What would you do? GAS and strats...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gasp100, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Fender Custom Shop Custom Classic, 3TSB with gorgeous flamed maple neck that plays really well, feels great and sounds incredible.
    I also have a Fender American Standard, 3TSB with nice maple/rosewood neck that is playing really well (after major setup by myself), feels really good and sounds very nice.
    The CS strat is finished... MINT, immaculate, amazing finish (still might be poly though?) and needs NOTHING.
    The MIA finish is heavier poly (on the neck and body) and fairly dull (in comparison) with some light dings.
    The unplugged tones, volume and "resonance" are surprisingly similar. When they are plugged in the CS is the bomb; the notes jump out, great note seperation, sound PERFECT clean and with overdrive it can really, really sound full, thick and rich (even with the bridge pup) even using Mesa or SLO tones (from AxeFX). It holds up MUCH better with overdrive than any other strat I've played or owned.
    When the MIA is plugged in the cleans are nice, definitley not as deep, full or satisfying and a slightly brittle top end. Same goes for the overdrive, it can get nice and raunchy but not smooth and saucy, thinner mids, the brittle top end is more evident.
    So here is the deal; same hardware, same type of feel, and I really think I could "fix" the MIA. I think investing in some great pups (looking at loaded guards by Klein, Acme, etc... because the pots are 500K which I believe is a mistake for a strat and possibly a thick bridge/trem/block/saddle from someone like Callaham along with old school vintage tuners would really make the MIA shine. I also REALLY dig the lightly relic'd stuff I'm seeing, especially the back of the neck where it's lightly sanded (with 0000?) and it starts to get a little grime worked in - I love the look and supposedly the feel when you do that is sweet. The neck carve itself is okay, almost as nice as the CS strat and I could always part it out if I wanted with a new, custom neck.
    The CS strat is so clean and nice, I'm kind of afraid to keep it out and NEVER would think of any mods and surely no self-relicing.
    I also really, really, really want a kick ass Tele; also lightly relic'd made with killer parts (I already have specs in mind).
    The CS on the open market should bring in ~$1500.
    I got the MIA for a STEAL and even with the upgrades I would like to do it would still be under the $1K mark (plus it would be fun!).
    So, what would you do? One definitely has to go, no need for two almost identical strats especially when the Tele buzz is calling me...
    I guess my only concern is what if the 'mojo' or tone is really in the wood of the CS? They are so close unplugged (the Rosewod actually seems snappier, pops, maybe a little too much?) but I think really good pickups MIGHT be the only difference between the two guitars (overall). Problem is, I don't have the cash to upgrade the MIA unless I sell the CS :crazy
    GAS comes in to play because I would have to fully commit to the CS Strat as my only guitar for quite a while (year or more). But on the other hand, I know how hard it is to find "the one". I think I may have lucked out with this MIA though, they stand neck to each other in stands and they are both equally fun and satisfying to play. The CS strat says... WOW, don't put me down. The MIA says... WOW, what a steal -- but you know what? I can be even better with some work.
     
  2. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Member

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    If you got the American Standard for a steal and don't like it just the way it is, sell it... BEFORE you drop another dime into it, because every "upgrade" you make is actually decreasing the value, as most people won't pay extra for "personal preference" mods done to one, and would actually prefer the least "messed with" strat they can find. At best you'll get the same money for it with the new parts as you would if it was stock, and the money you spent upgrading will be tossed out the proverbial window. If you got a great deal on it, and if you're lucky... you MIGHT even get what you have in it back out of it. (Selling stuff is hard right now, even at great prices... trust me)

    If the CS is already exactly what you like, I can't understand why you'd consider selling it to "try" to make the American Standard as good as the CS already is.

    Bottom line, sell the American Standard as it is, and buy/build the tele you want. Either that or keep em both and start saving your money for a telecaster.
     
  3. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good advice. I have been "away" from both guitars for a few days (prepping for the kids for Xmas) and I finally had a chance to pick up each one and strum unplugged for about 30 seconds. Cleary the CS is a cut above... it has to be a mix of all of the ingredients, starting with the wood. I'd be a fool to lose this one and I've done too many foolish things in the past.
    On the other hand, it's good to know that Fender can pump out some nice quality gear that ISN'T custom shop as well.
     
  4. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Those impulses/nagging thoughts never go away. I've learned that it's best to deal with them however you know you have to - you can't trick the voices in your head.

    If it were me, I'd hang onto the CS and swap the MIA for a good parts Tele. And if that one wants/needs upgrades, do them over time.
     
  5. stratman89

    stratman89 Supporting Member

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    I would hang on to the CS as well. I feel like you do with my '60 CS Strat.......it has a certain vibe going on.

    As much as I love my '89 3TSB Am Strat, my CS is always going to my #1 Strat.

    If you have to part with one guitar I say let it be the MIA.......your CS will hold it's value more so than the MIA.
     
  6. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I just popped in the trem bar (haven't used trem in quite a while)... oh yeah baby, works, feels and sounds fab. Yep, this is the one.

    :banana
     
  7. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Sell the MIA. No matter how many upgrades you put into it, its never gonna be as good as a nice Boutique or Custom Shop guitar. Been there bought the T-Shirt
     

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