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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 627
Loc: It's grim up north.
New strat, Mexican?
      #1023557 - 10/12/12 10:06 PM
The good lady has offered to buy me a new guitar for xmas as she cannot think of anything else to get for me.

I know i want a strat as i have always had various copies, squiers etc & am quite used to them. Has anyone any experiences or comments on the fender mexican standard strat? (around the £400 mark i believe)I know the obvious thing to do is to get out & try some, but time is limited at the moment.

Opinions welcomed.


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fletcher



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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023562 - 10/12/12 11:01 PM
well, I know this might upset a few people here, but this is my opinion.

I use a strat as my main guitar and have done so for too many years, so I guess I kind of know what to expect from a strat. I have had the same one for about 30 years. However I teach and have had many a chance to sample students guitars over the years and compare the mexican to the american strats. Not come across a Mexican one I like yet. The American ones all seem lovely. If I was you I would get the American one. The Mexican will seem not that different to the many replicas you have had over the years. Now it may well be that with a good set-up on the Mex, there will be less of a difference, I don't know. Maybe the American ones would get even better with a set-up.

So I would get the American one. Other people here might say the Mex is as good, but like I said, not in my experience. You will have to make your own mind up in the end.


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jellyjim
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023565 - 10/12/12 11:17 PM
I tried a friend's MIM Tele. I was disappointed. Thick lumpy neck. But I like a thin neck anyway so maybe not a fair judgement. I didn't hear it. The build quality seemed pretty good however.

--------------------
Original artwork and unique devices inspired by vintage technology http://www.thisisobsolete.com


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nar



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Loc: Manchester
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023566 - 10/12/12 11:26 PM
I haven't much expertince with strats (just playing other people's) but all fenders I've played that are mexican but in direct competition with an american version up the price scale have definitely been worse than their american big brothers in ways that seem strange and easily remedied - my flatmate has a mex tele standard that has an odd lump in the neck towards the nut. My mex Jaguar however is superb, and I know a couple of people with tele deluxes that say the same about theirs.

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Madman_Greg



Joined: 07/12/06
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: nar]
      #1023571 - 10/12/12 11:45 PM


Make sure you try the Fender Squier Classic Vibe Strats when you go shopping and try

You just may be surprised and save some money

--------------------
Madman_Greg


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Madman_Greg



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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: Madman_Greg]
      #1023572 - 10/12/12 11:57 PM


check out this vid, it takes you through the squier and fender range

worth staying the whole 45 mins to watch this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnUuUjqHEMU

--------------------
Madman_Greg


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zenguitarAdministrator
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023577 - 11/12/12 12:44 AM
There really is no alternative to playing as many as you can get your hands on and picking one you like.

The Mexican Fenders are good, competent, instruments. And if you play enough of them there's a good chance you will find one that sings to you. I know that time is short, but it would be better to wait until you have time than to compromise and get a guitar you aren't happy with and regret it.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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RancorBeast



Joined: 24/01/12
Posts: 20
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023581 - 11/12/12 02:37 AM
I have never come across a MIM that was as good as a US that goes for strats and teles. I have played squiers that are just about as good as the MIMs. I have been playing fenders in the US for over 20 years. This is just my opinion.

As previously stated, the real test is whether you like the instrument in question, and if you think it will help you get your music done.


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6891
Loc: northampton uk
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023593 - 11/12/12 05:35 AM
My son (player for 25yrs) was never 100% happy with his Mex until he had a fret dress done.

He does however play a lot of acoustic and likes a bit of "fight" in the action.

Dave.


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Gary_W



Joined: 18/10/06
Posts: 464
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023605 - 11/12/12 08:46 AM
In the £400-£500 'Fender but not really a Fender' range it's also worth checking out the G&L Tributes. The USA built G&L's will cost you as much as a USA Fender (or more) but the Tributes are far Eastern. have a pair of the Tributes and love them. I don't have a 'real' USA Strat or Tele to compare them to so I can't give an opinion of how close it gets but there is a lot of love for G&L out there.

Good luck whatever you do and I hope you enjoy it


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4TrackMadman
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023607 - 11/12/12 08:54 AM
Fender USA is usually a better way to go, the Mex ones are hit/miss but you can get a good instrument if you know how to pick them in a store.

For non-USA strats I actually prefer the G&L imports (Indonesia, I think). They seemed to be on par with Fender USA in quality from what I've played.

--------------------
www.descentintomadness.com


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HollowAxis



Joined: 31/12/11
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023613 - 11/12/12 09:19 AM
I've owned a bunch of guitars and I'm pretty much stuck to Fenders the whole way through, bar one Epiphone and one Gibson.

All of my current Fenders are Japanese, it just worked out that way. A Strat, Jag and Mustang.
I have had/played Mexican and American instruments I have loved.
I've also played American, Mexican and Japanese guitars that I've hated.
Just have to play as many as you can, all of them are well built and capable.

I usually end up tweaking guitars to what I like anyway, if they start off playing well they can be 'upgraded' or tweaked with different bits easily. Just find one that plays well.

I would like to try some of the Modern player line teles/strats too, the Tele bass from that line is AMAZING. I've played American deluxes that felt far worse.
The modern player line is all made in China.
The guitars may feel great too.

Also... I think a decent guitar that has been setup correctly will feel and play better than an expensive high end guitar that has been setup badly or not at all.

Edited by HollowAxis (11/12/12 09:22 AM)


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Madman_Greg



Joined: 07/12/06
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: HollowAxis]
      #1023630 - 11/12/12 10:22 AM

Personally, I would only risk around £200 - £250 buying a guitar unseen

Anything above I would want to try, they all do differ slightly even though they are mass produced, nature of the materials they are made of I guess.

If its just the Fender name you are after, then I would suggest saving a bit more and getting an American.

--------------------
Madman_Greg


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Kev Adams



Joined: 05/01/11
Posts: 154
Loc: MK UK
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023681 - 11/12/12 01:33 PM
I have a lovely old USA Tele but it is heavy and difficult for me to handle (in a wheelchair), so went looking for a lighter, cheaper replacement. Tried a couple of MiM Teles and didn't like them at all. Then they gave me another one - 'Try that'. It was fantastic. Looked at the headstock- Crafted in China.

I love it to bits. Beautiful action, lovely neck, and finished superbly. OK the shop set it up perfectly, but it's perfectly made, to my eyes. It was pre-owned but mint and cost me £299. Result.
Moral- don't ignore Crafted In China.

--------------------
Retired, hurt


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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 627
Loc: It's grim up north.
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1023747 - 11/12/12 08:03 PM
Thanks to all for the (as ever) helpfull & informative replies. Hopefully i will get some time on thursday to visit my nearest shop.


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Jabba1



Joined: 19/11/07
Posts: 326
Loc: Aylesbury
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: Gary_W]
      #1023766 - 11/12/12 10:26 PM
Quote Gary_W:

In the £400-£500 'Fender but not really a Fender' range it's also worth checking out the G&L Tributes. The USA built G&L's will cost you as much as a USA Fender (or more) but the Tributes are far Eastern. have a pair of the Tributes and love them. I don't have a 'real' USA Strat or Tele to compare them to so I can't give an opinion of how close it gets but there is a lot of love for G&L out there.

Good luck whatever you do and I hope you enjoy it




+1

Also, worth looking at Levinson Blade Texas Standards, if you can find one. Certainly in terms of build quality.

--------------------
www.alterzero.com || "Semper in excremento sum... solum profunditas variat"


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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 627
Loc: It's grim up north.
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024123 - 13/12/12 03:27 PM
Tried out a few today, including the classic vibe 50's & 60's. They only had a LH mexican strat in stock so couldn't give it a proper try, but the neck seemed a little chunky to me. The classic vibe models seem like great instruments for the price & i liked both the 50' & 60's models.....the pickups on the 60's (Alnico 5) did seem a little hotter than the Alnico 3 on the 50' model.

But then,.....i got to try This . Completely blew me away & fell in love with it there & then. It's 3 times what i had planned to spend but what the hell, life is short! The S1 switching adds a lot of variation and the noisless pu's will come in handy for recording in cubase.

Looks like this is the one.


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024145 - 13/12/12 05:13 PM
I get the impression that the biggest difference (between American and Mexican builds) is in the finishing. I think you could probably get a Mexican build to play as well as an American equivalent, but you'd probably need to spend quite some time making fine adjustments.

It wouldn't surprise me if much of the extra charge for American ones is spent paying humans to finish and set them up properly -which ironically should be cheaper to do in Mexico!

Although I might well be completely wrong about all this.


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Huge Longjohns
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Joined: 10/04/03
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024151 - 13/12/12 05:54 PM
The American ones have better everything, pickups, hardware, you name it. Whether they are worth the jump in price is another question altogether but if you were going for reliability as a pro, probably.

--------------------
"The man who questions opinions is wise. The man who quarrels with facts is a fool." Frank Garbutt, inventor & industrialist


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Huge Longjohns
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024152 - 13/12/12 05:58 PM
Quote:

Completely blew me away




Excellent, hope you enjoy it! Just what you need, imho, a proper Strat but with sensible modern improvements like no hum, locking tuners etc.

--------------------
"The man who questions opinions is wise. The man who quarrels with facts is a fool." Frank Garbutt, inventor & industrialist


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1024153 - 13/12/12 06:09 PM
Quote Huge Longjohns:

The American ones have better everything, pickups, hardware, you name it. Whether they are worth the jump in price is another question altogether but if you were going for reliability as a pro, probably.




Oh right. I heard the pickups and other metal parts were all made in the USA, with the same spec, that only the bodywork, neck, etc, were built in Mexico.


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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 627
Loc: It's grim up north.
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1024168 - 13/12/12 07:37 PM
Thanks again everyone. It is an impulse buy\decision to buy without a doubt! I never thought i would spend that ammount on a strat, but at 58 years old it will be the last one i will ever buy (probably!)

All the guitars i have owned have previously been copies & i thought that, just this once, it would be good to have the real thing.

Speaking of copies, i still regret swapping my 1980's Tokai strat for a synth 22 years ago. This really played like a dream & sounded great.....but i was playing keyboards in the band at that time & couldn't resist adding another 61 notes to my rig. You live & learn.


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matt keen



Joined: 07/01/06
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Loc: Northants, England
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024184 - 13/12/12 08:51 PM
Have to say that I disagree with many and feel that the USA fenders are overpriced and the Mex guitars are in no way inferior with perhaps the exception of some of the pickups
The differences are more about features than quality - do you like thin or fatter necks? Fretboard radius? Rosewood or maple board etc etc These things are much more important IMO than which country it was made in. The quality is that close

The Classic Vibe series are very very good - inc the pickups

But as somebody said best thing is to play a lot of guitars and judge for yourself

--------------------
Matt
www.krcollective.org

Edited by matt keen (13/12/12 08:54 PM)


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Huge Longjohns
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024188 - 13/12/12 09:13 PM
Quote:

Mex guitars are in no way inferior


That hasn't been my experience at all, but there's no question the mexes are great vfm.

--------------------
"The man who questions opinions is wise. The man who quarrels with facts is a fool." Frank Garbutt, inventor & industrialist


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Huge Longjohns
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024189 - 13/12/12 09:18 PM
Quote:

The Classic Vibe series are very very good - inc the pickups


These are Squiers are they not, and made in China, I think? Are they as good as all the hype on various forums would suggest?

--------------------
"The man who questions opinions is wise. The man who quarrels with facts is a fool." Frank Garbutt, inventor & industrialist


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mick.n



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 627
Loc: It's grim up north.
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1024192 - 13/12/12 10:05 PM
Quote Huge Longjohns:

Quote:

The Classic Vibe series are very very good - inc the pickups


These are Squiers are they not, and made in China, I think? Are they as good as all the hype on various forums would suggest?




The Classic Vibes 50's & 60's i tried today had "Made in China" or "Crafted in China" (Just forget which one) on the reverse side of the headstock. The pickups are Alnico 3 & Alnico 5 respectively and, from what i have read, are considered superior to the ceramic p\u's that are used on the Mexican strats. Having said that, my current Korean made squier strat (1998) has ceramic p\u's & they sound decent to my ears & fairly "hot"......though they do tend to be a little microphonic at higher amp levels.

No doubt that the Classic Vibe series are good value for the price, less than £300.....but i have to admit that the American deluxe i tried today is in a different league altogether in terms of feel,action & sound.


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matt keen



Joined: 07/01/06
Posts: 1859
Loc: Northants, England
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024203 - 13/12/12 11:18 PM
Quote mick.n:

Quote Huge Longjohns:

Quote:

The Classic Vibe series are very very good - inc the pickups


These are Squiers are they not, and made in China, I think? Are they as good as all the hype on various forums would suggest?




The Classic Vibes 50's & 60's i tried today had "Made in China" or "Crafted in China" (Just forget which one) on the reverse side of the headstock. The pickups are Alnico 3 & Alnico 5 respectively and, from what i have read, are considered superior to the ceramic p\u's that are used on the Mexican strats. Having said that, my current Korean made squier strat (1998) has ceramic p\u's & they sound decent to my ears & fairly "hot"......though they do tend to be a little microphonic at higher amp levels.

No doubt that the Classic Vibe series are good value for the price, less than £300.....but i have to admit that the American deluxe i tried today is in a different league altogether in terms of feel,action & sound.





Did you try them blind folded!

You have to get what speaks to you, otherwise you could just spend the whole time trying to convince yourself you are happy with it

--------------------
Matt
www.krcollective.org

Edited by matt keen (13/12/12 11:20 PM)


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matt keen



Joined: 07/01/06
Posts: 1859
Loc: Northants, England
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: Huge Longjohns]
      #1024204 - 13/12/12 11:24 PM
Quote Huge Longjohns:

Quote:

The Classic Vibe series are very very good - inc the pickups


These are Squiers are they not, and made in China, I think? Are they as good as all the hype on various forums would suggest?




Yes - i have them and other guitars that cost a lot more
My CV ia as good a guitar as my baja telecaster and my duesenberg
its different to both but not inferior IMO

--------------------
Matt
www.krcollective.org


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 2043
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024211 - 14/12/12 12:48 AM
Quote mick.n:

Speaking of copies, i still regret swapping my 1980's Tokai strat for a synth 22 years ago.




Someone, somewhere should start a register of serial numbers so we could be re-united with guitars we have loved & lost.

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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dubbmann
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024213 - 14/12/12 01:40 AM
not for the first time, i totally agree with andy (z) and his proffered opinion. some custom shop gtrs suck and some MIK/MIM/MI? gtrs rule. i'm currently away from home and a friend lent me a squier strat that he paid $20 for. after a good setup the thing rocks. long sustain, beautiful intonation, i'd buy it from him if a) he'd sell and b) i could justify another gtr. there really is no substitute for playing lots and lots of gtrs until one sings, as andy so eloquently put it.

rock on.

d

--------------------
http://www.thinkbluecounttwo.com/
http://www.phichibe.com


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Howdy Doody Time



Joined: 18/01/09
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024222 - 14/12/12 04:34 AM

Well for what it's worth, I tried the USA, the Mexican, and the Japanese Fender Strats here, at the same time, in the same store and I didn't like the Mex. I could not choose between the USA and the Japanese, both were excellent, slim neck, comfortable, easy fretting.

I got the Jap, because it was way cheaper than the USA, and way more expensive than the Mex. I don't know why.

--------------------
The only excuse we have for making music in the first place is to make it differently..vis-a-vis our own difference (Glenn Gould)


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John Egan
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Joined: 27/11/02
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024241 - 14/12/12 09:03 AM
I used to play for a living in the late 50s/early to mid 60s, and I got to play a lot of guitars now considered to be "holy grail" vintage. I owned a 56 Strat (which was a dog!) for a while. I think that the Mexican Strats and Teles actually feel and sound much more like the Fenders did then than any of the American or Custom Shop guitars do now, probably because they are built down to a price as the old ones were. I like them very much. I usually give them a better set of pickups, although the stock pickups are OK. Individual examples do vary, so it's important to find one that speaks to you. I must admit to not liking Japanese Fenders much, although the build quality is good. Chinese are OK, though!


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Huge Longjohns
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Joined: 10/04/03
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024255 - 14/12/12 10:26 AM
Quote:

i still regret swapping my 1980's Tokai strat for a synth 22 years ago




Aagh, me too. I had the 50s model in pale blue and it was a fabulous guitar. Part exchanged it for an Aria elec 12 string which is fabulous too and I needed at the time but still wish I had that Tokai strat...

--------------------
"The man who questions opinions is wise. The man who quarrels with facts is a fool." Frank Garbutt, inventor & industrialist


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fletcher



Joined: 01/05/05
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Loc: london
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: John Egan]
      #1024256 - 14/12/12 10:27 AM
only joking here, but I love how you say "I usually give them better pick-ups"

usually?

I mean how often do you buy one? How many have you got?



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_ Six _



Joined: 03/06/06
Posts: 1504
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024259 - 14/12/12 10:34 AM
I LOVE my USA Custom Shop Strat


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Shambolic Charm



Joined: 13/07/05
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024308 - 14/12/12 01:49 PM
Got my first Strat in 77. I don't think MIM even existed then. It was a right pig awful in every way. I had just assumed with my youthful naievity that USA strats were all great, Duh wrong!Then i got a lovely anniversary strat in 82 USA made, silver, really loved that - someone nicked it! So 5 years or so back I went to get another strat USA Mex or whatever seemed best.There was a white MIM strat in amongst 20 or so strats, mostly USA and it wiped the floor with them. Beautifully set up, great sounding and I really like the dull finish of the maple neck over the super glossed USA version. I haven't checked out other MIM strats but be sure you can find real gems.


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024407 - 15/12/12 01:20 PM
I can understand Fender wanting cheap labour and wanting to keep exporting/importing wood to a minimum, but it seems strange that pickups and other metal parts need to be made in more than one factory worldwide. They must be selling like hotcakes!

I have to admit, I'm not exactly thrilled with my Mexican Telecaster, playability wise anyway (sounds good though), but then, I probably need to drop the action and file the higher frets down slightly, and perhaps the nut needs some attention.

I would prefer a slimmer kneck, if some builds have them, as I play with the thumb a lot.


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mjfe2



Joined: 11/10/09
Posts: 616
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024459 - 15/12/12 05:38 PM
I would consider trying the 'best' Squiers as an alternative to a Mex Strat. A friend of mine had a Mex Jazz Bass and had more problems with it than he'd expected. By contrast my Squier Vintage Modified Jazz feels and sounds absolutely great and I say that as a long-time player of an American Deluxe Strat!


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John Egan
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Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: fletcher]
      #1024736 - 17/12/12 06:16 PM
Sorry for the delay in replying. We wrinklies have slower reactions! Currently I've got 3 Mexican Strats and 3 Mexican Teles. I have swapped all the strat pickups for Fat 50's, Muy Grande and Tex-Mex respectively. I haven't changed the Tele Pickups.


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4TrackMadman
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Joined: 30/10/02
Posts: 1750
Re: New strat, Mexican? new [Re: mick.n]
      #1024964 - 18/12/12 08:11 PM
Mex vs US Fender: huge difference in detail. The necks of the US are sanded/fitted a lot better, they get more attention to all the details, hardware, paint, wood selection. I've bought some Japanese Fenders from the 80s to mid 90s and at that time I thought the Japanese had better quality and consistency than the Americans. Back then I actually preferred the Japanese guitars.

Lately, overall the idea of owning a Fender doesn't excite me at all. It is like buying a brand new VW Bug built today but with 1960s design, i.e. 50 years of guitar innovation which pretty much is lost on both Fender and Gibson.

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