Have you ever owned a MIM Telecaster that played/sounded/felt as good as a MIA Telecaster?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

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    Have any of you ever had a MIM Tele that played/sounded/felt as good or better than a MIA Tele?


    If so, tell me what Tele it was, and what made you like it more than a MIA Tele?
     
  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. As long as the pickups are great there is zero discernible tone difference. Eg both Baja guitars.

    I have a 50s Road worn with Nocaster pickups that I put in and set up and it is fantastic. One of my go to Teles and yes I have Custom Shop.
     
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  3. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    I've had quite a few Teles, US, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese and Indonesian. Whilst the individual guitar possesses its own characteristics (and that's obviously the important thing - whether that guitar does it for you or not), lets just say that I have, at the moment, two Mexicans and an Indonesian. One is just the Standard (I can't remember whether it's 1994 or 2004, but I'm pretty sure it ends in a 4) in my avatar that I've sort of Esquire'd , and the other is my Blacktop baritone. It's not that I like the Mexican ones more than the US Teles I've had, it's just that both of them are really good. Both of them say things to me that none of the US ones I've owned have.

    Now, my lamented Japanese pink paisley that I shoudn't have sold, on the other hand...

    EDIT: Just checked the serial number of the Standard - it's 1994.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
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  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I have owned and played many guitars with a better pedigree—American-made Strats and G&Ls and vintage Fenders of different ilks...but I kept going back to this cheap 1995 hecho-en-Mexico Telecaster.

    The bridge pickup is perfect, but I didn’t like the stock neck pickup (a “meh” coil-tapped humbucker), so I’ve done some electronic modifications...but the “feel” was perfect right off the bat.

    I customized the heck out of it and love it every day.

    But even when I bought it used about 15 years ago (for ~$250), it kept calling to me, because it felt so “right” in my hands.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
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  5. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    Yup. I had a MIM tele and I swapped out the electronics from an MIA tele. Then I noticed the tuners weren't up to snuff so I swapped out all the hardware from an MIA tele. The neck wasn't quite right so I put an MIA neck on. Since I had an MIA body sitting around I swapped that too. Now my MIM tele plays as good as any MIA tele!
     
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  6. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    I thought I did. Then I picked up an AmPro.....................
     
  7. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Trigger’s broom!
     
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  8. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    People usually do this with 80's MIJ Fenders and Squiers.
     
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  9. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    One day where I was off work I visited my local guitar pusher and since it was early on a weekday I was the only one there.

    With regards to sound it's all subjective and can most likely be fixed with a pup swap.


    So my conclusion is that I dislike the MIM standards due to the lack of rolled edges. I dislike the 50s baja cos that to me is a no good neck shape (despite so many that love the neck of the 50s baja)

    I think that a 60s Baja with a pup swap would probably be a killer guitar as I like the neck and feel of those
     
  10. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

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    Yes indeed. I have and have had telecasters from every level, from Squire up to an original Broadcaster (oh how I miss that one!), so I do know how a good tele is supposed to play and sound.

    To cut a long story short, a few months ago I used to have both a MIM telecaster classic seris 60s and a MIA AV 64. I did know that the 64 was "better" in every regards, but I kept going back to the MIM. I can't actually say why, the 64 has better...everything (wood, tuners, pickups etc.) but the humble MIM just kept calling my name.

    I sold the 64 the a TDPRI fellow who's very happy with it and I will gig my MIM as soon as this crazy virus disappears :)
     
  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Sure, but I've played some that didn't live up. My avatar is a 60th anniversary standard, dead stock. Its a great guitar. If I owned and cycled more MIAs, I'd probably have a great MIA guitar. All my fav amps are made in the US. My favorite fiddle is made in France. My favorite beer is made in Ireland, you get the picture.
     
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  12. Petesie80

    Petesie80 TDPRI Member

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    I've had the pleasure of owning many telecasters through the years after buying my first in 1978 (a '78 model!). Had thin lines, customs, standards, deluxe, re-issues all great guitars as were early Squires, Tokai's, Japanese Fenders that passed through my evil clutches.

    I got a red M/N MiM standard from a buddy and thought it would be more or less the same apart from it's geographic origin. I was so wrong.

    It looked like a tele, felt a bit like a tele but it was definitely not my cuppa tea. Of all the guitars I've ever owned I just could not get on with it...it gathered dust & I was going to give it to my son when a friend offered to take it off my hands.

    I could not even bring myself to take a photo of it. I'm sure it was just that one guitar so I've no personal beef with the MiM product line. I'm using a MIJ 62 Custom atm and it's fantastic, just as good as my USA '62 custom.

    Take care fellas.
     
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  13. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Meister

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    Electronics can always be changed. And they are all (mostly) alder bodies. The only real difference is the MIA necks getting more attention. Is that extra attention worth the extra cost to you?

    I don’t buy into “tone woods,” especially when they’ve been making Teles for over fifty years out of pretty much the same wood. I believe the majority of the sound is the pickups. Change those to match MIA on a MIM and it’s the same guitar other than a more “finished” neck. I’d like an American neck. They feel great but not so great to justify the extra cost. Not to me anyway.

    But to your original question, have you played a MIM that felt as good as a MIA? I’ve played MIM and Chinese guitars that were better than some Americans. I wouldn’t worry too much about where it was made as much as I would how it feels and sounds. The time of offshore guitars being garbage has long passed.

    jh
     
  14. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Holic

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    I had a Nashville Tele, used, sunburst mim. I do miss it alot because it was a solid player & all around work. Regret selling it and keep telling myself I have my mystic blue American std Tele to play. Oh how we keep justifying things in our lives. Will prob go back and buy another used nashvile as soon as this plague moves on. 20190424_174710.jpg
     
  15. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    50’s Baja...
     
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  16. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire

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    The 50's Baja is untouchable IMO.
    I did pay $400 for a new MIM standard that I wish I still had … but I was chasing the rainbow .
     
  17. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

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    yes, altho with a caveat- I'm a pickup swapper. My #1 MIA from '93 doesn't have the stock pickups in it, and neither does the '13 MIM Thinline Cabronita. But just talking about the wood & metal, yes... the MIM is 95% the guitar the MIA is... my MIM got upgraded with an MIA bridge (because I don't like the feel of the bent steel saddles, this is a personal preference). But I would absolutely put my MIM up against my MIA.

    And everything I just said also goes for my MIM Strat HSS. I did swap out a bunch of stuff- but not because it wasn't good; again- I don't like bent steel saddles- personal preference. And I wanted 21 frets so i replaced the neck- but not because it was lacking- it was a great neck- 22 frets is, again, personal preference. But the quality off-the-rack was definitely MIA quality.

    The only reason I'd buy an MIA right now is if I liked the new D profile neck. I actually might get one to try on my strat....
     
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  18. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm watching out for an MIM Player Series or a Deluxe Tele Thinline. Nothing wrong with the imports, IMHO.
     
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  19. NBS2005

    NBS2005 TDPRI Member

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    I've owned one MIA Fender, a Mustang back when I was 20. Currently have a MIJ Strat and a MIJ necked MIM bodied Tele. I haven't played a MIA that screamed buy me.
     
  20. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

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    For me, absolutely.
    The one in my avatar is a MIM FSR. When I started shopping for a tele, I fully expected it to be a G&L. Tried those first, and it just didn't click. I tried the one in my avatar - loved it. Tried a bunch of others as well - MIAs, Squiers, Squier CVs. This was the one that stood out to me - both in the way it felt in my hands, and the tone. I also found I prefer the switched control plate. I know most around here prefer the lower output alnico pickups over the ceramics that are in mine. I personally prefer the warmer tone I get from the ceramics.
     
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