i'm getting a new guitar this weekend so i have a little under a week to decide which guitar to get. i'm like 85% sure i want a strat. i'm open to other guitars but a strat seems to be up my ally. now, the question is which strat? if i got an MIM strat, and switched out the pickups to better ones, would this make a difference? would it be comparable to an american? would this be worth my time and money? or should i scrap the modded up mexican idea and just buy an american strat.

if you think i should mod a mexican, what mods should i put on it?

if you think i should get an american, would a deluxe strat for $1079 US or a deluxe HSS (fat strat) for $900 (possibly could be lowered), or a classic 50s strat for $800 (possibly could be lowered) be a better deal. if you think both are bad deals or i could get a better deal, what do you think i should get? those three strats were the ones that stuck out to me at Guitar center. if i remember correctly, all of them come with a case.

also, i want my tone to be very rich, vintage, and bluesy/classic rock type of tone. should i get an hss strat (fat strat) or a regular/deluxe strat? I'm really trying to get the right guitar because the last guitar i got was the complete wrong type of guitar for me. i want the best guitar possible with a max price of $1200 but hopefully lower *winces at the thought of dropping $1200*
ok MIA strat is the way to go, if you can.

An upgraded MIM is good, but the neck is no where close to an american one.

SSS is perfect on a strat, and with a few electrical mods to give you series wiring, its the most versitile guitar out there. Period. Many humbuckers in stock strats are quite lousy in my opinion.

I would stick with the american standard, as the pickups on the deluxe (SCN) are neutered, as they have tried to make them noiseless, which i dont like...

And thats my 2 cents.
If you can, I suggest an MIA Standard, humbucker in the bridge.

If not, a MIM is quite good, as well. Maybe swap out the pickups.

As mentioned, the MIA neck is quite a lot better, IMO, what with the rolled edges and high gloss lacquer on it. Mmm, shiny...
i took my 1998 MIM Strat and put SD pickups in it, new saddles, schaller locking tuners, lsr roller nut and some new string trees on it and refretted the neck. it screams. I went to guitar center the other day and played a few american standards and they are no comparison. My MIM feels better and sounds better. With the initial purchase price of my MIM and all my mods, it would be around 800 dollars total. Still better than an american standards price of 1g. Given I did buy my MIM new in 98, and MIM standards may have changed
Look at the Classic Series or Classic Player Series. They are the very highest end MIMs, with pretty much all American things in them, the only thing that gets the cost down is the wood (which isn't bad anyways) and the paint.

The Classic Players even have SSS routed bodies! Shock gasp horror.
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MIM = swap pickups.
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Before I got my MIA Strat, I tried lots of MIM Strats, including the Classic Series, the Standard Series and the Classic Player Series...

Some are good, such as the Classic Player (great guitar, BTW), but I was absolutely blown away by the MIA Standard Strat. It's such a wonderful guitar... The neck, is a lot better on the MIA.

I ended up saving up for 3 or 4 more months and finally got it, and I'm really happy with my choice, because I know that I would end up getting a MIA down on the road.

The stock pups are quite good (my Strat is SSS), and they can handle a sh!t load of distortion and still sound great.

If you're planning on playing blues and classic rock (the same styles that I play), the MIA Strat is the way to go. If you can, you should get it.

If you can't get the MIA Strat, I'd reccomend the Classic Player (50's or 60's). It is Custom Shop designed and has great features, such as the new 2 point tremolo, custom shop pickups and medium jumbo frets.

Choose wisely

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Yeah those classic players 50/60s strats are excellent - especially if you can get a deal on them. Also check the Highway One, a cheaper MIA which is aimed at the higher gain market. If you can stretch to a MIA standard that's the way to go though.

A lot of people don't like the stock pickups in MIA strats anyway so a pickup change is probably likely whether you go MIM or MIA.
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well these guys are saying the mim strats necks arent as nice, but mine has a high gloss lacquer on it too, and its very nice. if i were you i would get the american strat, but the mexican with a pickup swap wud be a good idea too
if you want the truth about MIM vs MIA: http://www.stagebeat.co.uk/index.php?page_id=30007

pay special attention to the entry on the spread sheet titled "neck". The neck is the part that shouldn't be much different from the Mexicans and the Americans.

You can buy an MIM Fender made in Ensenada by Mexicans, or an MIA Fender made in Corona by Mexicans. Your choice .........
uhhhh... im just gonna go out on a limb here and say why not go for the highway one. the only thing is i forgot what the pickups were based for but i know for a fact they can cover classic rock pretty good and blues also but there hotteer pups i think.
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