What's the General Opinion of MIM Strats?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Big Dan, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    My daughter is wanting to take guitar lessons and I am trying to decide what she can play. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a first guitar, but I am not going to buy some piece of junk either.

    My local store has some MIM strats (new and used) and I wonder what people think of their overall quality. Any years to stay away from? Are the new ones good? They have some used ones from the mid 90's that look pretty decent as well.

    Any opinions welcome.
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. cram

    cram Member

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    once in a while a squirrel can find his nut in the vast numbers of mim strats.
    I've played great ones.
    I've played ones that were horrid.
    sometimes i wonder if portions of the owful ones are just not set up correctly.
    I'm no cork sniffer either so your responses may vary here.
     
  3. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    If you get one made from better wood by someone who actually gives a rat's a$$, it can be ok. I had one where the finish guys musta been stoned. In the control cavity was a dallup of paint - ever seen the little curled-over swirl at the top of soft-serve ice cream cone?

    [​IMG]


    The paint finish did that - curled up wedge of paint, probably 2-3 inches long. Somebody had simply smushed it down while it was wet. It was still tacky/sticky where it had curled over on itself. Contrast that with areas in the rout that weren't covered with paint at all. Paint in the pickup cavaties made it impossible to remove the pickup without catching it on paint excess that extended over the edge of the pickup rout, thus removing a giant chunk of finish.... Sloppy, shoddy workmanship.
    If you didn't gain a sense of it from my description - these are the diametric opposite to the American-made "thin skin" Strats.

    Peace,

    jb
     
  4. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I'm sure there are quality differences between MIM Stds and their US counterparts. There's also a price difference and it's a first guitar.

    I had a MIM Std Tele back in the early 90's. I swapped pups and really had no complaints with the guitar.

    I'd go play a few, especially the used ones, and make a decision based on the individual guitar.


    Good luck in your search.
     
  5. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    What's the General Opinion of MIM Strats?

    That they're made in Mexico.
     
  6. stratocaster

    stratocaster Member

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    The only difference between a MIM and a MIA strat; is where the Mexican was standing when he built it :stir
     
  7. Zeon45

    Zeon45 Member

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    Troubleman summed it up pretty well. The only MIM I have is a Classic Player 60's Strat. It's a bit noisy but once I add an pickguard aluminum shield it should be okay. I would suggesy going with an American if at all possible. The MIMs are a crap shoot.
     
  8. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    My Robert Cray strat (MIM) is better made then any of the American standards I played at the time. It has no flaws.
     
  9. kmcmichael

    kmcmichael Member

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    I put together a strat from a Mexican alder body a couple of years ago. It is excellent. I used all Callaham hardware and pickups. It had the 50 style spacing on the bridge. It has some spider web cracks but it does not bother me.
     
  10. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    The MIM guitars are awesome for anyone (beginner or pro.) I've owned a few and they could all be setup to sound and play very well. They are one of the best bargains around.
     
  11. padavis

    padavis Supporting Member

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    I like mine. It was my first guitar. It is a fat strat and I have changed the pickups a lot with seymours, dimarzios, laces, emgs, but nothing too fancy and it has responded really well each time. However, I have a set of MIM singles in it now and i gotta tell you it quacks like a mofo! I really dig it. I put them in on a whim and decided to sell the Dimarzios I had with an Air Norton in the back... maybe a change of musical taste...
    Aanyways I think they are what YOU make them. If you get one and put just a little time into it, set it up, and just figure out how to make it sound like you want it to, I really feel they can be great guitars. So as a first for your daughter I think they would be a great platform for her to learn on and get a feel for where she wants to go.
    I'm with SgtThump for sure on this one, they are unreal bargains used or new really.
     
  12. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    I appreciate the perspective on these. I know they are not going to rival the American Strats, but like I said, it is for my daughter's first instrument. A friend of mine does set-up work so I can get him to go over it for me. I couldn't even consider an American one at this point. Guy at the store reccomended a Squire...no thanks.

    Dan
     
  13. plain-boy

    plain-boy Member

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    I have bought 2 '06 MIM Standards in the last year (sight unseen). They were both excellent guitars. I am sure there are dogs out there. But, you will find that MIM Standards are mostly frowned upon on this forum. IMHO simply because they are MIM Standards. I would have loved for a new MIM Standard to be my first guitar. It is leaps and bounds better than what I started on. The Squier standards are also a great starter guitar.
     
  14. alnico2

    alnico2 Member

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    Have played a couple nice used ones in the last year or so at the local shop. Decent used ones are out there you just need some patience to find them.
     
  15. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    Actually they can rival USA made Strats. Some of the UK mags I read point this out time after time (they seem a bit less biased against them). And I had a Classic Player 50s that was a fine Strat. The key is to evaluate each guitar on it's on merits. Whether US or MIM, some will be winners and some losers. I think if players evaluated Strats blindfolded they'd often be surprised which one they picked.
     
  16. indytruckboy

    indytruckboy Member

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    I had some nice ones. But if you can swing it, I would just get a MIA. Worst case scenario is you have a nice guitar for yourself.
     
  17. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    The Vintage Vibe Squiers are good guitars. A used MIM Stratocaster is the best guitar deal out there. The Vintage Player series from the 90s is one of the best Fenders ever made.
     
  18. oldschoolguy

    oldschoolguy Member

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    I'll chime in here and suggest that once you decide on MIM, MIA or and older MIJ that you'll want your daughter's input on her guitar. Uhh, even the color sometimes will make a big difference to a younger person. With the "right" guitar she'll be practicing more. You want her to think that she has the most badass guitar in the world--or next to it. Tell her that she can choose her true dream guitar when she gets fairly proficient. But maybe by that time she can buy her own!
    You've probably thought about this already,tho.
    My daughter's first guitar was an Alvarez Yairi (acoustic) and she loves it-she'll have that forever, I think.
     
  19. angelo

    angelo Member

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    That's a good point. As to the quality of the guitars, Big Dan, great for your mission. Sure, some are dogs and some are better than custom shop or whatever.

    But they are solid instruments and will serve her well in learning about guitar. If she excels, it will make a great backup. And then if she keeps going, she'll replace it. Then, 15 years from now, she'll be waxing nostalgic about that great MIM her old man bought her that she wished she didn't sell.......................:AOK
     
  20. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    I like them and think they're getting better and better all the time. Like some of the older Epiphones, I think MIM Strats are great platform guitars; you can change the pickups, hardware, pickguard, etc, to suit your fancy. I had a white MIM Strat I sold a while ago that I should have kept. I'm on the market for another at this moment, a used black one with a rosewood board, to be exact.

    Go back and look at who made the great pre-CBS Fenders in the fifties and sixties in Fullerton: Mexicans! For the most part, Leo's workforce was Hispanic.

    A guitarist I work with loves Mexican Strats. "They're cheap, they play fine once you get them set up, and they're often gig-ready right out of the box." Those were his exact words.
     

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