i see about the exact same quality.
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that being said, if i was you i would knock of the mexican (sill GREAT for the money. one of the best guitarists i know has used one for ten years and he could own anything. he just rocks it. and it works).... and get those new ROADHOUSE models. jump in quality, upgrades and good features.

i would drop the higher end 949 model and get different variations of the USA model in the 700-800 range. i doubt quality will be that different given similar pups etc.
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disclaimer - all guitars are different, and there is an ocean of strat model and color schemes. ultimately, unless i was buying a cookie cutter "red standard mexican strat", i would want to try it. neck radius, the look, the pups, etc. go try them in a guitar center. perhaps it FEELs better to you to spend 949 on the usa because all the settings just work for you.

you dont need any other justification other than, you just want it because it feels best, plays best, and its going to make you the happiest.

(side note - your links didnt work for me, i just found the models on my own)
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#5
American Nitro Stained. I tried one out at Guitar Center, and it felt and sounded so alive compared to all the other strats.

I'm not sure if it was the pickups or the no-load pots, but the sound in positions 2 and 4 was crystal clear. You can also get a near-perfect Eric Johnson tone by playing with the bridge tone knob.

The finish is incredible. It really lets you feel the wood's texture while not making the guitar seem too "raw" or unfinished. After having held it, it seemed like every other guitar, including nitro-finished Les Pauls, was trapped in a thick lifeless plastic shell; the finish is just that good. On the other side, if you plan to gig a lot, the guitar WILL look like a chewed up pencil in a less than a year because of the finish.

Basically the greatest stratocaster ever, but very bad for playing live.
#6
i have a '95 MIM. perfectly great guitar $150. in good shape with exception of a stripped strap mount behind the bridge

i had gone (owned, sold, made a few bucks) and couldn't find the right one until it came along.

i am wanting to eventually intend to get another, just havn't found the right one at the right price. but i always probably some.

i have owned over 60 guitars and am in the low 20's now. not much i haven't sifted through.

i think the early to mid '90s were best from mexico. i have owned but never kept a usa strat around. i think the next one will be MIA though. but i am not close-minded when it comes to that.

good luck.
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#7
Talk Bass is a great forum! They helped me a lot when I was learning upright in High School.


So, I've owned probably 20 or so different Stratocasters, frankenstiened another plenty, and overall just like to fanboy about Strats in General. If you're going to get a Strat to be your all-round workhorse to play in studio and live, and still not have to worry about babying enough that someone dropping their beer on it would give you a heart attack, I say go Japanese.

There's great stuff all around for MIM and MIA, but personally, I think the MIJ Strats are the most consistent, and give you a lot of that MIA feel, but at a little better price tag.

Specifically the two models I recommend the most (because Fender Japan has like 100 Strat models themselves) are the ST-57 and ST-62. Those are basically Reissues of the 1957 and 1962 Strats, which are the "holy grail" years for Strats. I personally love the neck on the '57, but you might dig the more rounded feel of the 1962. Both are great guitars that can be had for under $700 on ebay in Surf Green.

As far as Mexican Strats go, I would eBay around and look for a Lonestar or Roadhouse Strat. They're essentially the same as Standard MiM's, but they come with some upgraded pickups and pots, so it'll save you some cash on future upgrading.

Quote by trashedlostfdup

i think the early to mid '90s were best from mexico.



I'd agree.


Quote by ikey_
so... im not a strat fanboy. im the guy who would probably suggest a G&L.



I've owned 5 different G&L's. If you want a classic Strat, you buy Fender or Tokai. I'd only buy a Legacy or Comanche if you know you want a Legacy or Comanche (which are kick ass guitars, by the way).
Last edited by JustRooster at Apr 16, 2014,
#8
The American Special has the Texas Specials so thats kinda nice.

But try them out and then decide
#9
All that matters with Strats is a good neck and solid stainless steel bridge saddles, not those stupid bent sheet metal ones. I've played plenty of MIA and Custom MIA strats, and all of them with the traditional bent steel saddles played awful and had tuning stability issues.

Just my two cents
#10
Quote by ethan_hanus
All that matters with Strats is a good neck and solid stainless steel bridge saddles, not those stupid bent sheet metal ones. I've played plenty of MIA and Custom MIA strats, and all of them with the traditional bent steel saddles played awful and had tuning stability issues.

Just my two cents



+1,000.

I completely agree. I don't get the fascination with the whole vintage feel thing that Strat users are so up in arms about. Two-point trems, block saddles, and locking tuners for me, please.
#11
i just googled the roadhouse. i lvoe the 6 way rotary switch that offers an EQ change. to summarrize, thin and glassy to THICK. rob chappers does a good demo on youtube.

that, on TOP of the already versatile strat platform i think would be incredible. i would go with the roadhouse.
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Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)