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Have you ever had a MIM Fender Guitar that sounded or felt better than a MIA one?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Jul 24, 2020.

Have you ever had a MIM Fender Guitar that sounded or felt better than a MIA one?

  1. 1) Yes.

    153 vote(s)
    68.3%
  2. 2) No.

    37 vote(s)
    16.5%
  3. 3) Yes and No.

    34 vote(s)
    15.2%
  1. dcm0

    dcm0 TDPRI Member

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    I have a 94 MIM Tele which I believe they called the Special Deluxe. I am not bothering to look any of this up right now.

    It has a tele bridge PUP, Bucker neck, 5 way switch, br, br+neck tapped, everything, neck tapped, full neck bucket.

    The bridge is a bit icepick in the ear through certain amps. The tone has a detente point that clicks in that solves that, but overly muffles all else.

    And I would stand it against any Tele I have ever owned it played. Which is myriad. Dozens plural.

    The Mexi Fender stuff from the mid 90s is generally as good as anything they ever made, in my opinion.

    You can find crap among these. But same applies to actual 1952 Teles from Leo's original shop.

    Just sayin'.
     
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  2. WYfish

    WYfish Tele-Meister

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    Jackson, WY
    Yep. My Muddy Waters tele was heads and tails better than an american special i had. Beat it in everything, sound, feel, build quality
     
  3. Outstanding Bill

    Outstanding Bill TDPRI Member

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    I've rewired one of my tone pots so it brings in the bridge along with the neck or neck/middle. I find it easier to operate than a push/pull, but also easier to forget. Sometimes I'm wondering "why does my neck pickup sound all quacky... Oh yeah".
     
  4. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    Virginia
    I have a Player Strat now that I really love but it’s still just a step below my American Standard. The neck just feels a little too chunky although now I’m getting used to it. I had an Affinity Tele that I just did not like at all. Body was thin, pickups weak and anemic and the neck just didn’t do any for me. Based off of just my small sampling I vote no however, if I had a larger sample base that could change. All my other guitars historically have been MIA.
     
  5. Inkman66

    Inkman66 TDPRI Member

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    I have a FSR that I have been offered more than triple what I paid for it Brand New...it is one of those ‘one in a million’ guitars that I stumbled on while shopping for a US tele. I can’t begin to tell you how many I tried before I found ‘the one’...but it was over the course of several weeks. Picked this up and tried it without even noticing it was a 2016 made in Mexico. Totally changed my perception of ‘US made or nothing’. That old adage no longer holds any weight with me, and nothing is more satisfying than letting someone sit down and play it...then start throwing the stupid cash offers my way. I love it! I will be buried with it as I will probably never find another gem like this one.
     
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  6. soundcloset

    soundcloset TDPRI Member

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    Horsham, PA
    As a lefty, and tightly budgeted, my one and only ever brand new American Standard Strat back in the 90's never felt just right, and all things being in flux and instability
    I sold it to help a vacation happen for the fam. My $100 as-is Squier from the window at Music 'n' Arts has felt right, and with improved hardware and pickups sounds fine and is a comfy little friend. JB jr. in the bridge and a couple of Custom Shop singles, with a pull-up volume that does the bridge+neck trick as described afore.
     
  7. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

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    511
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    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Yes. I like Classic 60s Tele necks more than the American Standards I owned or the 52RI, Amer Dlx and Amer Specials I tried. No complaints about the quality on any of them, I just prefer the feel of the Classic 60s necks.
     
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  8. Matt Laird

    Matt Laird Tele-Meister

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    Aug 5, 2013
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    Pea Ridge, Arkansas
    My Muddy Waters Tele is better than just about every other Fender made Telecaster, regardless of origin, Custom Shop, US Standard, Ultra, flavor of the month. It was made in Mexico and I think I bought it 16 years ago. It still impresses me how good it is. They must have made it on a good day is all I can say. I have a new player strat H/S/H. It is a great guitar but I noticed there was a slight rise where they didn't sand the skunk stripe enough about 2/3 of the way up the neck. That is the only thing wrong with that guitar. Must have made that one on a Friday
     
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  9. SPECTRUM001

    SPECTRUM001 TDPRI Member

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    UK
    I was recently given a MIM Mustang 90. It was NOS, dated 2017 and never been out of the box, aside from the shop restringing and setting the intonation/action.

    I have to say, it is one of the nicest guitars I have played. It is around 7 pounds in weight and beautifully resonant. The neck is amazing with some gorgeous pau ferro, nicely finished frets and an overall slinkiness that makes me keep wanting to play it.

    The Pickups are not the best, so I am going to add in a Creamery set, along with a better switch and jack - but this doesn’t bother me too much as these are ‘fixable’ elements.

    It is a combination of factors that make me want to play a guitar (even down to liking its appearance), and this one certainly ticks the boxes.

    Cost £400, plus another £200 for upgrades. To then have a great, and top notch guitar that will last - seems ok in my book !!!
     
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  10. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Manassas Park, VA
    I just have my sample of 2 guitars:

    I never knew how 'toneless' ( by this I mean generic, no life, blah), heavy, and plastic coated my '94 American Standard Stratocaster was ( my bought new, first Fender- I had played copies)
    until it got stolen in 1997, and I replaced it with my '97 Tex-Mex Stratocaster.

    I could not afford to replace that first Strat with another US made one, so I saved up $369 to buy this fantastic guitar ( Just got a new neck, plus parts have been replaced over 23 years of gigs)
    It is lightweight, thin finish, funky energy and zing, great pickups.

    Basically alive vs. dead, by comparison
    I just did not pickup on this 'till you try something else!
    20200420_151903.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  11. kbong

    kbong TDPRI Member

    Age:
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    New York, NY
    My first guitar was a MIM Standard Strat from 2007. I've had an MIA Strat and a Kiesel Delos - but I got rid of them, they felt better, but I couldn't bond with them. That being said, I did upgrade my MIM Strat to Callaham parts and better pickups. The cost in total was probably the same as a used MIA strat, but the upgrades didn't happen immediately, it happened over time. Also, by the time I was playing the MIA and Kiesel, I had the frets rounded and the neck rolled, so in terms of feel, it was kind of familiar.
     
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  12. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    CO
    Full disclosure: I've never bonded with s-type guitars.

    My MIM strat has been with me for many years, that's why I keep it, but for strats it's a pretty good one. It feels good, came with Texas Specials from the factory, but needed a real bridge block to sound like a strat. Any MIA strat that doesn't have a real block is usually the same way IMO. It's really hard to find a good strat, a total crapshoot to get the *right* one. So for that reason alone, yes, there are some MIM that feel and sound better than MIA ones.
     
  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I didn't know anything about the MIM ceramic stratocaster pickups until I got my first MIM strat (my two previous strats were MIA). I was blown away by the sound of the stock MIM ceramics, and later discovered that I'm not supposed to like them because Alnicos are "better". So I replaced the ceramics with Alnicos which sounded good, but I later had to come to terms with the fact that I let the internet, not my ears, decide whether I liked the stock pickups. In reality, looking back, I liked them better than what I replaced them with.
     
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  14. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Location:
    northwest
    Currently my #1 is a '98 MIM Strat. $175 used in 2004
    Currently my #2 is a MIA Strat.

    I've had 3 MIA Strats in the last 12 years that didn't beat the two mentioned above.
     
  15. telefan62

    telefan62 Tele-Meister

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    Nov 17, 2009
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Mmmm....gonna have to go with Yes and No. I have a Classic Series '60s Jaguar - MIM, but with Nitro finish and Pau Ferro Fretboard. It's a pretty great guitar stock but, after swapping the bridge for a Mastery, modding the wiring such that I can now get both pickups in series instead of both of them off, and doing a proper set up, I like it better than any of the AVRI's I've played.
     
  16. gerryh61

    gerryh61 TDPRI Member

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    Wells Next the Sea
    I have had many Teles over the years including Custom Shop and 52's. My main Tele is Chris Fleming build that is amazing. Earlier this year I bought the Broadcaster and that is a lovely guitar but then I decided to try the Fender Player Tele with '51 pickups that is a limited edition and I have to say that the sound from it is truly amazing! Leaner sound than the other 2 guitars but cuts through and is definitely addictive-I can't stop playing it! Great job Fender!
     
  17. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
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    Three Rivers, CA
    I have played some MIM that felt and sounder pretty good, but not necessarily better than their USA counterparts. Depends on the model.
     
  18. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Holic

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    754
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    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    Southern United States
    My 2006 MIM 60th anniversary Strat in blizzard pearl, has Tex-Mex pickups and is amazing!
     
  19. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Delaware
    Sweetwater does good setups when you get a guitar there.
     
  20. Slimster22

    Slimster22 TDPRI Member

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    Doesn't matter where it was made. Only matters how it was made. Unless, of course resale value is a consideration. I've had good and bad from everywhere at all price levels. Generalizations can be made if you need a tool quick and don't have many options, but if you get into specific instruments, there are some peaches out there for good prices.
     
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