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Telecaster: American vs Mexican

Bigtaree

Member
Messages
10
Hey guys
I'm planning on buying a new Standard Telecaster soon but am unsure weather to get a American or Mexican. Can anyone recommend me one or the other.
I'm from Australia and a MIM is $720 and a MIA is $1,560.
I'm looking at the new American with the body cutaway, with Custom Shop 'Twisted' and Broadcaster pickups.
I'd like to know is the hardware the same and If they MIM sounds just as good as the MIA.

Thanks

Also American Special Telecaster I've been looking at too
 
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shane8

Member
Messages
31,743
the hardware is different - about the only similarity is the type of wood used

there's nothing wrong with MIM but if you play a few examples of both models & think the US is worth the extra then get one
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,694
I would look at the MIM classic series. Because of the vintage design, in particular the vintage truss rod style neck and vintage bridge, it will IMO sound better than the american standard, Thats neck with the modern truss rod will not have the chimey cleans a vintage style neck will. the mim classic series also have the same USA vintage bridge as the USA vintage series. the result is real fender tone and chime that the standards don't have. You will pay a bit more than a MIM standard, but probably a lot less than a USA standard. The one thing a lot of people here don't realize is tone is NOT due to quality (barring huge leaps) but design. And vintage design, be it MIM ot USA has it all over USA standard design when it comes to tone. Your only concern might be fret board radius. But if you aren't a serious shredder the vintage 7.25" radius is fine with a good setup.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,571
I agree somewhat, but "better" tone is subjective. There are certain players and styles where a more modern American Standard setup would be preferred. The guy who does the Prymaxe demos uses an American Standard, and he's a fantastic smooth rock-fusion type of player. That guitar and tone seems to suit him. Richie Kotzen and Tom Quayle are a couple more guys who like the distinct, clear tone of a Tele without the twang.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,694
I agree somewhat, but "better" tone is subjective. There are certain players and styles where a more modern American Standard setup would be preferred. The guy who does the Prymaxe demos uses an American Standard, and he's a fantastic smooth rock-fusion type of player. That guitar and tone seems to suit him. Richie Kotzen and Tom Quayle are a couple more guys who like the distinct, clear tone of a Tele without the twang.

I can see that. But generally the majority of players who want a tele want that snap and chime, and that just doesn't happen anywhere near as much with standards as with vintage. Those who want what a standard will sound like i think could do just as well with many guitars other than a tele. It's the vintage tele chime and snap that are why a tele is what it is and what those who love them generally want. When you venture away from vintage tele design into into standards and such you are getting into sounds that aren't so unique. And those who do generally i think just want the tele ergos and whatever else happens with the tele shape and all minus that vintage tone. I feel the same about strats. I had my share of standard and deluxe strats and none of them really sounded like a true strat. They don't have the snap and crispness in the wound strings that the vintage design does.
 

armadillo66

Member
Messages
2,037
I have a 3 pickup Ensenada Mexico plant assembled Deluxe Blackout Telecaster, black with chrome twin lip stick pups and a regular Tex Mex bridge pickup and 5 way switch. I had my guitar tech add a push pull tone knob so I can turn on the neck pickup when I want to with the other pickups, a real nice feature. Very versatile, well made, fit & finish was excellent. I get tone compliments on it all the time and I really love playing it, twang to growl to Strat quack, it does it all.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,459
I love my MIM, it sounds better than a 90s MIA I used to have. Save your cash, or put it towards a nicer amp--
 

Stephans

Member
Messages
1,104
There are good reasons why Fender sells a lot US standards, altough the heavier pricetag.
MIM are what they are: a good/decent low entry guitar.
MIA: better pups, better tuners, better finish, better hardware, better electronics, case and o.c. resale value.
Some MIM's are exceptional good, some MIA standards are dogs, but overall, the MIA's are better instruments
 

Sensates

Member
Messages
888
I would look at the MIM classic series. Because of the vintage design, in particular the vintage truss rod style neck and vintage bridge, it will IMO sound better than the american standard, Thats neck with the modern truss rod will not have the chimey cleans a vintage style neck will. the mim classic series also have the same USA vintage bridge as the USA vintage series. the result is real fender tone and chime that the standards don't have. You will pay a bit more than a MIM standard, but probably a lot less than a USA standard. The one thing a lot of people here don't realize is tone is NOT due to quality (barring huge leaps) but design. And vintage design, be it MIM ot USA has it all over USA standard design when it comes to tone. Your only concern might be fret board radius. But if you aren't a serious shredder the vintage 7.25" radius is fine with a good setup.

Quoted for truth. I will pick a Classic Series/Classic Player over the Am Std/Special any day. The newer AVRI is another story, but a whole lot more expensive.
 

larimar

Member
Messages
1,938
You really can't go wrong with either. Personally, I think the spec's on the standard rock. I would get one of those and not change a thing on it..... sweet neck, custom shop pickups with a proper metal base plate on the bridge pup, steel saddles, brass bridge plate, etc....it's sweet.
 

larimar

Member
Messages
1,938
I have a 3 pickup Ensenada Mexico plant assembled Deluxe Blackout Telecaster, black with chrome twin lip stick pups and a regular Tex Mex bridge pickup and 5 way switch. I had my guitar tech add a push pull tone knob so I can turn on the neck pickup when I want to with the other pickups, a real nice feature. Very versatile, well made, fit & finish was excellent. I get tone compliments on it all the time and I really love playing it, twang to growl to Strat quack, it does it all.




Those guitars are sweet! Black n' chrome with vintage tint neck...I bought one a bit back when they got blown out at MF for $299.... It does sound pretty cool in it's stock form. I ended up modding mine with a Klein Broadcaster pup and some brass saddles...not the Bakersfield tele tone for sure but nice and ballsy Rock N' Blues.
 

Johnny2013

Member
Messages
849
The baja has the exact same pups as the american standard

Im not a fan of the baja's gloss poly neck but thats personal preference, its a nice guitar. I have a road worn 50s, which is also worth looking at.

There are good reasons why Fender sells a lot US standards, altough the heavier pricetag.
MIM are what they are: a good/decent low entry guitar.
MIA: better pups, better tuners, better finish, better hardware, better electronics, case and o.c. resale value.
Some MIM's are exceptional good, some MIA standards are dogs, but overall, the MIA's are better instruments
 

larimar

Member
Messages
1,938
The baja has the exact same pups as the american standard

Im not a fan of the baja's gloss poly neck but thats personal preference, its a nice guitar. I have a road worn 50s, which is also worth looking at.


The Baja also has an ash body so the overall spec's are very 50's inspired. A solid axe in stock form.
 

Chris Hayden

Member
Messages
1,430
I love my MIM Tele, it's my #1 guitar. Kicks every one of my other guitar's behinds! Plays like a dream, can crunch, ice pick, twang or produce buttery jazz tones easily and simply. Cuts through band mix with ease. I bought mine used from a pawn shop in FL for $350. Best purchase I've ever made.
 

daacrusher2001

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,571
The MIM necks bother me. They seem to dig into my hand. Not sure why. Not so with the MIAs. However, the MIM classic player series have great necks. YMMV
 

monty

Member
Messages
24,126
You just need to try them because there are some killer examples of MIMs out there that you dont want to neglect because it is MIM.

And no, MIMs are not low entry guitars.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,694
You just need to try them because there are some killer examples of MIMs out there that you dont want to neglect because it is MIM.

And no, MIMs are not low entry guitars.

Ummmm....i would have to disagree if we are talking MIM standards. They pretty much ARE entry level. No, not as much as a squire standard, but the bodies are made of up to 7 pieces of wood and the electronics and hardware are at the bottom of fender's barrel as those things go. The MIM classic series is in a whole other league, and those are certainly no where near entry. The bodies and necks "were" the same as those used for the USA reissues made in the USA then sent to mexico to be assembled and poly finished. I put "were" in quotes only because i'm not sure thats still the case but it was for years and i believe they are still made here, tho whether or not they are seperated from the USA RI stuff based on wood quality i don't know. What i DO know is they bodies are still 2-3 piece like the USA stuff and the necks are still 100% vintage design exactly as the USA RI's. The pickups may or may not be junk depending on the model and year, and the strats use a cheaper trem, tho the teles use the same bridge part # as the USA. My MIM classic 50's tele's pickups and jack were junk, The but the rest is top notch including full size quality pots and USA switch. It's basically a USA 50's RI with crappy pickups and jack. The electronics and hardware on the standards are entry level stuff. So i agree if you are talking about the classic series which also include the classic player stuff and roadworn. But the standard MIM stuff is entry level if you look at them closely. Thats not to say they are bad, but they are entry level. Today most every thing fender makes from the bottom to the top is good to great. For me however the MIM standard stuff is too low on the totem pole for me to go there, but the classic series has been my go to staple as fenders go for years.
 

cvansickle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,371
I have a 3 pickup Ensenada Mexico plant assembled Deluxe Blackout Telecaster, black with chrome twin lip stick pups and a regular Tex Mex bridge pickup and 5 way switch. I had my guitar tech add a push pull tone knob so I can turn on the neck pickup when I want to with the other pickups, a real nice feature. Very versatile, well made, fit & finish was excellent. I get tone compliments on it all the time and I really love playing it, twang to growl to Strat quack, it does it all.

Oh man, you just reawoke my Tele-jones!
 




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