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Which strat?

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Hey all,

 I am considering getting a Fender Standard Strat, but I'm unsure whether to go with a Mexican or pay for the American. My chief concern is to get a good tone, and very playable guitar. I will not be gigging (which is a good reason for a mexican), nor will I be doing anything professional, it's just to get myself a really nice guitar.  It will be played into a DT25 for the foreseeable future (since I'll be paying it off for forever) and my real concern is, is the DT25 good enough of an amp to justify getting the more expensive guitar? I'm afraid that the guitar would be 'too good' for the amp, requiring me to upgrade the amp eventually to get the best from the guitar... any chance of that happening?

At the moment I have an ec-1000 which is somewhere between the mexican and american strats, pricewise, but it's a les paul copy with humbuckers and I really want a lovely clean tone.

Suggestions welcome!

 

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I have a MIM Std Strat H/S/S. Several years old now. After a pro setup, it plays like a dream. With the $s saved I changed the pick guard and all 3 pickups. Feel like its really my own now.

 

Honestly I don't think you can go wrong either way.

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American strats are definitely better than Mexican strats. Apart from generally better hardware, the major tonal difference is that the pickups are different. Mexican strats sound OK. American strat pickups sound very different. There's a reason American strats are the norm. I would suggest just an American Standard, and you'll never be second guessing yourself as to whether you should have spent the extra $.

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I would honestly go with a Squier Classic Vibe. They get a LOT of love from the Strat community and at £300 are a steal.

 

http://www.musicradar.com/reviews/guitars/squier-classic-vibe-stratocaster-50s-175425

 

If you want it to be absolutely killer, change out the Pups for Bare Knuckle Apaches.

 

I have been playing Strats for 30+ years, and that is my next move...I very much doubt you will change it from Stock though (no need!)

 

Cheers,

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Thanks guys but my question is more about the dt amp than the guitar... will I find myself wanting a better amp to match the better guitar?

The american strat is nearly three times the price of the dt. Is that too much of a difference?

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Sadly you will ALWAYS want a better amp/guitar combination. I have had a lot of amps, but bang for buck the DT-25 delivers some truly great tones. You will NOT be disappointed with the Strat into the Fender model, or the Chime. A great sounding Strat into the DT-25 will sound...great!. I have a Strat and a Tele (the former a vintage 80's, the latter a Squier Classic Vibe BSB) and both sound absolutely Wonderful Into the DT.. Would they sound better through a Twin reverb? Of course...but the 5%-10% better is not worth the Grand you would have to drop on it IMHO.

 

It's the limitations of Guitar and amp that make you a better player....

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Thanks guys but my question is more about the dt amp than the guitar... will I find myself wanting a better amp to match the better guitar?

The american strat is nearly three times the price of the dt. Is that too much of a difference?

 

The DT25 is an excellent and very versatile amp. It is in no way a "cheap" amp, and will match expensive guitars. Playing a USA strat through it will sound stellar. Mexican strat will sound OK. My USA strat sounds infinitely better than any of the Mexicans I tried, and I have no regrets. A great guitar through an OK amp can still sound great. An OK guitar through a great amp, not so much.

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I own 4 strats (and a JTV69) and used to play those exclusively.  So I gotta lotta opinion on that.

 

First of all, when you say "Strat", there's a HUGE tonal difference between strats, so right off the bat, it's tough to answer your question because we don't really know what you're going for.  You looking for a SSS or HSS?  Very different animals!

 

In my mind, the MIM Fender strats are some of the best bang for the buck in the industry.  Great instruments.  Fender makes sure the hardware is a lower grade than their USA stuff because otherwise there would be no difference.  The MIM strats feel great and the wood/finish/paint is outstanding.

 

If you think that ANYONE in a blind listening test can tell the difference between a MIM and USA strat, you're kidding yourself.

 

My advice, primarily because you sound like a younger/newer player, get a MIM strat, and for the $$ you save, you can upgrade or change out the pickups or change the wiring.  I'd upgrade the string tree on the headstock to the "T" shape or to a graphtech (the greatest weakness of most strats is the string tree and what it does to tuning stability).

 

I started out with a MIM, gigged with it for years.  Upgraded to a USA Deluxe, and bought a second Deluxe, then bought a USA standard.  The USA standard is my favorite of the 4.  Surprisingly, if you're interested in a HSS, I think the JTV 69 is a fantastic representation of that (magnetics only).  Really nicely balanced pickups and for my taste, just the right amount of output to be vintage without being anemic. 

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Sorry if i sound like a new player, but I've been playing about 20 years now.

 

I want SSS, for the bright twangy sparkly fender sound, for cleans, blues, mild stuff, bit of crunch. I'd rather pay for a better guitar right off the bat than change out pickups and wiring (which I've done before, just not interested in it in the slightest). I'm not a broke lollipop student needing to pinch pennies, so I can afford a nice package over diy, but neither am I stinkin rich :)

 

You might be right about a blind test, I've never done such a test so I don't know. On the other hand, I don't think a blind listening test tells everything i want to know about a guitar either. Ymmv.

 

I'm saving now anyway, so by the time I've gotten up to MIM I'll see if I wanna save some more or not :)

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I have both and there is a huge difference between the two. My MIM Strat is the backup (it's a fine guitar)...there's no comparison to be made. My 50th anniversary Strat (2004) is a gem.

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From your post I'm guessing you're looking for a SSS strat then.

 

My advice is play both an American Standard and an MIM UNPLUGGED and find the one that plays and resonates the best UNPLUGGED. Just about any guitar store should have a wide variety of both.

 

Only when you've found a piece of wood that sings should you plug it in and see if you like the pickups.  There are no pickups that are "better" or "worse".  It's really more preference than anything.

 

When buying a SSS strat it's always important to know how your tone knobs are wired.  Does the bridge pickup go through tone 2?  This has changed back and forth over the years.  Does it have the delta tone 2 switch?  The single coil bridge is so distinctive to that sound, it's very important to know what you're getting and I've been amazed at how many players I know who don't understand it.

 

I tend towards mid gain or more psychedelic sounds with my strats and it's really nice to have a tone knob on bridge to tame that baby down if you need to when you apply some gain.

 

There's a $5-600 in the instrument new.

 

If you buy a MIM and you don't block the bridge, I would replace the string trees immediately.  It's really cheap and easy.

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