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MIM Vs MIA

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Fendereedo, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Does anyone understand the snobbery surrounding MIM made Fender guitars? There are a ton of folks on the Fender site that think MIM are totally crud compared to MIA Tele's - can't see the f***ing difference myself, maybe it's just me though, maybe I'm suffering from Tele-itis or something - did I miss something, have I been left in the lurch somewhere etc....

    Did I spend my money on ***** when I should have saved copious amounts of cash and paid a fortune for similar product, or should i have kept schtum, and just enjoyed what I have? I dunno, these guys seem pretty bent on ruining my mojo - maybe they should just F.O. I dunno...
     
  2. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    quality wise USA Japan Mexican in that order i have played and owned all 3 none have made me play better or play worse but i can see the difference in the quality of the build
    i guess like most things you pay for the name
     
  3. xFallenx

    xFallenx Friend of Leo's

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    I love the Mexican Fender guitars. I had the snob ideal down deep somewhere when I first got an American Standard Telecaster as it was my first Telecaster as well. Then I bought nothing ,but American Fender. Now I see all that matters is how it plays and feels so I have had my last 3-4 Fenders MIM :) I do and will always feel Fender pays more attention to American guitars though to make it seem like they play better out of the box or on the shelves. This is just to help put American > Mexican mentality out there. Once and awhile you get an American dog ,but more often than not it will be the MIM Fender (depending on the model) with sharp fret ends or something.

    Mexican guitars can be upgraded with the money you save as well (like a standard used for $250-$300). If I drop like $600 + on a guitar I like it to play just the way I like before buying it. Also this is a can of worms here :lol:
     
  4. Sticky

    Sticky Tele-Meister

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    I can't find a single flaw in my Baja Tele. Plays like a dream, too. I'm more than impressed; this may be true love! I gave it a Bakelite guard, and if the slightly sharp intonation on the 6th string ever starts bothering me a lot more than it does now I might put compensated saddles on it. And I cannot find any seams on the body, try as I might. I am very happy with my Mexican senorita.
     
  5. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have about 6 maybe more MIM and over a dozen made in USA.. right off the bat the americans can be gotten at a much bigger discount than the MIM's, they come with cases, nuts are cut better, fret work is better and in most cases the pickups are better, necks appear to be stiffer at least in some instances. If you don't want to be bothered tweaking things the USA made guitars are a good choice as long as you don't over pay.. 25-30% discount on MAP price is pretty easy to get on most models and the way Fender and the online dealers make deals you can get some much better bargains if you are patient.

    If money is tight or you like to mod your gear the MIM's are perfect.. I'm not real comfortable with the idea of modding an USA made guitar. Number 1 it's pricey, number 2 it's not needed. I have plans to mod most of my MIMs because #1 it's fun, #2 they all need some work to be better. In most cases nuts and saddles gotta go and pickups in everyone except the standards.
     
  6. JKPickin

    JKPickin Tele-Meister

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    I bought my Baja for what it was not where it was made, just a bonus that it came in under my budget :)
     
  7. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Baja is the exception to the rule.. only thing that it might need is to remove the S1 when it breaks or if noise is a problem.
     
  8. troy2003

    troy2003 Friend of Leo's

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    Not really a snobbery thing for me but I buy MIA. Just me. I buy American products as much as possible. I realize I pay more for my guitars,but in my mind,it's worth it. Everyone has a right to do as they please,including me
     
  9. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

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    From my personal experience.
    Any MIA I've had or used (two strats and a tele) guitar has played really nicely straight out of the box. Really smooth playing, really nice sounding.

    Any MIM guitars I've had (right now a modded MIM is my main guitar) have needed work, but after that work are just as good as their American counterparts.

    I find that often they need a good setup, frets dressed, intonation fine tuned and in some cases the wiring cleaned up a little and they're just as good as any American made guitar.
    Of course, going to a qualified tech with these needs can be pricey and in the end doesn't really make that great of a price difference between the two. But I bonded with my Nashville tele and modded it to suit myself.

    All completely my opinion of course.
     
  10. pachap

    pachap Tele-Meister

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    For a variety of reasons I'd buy MIM over an MIA. I'm not knocking the MIA guitars, don't think that I am hating on them.

    I am a modder and a tweaker, so I think it makes more sense for me to get a MIM. Then you can score MIA pups pretty cheap on Ebay if you want them.

    The biggest is that, while my playing is improving and I am very happy about it, buying any sort of expensive guitar is kind of wasted on me right now. Maybe one day my skill will be back to where it was 10 years ago and I will be able to justify the purchase of an MIA Tele, but not right now.

    I have kids in my house. My 11 year old daughter doesn't pay attention very well and is always doing cartwheels and backflips through the house. My 2 yr old son has no fear. I would be scared to death to have an MIA Fender in my house.

    I am trying to remodel our house, so budget wise a used MIM is probably the most I could spend. I am keeping an eye for a good used score right now. :twisted:

    I can see a big part of it being snob factor. As for me, I am very happy to tell people I have a China made CV Tele that I love.
     
  11. chipbutty24

    chipbutty24 Friend of Leo's

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    You don't need anyone's validation. If you like your guitar, that's all that matters.
     
  12. GeoB

    GeoB Tele-Holic

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    I bought a MIM strat a 1999 or so and the cavities looked like somebody painted over cottage cheese. But I have a tele MIM that is very nice.

    I don't understand why ALL Fenders regardless of country of origin can not directly swap parts. Shame on Fender for pulling that stunt.

    I have played MIJ's Tokai's and Hondo tele's and strats and they were great. MIK's? Did they ever make a Fender? PRC guitars are getting better... India products and Indonesia are good but I have no idea regarding quality of Fender. Leo Fenders' concept/philosophy is alive and well. But again I ask; Why aren't all Fender guitars regardless of country of origin able to directly swap parts (some do, some don't).

    Eli Whitney did it 200 some odd years ago! Certainly Fender could have made that happen, EXCEPT they wanted to have a locus of control concerning profitability over the aftermarket product lines.
     
  13. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    My main guitar is an '07 MIM Standard Tele in sunburst. The only mods I've done were, I put a black pickguard on it and a vintage style bridge. I even like the "cheap" ceramic pickups. I jam with it, and plan to start gigging with it.

    I've never had a guitar that I didn't have to set up, no matter where it was made. I find all the "it played great right out of the box" comments kind of odd. Maybe I just haven't been lucky enough to get an instrument that just happened to be set up exactly they way I like it right off the bat. And I don't expect a factory instrument to be that way, either.

    That said, I would like to buy a new American Standard Strat. I played a 2013 in Guitar Center a while back, and loved it. But the truss rod still needed a tweak.
     
  14. muzicmaken

    muzicmaken Tele-Holic

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    I have all Am, Mim, ***, and im own personal experience other than the fact I know the neck feels in my hand but if they all had the same neck and was blindfolded you wouldn't be able to tell the difference (also excluding the fact the tonal sound of the pups that I know each one has but that's just me) Doesn't matter where it's made if it plays well for you then that's the guitar you should play again regardless where it's made...It's all personal preference

    IMO As far as buying American, I can see if it was a custom shop, but making a fuss over the standards and deluxe, IMO is pointless especially when there are so many other tele makers that have better builds at that pricepoint especially some builders on this forum. Just my opinion...

    So if it sounds good to you that's the one you should play.....

    FYI...this topic has been beaten to death, do a search for this same exact topic and you'll find other opinions..
     
  15. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

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    This times 10! Word for word this has been my experience to a T!
     
  16. ashstrat07

    ashstrat07 TDPRI Member

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    I'll be honest - I'm a right-winger who loves anything stamped USA. I feel obligated to point that out, but there are clear differences between MIM and MIA. The biggest for me is the rolled edges on the USA neck and the consistency for frets on the USA neck. I do own one Mexican tele - it is my loaner guitar for all my guitarist buddies. I'll never get rid of it because it plays well and I have GAS. Now, as for my deluxe US strat, it is on a whole other planet than Mexican gear - I have handled a local shop's deluxe tele twice and it is smokin'. As stated before, it is so much about opinion. I like Joe Bonomassa. He plays strats, teles, lps, etc. He likes them all and makes them all sound great. However, get on YouTube and Les Paul snobs, who think they know better than Joe, go on and on about how he should get rid of strats. Take it from Joe - play what you like and don't worry about the next guy.
     
  17. Zillinois

    Zillinois Friend of Leo's

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    in my experience, and to completely generalize, the MIAs are just better feeling/playing guitars. Not necessarily always better sounding, but better playing. That said, I've played some really nice MIMs as well. The MIJs are nice too, if you can find one.

    However, if you A/B them and can't tell the difference, then it doesn't really matter.
     
  18. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I don't understand snobbery - just like I don't understand anti-upscale snobbery. Nobody makes anybody buy anything. We all have our preferences.
    Now, I prefer the MIA neck- I'm thinking about putting one on my Baja.
     
  19. telemaster7082

    telemaster7082 Tele-Afflicted

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    A MIM Telecaster has been my main gigging/recording guitar since I was 14. Its been modified plenty, but thats because I like to mod and I couldnt afford to buy a different guitar for each sound I was after. I am now the proud owner of 3 squier teles, a CV, CVC, and a squier standard. They all play really well, no fret problems, and sound good. Each has been modified a little but again - i cannot leave anything alone.

    I say play every guitar in the store and see which one you like best.
     
  20. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

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    Hmmm. I hadn't really thought about this but yeah. I see a lot of anti-upscale snobbery on guitar forums. Maybe its an insecurity issue. :rolleyes:
     
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