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I am in need of some advice. I have been "learning" to play guitar for years now and the older I get the more I enjoy it. I currently own a Washburn, and a Martin acoustic, and a Gibson Les Paul Custom which I LOVE. However, I have been playing a LOT of Pink Floyd/David Gilmour stuff and I was thinking on buying a Fender Strat.

I went to a few music stores and I am not sure If I believe some of those guys about what to look for. I want to spend no more than $500 which I know limits what I can purchase. Used would be fine.

Anything specific I should look for?? Are the Strats made in Mexico just as good as the American models?

Brad
 

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outadebt said:
I am in need of some advice. I have been "learning" to play guitar for years now and the older I get the more I enjoy it. I currently own a Washburn, and a Martin acoustic, and a Gibson Les Paul Custom which I LOVE. However, I have been playing a LOT of Pink Floyd/David Gilmour stuff and I was thinking on buying a Fender Strat.

I went to a few music stores and I am not sure If I believe some of those guys about what to look for. I want to spend no more than $500 which I know limits what I can purchase. Used would be fine.

Anything specific I should look for?? Are the Strats made in Mexico just as good as the American models?

Brad
Check out some of the guitar forums. A lot of people like the MIM Strats. I have the Deluxe Players Strat. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Deluxe-Players-Stratocaster-Electric-Guitar?sku=511597 It is made in Mexico. It shares a lot of features with the American Strats but will cost you a bit more than $500.00. I love mine. I am not a real good player. I just play for my own satisfaction and get together with friends occasionally. Check out www.musiciansfriend.com and http://www.guitarcenter.com/r Guitar Center.
 

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outadebt said:
I am in need of some advice. I have been "learning" to play guitar for years now and the older I get the more I enjoy it. I currently own a Washburn, and a Martin acoustic, and a Gibson Les Paul Custom which I LOVE. However, I have been playing a LOT of Pink Floyd/David Gilmour stuff and I was thinking on buying a Fender Strat.

I went to a few music stores and I am not sure If I believe some of those guys about what to look for. I want to spend no more than $500 which I know limits what I can purchase. Used would be fine.

Anything specific I should look for?? Are the Strats made in Mexico just as good as the American models?

Brad
If I remember correctly, the biggest difference in the two is the electronics. Pick-ups, switches and the like. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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outadebt said:
Are the Strats made in Mexico just as good as the American models?
No, they're not as good, but in my humble but accurate opinion, it can be hard to discern the difference. A MexiStrat is one of the best values in electric guitars. They sell new online for $400 but you can find them used for 1/2 that on Ebay. I bought mine (99 Olympic White/Maple fingerboard - like new) for $175 a couple years ago. For that price you can buy a nice hard case and change the pickups if you want and still have a quality guitar for very few $.

If you decide to go used, ask the seller for the serial number, which will tell you where it was made and what year. The first letter is the country of origin, the second letter is the decade, the third character is the year. For example, mine is MN9XXXXXXXX, which means Mexico 99 (Ninety 9).
MZ2XXXXX would be Mexico, 02 (zero 2).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Thanks for your help:thumbsup:

I don't play out, and have no intentions to do so any time soon, so maybe a MexiStrat will work just fine for me. I did already check out Musician's Friend's web site which has pretty much any Strat I could want, but I'll look on Ebay also.

Brad
 

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In order of hardware quality: USA /Japan/Mexico/Korea

I have a 79 LP custom , and a 84 US Strat both bought new, and a 89 Japanese made Fender Jazz.

The Mexican and Japanese models aren't bad, I'd stay way from the Korean.

I'd agree that for most there is not a significant difference between the US/***/Mexi models.

Jimmie Vaughn ( Fabulous T-Birds) likes the Mexi Strats , although he has vintage US ones as well.


You can always upgrade the components you don't like .
 

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Look around on Craigs list. I've bought two MIA strats this year for less than $500. One of them was virtually brand new. Mex strats are generally good also.

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MIM
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Get the real thing.

Do you ride a foreign built copy of an American motorcycle because they can build it cheaper somewhere else?

I bought my '84 Americam Standard strat new and added a Seymour Duncan pickup in '87. I'll own it my whole life, and it just keeps getting better and more valuable every year. Say that about a knockoff.

There are more differences that just electronics too. Look at the kind of wood used and whether it's laminate (plywood) or solid. There are differences in the necks and finishes too. The better your starting instrument, the better it will age.

Just my opinion.
 

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198of3500 said:
Get the real thing.

Do you ride a foreign built copy of an American motorcycle because they can build it cheaper somewhere else?

I bought my '84 Americam Standard strat new and added a Seymour Duncan pickup in '87. I'll own it my whole life, and it just keeps getting better and more valuable every year. Say that about a knockoff.

There are more differences that just electronics too. Look at the kind of wood used and whether it's laminate (plywood) or solid. There are differences in the necks and finishes too. The better your starting instrument, the better it will age.

Just my opinion.
Let's compare, shall we?

Body: American - Solid Alder; Mexican - Solid Alder
Neck: American - Maple; Mexican - Maple
Fingerboard: American - Rosewood or Maple; Mexican - Rosewood or Maple
Fretboard Radius: American - 9.5"; Mexican - 9.5"
Finish: American - Polyurethane; Mexican - Polyurethane

What is it about the American Strat that will age better?
 

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outadebt said:
I am in need of some advice. I have been "learning" to play guitar for years now and the older I get the more I enjoy it. I currently own a Washburn, and a Martin acoustic, and a Gibson Les Paul Custom which I LOVE. However, I have been playing a LOT of Pink Floyd/David Gilmour stuff and I was thinking on buying a Fender Strat.

I went to a few music stores and I am not sure If I believe some of those guys about what to look for. I want to spend no more than $500 which I know limits what I can purchase. Used would be fine.

Anything specific I should look for?? Are the Strats made in Mexico just as good as the American models?

Brad

Problem is, they make a TON of different Strats now-a-days.....at many different price points. When I bought my first, you had your choice of maple or rosewood (fingerboard), and hardtail or tremelo, that's it (other than color). No country of origin, no pick-up choice or configuration, no fret prefenence, no neck profile choice, no switching options, no active circuits, no body wood choice, you get the idea. Now, there're so many choices, it can boggle the mind.

In your price range, I'd look for a used USA, or look real hard at the Mexican 50's or 60's Classic's. Also, the Mex Jimmy Vaughan gets high marks. Don't discount the Mexy's as drastically inferior. I have a Mexy Muddy Waters Tele that is one of my favorites, in a stable of some pretty high-end stuff. The good thing is, there's a BUNCH of stuff out there to check out. Keep in mind, there're clunkers out there in EVERY price range. Price doesn't always dictate quality, ya gotta get out there and play 'em and find the one that works for you!
 

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outadebt said:
I am in need of some advice. I have been "learning" to play guitar for years now and the older I get the more I enjoy it. I currently own a Washburn, and a Martin acoustic, and a Gibson Les Paul Custom which I LOVE. However, I have been playing a LOT of Pink Floyd/David Gilmour stuff and I was thinking on buying a Fender Strat.

I went to a few music stores and I am not sure If I believe some of those guys about what to look for. I want to spend no more than $500 which I know limits what I can purchase. Used would be fine.

Anything specific I should look for?? Are the Strats made in Mexico just as good as the American models?

Brad
only comment on the strat wud be to search for a used made in america...it will only increase in value ...money in the bank...
btw you do own some nice axes ...
 

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I bought a used MIM Olympic white Strat with a maple neck for $300 and then put in a really good aftermarket trem/bridge and then changed the pickups out to VanZandts and it is just killer!

Hard to go wrong with this route.
 

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I'm not virtuoso or expert but Id say if you really like playing, buy the best guitar you can afford. That probably hold for amps too. You wont regret it, you will enjoy it. I play an acoustic, a Taylor 714. I don't know much about electric guitars but I have owned a couple. Two Gibsons and a Fender American Strat. None were any big deal. The nicest sounds come from the nicest instruments and the most "playable".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Man, you guys know your guitars.

I'm gonna look around and play some used/new American and Mexistrats and make my decision based on how they play/feel.

I read somewhere that David Gilmour played dozens and dozens of them to find 1 or 2 that he liked prior to one of his tours. It's interesting that they have subtle but noticeable differences.
 

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Strats suck. The finish is cheap, The hardware is bleah. The sound is a shadow of an early strat. The QA on the lumber is non existant. All of the parts are foreign anyway. I'm sure Leo Is barfing all over his casket after what happened to his guitars. If you can find one try to get into a G&L or an old actually MADE IN THE USA strat that needs some work and take it to a luthier.

I own an 80's and a 90's Made in USA. They sound like someone compressed shiet into a strat mold and stuck strings on it. Save your $500 and hold out until you can afford something better. You have a few guitars to play in the meantime anyway. There are a lot of American Luthiers building American guitars that sound simply amazing. Jim Jaros was one off the top of my head that is close to you (pittsburgh). Not sure if he is still building or not. Full neck thru design with the pickups mounted on the neck. Research building custom guitars and start reading about what makes a guitar sound the way it does. By the time you get a good idea about the sound you want, you'll have had time to come up with the cash to build or buy you're own custom and make it sound the way you want it to. Don't let a bunch of corporate dikwads tell you how you can "afford" to sound based on their profit margin.
 

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Sinker said:
Let's compare, shall we?

Body: American - Solid Alder; Mexican - Solid Alder
Neck: American - Maple; Mexican - Maple
Fingerboard: American - Rosewood or Maple; Mexican - Rosewood or Maple
Fretboard Radius: American - 9.5"; Mexican - 9.5"
Finish: American - Polyurethane; Mexican - Polyurethane

What is it about the American Strat that will age better?
Better cuts of wood, including ash used on american, nitrocellulose laquer instead of polyurethane, and one piece necks instead of laminated.

If you're happy with an import, good for you, but the american instruments are better, feel better, sound better, appreciate better, and carry a pride of ownership than an import isn't going to match for most people.
 

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198of3500 said:
Better cuts of wood, including ash used on american, nitrocellulose laquer instead of polyurethane, and one piece necks instead of laminated.

If you're happy with an import, good for you, but the american instruments are better, feel better, sound better, appreciate better, and carry a pride of ownership than an import isn't going to match for most people.
Doesn't matter. Dudes, not going to get a Mexican strat or a new USA strat to sound anywhere close to these.

http://www.mikesguitarsite.co.uk/gear/pink_floyd/index.php?page=guitars_amps
 

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I'm a hack. Haven't played in years, and when I did, I was just starting out.

But I own a nifty axe. It's an Ovation Breadwinner solid body electric. I've had it stashed under the bed for over twenty years - just handed it off to a coworker who's nearly done tweakin it back to prime shape. This baby is sweet. The action raises eyebrows.

I bought some picks and a Line-6 PocketPod. I'm ready to ROCK!!!
 

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