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Differences between MIM and CIJ

muff77

Member
Messages
186
Hi

I have two similar Fender Strats, - one CIJ 57 reissue with basswood body and maple V neck and one MIM Classic 70s with ash body and maple C neck. Both guitars has Fender Texas Specials pickups and Callaham Vintage S bridge systems.

As you can see the guitars are very similar but there's a huge difference between the two tonewise. The CIJ 57 has a very punchy, bright tone with tons of sustain and just abaout anything I wish for in a guitar. The MIM 70s has a very dark tone (not muddy) with much less top, not as punchy and way less sustain. It doesn't sound like **** but not quite as good as the other and I find that I rarely use it.

Why is there such a difference between these two? Is is the fact that MIM guitars are crap or has it to do with the different woods used for the body and the different specs for the necks?

Any suggestions is appreciated. Thanks!
 

captain_bob

Member
Messages
3,486
I'd say its like comparing apples to oranges. IMHO, a 70's style re-issue strat will never sound like a 57 re-issue. The body and neck are far too different.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,820
There is a world of difference between ash and basswood. Add to that differences among the same species and you can be sure both things are at play here. But basswood tends to have a lot of sparkle and a slightly fuzzy low end while ask has little low end but what it does have is tighter. and the top can sometimes be sorta harsh where basswood's top is smooth. They're very different. The 70's also has the bullet rod, right? not sure how that affects things but i'm sure it does to some degree. i really like basswood with maple necks, tho i like em better with alder nowadays. I have a basswood/maple strat at the moment buy coincidentally just bought a alder burst body for it today as a matter of fact. I've become more of an alder fan in recent years. But i used and loved basswood for a long time. it can be a really good stage guitar because it rends to round off the sharpness at high volumes more than ash or alder.
 

g335

Member
Messages
829
The CIJ come with Fender American pickups, either 50's vintage or Texas Specials..
Some of the CIJ are alder, most are.

Great guitars.
 

muff77

Member
Messages
186
OK thanks for your input!

What's your thought on MIM Classic series in general? Will the US 70s reissue be that much better than the MIM 70?
 

Austinrocks

Member
Messages
7,020
the height of the texas specials has a lot to do with the tone, raised they are bright, and punchy, lowered they are more midrangy so adjusting them to where you like could help.

really would stay away from bass wood gutiars, its a soft wood, so the guitar falls apart after a while, my MIJ is an alder body with a bass wood cap, hard to keep the screws from falling out of the bass wood capped top.
 

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,096
I'd say its like comparing apples to oranges. IMHO, a 70's style re-issue strat will never sound like a 57 re-issue. The body and neck are far too different.
However, apples and oranges happen to be completely different fruit, homey. We in fact talking about guitars that are the same with only a few differences. Much more like Golden Delicious to Red Delicious.
 
Last edited:

muff77

Member
Messages
186
You sure you want a Strat with only 3 screws holding the neck in place? :)

IMO, any musical gear made in the USA is better than anything made anywhere else on earth...so if you have the money spend it on a US made guitar.
What's your reason to say this? I've read tons of debates on MIM/CIJ VS US and too many people prefer US just because it's American. What's your reason to prefer US models?
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,820
You sure you want a Strat with only 3 screws holding the neck in place? :)

IMO, any musical gear made in the USA is better than anything made anywhere else on earth...so if you have the money spend it on a US made guitar.
Thats a pretty wide blanket statment there ! i sold my MIA deluxe because my MIM RI whipped it handily in both tone and feel/playability depts. Tonally the deluxe was tinny, even when i swapped the SCN's for the same van zandts i use in the MIM. I've been playing nearly 40 years and spent 25 of that gigging regularly with more guitars and amps in that time than i care to list, so i'm not clueless when it comes to tone. Sorry, but what you said is just not true at all.
 

bluegrif

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,946
You sure you want a Strat with only 3 screws holding the neck in place? :)

IMO, any musical gear made in the USA is better than anything made anywhere else on earth...so if you have the money spend it on a US made guitar.
Too much generalization. When the MIM Classic Player series came out, I made an impulse buy on a 50s CP at a GC Memorial Day sale because it was a much better guitar than most of the American Series Strats hanging next to it that day. It comes down to the individual guitar, not what country it was in when the screws were put in.

As for the 3 screw thing. Most (including several old timer former Fender marketing folks) believe it was the overall sloppy build quality rather than the 3 screw joint that made many of those 70s Fenders sub-par. In fact, G&L proved that 3 screws, properly implemented were more than adequate.

It wouldn't surprise me a bit to find MIM 70s reissues that are much better than the originals. There were some real dogs made during that decade.
 

macatt

Member
Messages
1,415
Austin,

I have a basswood body made in '85 and it hasn't "fallen apart" yet. Plus it's my best sounding guitar by far.

S Mac
 

yakyak

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,448
Forgive me. I know I will take a beating for this. First, I absolutely love the MIJ Fender guitars. I think that given the the right electrical components they give MIA Fenders a run for the money. Japanese craftsmanship is suburb (IMO). I still remember the first time I picked up a MIM Strat. Ran my hand down the edge of the fretboard and immediately put the guitar back on the hanger and asked the salesman for band-aids. In the meantime I have owned probably 12 MIM Fenders and they are getting better. However, the first impression is a lasting impression for me.
 

marantz1300

Member
Messages
643
I've had MIM,MIA and MIJ Tele's. I like my MIJ best.It just feels better made,fantastic neck.Very much like my Musicman Silhouette's neck. I think its better finished , like the high end MIA Teles. Top quality. My MIA Standard.
My MIM Standard
and my MIJ 62
 

Tim Pourciau

Supporting Member
Messages
298
I have a mid 90's MIJ 60's reissue strat that I just put a callaham bridge and don mare pickups in. I would put this thing up against any strat made anywhere. It is a great feeling, great playing, great sounding guitar. I am pretty sure it is basswood and I do not have any trouble with anything falling apart at all.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
MIJ/CIJ kicks ass. I have a pro-gigging friend who was an American Standard guy for years and he's hooked. Between us I think we have 5 or 6 guitars and 3 basses that are either MIJ/CIJ. Pound-for-pound just a ton more vibe than the American stuff of similar vintage, i/m/o. There is no comparison between a mid80's MIJ and and mid80's American standard.

They have gone up in resale prices over the past couple of years but still offer great value.

On the flip side, every MIM I've ever played seems representative of a guitar at the price point at which it sells. Not bad, but not great..though I will concede they've improved over the years.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,820
perfect word..."vibe". Thats exactly what has been missing from the MIA stuff i've tried or owned. Not saying thats always the case. But for some reason that eludes me, because after all a more expensive MIA SHOULD always be better, i seem to find MIM and MIJ strats all over the place with more vibe than most USA stuff. I know it makes no sense but thats what i've found. i haven't found any MIA stuff yet that rivals my MIM 50's strat. It should have been labeled made in USA and cost 4 times as much. It's got vibe with a capitol V, really. In fact i'm finding that among the MIM RI stuff i've found more exceptional strats than mij or anything else. I think they are great.
 

ballbuffer

Member
Messages
23
I significantly upped the vibe of my CIJ Strat (into which I dropped a DiMarzio Trembucker in the bridge position, thus making it a SUPER STRAT!!!) by stripping it down with a coarse brillo pad (better resultant tone when you do this by hand with the pads, imho) and then refinishing it with six coats of purified tung oil, buffed extensively (again by hand). It was a sweet axe before, but now it totally SINGS through my Fuchs Tripledrive!
 

rabbuhl

Member
Messages
2,881
The CIJ come with Fender American pickups, either 50's vintage or Texas Specials..
Some of the CIJ are alder, most are.

Great guitars.
I have seen some alder CIJs with Texas Specials on eBay. What is a fair price for a 62 reissue?
 




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