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MIM vs American - this isn't a question...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by lavrgs, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. joealso

    joealso Tele-Holic

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    Every guitar is unique. I work in sales. Salespeople tend to think of "good" sales leads and "bad" leads. A great sales manager I once knew said that "no one knows that they're a bad lead." In other words, your MIM doesn't know it's not an American Elite.
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I assumed I would get rid of all these Squier 51s, the day I bought a nice NOS Fender Custom Shop No-Caster. I donated away about a third of these Squiers, but the rest are still getting use.

    Joe is right - the guitar doesn't know it is supposed to have limitations. If your cheap guitar has a positive vibe about it, keep it in rotation.

    I agree, the Elite is the wrong "personality" for me, and also the Am. Deluxe and the Ultra. These are "modern" guitars and the features are intended for someone else.
     
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  3. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Chinese Casino and a Chinese Loar that (given a bit of love and attention) play as nice and sound and nice as my MIA Fender guitars. Which I love, BTW!

    So there ;D
     
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  4. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    So right… my rule of thumb is: if the bones are good, and you're ready to improve the faulty parts, inexpensive guitars can be quite as good as more upmarket ones.
     
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  5. SomeGuyNamedRob

    SomeGuyNamedRob Tele-Meister

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    Also keep in mind that a lot of people play a less expensive instrument differently than they do an expensive one because of sunk costs.

    We're less likely to go full out and beat and wring every last ounce of tone from something we can't easily replace. So we might get less mojo from the expensive guitar because we're giving it less mojo as well.

    Ive seen this with a lot of players in a live setting. Things are a bit lifeless until they switch to a backup guitar to change tuning and all of a sudden its a different player on stage getting way better sound because they dig in deeper.
     
  6. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Heh.. my MIA guitar can be hit harder and dug deeper into than the MIM one I had.

    The MIM one couldn't handle getting hit as hard before it would buzz/rattle/fret out because it's fretboard wasn't as precisely leveled/crowned/whatever.

    Just another anecdote though. I don't understand this sentiment to a certain degree because it's not like more expensive guitars are more fragile. Acoustics are probably the most fragile guitars and they probably get hit hardest of all in acoustic circles where everyone is struggling to play louder and louder to be heard.

    The Vintage MIA guitar is a whole 'nother of level of this though.. then the player might not even be comfortable playing it out cause they're too worried about it being stolen. Zac Childs just did a video on this.
     
  7. SomeGuyNamedRob

    SomeGuyNamedRob Tele-Meister

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    Hard to say. I guess people figure a scratch on a non-MIA Fender/Gibson/PRS isn't a big deal, but the "real deal" instruments might lose too much resale value if they get scuffed up while playing.

    Personally I've never bought an instrument with the slightest care of resale value, so I'm good beating sounds out of them when they needs sounds beaten out of them.
     
  8. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again. MIM guitars are very good, but the fretboard edges are like 90 degree angles. The American necks on similar guitars I've played have rounded edges. It makes a big difference to me buy usually not worth paying an extra thousand for.

    The sound is in the pickups. There isn't that much difference in the wood being used in Mexico vs. US, if any. Lots of MIM guitars use US pickups or US designed pickups just wound on a machine in Mexico.
     
  9. lavrgs

    lavrgs TDPRI Member

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    But people spend all kinds of money on a relic'd guitar...why not just play a nice guitar and what happens happens...
     
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  10. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    The heart wants what the heart wants.
    Play what you like.
    You already know this, accept it.
     
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  11. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I’m the same - my MIAs MIKs MIIs and MICs all get played the same. But I will probably never own a vintage guitar. I doubt my 83 MIA Tele will ever be a classic and that’s the oldest one I have.
     
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  12. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't played (or should I say owned) an American guitar since 1980. I prefer Japanese to everything, though lately I have been playing very nice Chinese and Indonesian models that I acquired recently...
     
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  13. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    For sure. I picked up a 2005 MIM Deluxe HH Strat last week because it was $200. Tex Mex humbuckers. It’s black which is not my favorite. Big headstock, not my favorite. The older Deluxe series had great necks though and this one does as well. They feel bigger to me. Bigger frets, big block tremolo and those Tex Mex humbuckers and it’s a winner.

    7751B9EB-050C-4E3B-BACE-4A581AC6A22E.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  14. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I have two MIM Fenders;

    A 2016 Duo Sonic and a 2003 Standard Precision Bass.

    I won't ever let them go.

    Other guitars have come and gone, including a few fine Corona, California Stratocasters.

    But these two are keepers.

    :)

    Duo Sonic.JPG P bass full frontal 2.jpg
     
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  15. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

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    Well I'll throw in my two cents . I've owned a few american strats and a tele and I bonded with the MIM I have owned better granted the American strats may be built with a little better quality components and the better quality wood ect , but it doesn't make them better . I found in my experience it was the necks I disliked I always loved the feel of the MIM Necks compared to the american versions. My favorite was a 96 MIM lonestar strat. Lovely neck perfect frets it fit my hand perfectly . And to me that is what makes or break a guitar is how it feels in your hands when you play it . Not the cost or what it is made of or who made it .
     
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  16. Martian

    Martian Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I think this is exactly right. And it’s something that’s fascinated me for a long time. I love all guitars and have (and have had) some fairly high end as well as some cool budget models. These days I get more enjoyment out of the lower end guitars. For example, I have an amazing old Gibson 150 that was pristine when I got it. Still is. Thing is, when I play it I think I’m thinking more about the guitar than I am about the music. So instead I’ll usually grab my Aria (lawsuit model) or the Regal. I grab one of them and just think, “man, I love this guitar” and move on and play. Same thing with other guitars. I now have a really nice fender telecaster (2003 model 8502) which I think I might return. It’s heavy but it’s also an amazing guitar. But when I play it I’m thinking a lot about the guitar whereas when I pick up one of my squiers I just play. And it’s been that way since I got them. They’re wonderful workhorse guitars and I love em but they give me no reason to obsess over them. Just play. Mind you, if I were back in a band situation things would be different as that fender’s pickups are out of this world. They’d come in damn handy for gigging. But that’s not the situation now. Sorry for going on so long but Rob’s post struck a nerve, something I’ve thought about for a while now.
     
  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This is the part of Joe's post, that I don't agree with entirely.

    Let's look at the plant in Ensenada. These workers crank out huge, huge numbers of guitars, in many instances a small number of differences in specification and some are virtually indistinguishable.

    Of these, there's a few stinkers that should've been parted out (Stratosphere, anyone?) and there's a few with real magic in them.

    Unique is a word that's used too freely, IMO.
     
  18. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE TDPRI Member

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    You like the MiM more because you're used to it.
     
  19. lavrgs

    lavrgs TDPRI Member

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    You may be right but I have a couple guitars newer than the MIA Tele that get played first...in fact one is a MIM Strat.
    What started off as an offhand non question may be the ticket to spending more time with the MIA Tele...
    One side note would be about an LP that wasn't getting any love until I plugged it into a Marshall 1974x clone...it's the one that makes that amp sing. I've been troubleshooting a 5E3 clone - maybe the MIA Tele will be the one that fits best with that amp.
     
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  20. RhythmFender

    RhythmFender Tele-Meister

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    Was chatting with a professional drummer who gives my daughter drum lessons about fender guitars. He owns a few fender guitars - a Japanese, an American and a Mexican. I own a couple of MIM. He told me he was chatting with a guy who works at fender who said the Mexican factory is newer and more state of the art than the American factory and that he thought the MIM were comparable if not better than the MIA in build and quality. I’m not saying this is always the case or that it’s even my opinion but I found it interesting. YMMV
     
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