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LarryUK

MiM Strats

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Some people really misinterpreted my post about MIM Fenders,never did I state that they were the same as MIAs as any fool knows that is not the case. I'm saying that-and I thought I made this clear enough-an automatic pickup change isn't necessarily needed as some people say they are. I stand by my statement though that the Jimmie Vaughn with its Tex-Mex pickups sounds very much like my '65 L series Strat and others I have spoken to have found this similarity too also the lefty Strat has the unmistakeable quack that Strats are famous for.For the longest time people have been wrongly perpetuating the myth that MIM Fenders are junk and that is definitely not the case,when I break out my lefty Strat or Jimmie Vaughn at a jam other guitarists are surprised to find out that they are MIM as both of them sound so good.Just a few little tweaks on an amp can make a world of difference in the sound of a guitar and of course the quality of an amp makes a tremendous impact on the sound of a guitar.

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As mentioned, it does not really mean much

to say a MIM is as good or worse than a

MIA or Squier.

 

I had a MIM Strat. It was about a 1996. It

was a run of MIM strats that went from around

1992 til the late 1990's. The sunburst finish

cost $50 extra and it was actually a one piece

alder body. It had ceramic pickups that were

not up to par with the guitar. The guitar was

definitively a player.

 

Untitled.jpg

 

I sold it after I got my MIA Fender Prodigy

"Super Strat". In production from 1991-1993.

It is better in every respect except the

output jack,

 

Prodigy.jpg

 

The necks and bodies were cut and sanded at the

Fender factory in Ensenada, Mexico, but they

then were shipped to the Fender factory in Corona,

California to have the finish applied and were

then subsequently assembled into finished guitars

with American made components and stamps.

 

So, it may be more accurate to say MIA/MIM Strat. lol

 

What does all this mean? Who knows,

 

Tabdog

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Is that one of the 70s tribute models?

 

That's just the standard MIM.

 

They started using that logo in 2009 I think.

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First-off, buy it.

 

I've written it hereabouts before but whether it's the ideal Strat for you depends on what you expect from a Strat.

 

My 2011 MIM (Classic '60s) is the closest thing I've found to my(ex-) '64 in every regard bar the p-ups which are a tad too vintage sounding - it's more like a mid-'50s in tone.

 

Quality of the main bulk of the instrument and finish thereof are superb. The electronics are cheaper and the switchgear is flimsier. Makes little difference to me (so far!).

 

The USA regular series (i.e. non-reissue) is a more modern beast. They don't really appeal to me but I can understand many people's preference for these.

 

For the asking price it's an absolute steal.

 

P.

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I honestly don't know exactly what Fender is doing NOW, but I do know that as recent as about 5 or so years ago, the distinction between American Strats and Mexican Strats was so blurred you couldn't say one was purely one or the other. The factories in the USA and Mexico are closely linked, with the guitars having work done and parts from BOTH factories.

 

But as for quality, it is true that Fender reserves it's "AMERICAN" badge for the upper-end guitars, and there (at least was) Mexican Fenders that were the same exact guitars as previous American ones just made at a different location. But not all Mexican Fenders are made with the same components and tooling and woods and parts.

 

That's been my experince. Fender "USA" is getting squeezed by the excellent quality of the MIM instruments.

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That's been my experince. Fender "USA" is getting squeezed by the excellent quality of the MIM instruments.

 

There's a reason North America doesn't get MIJ guitars (with the obvious few)!

 

A large percentage of players preferred the MIJs over the MIA Fenders! So the big F decided to put a stop to that!

 

I still think the MIJ ones are the best models next to vintage. A lot of times better than vintage too!

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There has been much variation over the years on both the USA and the Mexican line, in the 80's it is said that the Japanese models were better but I am not so sure it is still the case.

 

My jamming buddy has a 1997 Big Apple Stratocaster and while the sound is great the neck and overall feel of the guitar is more like a current Mexican Standard Stratocaster.

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There's a reason North America doesn't get MIJ guitars (with the obvious few)!

 

A large percentage of players preferred the MIJs over the MIA Fenders! So the big F decided to put a stop to that!

 

I still think the MIJ ones are the best models next to vintage. A lot of times better than vintage too!

The reason we don't see many Japanese Fenders anymore is the price of the dollar vs the yen.

 

You can still get FENDER JAPAN Fenders all day long from Japan, if you are willing to pay the prices.

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FujiGen made Fenders are the sought after ones and extremely nice instruments. After Tokai took over they lost that superior craftsmanship that made them stand out. Tokai Fenders are more comparable to MIM Fenders, at least according to all the ones I've tried out. And there were plenty of Japanese Fenders around in the 90's to try out.

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Nah, headstock is way too small...

 

Color combo and the logo kinda made me think, but I see, for some reason I forgot about the fat headstocks.

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The reason we don't see many Japanese Fenders anymore is the price of the dollar vs the yen.

 

You can still get FENDER JAPAN Fenders all day long from Japan, if you are willing to pay the prices.

 

That is true too.

 

But they were killing the US line...

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I support the United Brotherhood of American Made Luthiers.

So MIM and MIJ and MIK and MIC are just not for me.

That's my opinion.

Thank you and

Goodnight.

 

MIM; Made in Montana.......:rolleyes:

 

MIC; Made in California.......:unsure:

 

MIK; Made in Kentucky........[blink]

 

MIJ; Made in Jersey.............[smile]

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I support the United Brotherhood of American Made Luthiers.

So MIM and MIJ and MIK and MIC are just not for me.

That's my opinion.

Thank you and

Goodnight.

 

 

Ahhh the UBAML.

 

 

 

Me I support the United Peoples Front Of Judeah.

 

Splitter!!

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Ahhh the UBAML.

 

 

 

Me I support the United Peoples Front Of Judeah.

 

Splitter!!

[lol]

 

"I thought we were the Popular Front..............."

 

P.

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That is true too.

 

But they were killing the US line...

 

That was not ever my experience, not around here. They made Japanese guitars for very specific reasons, and it worked. They were sellable here, but you would pay twice what an American guitar was for a nice strat. There were lots hanging in stores throughout the 90's, not so much today. They hung there because the exchange rate just wasn't favorable. Fender didn't have to "put a stop" to anything, economics did, prolly still does.

 

My experience with all of the "Crafted In Japan"* Fedners I ever played was a resounding meh. Ok, some great, most were ordinary guitars. Certainly no higher percentage of great guitars to loafs than run of the mill US guitars. Lots of us come from a time when there was only one flavor of Fender, so we were very interested in these things back then.

 

rct

 

* It always cracked me up that they weren't made in Japan. People somehow thought they were better because they weren't just made there. Owners on usenet and the early HCGFs were always very careful to specify they had a Crafted guitar.

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That was not ever my experience, not around here. They made Japanese guitars for very specific reasons, and it worked. They were sellable here, but you would pay twice what an American guitar was for a nice strat. There were lots hanging in stores throughout the 90's, not so much today. They hung there because the exchange rate just wasn't favorable. Fender didn't have to "put a stop" to anything, economics did, prolly still does.

 

My experience with all of the "Crafted In Japan"* Fedners I ever played was a resounding meh. Ok, some great, most were ordinary guitars. Certainly no higher percentage of great guitars to loafs than run of the mill US guitars. Lots of us come from a time when there was only one flavor of Fender, so we were very interested in these things back then.

 

rct

 

* It always cracked me up that they weren't made in Japan. People somehow thought they were better because they weren't just made there. Owners on usenet and the early HCGFs were always very careful to specify they had a Crafted guitar.

That's pretty much how I remembered it.

 

The "crafted" vs "made" actually has a logical reason behind it. It identifies guitars made by two different factories. "Made in Japan" is Fuji-gen, and "Crafted in Japan" is another whole different company (I don't recall what the name is). The Japanese have respect like that.

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That is true too.

 

But they were killing the US line...

Just to put a fine point on it....It IS true that the Japanese ones "kisked a%%" over the American models that proceeded them right before they came out, but EVERY Fender that came out then was an improvement. They American company did initailly have trouble making guitars as good, BUT we never saw those. They re-tooled and worked to up the quality of the guitars compared to what they were making BEFORE they shut down, which is also before the Japan Fenders were brought over.

 

It would be far more accurate to say that Fender Japan beat them to the punch, and Fender used them for a brief period to gat a little breathing room. But WHILE this was happening, I don't know that Fender USA was putting out sub-quality guitars, there was just far fewer American ones available.

 

It should be noted that while the Janaese models DID have a lot of things about them that were "right" and were very cost effective at the time (still?), there WERE still comprimises and differences to the American ones...such as the finish used and the woods for the bodies. And not all Japanese ones were made the same way as well, such as the Standard Strat vs the Vintage or reissue Strat. The Japanese factory also put out guitars at different price points.

 

The "crafted" ones made currently does offer some very high-end models, but these are for the most part just as expensive as the American counterparts...and more to import them. It might be true that Fender would not in their right mind import product lines that compete with current American product lines, but it also makes no sense to have an 800 dollar American guitar hanging on the wall next to a Japanese model for the same price.

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Just to put a fine point on it....It IS true that the Japanese ones "kisked a%%" over the American models that proceeded them right before they came out, but EVERY Fender that came out then was an improvement. They American company did initailly have trouble making guitars as good, BUT we never saw those. They re-tooled and worked to up the quality of the guitars compared to what they were making BEFORE they shut down, which is also before the Japan Fenders were brought over.

 

It would be far more accurate to say that Fender Japan beat them to the punch, and Fender used them for a brief period to gat a little breathing room. But WHILE this was happening, I don't know that Fender USA was putting out sub-quality guitars, there was just far fewer American ones available.

 

It should be noted that while the Janaese models DID have a lot of things about them that were "right" and were very cost effective at the time (still?), there WERE still comprimises and differences to the American ones...such as the finish used and the woods for the bodies. And not all Japanese ones were made the same way as well, such as the Standard Strat vs the Vintage or reissue Strat. The Japanese factory also put out guitars at different price points.

 

The "crafted" ones made currently does offer some very high-end models, but these are for the most part just as expensive as the American counterparts...and more to import them. It might be true that Fender would not in their right mind import product lines that compete with current American product lines, but it also makes no sense to have an 800 dollar American guitar hanging on the wall next to a Japanese model for the same price.

 

I agree. It was a tough time to be FMIC. The Japanese idea was a great one, the company(ies) that made them were already making (I'm told because I never used them) great guitars, like Fender did before they lost all their stuff and all that. The Japanese guitars were made to stop counterfeiting, and it worked. The long coddled myths of better than American Guitars was nothing more than that, a myth intended to add panache and mystery to an ordinary guitar so they could be sold on the (at that time) new intarwebs and such that were becoming very popular with the young peoples treading on my lawn.

 

rct

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Since we've drifted to Japanese Fenders, lets not forget an important point. The decision to go with Fender Japan came at a very tough time for Fender USA. It has been said more than once that the influx of cash brought about by that situation in fact saved the company, and that Fender USA may well have not survived that brief but very tough rough patch. If that is true, I applaud the decision that allows Fender USA to live on yet today.

 

Back around 1990, I had the opportunity to check out some Japanese Fenders hanging on store walls alongside some US counterparts. While certain aspect of their reissue series were even more accurate than the US variants, I recall something I definitely did not like (that seemed universal among those few I handled). The neck profile was VERY different, tending to be very skinny (front to back) compared to US models, and did not have the same inviting feel (to me).

 

That may not have been either universal or long term, but was a fact for those I handled at that time. Bringing us back on topic (MIM Strats), those I've handled (and the one I've bought, with plans to buy two more), that has not been the case at all. The neck profile feels very much like it's (180 mile) North of the border cousin, and I am quite happy (elated in fact) to be able to purchase such a nice guitar for such a great price (not negating US made either, I am a Union Member, and I also do already own 3 US Fenders, and will likely buy more). But from what I've seen, read and heard, these MIM Strats (at least the Classic Player and Road Worn Series) flat out ROCK!

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The neck profile feels very much like it's (180 mile) North of the border cousin,

 

According to the guy who conducted the Fender factory tour I went on last fall, all necks are made in Corona, CA and shipped to Ensenada. Not sure how long they've been doing that however.

 

FWIW, I have a MIM Strat that I bought a few years ago. For what I paid for it, it's a good guitar, but I've got to be honest, it doesn't get a lot of play time. I much prefer my semi hollow and hollow body guitars.

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That's pretty much how I remembered it.

 

The "crafted" vs "made" actually has a logical reason behind it. It identifies guitars made by two different factories. "Made in Japan" is Fuji-gen, and "Crafted in Japan" is another whole different company (I don't recall what the name is). The Japanese have respect like that.

 

Fuji-Gen always made good stuff!

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