Is there any difference between Mia fender and Mia Fender?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Bionic_man, May 13, 2021.

  1. Bionic_man

    Bionic_man TDPRI Member

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    I got the new mim player fender I wonder if there there was any difference between a Mexican strat and american fender.
     
  2. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yes. One has a capital F.:D I'm assuming you mean MIA and MIM. That's it from me, I'll leave it to the experts to explain further.
     
  3. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    So, I'm guessing thus is some sort of cryptic puzzle.

    Let me see.... if u take the numerical value of each letter and divide it by 13, then u get the coordinates of the Pentagon.

    Do I win?
    .
     
  4. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    Welcome Bionic. You need to be more specific as each model and each model year may have unique characteristics. Of course they are made in different countries but owned by the same parent company if your speaking about Fender USA and Fender Mexico. Show us photos of yours and compare it to a specific model and people here will give you the differences if that is truly what you are after. Thanks.
     
  5. T-Bone

    T-Bone Tele-Afflicted

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    Big difference. Mia fender is part of mia car. Mia Fender was Leo’s niece.
     
  6. 41144

    41144 Friend of Leo's

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    Keep strong @Bionic_man .

    Generally any MiA Fender (& any model) will have better quality parts than a MiM one. eg better pickups.
    MiA might, not a given but might, have a better overall finish to it. eg nicer Fret edges

    However, some folk will swear certain MiM models are every bit as good as an MiA one, despite never being able to 100% compare like with like.

    Which is where @dented is right. You need to say X model from America compared to Y model from Mexico.

    fwiw, the now out of production MiM Classic 60s Tele ... was one of the best guitars ever to have a Fender badge.
     
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  7. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Neither is Japanese?
     
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  8. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    In general:

    - MiA bodies and necks are very similarly well made. Fit is very good on MiM and excellent on the MiA. Bodies might be a few more pieces on solid colour MiM guitars but in some eras MiAs have been many pieces
    - Finish on MiAs is slightly better. You can find slight flaws more frequently on MiMs such as a small spec in the finish, slightly thicker tint on a fretboard edge, etc. MiA have been using a thinner poly on bodies for a while, or at least were. On modern MiMs it’s fairly thin though
    - Electronics are similar (MiM are really good quality) but MiA pickups are the higher end ones. Sound is subjective though. I have an old, cheap MiJ Tele with ceramic magnets pickups that I have no intention of changing because I like the sound in that guitar. However even the MiM Player series has more traditional Alnico pickups now
    - MiM hardware is good but cheaper and not always as well machined as the MiA versions. All hardware on MiMs is eastern made and some on MiAs. This may or may not matter. On Jazzmasters, the MiA trem is much better compared to the eastern import MiM ones. However, I’ve found Strat parts quite similar except the tremolo blocks which are easy swapped on the MiM. Both are better than 70s MiA hardware!
    - MiAs, dependent on model, can have some features not present on MiM models, such as then microtilt adjustment and electronics switching
    - MiAs more often come with hard cases where it’s usually a bag with a MiM
    - As you would expect, general Quality Control tolerances might be more lenient on the cheaper guitars, hence the odd finish flaw, but it’s still good
    - Playability is usually about the same if you set both up properly. Buying USA, in my experience, is like buying the deluxe version not buying a different guitar
    - Some of the difference you are paying for is simply that it’s made in California. Not because that automatically means better quality but because it’s more expensive to do.

    There are enough little improvements in my mind to make a MiA worth it if you can afford it. However, not enough to worry about if you can’t or you’d rather not spend the extra cash. Or you’ve already bought a guitar. The Players have a superb spec for the price and someone could get themselves a nice tube amp with the price difference, which makes a bigger tone difference.

    Although I’m sure there’s still the odd “Friday job”, it’s really hard to buy a bad guitar from Fender at the moment.
     
  9. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I cant understand the terms , never could ....Made In USA should be MIU , ??

    Since when did America mean the USA ?

    Mexico is situated in one of the Americas , the middle one .......So , eh.... MIM stands for Made In Merica ?
     
  10. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Since all my life.
     
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  11. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    As for the topic of this post.... it's about the model, not about where it is made. A MIM standard is not the same quality as an American Standard, but there are MIM models are every bit as good, or better.

    It's just short form and has always been that way in my lifetime. Although it's not technically correct, as a Canadian I don't take offense to people referring to the USA as "America". I always refer to it as the "U.S" or simply "the States" but when others say "America" I just make the assumption they mean the USA. I certainly know they don't mean Canada, or Peru :D

    Mexico is technically part of NORTH America, not the middle one known as Central America.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  12. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Mexico is where the Americans go when they're avoiding law in the US of A...
     
  13. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    There’s a certain irony lurking in here, as well as the obvious one. :)

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    All the significant hardware for MiM and MiA Fenders are the same. Despite all the blather on forums Fender hasn’t significantly modified Strat or Tele pickups since the 70s so anyone who claims MiA Fenders have better or even different pickups is reading instead of listening. The wood is sourced from the same suppliers and shipped to multiple factories for bodies and necks.
    So what’s left?
    You could make some jingoistic assumption that the CNC router in one country is doing different work with the same program and same wood because the utility grid it’s connected to is different or the person pressing the Start button has a different native tongue. But that raises an interesting question in itself, what if an Anglo American pushed the Start button on an automated tool cell in Mexico? Or what if a Mexican citizen came to Corona for training and pushed the Start button there? Is that how the Parallel Universe models came to be?

    There are greater and lesser examples of MiA and MiM Fenders, mostly because they’re made of wood which is imperfect and can age and respond to environment differently. The notion that a factory that is almost entirely automated can be different based on country just hasn’t been valid in 50+ years.

    I suppose you could make a valid study on the wiring. My MiM has shiny, clean solder joints. My last MiA (which was a bass) needed the bridge ground reconnected. Aside from my experience (soldering is better in MiM) there is no human workmanship and no difference in the machinery.
    But as always, play it and pick the best feeling one on the wall.
     
  15. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

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    There's no way I could tell you the differences without comparing the two in-hand. I've played more than enough MIM Fenders to feel that they're, for the most part, substandard beginner instruments. I have a MIM neck on one of my partscasters, and it's absolutely as fine as any neck I've ever played. I can't find one thing to criticize about it. The differences can be dramatic.

    The MIA that I've played have been consistently decent instruments, and in some cases exceptional.

    Now, if OP is looking for a list of à la carte properties of a guitar, from which they can assess the quality of an instrument, I have to say, a musical instrument is always, always, always more than the sum of it's parts - and sometimes less.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  16. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well ya see, it’s like this…

    Part of the reason is that people from all over the world call people from the United States “Americans”. Therefore people from the United States have come to think of where they live as “America”. We also tend to think of anything that comes from our country as “American”, and anything that comes from elsewhere in the Americas as “not American”. We’re not always the brightest bunch.

    We’ll even differentiate and make weird statements about stuff like “well, that’s NORTH American made, but not American made…” (as if that makes any sense whatsoever), and even though we’re part of North America, we don’t call it that. Mexico and Canada are part of North America. We don’t think of ourselves as part of anything, because we tend to think of ourselves as inherently better than, and separate from, everyone else. This is the result of heavy nationalistic indoctrination that begins at birth for the overwhelming majority of us.

    Most of us will deny this all day long, but it’s true.

    Whereas “American” was originally used hundreds of years ago to refer to any thing or idea originating in the Americas, common usage has brought it mean things from the United States.

    I kind of get a kick out of it, and like to annoy my fellow Americans by answering the question “is it American made?” in the affirmative when referencing any product made anywhere in the Americas. Because it is.
     
  17. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Afflicted

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    I get the distinction that South America and North America are all America. But if you think we're the only country that many of it citizens think they are superior to other countries..... I mean, IMHO that's just people. The French and the Germans come to mind quite quickly. But I've never been to neither. But I've had my share of converstations with people from Germany. I don't mean German Americans (sorry for the use of the word "american" here but it's the only way I know how to distinguish between someone from Germany in Europe). I mean Germans. And generally speaking, I have found them a bit condescending and prideful. Not all of course.


    Now as far as MIA vs MIM. I don't have a lot of experience with MIA guitars. However, I owned an MIA standard Tele for a while and I preferred the MIM Standard Tele I owned in the 90's For sound and feel. Maybe I'm just dumb.

    That small experience doesn't prove anything. But to me the one thing that holds true is it is more about EACH example then it is where it was made. Sure, if you buy a First Act strat from Amazon for 100 dollars it's really not going to be as good or sound as good as an MIA Custom Shop. But those are like the two extremes. A lower end MIA compared to a less expensive MIM may not be as far off. And it's likely that u might like the MIM better. But you just have to see. I've never had a lot of money so it could just be justification. Like anything in life you get what you pay for.

    IMHO there are so many variables on what makes a good sound on a guitar. The amp, the way you play, the space you're playing in and probably even the weather. LOL.

    As far as the feel, I'm sure there have been some very quality made instruments in Mexico, Japan, China, And even dare I say Indonesia. And of course the USA ones too.

    I do not agree that the Mexicans are substandard guitars made for beginners. I will say that as of late I've not been very impressed with pretty much every "player" MIM guitar or bass I've played. Just sort of lacking in fit and finish. I think something has changed. It's weird, the older ones were a lot less money and I think from my experience they were made better.

    But then I played some Vintera Mexicans I really liked them. Tele and Jazz bass. I have a feeling they're paying more attention to the quality on those. I think some of the signature series guitars and basses are made in Mexico... Possibly. If my memory serves me correct. I think they probably put a little bit more time into these and the prices reflect that.

    Just my 2 cents. Again you get what you pay for. LOL.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  18. telekaster1999

    telekaster1999 Tele-Holic

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    Yes, one is made in Mexico by Mexicans, the other is made in United States by Mexicans. Both are great and no offense intended towards any Mexicans in here.
     
  19. vgallagher

    vgallagher Tele-Meister

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    I only noticed the necks felt better to me on the USA models vs the Mexico. I also had a BAJA which I didn't like the way the finish felt. Sticky or something can't really remember now but that was my last non-USA guitar. Just me being picky I guess.
     
  20. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Meister

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    Amerigo Vespucci would be so proud. :rolleyes:

    I've had and played both, and I will say this: Neither comes from the factory with fabulous pickups.
    So I end up swapping them out, usually with Seymours. I'm looking forward to putting Bootstraps in my next Tele build.
    And unless you buy the top-of-the-line USA model, you don't get locking tuners, which is another upgrade I end up doing.
    The "stamped steel" saddles are not for me, so they end up being replaced with GraphTechs. Same for nut.
    Most CTS pots are now made in China, and that's normally what Fender puts in both USA and Mexican units, so I normally swap them out for Bourns (USA). 3-ways are normally good ol' Oak Grigsbys, so they stay.
    While you're at it, why not swap out pickguard for something more fun than black or white?

    Playability on the Mexican Teles is amazing, so if I was on a budget, I'd start there and make the above mods as I could afford.
    YMMV
     
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