Poll: High end MIM VS 'cheap' USA
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View poll results: High end MIM VS 'cheap' USA
High end MIM
4 44%
'Cheap' USA
5 56%
Voters: 9.
#1
So today i bought myself a Gibson Les Paul 60's tribute. Its quite cheap for a Gibson and has all the stuff that makes great tone without the bells and whistles that drive the price up but dont add to the tone. Now i'm looking for a Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster that does the same thing.

Do you guys have any recommendations? and should i go for the higher end MIM's or go for a cheap USA?

Again i'm not interested in high priced custom shop, in essence im looking for the most 'bang for the buck'

Thx in advance!
#2
if by "bells and whistles" you mean quality parts and workmanship then it's hard to say. sorry but those LP's you are referring to are indeed "cheap" and it's for a reason.

as for a Strat or Tele well that depends on what you want out of one of those guitars. what's your budget and what types of music do you want to play. for the record though I find that the "cheap" US Fenders are really nothing more than the same guitar put together in the US rather than Mexico.
#3
What's your budget?

Does it have to be a Fender, or are you looking more at performance & quality over brand name?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#4
Thx for the quick reply, i mostly play blues and jazz, but i'm looking for the classic sound and twang that strats and tele's have. As for quality parts and craftsmanship, i do respect them, i have a Vigier GV wood and am not looking for another guitar in that price range. I meant that the LP does not have bindings on the neck and body which are craftsmanship but do verry little to nothing to the tone or playability. i'm very satisfied with the LP i bought and it sounds amazing for the price! Now i'm looking for a Fender that gives me the same satisfaction. Yes it must be Fender as i feel they sell easier if i ever wanted to sell again.
Last edited by JDtooshort at Sep 9, 2016,
#5
Depends what you want. Higher-end MIMs can have cool features or be vintage-styled, while lower-end MIAs generally have the basic modern setup. If you like vintage-styled, the MIJ reissues are also really great stuff for the cash pretty much right in the middle between the MIAs and MIMs.

For what it's worth, I've never had any substantial qualms with Fender workmanship and parts - even MIM Standards are good guitars by just about any measure - but my MIJ (a '62 Reissue Tele) and the MIAs I've played have been noticeably (not overwhelmingly) nicer to play than my MIM (a Baja). I don't think, however, that you could play an American Special and be blown away by how much extra liberty it has over something like a Classic Player MIM.

I'd also say that, resale notwithstanding, at least look at G&L. They're a cool alternative with plenty of mojo and history that Danny insists are as good as or better than (he really just means "better than") Fenders. I'd say on a par, but they're cool and different while still having that vibe.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Sep 9, 2016,
#6
well it really comes down to features then. you can't go wrong with an American Standard (or whatever they call those this week) for a workhorse strat. (I'm a strat guy so someone else will have to chime in on Tele's) on the other hand the 50s, 60s 70s guitars that are MIM are all solid guitars. for that matter even a MIM Standard is a good guitar. a couple of mods and they can be great guitars. I think you'll find that where the guitar is made doesn't have as big of an impact with Fender. really the best thing to do is to go try some. I've found that strats at least vary a fair bit from guitar to guitar so you have to find the one that works for you (which someone else may swear sucks).

I have an 89 Strat Plus Deluxe and a modded MIM Standard. surprisingly the MIM is my #1.
#7
Quote by K33nbl4d3


I'd also say that, resale notwithstanding, at least look at G&L. They're a cool alternative with plenty of mojo and history that Danny insists are as good as or better than (he really just means "better than") Fenders. I'd say on a par, but they're cool and different while still having that vibe.



I just prefer the ergonomics of G&Ls over Fenders. They also- like some other builders making Stratclones & Teleclones*- manage to give you more bang for the buck or different options on certain models than Fender does.

But I wouldn't call them objectively "better".


* Carvin, Godin, Suhr, Fernndes, Fret-King, etc.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 9, 2016,
#8
dannyalcatraz

valid point and often overlooked. not sure if I'd include Suhr on that list as they tend to be pricey but Godin certainly makes some nice and very overlooked guitars.
#9
As I recall, Suhrs aren't much pricier than custom shop Fenders, and they Suhr...err...sure as hell offer options Fender doesn't.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Quote by dannyalcatraz
As I recall, Suhrs aren't much pricier than custom shop Fenders, and they Suhr...err...sure as hell offer options Fender doesn't.


well since the OP was talking lower end US or higher end MIM Custom Shop is out of the picture. and yeah to us mere mortals a Suhr or a Custom Shop Fender is expensive . Suhr makes very nice guitars and they offer some very cool options.
#11
If you want my opinion, I would definitely 100% in all scenarios go with a used MIM strat. They're built very nicely, and the American ones are really if you want the verification of owning one, or pick up on a couple very subtle differences.
- Guitar(s) -
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Line 6 Spider IV 30w (Not ashamed) with MKII footswitch
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Ernie Ball Regular 10s
#12
monwobobbo
Believe me, I know! That's why I put it in the asterisked section.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 10, 2016,
#13
i haven't had an issue with either an MIM or MIA fender.

i have gone through over a dozen MIM's and some are better than others, but i would never pay $500 for a MIM strat new. i don't think i have spent more than $300 on one, most in the sub$250 range. there was a while where they were plastered all over my craigslist for next to nothing, and i would just buy bunch, for profit or trade or (to hoard)

my main (and only strat now) is a '96'ish MIM, i have $175 into it. lol. it plays well.

all three of my teles are MIA models, and i love them( 52RI, +series ii, and a regular standard).

for some reason i can cheap out on a strat, but i am never happy with cheap teles for the long term. lol.
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#14
My Am std Tele is my fav guitar.I'd go for a used Am Std.Pickups are very different to the MIM(i have one of those too).I mean you could always change those.
I did have a 60's Classic Player Strat too and that was a fine guitar after a setup.Pickups were slightly too vintage for me though.A little weak but very useable for all genres.Played a 50's one in a shop but not for long.It seemed very nice.
#15
Quote by EyeballPaul
I did have a 60's Classic Player Strat too and that was a fine guitar after a setup.Pickups were slightly too vintage for me though.A little weak but very useable for all genres.Played a 50's one in a shop but not for long.It seemed very nice.
Yeah, I have much love for the Classic Player and Classic Series Models. The Classic Players are particularly good if you don't like vintage fretboard radius. That said, if you can stretch to a Japanese reissue - assuming you're okay with the 7.25" board - I really think it's worth it. Mine's an absolute joy and I feel confident saying it's the coolest post-1970 guitar this side of London.
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#16
MIM Fenders are phenomenal guitars if you're not the kind of guy who'll feel the need to constantly explain why you didn't get an MIA.

I like a lot of different MIM guitars over MIA, but it's all subjectivity. MIA has objectively better equipment and materials, but none of that matters if it doesn't fit your hands
Last edited by JustRooster at Sep 10, 2016,
#17
Dunno, I'd be torn between two opposing principles. - "It's just a lump of wood" and mojo. Mojo includes MIA, "lump of wood" favours MIM. My idea of "bbftb" is dirt cheap and mod it as necessary. (My favourite electric cost Oz$65 and din't need any modding.) That also confers mojo - you have a custom "anti-snob" guitar of sorts.
#18
I've played some MIMs that I've preferred to MIAs. Likewise the 70s/80s Squiers have left me giddy next to the sometimes "meh" MIAs.

Consider G&L as mentioned above. They really are lovely guitars.
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#19
I think it's important to note that these threads bring a lot of testimony that we've all played MIM's/Squiers better than MIA's. Guitars by Fender are mass produced and there will invariably be gems and duds in every line.

Don't fall to the availability heuristic. The huge majority of MIA's are generally better guitars than the huge majority of MIM's.


And generally G&L's are better than all of those.
#20
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#21
Thx for all the replies! Ill check for a store that has g&l and play some there
#22
If you see a Japanese fender there give it a shot. They're usually really nice.
song stuck in my head today


#23
Quote by JustRooster
I think it's important to note that these threads bring a lot of testimony that we've all played MIM's/Squiers better than MIA's. Guitars by Fender are mass produced and there will invariably be gems and duds in every line.

Don't fall to the availability heuristic. The huge majority of MIA's are generally better guitars than the huge majority of MIM's.


Yeah. I have to admit that I'm always a bit sceptical when people say that "My MIM is better than all the MIAs I tried!"- because it seems to be EVERY SINGLE OWNER OF AN MIM

Now, I'm not saying some of them might not be telling the truth, but there's a bunch of other possibilities:

(a) maybe the shop just had a really bad example of an MIA, or one that was badly set-up (or the MIM was a very good example, very well set-up, or just happened to be set-up the way the purchaser liked).

(b) Maybe all the good MIMs are being bought and there's a ton of crappy ones still hanging on walls of guitar shops. (Maybe the same is true for the MIAs- the ones the MIM-buyer tried were ones passed over by other players.)

(c) They're more used to the MIM's specs and just like it more- fair enough, but that's subjective and not objective (as you said earlier).

(d) Maybe they're full of it.

(e) Probably a bunch of other reasons I haven't thought of.
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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.

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

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#24
Shop used for best value. $200 for a good MiM Tele or $600 for a good USA Tele. Both will be great gig axes that you won't have to sweat rowdy juke joint gigs over.

FWIW I choose to play MIA Corona Fender guitars because the factory is 20 miles from my house and several employees are friends or clients. *Shop local* I have also played several nice MiM Fender guitars that I would not hesitate gigging/owning. Nice guitars that have a high build quality compared with some of the vintage 60s stuff I have owned. Play em both and choose wisely.
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Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Sep 11, 2016,
#25
If I go MIM I almost HAVE to have a maple fretboard. Something about low-shelf rosewood feels grimy on my fingers.


I know, I know, I'll go sniff a cork elsewhere...
#26
^ Yeah I dunno about MIMs, but just with cheaper guitars in general, cheap/dry rosewood isn't that nice.
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?
#27
I'd sell my MIM Strat to you for $400, comes with a case and I'd throw in a tuner.

Yeah....I don't like it much.
#28
Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah. I have to admit that I'm always a bit sceptical when people say that "My MIM is better than all the MIAs I tried!"- because it seems to be EVERY SINGLE OWNER OF AN MIM

Now, I'm not saying some of them might not be telling the truth, but there's a bunch of other possibilities:

(a) maybe the shop just had a really bad example of an MIA, or one that was badly set-up (or the MIM was a very good example, very well set-up, or just happened to be set-up the way the purchaser liked).

(b) Maybe all the good MIMs are being bought and there's a ton of crappy ones still hanging on walls of guitar shops. (Maybe the same is true for the MIAs- the ones the MIM-buyer tried were ones passed over by other players.)

(c) They're more used to the MIM's specs and just like it more- fair enough, but that's subjective and not objective (as you said earlier).

(d) Maybe they're full of it.

(e) Probably a bunch of other reasons I haven't thought of.


in many cases I'm guessing very few actual US Fenders were actually tried for more than 2 minutes. I've played tons of strats over the years and yes sometimes the MIM I tried on that day was better than the US. I've found that Fender guitars on the whole tend to be individual for lack of a better term. I've tried some that one guy swears by that I thought were kinda sucky and plenty of guys have played my strats, some loved them some weren't impressed. I often recommend MIMs but I also mention that you need to try a few until one speaks to you. not every MIM is a gem by any stretch but many of them are solid guitars that just need a tweak or two to be great.
#29
Yeah of course.
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?