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Thread: New Mexican Stratocasters

  1. #1
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    New Mexican Stratocasters

    While I was in a music store yesterday I was playing with some Mexican Player Strats.

    Fender - what were you thinking? QC was terrible. Fender still doesn't undercut the fret tangs so up here in the northeast they all sprout during winter. Two that I picked up were unplayable. There was obviously no factory setup done and the aforementioned fretwork was laughable - borderline painful. Honestly, I've seen much better Squiers.

    Why on earth would somebody fork over $850 for one of those when you can buy a beautiful Ibanez or Yamaha or Epiphone for significantly less? I mean, I get it the MIMs are a value line but sheesh, at least make them playable. The competition is a lot better.

    I have a couple of older MIMs that see occasional gig and recording duty so I can say MIMs used to be fine guitars, but based on what I saw yesterday I wouldn't recommend them now.

    Very disappointing.

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  2. #2
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    FMIC's QC/QA has been circling the drain for quite some time, no doubt about it. I have several older (10 to 20 years) MIM Strats plus clones built from MIM Fender parts and all of them are top-drawer in terms of playability, tone, and visual appeal. Apparently Fender's eggs are all in the MIC Squier basket now.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Tele-Bob's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Aside from a few QC details, I find the MIM Fenders to be far better instruments than anything they produced during the 70's!
    If you're bored, you're not groovin'.

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Tele-Bob View Post
    Aside from a few QC details, I find the MIM Fenders to be far better instruments than anything they produced during the 70's!

    That was always my finding too, but these were new ones and they were poop.

    He he, my old three-screw was a turd among turds.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  5. #5
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    I'd transitioned to a Gibson LP in the late '60s then spent nearly four years overseas in the '70s so mercifully I missed CBS's final gasp of trying to build decent guitars. Nearly every one I ever saw from that era was a trainwreck.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    We all owed our local music store back in the 70's, Bob would rather let you pay monthly than take cash. A friend made his monthly payments working on the new Fender guitars, finishing the details and setup!

  7. #7
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    We all owed our local music store back in the 70's.
    BT, DT. It took me 14 months to pay off my first new Fender amp, a '67 drip-edge silverface Super Reverb. Then we bought a new solid-state Fender PA4100 PA system. That took about 20 months.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    I hate to hear that about the Player Strats. There's no excuse for it. I've been tempted by the new Player Plus basses--active PJ basses they've just started to make in a lefty model. I also have reservations because of the nearly $1100 price tag.

    In the last few years, Epiphone has really gotten their house in order. I have three: a Casino, the Jack Casady bass, and a Korina Explorer bass. First Epiphones I've owned whose pickups are great. The factory they're using in China is doing some great work. I've bought two Gibsons in recent years, a six string Explorer and the new Pelham Blue SG. Perfect as they can get.

    Fender was doing so well for a short stretch. Can't they do a little better with QC? Pity because buyers have a lot of good will towards the brand. Have to admit, I'd be happier buying a new G&L.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    The made in Indonesia Squire Classic Vibe thinline telecaster I bought in December arrived with a good setup and very good fret work. And the price was right too. $380 plus free shipping due to the sale Fender was having in the lead into Christmas. I can't speak to the quality of the electronics or pickups because I've never played an early 70's thinline tele, but it sounds good to my ear.
    "When You're Riding Down the Highway at Night, And You're Feeling that Wild Turkey's Bite" ZZ Top

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    If it plays good, sounds good, and looks good, it is good.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    The guy I'm recording with buys guitars from China that are pretty amazing. Copyright/Trademark issues aside (fake Gibsons say Gibson, fake Fenders say Fender), they are pretty nice guitars for dirt-cheap prices...

    He has a Telecaster fake that is amazing and a Les Paul that looks real. Not sure I personally could go through with it, but then again...

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    The guy I'm recording with buys guitars from China that are pretty amazing. Copyright/Trademark issues aside (fake Gibsons say Gibson, fake Fenders say Fender), they are pretty nice guitars for dirt-cheap prices...

    He has a Telecaster fake that is amazing and a Les Paul that looks real. Not sure I personally could go through with it, but then again...

    https://www.aliexpress.com/

    I don't think I would buy a counterfeit Gibson or Fender. My 2010 Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro was made in China and is of pretty decent quality, but at least it says "Made in China", and supposedly was set up in the US.
    "When You're Riding Down the Highway at Night, And You're Feeling that Wild Turkey's Bite" ZZ Top

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Epiphone really has their stuff together. They're making some really nice guitars and since they got rid of the bulky headstocks they're even better. Hard to beat some of them for value.

    Gibson has pretty much made Epiphone the "players" stuff and Gibson is more geared to gear nerds/collectors.

    I LOVE the Gibson Mod Shop. I've been trying to snipe a few factory prototypes there.

    There was a 335 in Blubbery Burst (aka Blueberry Burst) I almost bought.
    Last edited by Offshore Angler; 02-27-2023 at 02:30 PM.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    There was a 335 in Blubbery Burst (aka Blueberry Burst) I almost bought.
    THAT would be something to see!
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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    THAT would be something to see!

    It got sold faster than I could type to buy it. Talk about a gorgeous factory one-off! I wouldn't be surprised if you could double your money on it in a year. I'm cruising Reverb looking for it to show up. Hoping Trogley bought it and will flip it.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  16. #16
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Gibson has pretty much made Epiphone the "players" stuff and Gibson is more geared to gear nerds/collectors.
    Decades ago I remember Gibson's ad campaign of the era used the punchline "GIBSON....THE WORKING MAN'S GUITAR".

    Not so much today, it would seem. Epiphones at the time were still exclusively made in USA (Kalamazoo).
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Epiphone really has their stuff together. They're making some really nice guitars and since they got rid of the bulky headstocks they're even better. Hard to beat some of them for value.

    Gibson has pretty much made Epiphone the "players" stuff and Gibson is more geared to gear nerds/collectors.

    I LOVE the Gibson Mod Shop. I've been trying to snipe a few factory prototypes there.

    There was a 335 in Blubbery Burst (aka Blueberry Burst) I almost bought.

    I wonder if the woods have gotten better. I owned 2 epis built in 2010 and 2011 and the woods were horrible, I could bet they were made with moist wood.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by S. Cane View Post
    I wonder if the woods have gotten better. I owned 2 epis built in 2010 and 2011 and the woods were horrible, I could bet they were made with moist wood.
    Around that time the woods in Gibsons weren't much better. I mean, we're talking the Henry J and the Firebird X era.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Hello,

    I think guitars are made from wood and that's why they change over time / seasons.

    So why make a drama about it?

    Over the years I bought the right tools to do these setup-works by my own.

    When it is a good music store they should setup and sell their guitars in a good condition...

    Best regards
    Martin

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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Tele-Bob View Post
    Aside from a few QC details, I find the MIM Fenders to be far better instruments than anything they produced during the 70's!
    The same !!!

  21. #21
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by rudkowski View Post
    When it is a good music store they should setup and sell their guitars in a good condition.
    True.

    But they shouldn't be responsible for carrying the factory's water when it comes to the basics such as a reasonable set-up and acceptable fit and finish in the case of a brand-new guitar.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    True.

    But they shouldn't be responsible for carrying the factory's water when it comes to the basics such as a reasonable set-up and acceptable fit and finish in the case of a brand-new guitar.
    And that is their biggest problem in a nutshell. It will bite them in the nutsack eventually. They are nuts. Nutzo, I say.

    I don’t understand why a company with so much goodwill would sacrifice everything for short term rewards. A dozen fewer guitars off the conveyor belt each day while greater care for details is taken—surely that’s worth more in the long run.

    The Mexican Fenders are good guitars. With more care, Fender would make them better guitars.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

  23. #23
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    The Mexican Fenders are good guitars.
    +1

    The pre-2005 "Classic" models are the best of the breed, as true to Leo's original design as can be found among production instruments.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  24. #24
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Well folks, when the CEO of Fender comes from Disney and has publicly stated that he plans to concentrate on digital assets instead of manufacturing, and since the company got fined almost six million bucks a couple years ago for price fixing, well, the writing is pretty much on the wall.

    It won't be long until they sell to WMI or Cort-tek, etc. or just go all China. The "product" is no longer guitars, it's the company and branding they market. Heck, the best Fenders made today are Fender of Japan and they don't allow them to be sold in the US (unless you know an importer who can get you one. )
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  25. #25
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Well folks, when the CEO of Fender comes from Disney and has publicly stated that he plans to concentrate on digital assets instead of manufacturing, and since the company got fined almost six million bucks a couple years ago for price fixing, well, the writing is pretty much on the wall.

    It won't be long until they sell to WMI or Cort-tek, etc. or just go all China. The "product" is no longer guitars, it's the company and branding they market. Heck, the best Fenders made today are Fender of Japan and they don't allow them to be sold in the US (unless you know an importer who can get you one. )
    +1

    I think you're right. The situation now is even less tenable than the tail end of the CBS era when William Paley just wanted to wash his hands of anything to do with Fender. And unlike the domestic car companies and tech giants. FMIC can't blame it on government meddling.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    We're in an era of CNC machinery making widgets. Try them out. The likelihood of getting a well made guitar through the mail is better than ever in my opinion, but go to your local guitar store if at all possible! CNC machinery will get you precisian, uniformly cut pieces of wood for the necks and bodies that will hold tune and intonate properly. If you're in a small town with no options for trying out instruments and strictly looking at what you can buy online, I don't think there's ever been a better time than now to get a decent instrument that plays well through the mail, especially looking at fender's mexican made offerings.

  27. #27
    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by cka73 View Post
    We're in an era of CNC machinery making widgets. Try them out. The likelihood of getting a well made guitar through the mail is better than ever in my opinion, but go to your local guitar store if at all possible! CNC machinery will get you precisian, uniformly cut pieces of wood for the necks and bodies that will hold tune and intonate properly. If you're in a small town with no options for trying out instruments and strictly looking at what you can buy online, I don't think there's ever been a better time than now to get a decent instrument that plays well through the mail, especially looking at fender's mexican made offerings.
    I think I may have already posted about this, but I recently bought a Made in Indonesia Squire Classic Vibe thinline telecaster, and the fret dressing and overall setup was very good. The intonation was pretty much spot on, and the guitar was even in tune. I think I only had to adjust one string slightly.
    "When You're Riding Down the Highway at Night, And You're Feeling that Wild Turkey's Bite" ZZ Top

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    If it was Indonesia it was probably built by Coe-Tek in which case I would expect it to be better quality than the Mexican Fenders.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member Michael Smith's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    If it was Indonesia it was probably built by Coe-Tek in which case I would expect it to be better quality than the Mexican Fenders.
    For under $400 with free shipping due to Fender's 20% off sale before Christmas, it was a great buy considering how well built it is. They only had the natural finish in stock during the sale period, and I would have preferred the sunburst finish like Tab Benoit's thinline tele, but how it performs is more important anyway.
    "When You're Riding Down the Highway at Night, And You're Feeling that Wild Turkey's Bite" ZZ Top

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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Smith View Post
    For under $400 with free shipping due to Fender's 20% off sale before Christmas, it was a great buy considering how well built it is. They only had the natural finish in stock during the sale period, and I would have preferred the sunburst finish like Tab Benoit's thinline tele, but how it performs is more important anyway.
    The problem to me is that you can go to a bunch of different off brands, buy a 150 dollar set of pickups and come out way better that ponying up 7 or 800 dollars for a mexican fender with the exact same 2nd tier parts. Get a 200 dollar fender knockoff, and you can upgrade the heck out of it with pickups, tuners, wood that's just as good, etc. And I love Fender guitars and the days of 300 dollar mexican strats that just needed better pickups. When the heck did these become 600-800 dollar guitars without significant upgrades? Flame suit on.

  31. #31
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by cka73 View Post
    The problem to me is that you can go to a bunch of different off brands, buy a 150 dollar set of pickups and come out way better that ponying up 7 or 800 dollars for a mexican fender with the exact same 2nd tier parts. Get a 200 dollar fender knockoff, and you can upgrade the heck out of it with pickups, tuners, wood that's just as good, etc. And I love Fender guitars and the days of 300 dollar mexican strats that just needed better pickups. When the heck did these become 600-800 dollar guitars without significant upgrades? Flame suit on.
    On that note, I'll simply point out that today's Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day is a Squier Bullet Telecaster for the low, low price of only $149.99.

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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    While I was in a music store yesterday I was playing with some Mexican Player Strats.

    Fender - what were you thinking? QC was terrible. Fender still doesn't undercut the fret tangs so up here in the northeast they all sprout during winter. Two that I picked up were unplayable. There was obviously no factory setup done and the aforementioned fretwork was laughable - borderline painful. Honestly, I've seen much better Squiers.

    Why on earth would somebody fork over $850 for one of those when you can buy a beautiful Ibanez or Yamaha or Epiphone for significantly less? I mean, I get it the MIMs are a value line but sheesh, at least make them playable. The competition is a lot better.

    I have a couple of older MIMs that see occasional gig and recording duty so I can say MIMs used to be fine guitars, but based on what I saw yesterday I wouldn't recommend them now.

    Very disappointing.

    Chuck
    Who on earth is actually a fan of locking tuners? Vintage tuners is the only type that matters regarding a smooth Fender. Beautiful instruments, but that does sincerely not matter if you don't have the freedom of vintage tuners. VTs is what eventually turns a Fender into a real Fender. Locking tuners always ruined The Player Series.

    Should be stated as the truth!

  33. #33
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyTheSky View Post
    Who on earth is actually a fan of locking tuners? Vintage tuners is the only type that matters regarding a smooth Fender. Beautiful instruments, but that does sincerely not matter if you don't have the freedom of vintage tuners. VTs is what eventually turns a Fender into a real Fender. Locking tuners always ruined The Player Series.

    Should be stated as the truth!
    Meh. Locking or non-locking tuners is the least of my concerns. I have locking tuners on my Custom Shop Robin Trower Signature Strat, and they're fine. Changing strings on it is much easier than with the vintage tuners. But either way, I'm more interested in the guitar staying in tune than in whether the strings lock in or not.

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  34. #34
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyTheSky View Post
    Who on earth is actually a fan of locking tuners?...
    Well, me for one. You see, I get paid to play the guitar, I do a lot of shows and change a lot of strings as I don't have a guitar tech offstage. Changing strings with locking tuners saves hours and hours and increases tuning stability. If you're into making it more difficult to change strings than it needs to be and harder to stretch your strings in then by all means you are welcome to use vintage tuners.

    Start playing outdoor shows in the summertime and you'll change your tune - and strings!

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  35. #35
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    I am lucky enough to have purchased a brand new 2010s American Standard strat, which is a specimen of what I deem one of the last good modern batches.

    When the player series came out, I remember reading stuff in forums about them equaling the Am Stds. Well, not exactly as it seems.


    I myself don’t care for vintage specs, I like to be able to set up a truss rod with the guitar in o e piece, and so on, plus the modern wiring and the modern C neck are just what I look for in a strat.

  36. #36
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Not to mention the two-point trem.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  37. #37
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Not to mention the two-point trem.
    Never saw the need for it. Or locking tuners. Or locking nuts. Or 22 frets. Or full-size humbuckers.

    IMO Leo got it right, right out of the gate.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  38. #38
    Forum Member S. Cane's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    To me, the minor improvements like the two point trem, the noiseless/mini humbuckers (which I myself dislike), the easier truss rod access and the tone control for the bridge pickup are indeed improvements, music evolved and it’s only natural that strats did too…

  39. #39
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    Quote Originally Posted by S. Cane View Post
    To me, the minor improvements like the two point trem, the noiseless/mini humbuckers (which I myself dislike), the easier truss rod access and the tone control for the bridge pickup are indeed improvements, music evolved and it’s only natural that strats did too…
    Agreed, the modern Stat is much easier to own and play. I mean, do we really need to be so vintage we go back to three-way switching?
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  40. #40
    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: New Mexican Stratocasters

    I've recently become fascinated in the near-obsession some people have with "vintage," "relic" and "reissue" guitars. Granted, not every "new" model always hits it out of the park, but manufacturers rarely keep churning out the same thing year after year.

    Being a car fancier, I like reading about the new features being added to make the driving experience more enjoyable while improving safety feature at the same time. Why would I want to buy a 2024 Mercedes-Benz that looks, feels, acts and has the same features as a 1964 model?

    Back when I was a young, starving college student, I had only one guitar. So, if I wanted to achieve a certain sound, or play differently, I would look to adjusting my guitar (it was a 12-string, so I sometimes went months at a time just playing it as a 6-string). Raising or lowering the bridge, using different types of strings -- that sort of thing -- were necessities more than simple tinkering. These days, I look for guitars that feel and sound they way I want them to right off the bat.

    I'm probably not as advanced or sensitive as others when it comes to my guitar. I tend to adapt to the instrument rather than the other way around. I'm fortunate that I'm able to do so. Thus, I really don't (and can't) distinguish between country-of-origin when it comes to my guitars.

    Striving to be ordinary

    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

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