Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Classic 50's Player vs MIJ Strat?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by jstew20, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. jstew20

    jstew20 TDPRI Member

    Jan 29, 2016
    Hi All,

    Looking for some opinions on which guitar to chase. I've been looking at buying a Strat and two have caught my eye.

    1989-1990 (I serial) MIJ '57 reissue

    2 year old Classic Player 50's Strat

    As yet I haven't had a chance to play either, but due to having to travel to play either of them, I'll probably only get a chance to try one of them. Just wondering if either of them would be an inherently better choice than the other? My googling has found plenty of positive opinions on both guitars, but I'm finding it a little harder to compare the two. Both are around the same price point of about 600 Aussie dollerydoos, which I think is about 460USD.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Golem

    Golem Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    I really like MIJ strats but the Classic 50s is the better guitar in my book. I think the MIJs will go up in value a bit though.

  3. mowgli5555

    mowgli5555 TDPRI Member

    Feb 24, 2017
    Utah, USA
    There are quite a few tier levels for the MIJ Fenders. Without pictures, it would be tough to form a decent opinion.
    The MIJ's can be pretty sweet, but the MIM's can also be solid players and more easily found.

    Personally, I favor the MIJ's with 5 of them, and zero MIM's.

  4. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Meister

    Dec 12, 2006
    460USD is a great deal on either guitar, and I understand your struggle, but here are some considerations:

    pickups: stock MIJ vs american vintage
    neck profile: unsure about the MIJ one vs soft V for the classic 50s
    body wood: I'm guessing alder for both, but alder in MIJ strats is consistently sweet.
    fretboard radius: MIJ might be vintage 7.25"? vs 9.5" radius.

    Personally, I'd go for the classic 50s ONLY because I can head to a shop and check it out in person, PLUS I understand that the classic MIM series is actually a tier higher in quality compared to American Std series.

    Agreed. MIJ strats hold their value very well until fret wear and any physical/aesthetic damage become potential selling issues due to fussy buyers or whatever.

  5. skydog6653

    skydog6653 Tele-Meister

    Jan 10, 2013
    Lowell, Indiana
    I don't think you could say categorically that one is better than the other. Overlap would definitely occur in both groups.

  6. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    Tough decision... those are the two that I am considering as well. I'm not sure when but if I buy a newer Strat, those are the ones I'm gravitating towards.

    The MIJ has vintage mojo going for it. I like older guitars; they tend to have the feel of character from a few decades of use. The Classic 50's Player has some really great features and upscale build quality.

    I'm leaning towards the Classic 50's player myself because of the build quality and modern features: 9.5" radius fretboard, soft v neck, medium jumbo frets, locking tuners, neck/bridge in the #4 position and the 2-point tremolo. I'm not sure what other electronic wizardry they have in that guitar but I've read it also has a decent set of pickups too.

    The Classic 50's Player comes in Shorline Gold or Sunburst except for the 2014, 60th Anniversary models that came in Desert Sand (I think). I may hold out for the 60th Anniversary model myself. I like the colour combo.

    Good luck with your purchase. Either one will be a winner.
    teemon and Golem like this.

  7. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    MIJ is so close in feel to an original, and going up in value. you are already paying less for it should.
    Buy it.

  8. jstew20

    jstew20 TDPRI Member

    Jan 29, 2016
    Yeah I'm definitely torn. I'm a sucker for an old guitar so the MIJ would probably normally win hands down. But now I've had a closer look at the photos and realised that the bridge saddles are aftermarket. Not a huge deal for me, I could fit some vintage style saddles back on easily enough (not sure how much of a difference it would make, I just like the vintage style better). But I've spoken to the owner who also says it's also got some fret buzz, so now I'm unsure of the wear on the neck/frets. Might have to make the drive out to have a look and play with it.

  9. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Nov 18, 2010
    I'm thinking regardless of the one you choose, in order to get the most out of it, there will be some need of a setup, fret level, truss rod adjustment and action. That's just a right of passage for every guitar unless it's been to a tech or luthier recently. That's been my experience anyway. Then, lookout because it'll be unstoppable.

  10. beagle

    beagle Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 20, 2010
    I have a '95 MIJ ST54 and an '06 CP50s, I bought both new. If I had to get rid of one, it wouldn't be my MIJ. It's all down to the feel of the neck really, the ST54 is a huge, chunky soft V, whereas the CP50s in very nice, but positively skinny.

  11. jstew20

    jstew20 TDPRI Member

    Jan 29, 2016
    Well, I did it. Pulled the trigger on the MIJ. I figured I can always walk into a store and get a classic player if I want, so I didn't want to pass on the chance at getting an almost 30 year old MIJ.

    Plays great, and as I have a need to do, I got it home and pulled it apart to look at it's insides. This raised questions. And I've taken those over to TDPRI's sister site, I figured there'll be a larger population over there with strat knowledge to help me. Thanks for the help, link to the new post below if you want to follow!

  12. ab2012

    ab2012 Tele-Meister

    Jun 3, 2007
    new jersey
    I have a 1990 MIJ st54. A great playing guitar and one of the best necks I have ever played on a Fender guitar.

  13. tooloud

    tooloud Tele-Meister

    Mar 5, 2009
    Richmond, TX

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.