MIM Strat question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Pat Healy, Jan 22, 2008.


  1. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    Like many players, I've been intrigued by all the buzz about MIM Strats. I've wandered into a couple of local shops to try them out, and yep, some of them are pretty nice. One concern is that every single one of them I've played has a TERRIBLE time staying in tune, to the point that I'm tuning almost constantly as I play the guitar.

    So my question for all you MIM Strat owners is - have you had tuning problems with your guitar, and if so, how did you address them? I'm assuming some upgraded tuners, a set of decent .010 or heavier strings, and a good setup would help a lot. Is that the case, or do you just have to stop the band every minute or so to tune up? :messedup
     
  2. rainmaker

    rainmaker Member

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    I've had mine for one week and to me, it's the best playing guitar I've ever owned in twenty years of playing. Next week I'm having some vintage style tuners and a new bridge put in. Other than that, I love the way it feels.
     
  3. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    I love the one I found. It is my every day guitar now. I did block the trem and get a good setup. Stays in tune like a rock except on wild weather swings, but that is not often.
     
  4. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    It's all in the setup - I routinely do setups on these types (and expensive USA) Fenders to make them play better and stay in tune - you are not alone.

    The QC of most guitars leaving a factory today is abysmal. Manufacturers AND especially box stores like GC should be ashamed of themselves for making these their representative offerings to the public.
     
  5. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    No tuning problems with mine either. I think it's an excellent guitar. I converted mine into my Iron Maiden Dave Murray tribute guitar!
     
  6. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    I gig regularly with my two MIM Strats and they are two of the best stay-in-tune guitars that I own. And I bend like CRAZY.

    Most ship with 3 tremolo springs. There are spots for 5. Try 5. They're cheap.
     
  7. flyingvees

    flyingvees Member

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    For someone like me who bends alot of strings and has a strong attack they dont work for me in the stock configuration...Upgrade with some callaham stuff and you will be set:AOK
     
  8. dave s

    dave s Member

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    My advice would be to replace the nut first. Moreso than the tuners.

    For close to 5 years, my #1 player at live shows was an MIM Wayne's World strat. It was picked from a wall of about 25 MIM strats. It played great, stayed in tune perfectly even when using the trem bar. No dives, but it came back to tune when used.

    Took it to my usual tech who installed a bone nut and a set of Rio Grand Vintage Tallboy pickups. What a smokin' strat! It had a really raw, woody tone to it. Poplar body may have contributed to that raw tone.

    Played the bejeesus out of the guitar for 5 years and sold it to somebody who used it as their #1 for a number of years after that.

    For those who don't want to take true vintage or CS fenders to gigs, I'd recommend an MIM strat when strat tones are a necessity.

    dave
     
  9. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    I had a powerhouse strat (mim deluxe series) that stayed in tune pretty nice. I sold it because I didn't like the route for the mid boost.

    dk
     
  10. hyde

    hyde Member

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    I would agree with dave that the nut is probably the culprit. I have an early MIM strat with a bone nut and it holds tune as good as any strat I've played.

    I would also recommend blocking down the bridge...if you don't need the bar. As birddog mentioned, adding a few spring can make a big difference. Another technique that I have used on a number of strats is to wedge an eraser behind the block. This keeps it very stable but still allows some bridge motion. Again, this is not for everybody but I love the feel that you get by doing this.

    Cheers!
    Hyde
     
  11. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    MIM Fenders(I have a Tele and a Strat)are the biggest bang for the buck out there.They require a great deal of care in the set-up and mods involved in their use.
     
  12. stringgears

    stringgears Member

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    I paid $399 for a brand new MIM (new version w/bigger block/frets etc). I love it. Plays and sounds great........NO tuning problems at all.
    I also own a Fender 60 time machine custom shop in which I feel the MIM is very compariable with in playability and tone.
    SG
     
  13. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli Member

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    Good advice from Dave S here. Perhaps even just a little lube in the nut, or running a bit of emery paper through the nut slots will help.

    Do you hear and "pinging" sounds when tuning or bending/using the trem? That's a dead giveaway that you have string binding, usually at the nut.
     
  14. padavis

    padavis Supporting Member

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    I love my MIM Strat it was my first electric guitar. I changed the tuners to some grover lockers a long time ago but I since have found out they are not quite what they used to be management-wise so they might get changed to something else. However they work fine so maybe I should get passed the whole China/Korea thing. Mine stays in tune pretty dang well with a good set of strings it can sit in its case for a week or a little more. I have 4 springs and its tightened down to where there is little movement. Thats what I think works the best, I am planning on changing the nut eventually. I would like to have someone good put on the LSR nut but might settle with a Graph Tech.
     
  15. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Member

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    I might be selling mine off very soon... too many good guitars and more coming (old schoole early 90's G&L Legacy). The one I bought is sweet, too sweet actually. I wanted to treat is as a partscaster, but I can't bring myself to do anything to it
    :nono
    Upgraded with Fender noiseless pups, no tuning issues setup for 10's. If I only had ONE guitar, this would probably be it. But, I can't live with just one guitar ;)
    I think if you tend to hear "pinching" that the nut may have a problem. I could see upgrading the bridge and tuners possibly, that's about it.
    Mine is a 1999 MIM.
     
  16. defaultoprime

    defaultoprime Member

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    I've got two... a '93 and a '94... great guitars... no trouble keeping them in tune and I too, like the rollercoaster bendy thing... course, I didn't like the stock pickups, so they've both had mid-level upgrades to GFS pickups... now they don't bug me anymore...
     

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