What’s the diff between mim and Mia Tele’s?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by kmckenna45, Jun 6, 2021.

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  1. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    The "M" and the "A".
     
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  2. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    The walnut plug that several have mentioned is on the "modern-spec" guitars with the truss rod adjuster at the headstock - USA models have a walnut plug with a hole for the adjustment wrench and MIMs have a plastic plug for with a hole for the adjustment wrench.

    On "vintage spec" instruments with maple fingerboards the MIM models (Classics, Vinteras, etc.) do have a walnut plug to be accurate to vintage specs - so I'm assuming your '69 Thinline Tele has a maple board.
     
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  3. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Tele-Meister

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    True enough. Modernisation and technology has come to a point that budget guitars have become pretty good.
    I Myself can build my own CNC machine at home with parts from online and can cut a perfect Tele body after tuning it in. It is all so easy laid out for people these days. Just need some CAD learning..
    Assembly line production is the norm.. For guitars too. You can have a guitar made with very little hands on these days and sell them for cheap. No wonder why Harley Benton or Slick guitars can sell guitars for nothing. And they are really good entry level guitars.
    Since it all are so precision cut, you get a perfect routed body and necks. Its all in the details after it comes out as a product and QC. QC in particular has become the most important instance in a guitar production then in the 50´s and 60´s. The machines does the work 100% every time (if the blanks are good)
    Therefore, MIM´s are superb guitars. But have less hands on production than MIA´s (and labour cost of course).
     
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  4. PigBoy

    PigBoy Tele-Meister

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    About 200 miles...
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I hear you.

    Here's what I used to see, when stores had surpluses of guitars (both USA and MIM) and it was like this: Store had 8 USA Fenders and 30 MIM Fenders to choose from. The best of the 30 MIMs was normally not quite as nice as 2-3 of the USA examples. In summary, a customer had fewer USA chances to get a superlative guitar, but when one picked up a certain USA guitar it was more likely to be great, than was the random MIM one picked up.

    So, a patient and perceptive customer could shop around and find a really super MIM. Or, he could just let his credit card do some of the lifting for him.

    +

    But, make sure the guitar you choose had the FEATURES you genuinely will need. All the rest of this stuff is irrelevant if one buys a really impeccable FMIC guitar that has the wrong sized fretwire, etc.
     
  6. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    Don't you mean it's made in Baja California by Mexicans or it's made in Alta California...by Mexicans?
     
  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    USA Fenders are more likely to have Imperial parts than are the MIM Fenders. For instance, saddle height screws or the small "Allen" tool used to adjust them often are Metric on some MIMs (because the whole bridge came from Taiwan/other). I agree with you that, one should start from a position that parts between MIM and USA will interchange until one has discovered that it isn't so (for specific assemblies).

    MIM Fenders (such as a number of Blacktops) had whole pickguard assemblies from (I think China). Every bit of which was Metric. One of the reasons I was skeptical about that product line.
     
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  8. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Afflicted

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    Mim is cousin kind, Mia don’t mind having a sip after 9
     
  9. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes Sir, you are correct!
     
  10. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Given the sporead of models, the distinction between the best MIM and the cheapest MIA Fenders is slim. But overall, I see a clear difference, though it's up to the individual if it's worth the price differential. Fender quality overall has gotten really cheesy, and the MIM Teles I have handled recently look OK but physically feel bogus, from the way the finish feels to the touch to the heft of the next and the general playability. I don't like them much, and I would never say that they are in any way comparable to a regular MIA Tele. Additionally, the metal parts are genuinely crappy, and feel like junk. It is not always possible to swap in better parts, and offensive to have to do so. On Strats, it's even worse as the MIM trem is a bad unit. MIA Fenders are nothing special. G&L and Reverends and similar are made as well. Actually, I'd say Fenders feel more like robotically produced parts guitars than those other brands. Fenders were always intended to be assembly line, pieced-together guitars, anmd that's what they've become, and the human touch is gone. Made by robots, add some fake aging... and you get a pretty creepy instrument, whether MIM or MIA. The CS is another $tory.
     
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  11. scotman

    scotman TDPRI Member

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    I have both and the Mia is a nicer guitar, but not $1000 nicer.
     
  12. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    MiM= Guitar made by mexican in Mexico

    MiA= Guitar made by mexican in u.s.a.
     
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  13. paulhealey

    paulhealey TDPRI Member

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    While it varies from model to model for specifics, in general, the biggest difference between any “level” in the Fender line is the amount of QC it gets. Labor is (usually) a company’s highest cost - that’s why Gibson faded guitars are cheaper than standards - that finish is applied by hand. With Fender Mexico, less people are inspecting and hand correcting items. So while someone on a board very well may have gotten a MIM that was better than a MIA or whatever, because humans aren’t perfect, on average, you get what you pay for.

    FWIW the one professional musician I know who legitimately plays big gigs - he’s in the band for a multi Grammy winner, if he’s touring, he usually uses a stock MIM so it can take a beating and saves his vintage gear and customs for the studio and dates when he has time to handle his own gear.
     
  14. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom Friend of Leo's

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    Beat me to it.
     
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  15. goodguy

    goodguy Tele-Meister

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    Difference is:
    MIM buyers are saddled with the task for years afterword of convincing THEMSELVES that it’s as good as USA. Not as bad as the Squier guys whose new full-time job is to convince the WORLD :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
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  16. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    And a few hundred dollars.
     
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  17. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Exactly....

    isbellvsperformer.png
     
  18. kjatexas

    kjatexas Tele-Meister

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    So..........basically you've now got a MIA guitar. :)
     
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  19. okgb

    okgb TDPRI Member

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    Do they both have the same bridge spacing ? [ is it 55mm & 50 mm ? ] Is it only asian strats that have the more narrow bridge ?
     
  20. Mean Mojo

    Mean Mojo TDPRI Member

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    The Mexican workers in Mexico are legal.
     
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