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 Post subject: difference between USA and Mexico made Fender
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:23 pm 
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Dear Loungers,
I'm from Holland and just started to appreciate the Fender Telecaster.
My question is:
What's the difference between a Fender USA and a Fender Mexico made?
except for the price.
Greetings from Leiden Holland.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Kira,

I have owned 3 MIM Telecasters and 2 US Telecasters. There are definite differences. First, the neck wood density on the US models seams to be tighter, more dense, harder. The fret board edge is more rounded on the US models and therefore is more comfortable. The neck to body pocket on the US models is tighter and more precise. The inlay channel for the truss rod on the US model is a hardwood, and black plastic for the MIM model. Depending on which model, there can be a huge difference in pickup quality and sound. I have gone to Duncans on all but my Strat. Pickups are certainly a personal preference to consider... The bridge hardware on US models appear to be slightly better machined. I think some saddles on MIM models are made of zinc, which isn't ideal, but gets the job done. Steel and brass are best. I haven't seem much differences in the bodies. Perhaps a bit more poly is applied to the MIM models. These are just my personal observations from a 35 year veteran and certainly others will have their own observations as well. Hopefully some of this helps... BTW, the newer US made Hwy-1 Telecasters are a very good buy for the money in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:31 pm 
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the american made ones are better crafted, have better woods, and have better electronics generally.... but, the mexican guitars are still great... if you get the chance, play both and see if you think the american is worth the extra money or not


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:51 pm 
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citizenerased wrote:
the american made ones are better crafted, have better woods, and have better electronics generally.... but, the mexican guitars are still great... if you get the chance, play both and see if you think the american is worth the extra money or not


Try the Fender Classic Player Baja Telecaster (made in Mexico).
Same price as the Classic Series but much better.
I paid 550,- euro's for it, blew my mind.

Groeten, Peter 8)

Den Helder, Holland


Last edited by lostindesert on Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:05 pm 
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I'm in the camp that the MIA models are made from less pieces and better quality woods. I could be wrong though. I think I once was. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Miami Mike wrote:
I'm in the camp that the MIA models are made from less pieces and better quality woods. I could be wrong though. I think I once was. :wink:


I think you're right about better wood quality and less pieces.
But can the average person hear the diverence between two
pieces of wood, or three to five? I know i can't if you use better
pickups and hardware on the MIM, MIJ and MIK FEnders.

Peter :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:29 pm 
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Miami Mike wrote:
I'm in the camp that the MIA models are made from less pieces and better quality woods. I could be wrong though. I think I once was. :wink:


yeah you're right


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:40 pm 
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hey there

i'm not an expert but i tried several US tellies in different stores that sounded great but one day i found a mexican one that sounded as good but a bit cheaper so i bought it!!! And i'm completely happy with it!

So you have to try several guitars to find one you like (and one in your price range!!!)
Hope it helped!

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Pretty good question: I think most of the difference have been mentioned already especially higher quality woods and maybe better finish... but really in terms of sound I really recommend that you try both.

I'm convinced that overall quality has definitely improved in the Mexican factory and they do produce extremely good guitars now. I'm not a pro but I think that most of the cost difference now comes from 'the legend' itself: you pay more because it comes from the US, a great Fender has to come from the US somewhat, the origin of the brand.

Actually, I was looking for my first Telecaster US this summer. Since I got a new job with good income, I was ready to spend what it takes to get me a great one. Hours later well spent in music shops, playing and listening at many guitars (not only Fender by the way!!) I found it and guess what?
I went for a Mexican Telecaster 72'Thinline, a beauty with the sound I was simply dreaming to find. No comparison even with US Tele or Strat I tried.

So my only advice is to trust your ears, your fingers, your feelings. A Mexican Fender can sound better or as well as US one for less money. You just have to look around and take your time. Good luck and have fun!!

Franck

PS: message for all Fender's Mexican techs: God bless you Guys, I wish I can thank you all for that jewel that is the Tele 72'Thinline that I've just bought. Great job, the sound is just...my soul! For future productions, think about putting a Mexican flag sticker on the neck ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:02 am 
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There is a 'vast' difference in them electronically and in 'out of the box set up'. Koren is better than any Mexican and the old Japan ones. The 'bore' holes are not as clean and workmanship on the freats is all but missing.

BUT DONT FREAT (PUN) you can make it sound great...like a $900 tele. Really....

1. Go get the darn neck freat board leveled at a luthier..it's worth the $20. Beleive me.

2. It's worth the other 20 to have him set up the neck with the strings you want to use and get the intonation right. If you change strings brand or size you have to 're set' so don't forget that.

3. Below is listed a ABSOLUTE TO DO TO IMPROVE LIST : change out the pots and switch. Heck just putting in a CTS no load pot improved both sound quality over the indo cheapo that comes stock. Gibson uses CTS pots for a reason...qualilty and consistency of quality....250 for overall quality/TONE..for power and more 'twang' go to a 500 set of pots..yeah, get that Tone POT REPLACED ASAP ...Thats only like $20 for both pots unless your being ripped off.

now here is more: If you want deeper tone, go to a higher capacator and get rid of that crappy .047....dot if you have it. Get an "Orange drop" if you want a nice bluez tone....get a cermaic capacator: the new ones are nice that come with the CTS Pots. One for volume, one for tone. Don't overlap them. Set them up as shown for independent use.

Switch: Three way if you have one is very poor in quality...look the post are 1/2 the diameter of any American switch...get a good American or Korean (NOT INDO) one. Even a $@! one...ditch it asap.

thirdly: Wire...god the insulation values on them suck. Don't beleive me? Grab any power wire on the insulation of any Mexican and listen to the hum...get some good motor wire.

Soldier: Even if you don't change out (you nuts if you don't) look to see if they have 'lumps' of soldier on the back of the pots. The workmanship is not there. More isn't better as it lowers impedance values. You don't want that. ... clean all the solder up and resand where you can, especially on the grounds.



Below is a 'list' of alterations and ideas you can use to 'upgrade' your Mexican to sound like a $900 tele. That's value of a tele, you CAN make it sound the way 'you want'.

The Tele can be quickly be rewired for switch change configuration, I like that without taking it down. Pluse you get an 'instant' change with capacitor changes....and for GODs sake, get rid of those cheap foreign pots...Korean is ok, but those darn Indo ones suck...

Go to a motor shop and get some 'real' wire. The diameter of the wire you use will change the 'toneal' quality, so if you want 'twang' stay with smaller diameter and better insulation values, less twang...larger diameter and high Imp insulation.


A BIG ONE IF YOURS HUMS: Go with a larger diameter wire for the ground in the least in the imput jack. They have everything going to ONE ground source and the gague isn't right at the imput jack to the pots. It will get rid of a lot of the 'hum' if you have it. Same with the Strat. How can you take a minimum of five ground leads to the same ohm diameter wire? The freaking impedance is overloaded.... which gives out that hum or high pitch ...try it...just putting a better gound on will make one heck of a difference.

What I'm saying is for your time and only $40 - $80 you can take that Mexican and make is sound great....and the way YOU want it to sound with as much or as little 'twang' and tonal quality without even changing a pickup.

They do come with a decent matched set of pickups..putting out like 8..it's the electronics at the other end that suck...right on down to the wires.

4 BIG ONE: Many Mexican Standards come wired 4 way, not three. You can use the Fender Guide to the sound quality of the one you like and re configure that as well. The 4 way gives a big sweet center (both pickups middle) sound, but kills the mid range on other settings to me. It also 'overlaps' and suggest a cheap 'hide' for clarity, which it can't have because of the cheap wiring and pots. Bass is too boomy and highs too high...

For the price and a few upgrads the Mexican is a great deal to say the least, but if you have the money: go for the Korean or the best:American. For sustain: Ash or mahogany....and solid only.

All I know I owe to a great luthier in TN...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:43 am 
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I own both, I bought the MIM as my very first guitar, just to make sure I was going to stick with it, the MIM is a good quality instrument, it is what it is. Then, I got the American Made Tele.......WOW....what a difference. The quality and workmanship of the Amer. is of a much higher quality in all regards. However, the MIM Tele does sound very good played thru a higher quality amp, such as a 65 Twin R/I (which is what I use). I really do like them both.
Good Luck.

********************************
60th Anniversary American Telecaster
2005 MIM Telecaster
65 Twin Reverb R/I
Blonde Blues Junior[/url]


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:47 pm 
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everybody has already told you the difference but i thought i might add (if no one has yet) that if you can afford and american go for it. the mexican aren't bad (don't get me wrong) but american are better quality. the second best after american is japanese and they're cheaper.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:38 pm 
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I just got a MIM Esquire and I must say I am quite impressed. The fit and finish is as good as any MIA and the guitar in its tobacco finish is a great looking guitar. The pickup they have used is top of the line and the neck feels sweet. I have always said, no matter where it is made, other then some parts and pickups, any Fender should be an excellent guitar. You can always change pickups, switches or tuners for a lot less moeny than buying one of the top of line MIA guitars and it should sound as good..


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 Post subject: Re: difference between USA and Mexico made Fender
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:25 pm 
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Kira wrote:
Dear Loungers,
I'm from Holland and just started to appreciate the Fender Telecaster.
My question is:
What's the difference between a Fender USA and a Fender Mexico made?
except for the price.
Greetings from Leiden Holland.
Kira,
They are both great guitars. The biggest difference for me is the hand rolled fingerboard on the American. It just feels great in your hands, especially after you play it for awhile. There are other differences such as the electronics and the woods, but both guitars can sound wonderful. All guitar players understand that we develop attachments to our instruments. Some of them we like and others just seem to be made for us, and can become an extension of us. Take time to play both versions and see which one feels, and sounds like it was made for you. If it is only a guitar you like, then you probably wont keep it for long. If it is one that feels like it was made specifically for you, than you'll keep it forever. Good luck... :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:22 pm 
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I bought a MIM Tele so I could get oblique bends without going out of tune (ala Strat). I fell in love with the feel, but the tone was pretty anemic. I put a set of SCN pickups in my Players' Strat and was blown away. After I added a set of SCN's to my Tele, it became my main axe and you cannot pry it from my fingers, now. All the other talk about switches and grounds and wire is all well and good. Every little piece adds to the whole. But, I think you can't go wrong with a Tele that feels right in your hands coupled with a KILLER pick-up set.


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