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New strat, Mexican?

Postby mick.n » Mon Dec 10, 2012 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby agent funk » Mon Dec 10, 2012 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby jellyjim » Mon Dec 10, 2012 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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby nar » Mon Dec 10, 2012 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Madman_Greg » Mon Dec 10, 2012 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
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Madman_Greg » Mon Dec 10, 2012 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
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby zenguitar » Tue Dec 11, 2012 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.

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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby RancorBeast » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:37 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby ef37a » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:35 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Gary_W » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:46 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby 4TrackMadman » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:54 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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby HollowAxis » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:19 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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Madman_Greg » Tue Dec 11, 2012 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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Kev Adams » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:33 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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby mick.n » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:03 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Jabba1 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:26 pm

Gary_W wrote: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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby mick.n » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:27 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:13 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:54 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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:58 pm

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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:09 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote: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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby mick.n » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:37 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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby matt keen » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:51 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
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:13 pm

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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:18 pm

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?
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby mick.n » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:05 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote:
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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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby matt keen » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:18 pm

mick.n wrote:
Huge Longjohns wrote:
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
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby matt keen » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:24 pm

Huge Longjohns wrote:
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
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:48 am

mick.n wrote: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.
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Re: New strat, Mexican?

Postby dubbmann » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:40 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.

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