#1
How big is the difference now between the two? I have a 2013 MIM Standard Strat and I love it. I know in the past the materials were not as good, but MIM quality has gone up considerably and you can probably just upgrade what you don't like. Is the higher price really worth it?
#3
I have 2 MiA's (a '94 and a 2015) and a 2014 MiM FSR, all bought from new. The MiM isn't a bad guitar and has a two post trem (which is what attracted me to it) but I can't see me buying another one.

Even the American specials, the cheap ones that are about the same price as the mid/top MiMs, just seem to have that edge in quality and feel.

It might be due to set up. My MiM trem was hopeless originally (now swapped for a MiA Delux trem) and would move all over the place with half tone bends even with 008's. They are notorious for detuning with whammy bar use, although this again can generally be rectified by set-up and appropriate lubing of the string contact points.

Standard MiM PUPs aren't great and seem dull and the guitar generally seems to lack the sustain of my MiA's.

I have enjoyed my MiM as, being a cheap guitar, I am happy to use it as a mule to try different components. I wouldn't do that with either of my MiA's as, while different, they feel like a complete package and all the elements compliment each other.

I don't regret buying the MiM as I was interested if I could make a MiM comparable with a MiA by changing parts. So far I haven't achieved that end. It could be just because the guitar was originally quite cheap it doesn't seem "Special" and I may never get over that feeling.

It is an entirely adequate guitar and I seldom play it wishing I had one of the others strapped around my neck but I just don't get the excitement I do from strapping on the MiA's. That level of excitement is perhaps sufficient for me to justify the relatively small increase in price for a MiA. I am sure, to a larger or smaller degree the same could be said of a Custom Shop over and above a MiA.

Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
Last edited by John Sims at Oct 2, 2015,
#4
Hey man,

I had the opportunity to try out both last year and I ended up buying the USA Standard Stratocaster - a truly awesome guitar (as long as the Strat thing is what you want!)

The MiM was good but it was slightly rougher around the edges, so to speak, and the one thing that bugged me was the D string kept falling out of the nut when pulling off from fret 2 to 0! Definitely an issue you shouldn't have with a new guitar - at any price.

The USA has Custom Shop pickups which sound great, hand rolled finger board which is super smooth and it just felt and sounded a bit (not leaps and bounds, but noticeably) better than the MiM.

As a long-term investment, I'd definitely say the USA is better and you can upgrade all the same parts as the MiM. Not that you'd necessarily need to but the option is there.

Hope this helps.
#5
MIA
  • 2-3 Piece Body of better Alder
  • 22 Frets
  • Medium Jumbo Frets
  • 2-Screw Tremolo
  • Micro-Tilt Shim Adjustment
  • Two-Way Truss Rod
  • Deltatone No-Load wiring
  • High-Mass Steel tremolo block
  • Fat 50's Pickups or Shawbucker


MIM
  • 3-5 Piece Body of decent Alder
  • 21 Frets
  • Medium Frets
  • 6-Screw Tremolo
  • No Micro Tilt
  • One-Way Truss Rod
  • Regular Wiring
  • Aluminum trem block
  • Generic Alnico 5 pickups
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#6
If you know you are after a strat and want one then I say for the MIA. I had a brand new one and it was great, granted the nut needed a slight file as and them use it went out of tune, which is not a huge issue. If you are just after a strat then I would look at G&L, better bang for your buck.
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#7
Quote by JustRooster
MIA
  • 2-3 Piece Body of better Alder
  • 22 Frets
  • Medium Jumbo Frets
  • 2-Screw Tremolo
  • Micro-Tilt Shim Adjustment
  • Two-Way Truss Rod
  • Deltatone No-Load wiring
  • High-Mass Steel tremolo block
  • Fat 50's Pickups or Shawbucker


MIM
  • 3-5 Piece Body of decent Alder
  • 21 Frets
  • Medium Frets
  • 6-Screw Tremolo
  • No Micro Tilt
  • One-Way Truss Rod
  • Regular Wiring
  • Aluminum trem block
  • Generic Alnico 5 pickups


Do the MIAs have steel blocks? I know they say high mass on the USA Deluxe (and it does sound pretty solid, very loud (for a strat) unplugged I think), but they don't actually specify I don't think?

Also I thought the (standard) MIMs had ceramic pickups? And you had to go up to the classics or classic players to get alnico?

I could be wrong, though.
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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?
#8
Quote by JustRooster
MIA
  • 2-3 Piece Body of better Alder
  • 22 Frets
  • Medium Jumbo Frets
  • 2-Screw Tremolo
  • Micro-Tilt Shim Adjustment
  • Two-Way Truss Rod
  • Deltatone No-Load wiring
  • High-Mass Steel tremolo block
  • Fat 50's Pickups or Shawbucker


MIM
  • 3-5 Piece Body of decent Alder
  • 21 Frets
  • Medium Frets
  • 6-Screw Tremolo
  • No Micro Tilt
  • One-Way Truss Rod
  • Regular Wiring
  • Aluminum trem block
  • Generic Alnico 5 pickups

The MIM only has a one way truss rod? Good to know.
#9
Quote by Dave_Mc
....

Also I thought the (standard) MIMs had ceramic pickups? And you had to go up to the classics or classic players to get alnico?....


That was my understanding.

Subject to type, there are MiM's with 2 post trems and MiA's with 6 post.

On MiM two post trem back plates the saddle mounting bend is cut back. On MiA's the bend is full width. The block is cast not machined as on MiA. The MiA block is noticeably heavier.

The MiM scratch plates have cutter marks around the outside. MiA's are smoothed.

My MiM jack seems to come loose more frequently than my MiA's (which is almost never).
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#10
i have both and honestly much of it depends on feel. US does have better pickups but of course that isn't hard to remedy. a good setup on either is pretty essential to having ti play up to it's potential. if you take the time to find a really good MIM then the gap can be fairly minimal. MIMs have a zinc block and ceramic pups as mentioned both easy fixes (and not really expensive). having that 22nd fret can make a difference to some players so that is something to keep in mind. the 2 point trem does tend to be a bit more stable however a well set up 6 point works fine proved the nut is cut properly.

as for the ? of whether a MIM can be upgraded and be as good as a US model well that depends on what you consider an upgrade. i bought my MIM as a back up to my Strat+ Deluxe. the MIM was already modded to most of the same specs (locking tuners, LRS Roller Nut) as well as having graphtech saddles (pickups not lace sensor). after a couple of months it got moved up to my #1 guitar. much of this was based on feel (lace sensors will be put in when i have the spare cash). the MIM just feels better in my hands. sound wise of course due to different pups they aren't exactly the same but the MIM does deliver a good solid tone. of course some will argue that the US guitar is superior and in terms of materials it likely is. bottom line is that if you like your MIM and want to upgrade it then most likely you will be happy. i'd of course try a couple of US strats to see how you like them.
#11
Quote by John Sims
That was my understanding.


thanks
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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?
#12
MIM isa solid guitar but MIA is DEFINITELY better.

now a closer gap is MIJ (japan). for about 600-700 dollara a MIJ would make most people do a doubel take for an american. the Japan ones are really great. if i had to say the lowest gap between an asian and american version in teh market its probably the MIJ and MIA strats.

personally, if it was me i would buy a MIJ and upgrade it rather than spending the 1000-1100 on a MIA nice one.

if you want a 250-400 dollar MIM, solid model. bot a noticable step down in quality and price point for either. if it helps, the best guitarist i know, and at this time a 50% career musician (day job with about half income from gigs since HIGH SCOOL) has been with the same MIM strat with no upgrades

i repeat. dude has been gigging about 1-4 times a wek since high school with a stock MIM strat. and hes cool with how it sounds. and he records albums.

so yeah. even the MIM is solid. and if you can play teh darn thing like a pro guitarist, it makes a good sound.
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#13
Quote by ikey_
MIM isa solid guitar but MIA is DEFINITELY better.

now a closer gap is MIJ (japan). for about 600-700 dollara a MIJ would make most people do a doubel take for an american. the Japan ones are really great. if i had to say the lowest gap between an asian and american version in teh market its probably the MIJ and MIA strats.

personally, if it was me i would buy a MIJ and upgrade it rather than spending the 1000-1100 on a MIA nice one.

if you want a 250-400 dollar MIM, solid model. bot a noticable step down in quality and price point for either. if it helps, the best guitarist i know, and at this time a 50% career musician (day job with about half income from gigs since HIGH SCOOL) has been with the same MIM strat with no upgrades

i repeat. dude has been gigging about 1-4 times a wek since high school with a stock MIM strat. and hes cool with how it sounds. and he records albums.

so yeah. even the MIM is solid. and if you can play teh darn thing like a pro guitarist, it makes a good sound.


while i agree that many MIJs are potentially better they are of course more expensive and you really have to pay attention to the specs. many are made of basswood which not a massive big deal but not traditional fender wood either. many MIJs have the vintage specs as well and for many these might not be preferable. i'm not a fan of 7.25" radius. you also have to check fret size as the old style small frets may not be for everybody. last thing about MIJs is that they aren't as readily available in shops (in the US) so try before you buy can be an issue.
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
Do the MIAs have steel blocks? I know they say high mass on the USA Deluxe (and it does sound pretty solid, very loud (for a strat) unplugged I think), but they don't actually specify I don't think?

Also I thought the (standard) MIMs had ceramic pickups? And you had to go up to the classics or classic players to get alnico?

I could be wrong, though.



The Fender rep that drops by my store says it's a steel block. And good catch! The MIM pickups are ceramic, I was mistaken.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#15
Quote by JustRooster
The Fender rep that drops by my store says it's a steel block. And good catch! The MIM pickups are ceramic, I was mistaken.

Do you know what the Classic Series pups are? I know the Classic Players tend to be American Standard- or AVRI-equivalent but the Classic Series ones all have generic names so I don't know if they're ceramic or alnico.
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#16
Just bought a new US strat and am absolutely loving it. Last weekend I tried out a bunch of Japan strats (I live here) and the necks were annoying like I remembered from my friend's MiM 5 yrs back and even the upgraded texas pickups sounded mediocre. I think a MIM would be similar. If you want a dream strat, the US one is best
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#17
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Do you know what the Classic Series pups are? I know the Classic Players tend to be American Standard- or AVRI-equivalent but the Classic Series ones all have generic names so I don't know if they're ceramic or alnico.


alnico
#18
I have a Standard, two American Standards and an American Deluxe.

If they are worth it depends entirely on how you value the details - they are all Strats... Nothing wrong with the MIM Standard at all, but it appears rough around the edges compared to the American Standard or American Deluxe. Take the rolled fingerboard edges as an example - not something you could upgrade away easily.
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#19
Quote by monwobobbo
while i agree that many MIJs are potentially better they are of course more expensive and you really have to pay attention to the specs. many are made of basswood which not a massive big deal but not traditional fender wood either. many MIJs have the vintage specs as well and for many these might not be preferable. i'm not a fan of 7.25" radius. you also have to check fret size as the old style small frets may not be for everybody. last thing about MIJs is that they aren't as readily available in shops (in the US) so try before you buy can be an issue.


yeah the non-export MIJs are the better ones usually. and often the export ones are kind of held back with subpar pickups etc.- fender doesn't really want the MIJ ones to cannibalise the USA ones really.

you normally end up paying a premium for the MIJs, too, and the MIM classics are very nice... personally if I wanted an MIJ I might just cut out the middle man and get a tokai or similar (assuming the price was lower).

Quote by JustRooster
The Fender rep that drops by my store says it's a steel block. And good catch! The MIM pickups are ceramic, I was mistaken.


thanks. yeah the block on my usa deluxe is very solid-sounding, i wouldn't be surprised it's steel.

and no problem
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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?
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah the non-export MIJs are the better ones usually. and often the export ones are kind of held back with subpar pickups etc.- fender doesn't really want the MIJ ones to cannibalise the USA ones really.

you normally end up paying a premium for the MIJs, too, and the MIM classics are very nice... personally if I wanted an MIJ I might just cut out the middle man and get a tokai or similar (assuming the price was lower).


thanks. yeah the block on my usa deluxe is very solid-sounding, i wouldn't be surprised it's steel.

and no problem


won't be an issue soon as it seems that Fender is dropping most of the MIJ line. i hear that only a very few models will be available in the japanese market only. i guess fender wants to start selling US and MIM guitars in japan to bolster sales. since the MIJ stuff was just licensed i can see the point of doing this.
#21
i wasn't aware of that, but yeah, that's interesting.
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 5, 2015,
#22
I used to own a 93 Strat Plus (the predecessor to the Deluxe w/ Schaller locking tuners, Wilkinson Nut, Micro Tilt, Fendor Lace Golds, 2 point trem with solid machined saddles and HIPSHOT tremsetter)) I bought new (also came with straplocks and strap standard in the HS Case). A great Strat but it was before the addition of the compound radius (now 10-12 IN) which IMO is a major improvement as the traditional Fender radius is ridiculously small and the modern still small at 9.5. For that reason if I ever bought a Strat again I'd shoot for the Deluxe and a used MIA Deluxe is very close in price to a new MIM Deluxe so it's a no brainer for me.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Oct 4, 2015,
#23
I'll take a MIJ Fender (especially older ones) over a MIM or MIA any day of the week. Back when I was strat shopping, I played 32 different strats and the clear winner was an 88' MIJ Fender Standard that I picked up for a measly $399. I liked it way better than the various American strats I tried, it played like butter.

I would never spend $3-400 on a MIM when this kind of quality is available from a MIJ.
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#24
I was just looking at the Fender Strat listings (in price order) and there seems to have been a recent change and price aligning:-

There are only two American Specials listed currently - an HSS and the 70s Hardtail. The latter (only 500 produced) and are now like hens teeth - I've got one .

With the exception of these two all MiAs are over £1000. There are a couple of signature MiM's over £1000.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#25
Quote by John Sims
I was just looking at the Fender Strat listings (in price order) and there seems to have been a recent change and price aligning:-

There are only two American Specials listed currently - an HSS and the 70s Hardtail. The latter (only 500 produced) and are now like hens teeth - I've got one .

With the exception of these two all MiAs are over £1000. There are a couple of signature MiM's over £1000.


yeah the news is all over teh fender boards. looks like there had een a price hike and a few models have been discontinued.
#26
Quote by John Sims
I was just looking at the Fender Strat listings (in price order) and there seems to have been a recent change and price aligning:-

There are only two American Specials listed currently - an HSS and the 70s Hardtail. The latter (only 500 produced) and are now like hens teeth - I've got one .

With the exception of these two all MiAs are over £1000. There are a couple of signature MiM's over £1000.


there are some deals on MIA Fenders currently (though the best ones have probably gone already). Some are a good bit under £1000. Keep an eye out same time next year, they had some similar deals last year. you have to be easy on the model and colour, though.
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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?
#27
lol like a day before i go shopping
think i want a metal guitar tho really
agh
#28
^ LOL

This is easier said than done (I've certainly been guilty of this before), but it's only a deal if you actually want the thing.
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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?
#30
I think that both MIM and MIA models have changed over time a lot. I have two MIM strats, and three MIA teles.

I was setting up a MIA strat at my church, I think it was a 1994, it wasn't all that great. Honestly I would take my MIM FSR over it.

I have gone through probably 12 or so MIM's through time. Some were great, some not so much.

My MIA teles, are fantastic, better than any MIMi have ever played. There are great and guitars from both levels. However the MIA's are much more consistent.

The one thing that i really like about the MIA's are the rolled fretboards.
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