#1
This one's a two parter so...

1) What's the difference between a MIM fat strat and a MIA (Highway One) strat? I tested out the two, and as far as feel goes, I couldn't detect a big difference. What's the deal?

The guitars I am referring to:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Standard-HSS-Stratocaster-Electric-Guitar?sku=516039

and

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Highway-One-HSS-Stratocaster?sku=512870

2) While I have your attention...

The input jack on the old Squier I have is very unreliable. I still play it sometimes because the shape is easy to hold in my lap (VS the V), but it I can't use an amp with it, the guitar seems like a better paperweight than an instrument. Are there any easy fixes to this that don't involve a soldering tool?

Thanks.
#2
The main difference is the Highway One is MIA. It also has different pickups and 22 frets, which is enough to sell me on it compared to the MIM. The MIM has good pickups, but I prefer the ones in the Highway One and the fact it has 22 frets. I also think its a far cooler guitar.

The input jack on the old Squier I have is very unreliable. I still play it sometimes because the shape is easy to hold in my lap (VS the V), but it I can't use an amp with it, the guitar seems like a better paperweight than an instrument. Are there any easy fixes to this that don't involve a soldering tool?


Take it out and see if any wires are cut. Chances are you will need to solder, but soldering isn't hard at all.
#4
Quote by CJRocker
The main difference is the Highway One is MIA. It also has different pickups and 22 frets, which is enough to sell me on it compared to the MIM. The MIM has good pickups, but I prefer the ones in the Highway One and the fact it has 22 frets. I also think its a far cooler guitar.



Take it out and see if any wires are cut. Chances are you will need to solder, but soldering isn't hard at all.


I just opened it up and none of the wires are cut...when I use it sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't have a soldering tool so...is there anything I can do with it now that I have it open?
#5
MIM Fat strat - made in mexico, has a Humbucker in bridge (fatter, warmer tone)

HW1 - Made in USA, generally higher quality components, finish, building etc. pickups are SSS (unless HW1 HSS). pickups are very 'glassy' works with distortion well
#6
Quote by Squad Car
I just opened it up and none of the wires are cut...when I use it sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't have a soldering tool so...is there anything I can do with it now that I have it open?


Sounds like its not the jack then. Probably have a short somewhere under the pickguard in the electronics.
#7
Quote by Squad Car
I just opened it up and none of the wires are cut...when I use it sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't have a soldering tool so...is there anything I can do with it now that I have it open?


i have a very similar problem, but mine just cuts out a little bit, once i move it around a bit and start playing tho it goes away....i guess the electricity helps to resolder it or something? idk, but it works fine after its been plugged into an on amp for about 10sec
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#8
Could be a bad pot, could also be that the jack isn't making good contact with the cord, open it up and plug it in and make sure it makes good contact. That happened on a cheaper guitar I used to have.

Highway 1's, IMO, are an exploitation of the term "MIA". A well made MIM, of which there are plenty, can easily be upgraded to meet or exceed H1 quality. I very much prefer my modified MIM to any H1 and most USA strats that I've played.
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#9
Quote by Schneiderman
Could be a bad pot, could also be that the jack isn't making good contact with the cord, open it up and plug it in and make sure it makes good contact. That happened on a cheaper guitar I used to have.

Highway 1's, IMO, are an exploitation of the term "MIA". A well made MIM, of which there are plenty, can easily be upgraded to meet or exceed H1 quality. I very much prefer my modified MIM to any H1 and most USA strats that I've played.


Is it because of the workmanship, or do you just not find that big of a difference between the guitars?

Also, if I may ask, what kind of modifications have you (or would you) make?
#10
A popular phrase is that MIM's are made by mexicans in mexico, while MIA's are made by mexicans in California. The factories are, if I recall correctly, about 40 miles away. Also, I believe that even the necks of MIM strats are made in the same factory as USA necks.

MIM bodies generally have more pieces, some think that this affects the tone of the guitar but I really don't think it does. I've seen guitars made by private builders with more than 5 pieces glued together, and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The main difference is the stock hardware and quality control. With an MIM, there's a greater chance of a lemon. That's why I went to the guitar store and tried out a couple until I found the one that I wanted, and I've never regretted it, I love mine.

The first upgrade I did was to Graphtech Ferraglide saddles, they're amazing. They sound better, stay in tune better and never break strings. The tuners might be worth upgrading if you do a lot of crazy tremwork but with just the saddles, my strat stays in tune fine. After that it's just the pickups, which is all a matter of taste, and you can do the pots and whatnot if you want but I don't think it's necessary. I would like to get a new nut because mine isn't cut the way I want it, but it's not bad enough to be a big issue for me.
Survivor of the St. John's Lockdown
Quote by SG thrasher

The thread-starter is a legend.
Seriously, who thinks "Shit, i'm gonna die, BRB, Ima' tell UG."?

Quote by The_Paranoia

Congratz man, you are a true, American Hero.
Go Schneiderman!

Gun Facts: Educate Yourself
#11
Quote by Schneiderman
The first upgrade I did was to Graphtech Ferraglide saddles, they're amazing. They sound better, stay in tune better and never break strings. The tuners might be worth upgrading if you do a lot of crazy tremwork but with just the saddles, my strat stays in tune fine. After that it's just the pickups, which is all a matter of taste, and you can do the pots and whatnot if you want but I don't think it's necessary. I would like to get a new nut because mine isn't cut the way I want it, but it's not bad enough to be a big issue for me.


Actually I have a Jackson for trem work, lol...

Just out of curiosity, would you have a few tips for picking a winner strat over a lemon?
#12
The electronics in the HW1 are going to be "better". With the MiM you get whatever they throw in there (it all does the job but it's nothing special) and with the HW1 you get Greasebucket pots. You'll also get alnico pickups in the HW1 and ceramics in the MiM. Some people really like what the ceramics can do, I guess they can sound very good when distorted, but the alnicos are generally considered to be better since they tend to produce a glassier and more bell-like Strat tone. You could always just replace the electronics in the MiM too, of course you could just buy a better used Strat too for the same amount of money at that point.

I have a MiM that came with Tex-Mex pickups and the only thing I've done is replaced the stock nut with a bone one. I love the thing but I really don't have a need for anything fancier. As Schneiderman mentioned, probably the biggest difference between the MiMs and HW1s is that you'll see more lemons in the MiM pile. If you look around you can find some great MiM stuff but don't be shocked if you bump into some that have issues either. For example, the nut on mine was cut horribly when I bought it.

Maybe someone can clarify this further but I believe the necks on the HW1s are given a little bit more attention. I know a lot of people have said they think they feel a little bit smoother. The nitro paint is also part of the higher cost. That stuff requires more attention and wears more than poly. You'll end up with one of those nice looking worn Strats if you keep a HW1 for long enough.

The HW1 is on the whole a superior instrument but how much better it is to you really depends on how much you care about the stuff that is better/different about it. You can upgrade a MiM to be just about as good as a HW1 as well except for resale value IMO...
Last edited by Comfortablylomb at Sep 23, 2007,
#13
Well you should be aware that most guitars you try out at a store are not set up well and have old tired strings on them, so what you are mainly looking for is that there is no damage or obvious problems like with the bridge saddles- I've seen guitars at stores missing saddles screws or even whole saddles. The neck should be straight or at least pretty close, close enough that a turn of the truss rod will correct it.

Just play in all the positions up the neck, check to make sure bends don't fret out before they should, and that there are no dead frets. Run your hand up and down the neck and make sure you like the finish and contour of it, remember that a new finish will wear in and become smoother as you play it more. I really like the satin finish, it's very slick.

If you look around for Jenny's guide she can go a lot more in depth, I'm not really good at explaining this.
Survivor of the St. John's Lockdown
Quote by SG thrasher

The thread-starter is a legend.
Seriously, who thinks "Shit, i'm gonna die, BRB, Ima' tell UG."?

Quote by The_Paranoia

Congratz man, you are a true, American Hero.
Go Schneiderman!

Gun Facts: Educate Yourself
#14
Quote by Schneiderman
Well you should be aware that most guitars you try out at a store are not set up well and have old tired strings on them, so what you are mainly looking for is that there is no damage or obvious problems like with the bridge saddles- I've seen guitars at stores missing saddles screws or even whole saddles. The neck should be straight or at least pretty close, close enough that a turn of the truss rod will correct it.

Just play in all the positions up the neck, check to make sure bends don't fret out before they should, and that there are no dead frets. Run your hand up and down the neck and make sure you like the finish and contour of it, remember that a new finish will wear in and become smoother as you play it more. I really like the satin finish, it's very slick.

If you look around for Jenny's guide she can go a lot more in depth, I'm not really good at explaining this.


I like your explanation, actually...I've been over that guide a few times but every little bit helps.

Oh, and thanks for all the tips, I'm glad I asked for help.
#15
Quote by CJRocker
, but I prefer the ones in the Highway One and the fact it has 22 frets. I also think its a far cooler guitar.


The Fat-Strat has 21 frets ? !
=>Fender Highway 1 Stratocaster with Alnico V Holydiver Bare Knuckle bridge humbucker

=>40 Watt RMS Yorkville Traynor YCV-40 valve amplifier

=>30 Watt Tech 21 NYC - Trademark 30 solid amplifier

=>Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby pedal
#16
Quote by SdKfz
The Fat-Strat has 21 frets ? !


MiM Strats only have 21 frets. HW1 and MIA models have 22. If that extra fret means something then you've got to go HW1 or MIA. Squiers have 22 as well I believe. I'm sure there must be a model here or there that bucks the norm too but as far as any of the standard stuff goes that's the rule.
Last edited by Comfortablylomb at Sep 24, 2007,