#1
I know there's somewhat of a price difference. But aside from the obvious reasons for the price difference (case,free strap,pickups etc.) Is the tone and build quality the same? I always just took it as the special is the same it just doesn't come with all the goodies like the case and different pickups. In terms of the actual quality are they the same? I much prefer the cbs headstock and 6 screw tremolo over the normal headstock and 2 post tremolo. But if there's an actual difference in tone, and build quality then I'll have no problem picking up a standard.what it be the same assuming I changed the pickups? Let's say I put the same pickups in a special that come with a standard, would they be the same? I'm not planning on doing that btw. I'll be changing them with fat 50s if I decide to go with the special
#2
If they are built in the same factory then I would say that they are of equal quality. If you are making thousands of product x and y then it makes sense to have a standard manufacturing process and standard material as this drives down production cost (unit production cost or UPC). Having to change tooling and machine set up is expensive. Even product documentation and the maintenance of that document therof is optimised if you have only one manufacturing method. You also have the same people making the stuff, often just one or two people can do certain jobs and they get good at if (Fender - Abigail...now retired) .

The move to 2 fix points on the Fender trem arrangement was to improve stability when using the "whammy". I never use such a device so it's not important for me but this might be a factor for you.

You indicate that you have fat50s in mind so maybe this will influence your choice the most. I upgraded a mim with cs54 pups and there was a big improvement. For me, as a newbie, I learned a lot from doing this and I've come to the conclusion that with a Strat there are so many choices that only you can decide if it was the correct choice for you. I'll admit, I've got gas for the cbs big headstock too.

The only problem is ... " You'll be kissing Betty but thinking of Wilma" (credit to "Lister" from Red Dwarf) if you don't go for the MIA Standard. Sorry
Last edited by monabri at Jan 15, 2016,
#3
The Special - Standard - Deluxe (soon to be Elite) all seem to have increasing attention to detail paid to them, and a decent number of upgrades for each step up (not just the case candy stuff, either). Fender does a pretty good job of giving you more for your money with the USA series progression. With those two or three models next to each other I think most players could tell the difference pretty quickly. I have trouble keeping track of everything, but I would not be surprised if some of the hardware on the Special (trem block, tuners, electronics) were more in line with the import lines than with the MIA Standard. That's all small stuff individually, but it adds up and IMO is pretty noticeable. I haven't played tons of Specials, but they replaced the old Highway One series which failed because they were basically MIM Strats with a USA badge. Not surprisingly, Fender doesn't like other models encroaching on the flagship Standard's turf.

On the other hand, a lot of the difference is in the finish/feel department. Sound-wise, it's probably down to the pickups and the more or less random outcome of the wood and construction variation. As with nearly any decently made strat, a good set of pickups and a proper setup will put you within spitting range of a USA Standard. That does not mean, however, that a Special with MIA pickups is the same guitar as a Standard with a bigger headstock and six screws in the trem. It's not. Close, but not the same thing.
#4
Special is still basically a US made MIM with different pickups. the hardware etc is basically the same as on a MIM. the US standard and deluxe are better guitars.
#5
Correct me if i'm wrong.Does'nt the American Special come with Texas Specials,6 point trem,No micro tilt and possibly a slightly lower grade wood(which won't make a difference).It maybe does'nt have quite as smooth feeling neck near the fret edges.I did try an Am Spec Tele and tbh i liked it.
#6
Quote by EyeballPaul
Correct me if i'm wrong.Does'nt the American Special come with Texas Specials,6 point trem,No micro tilt and possibly a slightly lower grade wood(which won't make a difference).It maybe does'nt have quite as smooth feeling neck near the fret edges.I did try an Am Spec Tele and tbh i liked it.


yes. it has 22 fret neck as well. as i said it's basically a slightly altered MIM made in the US.