It's a MIA Standard Tele $800 better than a MIM?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by tremolo3, May 8, 2014.

  1. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Tele-Meister

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    Is it? :rolleyes:

    And I have some questions since I can't decide on what Tele I want to buy... (testing before buying is not an option in this case).

    • What's a good body+neck combo for a partscaster? Budget is <$500 and I'm looking for that tone that just a single coil can deliver.
    • How are the humbuckers in the newer "Deluxe" models compared to any other regular humbucker(Gibsons)?
    • Does the middle pickup in the "Nashville" sounds similar to the middle pickup in a Strat?
    • How good are the "Modern Player Telecaster Plus" compared to a stock MIM tele in terms of quality (neck, frets, bridge, pegs)?


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. VintageToneGuy

    VintageToneGuy Tele-Meister

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    For me, the answer to "Is a MIA $800 better than a MIM?" is: No. I had been on a Tele hunt for a couple of weeks and wound up in my local stores playing several models but none with Humbuckers or 'Nashville' style that you mentioned. After playing a few MIA models I played a new MIM Tele and actually liked 'something' about it more than the MIA's I had played. I was pretty settled on getting it when I looked across the store and up on the 'used' rack and saw a pretty 2011 MIA 60th Anniversary Tele. I asked to play it and it was much better than the other MIA's and I liked it more than the MIM I had 'settled on'. The price on this MIA was only $300 above the MIM so I left with it.
     
  3. Chris H.

    Chris H. Tele-Afflicted

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    Only you can answer that question, it does not matter what other people think.
     
  4. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Tele-Meister

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    Just tried a Classic Vibe Custom was great, punched way above its weight.

    My MIM is lovely but needs a new neck pickup as its muddy.

    Modern Player quality is great (I own an MP Jag, tried two MP strats) and I think a cut above the Squires and probably the MIMs as well.

    BUT if you want an MIA and can stretch to the cost, buy it. you'll be happier in the long run. My MIA Telebration is just pure special. It feels nicer, more tactile.

    If you just want a decent Tele with Teleness and as a player then MP, CV or MIM are all great. Only thing to bear in mind is that there are heavy and light ones out there of all models so be ready to return it if you don't like it.

    Cheers

    Sacha
     
  5. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you can't discern a difference when you play it then you've answered your own question.
    Like a lot of things, tastes can become more refined over time. Today the MIM may scratch your itch but will it still do so in 1, 2 or 5 years?
    The difference is notable to me and in a big way. I wouldn't be happy with the MIM and I am willing (and able) to pony up the difference in cash. In other words, your decision and evaluation must fit your circumstances, preference and tastes.
     
  6. 73Fender

    73Fender Friend of Leo's

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    In general I'd say if you can afford it an $800 American Tele in good shape (at that price it should be a recent year and very gently used) is a good buy. It will hold it's value well.

    That said a gently used, low priced MIM that is a good one is also a great deal.

    If I couldn't play one first I'd say chances are better to get a good one with the US made.
     
  7. Telepi

    Telepi Friend of Leo's

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    It might be closer to $749 better.
     
  8. el cheapo

    el cheapo Tele-Afflicted

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    The Fezz Parka Mod will sort that out. Look it up here on the forum. It's easy, cheap, and takes about as long to do as warming up your soldering iron.
     
  9. Dr. Bill

    Dr. Bill Tele-Afflicted

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    No.
     
  10. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Excellent post, except this guy says he cannot get to the guitars to sample them.

    I can promise him only 1 thing: Cobbling a "partscaster" together of a neck from here and a body from there is a very very VERY long shot. Since he wouldn't even know what it is supposed to feel or sound like. Individual parts are not worth much unless you have a template alongside of what a good Tele should feel and sound like - getting it right is like picking a spectator out of the crowd and expecting him to tee up and hit a 64 for 18 holes. One chance in a thousand type of approach.

    I'll be frank. I have no idea what the guy should do. He could buy a Modern Player and have no idea whether it is "right" or "lousy" since he has no metric or reference point to start off of. He might spend an extra $ 1,000 on something else and never know whether he got a gem or if they sent him one no one else would accept. Tough situation.

    Lookadis: I started as a singer, some keyboards, played rhythm and no one really paid any attention at all to my guitar playing. I had a brand new Harmony Rocket which turned out to be a total flaming piece of wreckage but guess what? Nobody felt I needed to know; they told me to keep practicing my vocals, practice guitar when I could and I never realized how schiddy the Harmony was until Don loaned me his Guild. Only then did I realize just exactly how worthless a guitar I played everyday was, if you can imagine. Now today, even a "Starcaster by Fender" is easily better than that Harmony, but how is a guy with no access to guitars supposed to know what is the right level of quality to expect?
     
  11. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    The Modern Player has a skinny, highly varnished and very tinted neck. The MIM neck is wider, comfortable and satin finish. Tuners probably much the same for stability.
    I had a MP for a while and the chrome on the bridge was already tarnishing. I recently bought a 2003 MIM and it still looks good.
    My vote would be for the Mexican.
     
  12. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

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    I was thinking the question is, "where in the hell did you find them with $800 price difference?"

    Then I looked at Musician's Friend and they were really that far apart. The last time I bought an American Standard in a store it cost me $500, but that was about 15 years ago and it was on sale at Guitar Center. I had no idea Fender was trying to price them over $1200 now. Ridiculous.

    So the answer is, without the slightest doubt - No, it's not worth $800 more. It might be worth $200-300 more.

    For less than an American Standard, anybody with a screwdriver can assemble an equal or better Telecaster.
     
  13. Tom S

    Tom S Friend of Leo's

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    This would depend on the pickups and pots used, but the answer can be definitely yes.

    Case in point:
    1998 American Deluxe Tele w/vintage noiseless pups
    1998 American Deluxe Strat w/vintage noiseless pups
    Middle pickup is identical in both
    When switched to middle pup only, both guitars sound identical. I don't believe anyone could discern a difference.
     
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I think of this like wine: is a $50 bottle twice as good as a $25 bottle?
     
  15. 66Satellite

    66Satellite Tele-Holic

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    I think this is spot on. When I first started playing again a few years ago a $150 Chinese Tele seemed fine to me. Now it seems like junk and I can't stand playing it (but I can't seem to get rid of it).

    I now have a low end MIM (Blacktop) and a higher end MIM (Cray Strat). I've demoed some higher end MIA Strats and Teles at the store and currently, at my skill level, haven't been able to notice a huge difference for me. That said, I also A-B tested a $500 MIM Standard Strat vs a $1,200 MIA Standard Strat with a Fender Twin Reverbe and found the pickups on the MIA to sound MUCH better (Custom Shop Fat 50s).

    (For more of an apples to apples comparison how about a comparing a $900 MIM like my Cray to a $900 MIA like an American Special--I'm not sure you'll notice much difference in quality--and there's a chance the MIM will have a slight edge.)

    (Also keep in mind that a $500 MIM will most likely require a few modest upgrades--my Blacktop certainly did. Also, with an American Standard you get a case.)

    So that's where I'm at now. I'm pretty much a MIM level player who can appreciate some good pickup. :D
     
  16. stevexc

    stevexc TDPRI Member

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    When shopping for my MIM Nashville Deluxe, I compared it to a MIM Standard, MIA Standard, and MIA Deluxe - I found that the Nashville played better, sounded better, and felt better built than any of the three, hands down.

    I sort of agree with the guys above me - if you're used to drinking $2 coffee, but drink a $50 cup, that $2 coffee just isn't going to taste as good anymore - regardless of how good the $50 cup actually was. The fact that you paid $50 for it is going to make sure you like it better.


    I would never pay an upcharge just to have a guitar built in the USA (or any other country). Ever. Especially if I can have a cheaper guitar that plays, feels, and sounds just as good.
     
  17. Kustom250

    Kustom250 TDPRI Member

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    Comparing a Cray to a MIA Strat is very much not an apples to apples comparison.

    And this is why most of these things can't and shouldn't be done on paper. If you want a hardtail strat the Cray is the only choice. Is it x number of dollars better then a regular MIM strat? Probably not. Is it WORTH x number of dollars more? If you want a hardtail it is.

    Is a MIA $800 better, maybe, probably not. Is it WORTH $800 more? It very well could be if it's got the features and feel you want.

    Take two of the exact same model. One plays better then any guitar you've ever had in your hands, the other is just so-so. The one that plays better...to you....is worth more. Only you can decide how many dollars that's worth to you.

    If you can't test before buying get the cheap one. I can only say I'd never buy a guitar without trying it in hand first. More then once I've gone to a store and tried 6-12 of the EXACT same model. On paper they're the same. In hand one or more always stood out. Without being able to try them side by side no one can tell you which one is better.
     
  18. 66Satellite

    66Satellite Tele-Holic

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    The fit, finish and pickups on the Cray are quite a bit better than what you will find on a $500 MIM.
     
  19. Kustom250

    Kustom250 TDPRI Member

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    I have no reason to doubt that.

    Fit and finish can't be told from looking at specs.

    And the pickups are only better if you personally like them better...which also can't be told without trying them.

    Trying to compare guitars thru spec sheets only get's you so far.
     
  20. DRFP

    DRFP Tele-Holic

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    +1

    This is so subjective
     
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