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American Stratocasters

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(@fleaaaaaa)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

In thinking about a new guitar an American Stratocaster is quite a big want for me, I have a cream mexican stratocaster, one with a 70's headstock and I enjoy playing it.

Could anyone who has an american stratocaster talk about if they think it is worth the extra cash, if yes or no explain why.

So far I have tried the standard american and the deluxe with noiseless pickups (boy they are quiet).

I've been recommended to try the Jeff Beck signature,

Opinions please :D

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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(@metallicaman)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 312
 

Ahh the good old American' Strats. Well, I've owned a few American strats, and played even more. What can I say? The difference between a Mexican, Japan, Indonesian, and American made strats are only truly noticable if you have done your homework. Most beginner guitar players wont feel or hear the difference between a china squire, or an American Deluxe. Many people are tone def. Having the ability to hear tonal differences in woods, amps, construction of cabinets, speakers, tube amps vs solid states, different gauge strings, and pick-ups is a gift for some, and taken advantage by others. It took me at least 2 years just to hear the basic differences with pick-ups. Your either born with an excellent ear, develop one, or just don't have the option of regonizing tonal difference. I say these things because, based on your ear, and how long you've been playing will take role in effect of how much difference you will see between lets say, your mexican made stratocaster, vs an American. When I was younger, and a beginner player I loved Mexican Strats. I at some points just couldn't see the waste in money to spends thousands on other guitars. Now today I will admit that I ignorant to the differences between them. It is a simple, true fact. Buying USA instruments tend to have a much higher quality level then Mexican or other imported instruments. The United States has wonderful labor laws, and governmental differences then China for example. Because of the rate of pay, American made products are tended to have a higher expectation then imported instruments. With American made products, a lot of detail goes into products because of our quality control guys. Some things are even hand-made, vs a 100% Machine made product. I would suggest to you that if money is not a problem, then have some fun shopping around. Anything American made in the musical world has been an excellent product to my tastes. The prices of some American made things are outragous, but its expensive to feed us Americans.

The best part of buying Vintage and New American made products, is the value that American products hold, and will continue to hold versus the decreasing value of imported goods.

As you pursue your world of playing music, the best of luck to you are your purchases. You should come to a point in your life where questions of instruments, and their differences are a day in the past.

Happy Playing!

Sing Me A Song Your a Singer, Do me a wrong, your a bringer of evil. - Dio


   
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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1247
 

Hi.

Wow - cant believe this went virtually undiscussed here for so long.

There's been quite a lot of discussion on GN already concerning the MIM vs. MIA issue.

Well, I'll tell ya point blank - for what the ACTUAL and REAL differences are between the two guitars
in relation to what the retail price differences are.... A resounding YES, MIAs are worth the additional cost.

I own two Strats: One 88 MIA Standard, and a stock 71.

To be honest.... The 88 doesn't hold a candle to the 71 as far as tone goes.
This is due to a variety of reasons.... though the guitar itself is a solid and well crafted instrument.

That's an 88 MIA mind you.... They are not the same as the new MIA standards.
Fender has made many improvements to the new Standards, though sadly I cannot comment on them, as I've yet to play one.
(Going to Chicago tomorrow tho (% :wink: )

I bought my 88 back when I was 18 yrs old, and knew next to nothing about guitars....
It has served me well for the last 20 yrs, and continues to do so -
Looking at it now, probably the only thing I would consider keeping in a 'rebuild' to make it more of what I want
would be the input jack - NOTHING ELSE!

In fact - currently, Fender does not build a Strat that suits my requirements.

Is the MIA standard a good guitar - Yes, it is.
Though, with so many options to choose from, I certainly wouldn't rush right out and buy one just because it's made in America.
But that's me - I don't know if certain things matter much to you.... Like what TYPE of wood the body is made of,
what kind of finish is used.... etc.
If that matters, I suggest doing as much research as you can about the current available guitars to find which comes
closest to what you're looking for.
If those things don't matter to you, than go out and play as many as you can to find one that feels and sounds right to you.
Look for FIT issues.... especially where the neck/body joint are.
If a guitar checks out (if you're buying it from a store), and you're serious about buying it;
see if they'll do a proper set-up for you and play it again.
If you are anything like me, you may well be married to this guitar for a long while, so make sure it suits you well.

Don't know if this helped you out any, or made things more confusing for you....
If all you want to know is if there really is a difference between the MIM's & MIA's and if that difference is worth the price, then the answer is yes/yes.
(Ask recent convert - Dali :wink: )

Good luck,

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


   
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(@fleaaaaaa)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

Well Itried the Eric Johnson Strat, didn't know it was his signature (there's no indication on the front, just a small EJ on the metal plate on the back) and I really liked that guitar. It was the sunburst one it looks like this.....

Looks and sounds gorgeous, think I'll give it another try before I buy it but it sounded sweet. Probably won't be for a while yet. Anyone I'd like to hear some more comments :) Maybe if Dali could post his testimony.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1247
 

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........ :D
The EJ Strat!
A choice after my own heart.

Nitro lac finish, single ply pickguard, 2 color burst, vintage tuners, vintage six screw bridge plate, vintage bridge saddles....
A wonderful piece of equipment at a pretty decent price.

EJ even had Fender do some detail with the inertia block cutout regarding the finish.... I forget exactly what it was;
Anyway - I have played an EJ Strat.
About the only thing I didn't quite care for was the quarter sawn neck.... there was a resonance/sustain issue there with me.

Other than that - I LOVE IT!

Good choice.

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


   
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(@fleaaaaaa)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

Could you expand on what you didn't like about the neck?

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

hey Fleaaa. you desreve an American Strat. I have heard you play.you deserve it for sure.
the EJ two tone sunburst strat is sooo beautiful. I like the specs too.
like the others have said, made in america is the best. the detail in workmanship is perfect.
the fret end dressing is so amazing. the neck joints is whisper tight. these are amazing guitars.
mexican, korean, japanese are close, but in my opinion, having owned an american, they pale in comparison.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Then there's always a Flying V...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@fleaaaaaa)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

Thanks a lot dogbite, that's very kind. I love playing electric guitar and it's getting near the top of my list, I hope to have saved up for next Christmas. Just paying off my classical guitar, not as good at that, but its coming along.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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(@the-dali)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1409
 

Did someone mention my name? My ears are ringing!! :D

Flea, the MIA Strats are easily worth the extra cash. Not the Highway 1 strats - which are nice but really only a minor step up from the MIM strats - but the American Standards & Deluxe strats. I see in your posts that you've been thinking about a Jeff Beck or EJ strat... to me THOSE American strats are not worth the money. I think you are better served looking at the American Standard line ($900 - $1100) and the Deluxe Strat line ($1100 - 1350). I have a Deluxe strat that I purchased second-hand for $800 and it made me (MADE ME) sell all my cheap import guitars and my Gibson SG. It is that simple. The playability of that guitar is so amazing that I didn't see the point of having 3 Korean guitars (nice guitars in their own right) instead of this one professional instrument.

The other guitar I have is a Carvin CT3. GREAT guitar.

By the way, I just picked up a MIJ Contemporary 22 Stratocaster. I pick it up tomorrow. It has the Kahler "traditional" temolo (sort of a two point strat/Floyd combo). I've heard amazing things about the MIJ strats (1984 - 87) that I had to look into one... I'll give you all a report in a few days after Christmas.

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"


   
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(@metallicaman)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 312
 

I had an 86' MIJ Strat Dali. It was amazing. Neck was real buttery, I loved it. Bought it for $399, and sold it for $480.00

I'm thinking about getting an American Deluxe Strat for xmas, Idk tho... its $1,300 I don't really have right now. :(

Sing Me A Song Your a Singer, Do me a wrong, your a bringer of evil. - Dio


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I have a '91 American Standard Strat, although it came with a Seymour Duncan HB at the neck pickup, and a DiMarzio HB at the bridge pickup. The middle pickup is stock single coil. I LOVE the DiMarzio pickup, not as crazy about the SD, although it sounds very good with clean tones, not as good with distortion.

I personally think the American Standard series are excellent guitars, I've had mine for many years now and it has been a workhorse. The frets are a little worn, but I used this guitar exclusively for a long time. I have played the Mexican Strats and even a Highway 1 a few times, the American Standard series has better grade tuners, volume and tone pots, pickup switch, bridge and saddle. If you examine closely you will easily see the difference.

I would recommend the HSS model with the humbucker at the bridge, single coils are great, but it's good to have humbucker tone, especially if you use lots of distortion. Less noise and a tighter sound.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@twistedlefty)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4113
 


American Deluxe all the way...
i really like the new noiseless pups and the s1 switch.
I have an American Deluxe with SCN's,SSS. The SCN's in the SSS (neck & middle) are parallel coils, bridge is series.
the tonal variety is great imo.
i couldn't be happier.

i have wanted a humbucker equiped solid body for many years but could never afford a nice gibby or prs. i think now that i will opt for another am deluxe strat with the humbucker in the bridge.

#4491....


   
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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

Can I chime in why I don't have one? :lol: I have many guitars, but the Les Paul is my favorite. I have 2 Gibsons. I have a MIM Strat because I wanted a Strat, but with it not being my first choice of electric guitar, I went for a more afordable version. Above the Squire, but not a Highway 1 or an American Standard. I have played an American Standard in a music store and it did feel more solid, more finished. If your a Strat person, I say go for the American Standard. I'm not so I didn't.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Friendly suggestion: Dont just look at Fender, plenty of alternatives if you have the money. Look at the high-end Pacifica line (if you can still find them), G&L (the real Fender's!) and such. Not dissing Fender here but IMHO you can find both better guitars and guitars with a better price/quality ratio elsewhere. Apart from that, the H1-line of Fender is pretty cool as long as you put in the time. Worse QC dont mean worse guitars, it just means you'll have to look harder to find the good ones and avoid the lemons. If you really need a good guitar you're able to do it no problem.

Twisted: maybe I'm missing something but unless I'm mistaken things like the Dean Evo SS and such sound much more like a Prs then a Fender with a bucker in the bridge. :? Getting a proper mahony body is just as important and espescially since you already have a good sc-axe getting a (splitable, if needed) mahony/doublebucker/neck-through guitar might give more variety.


   
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