Fender Statocaster, USA -vs- Mex. "Remember the Alamo&q

Fender Statocaster, American -vs- Mexican

Does anyone have any comments or desire to compare? I have been modifying Mexico models to use American parts (tremolo, PUs, pots etc) and have found that there are many US made strats that came from factory with shim pads under the neck. "What a stupid thing to do for resonance." One would think that for the add'l cost of a US made strat that the neck-to-body fit would be tighter than OJs glove. On the other hand I have been finding Mexican strat neck-to-body fits to be in many cases, shim-free and have measured resonance in both neck and body on both sides of the border and guess what? Alder for Alder (US for Mex) there are an equal number of long sustainers on each team providing the tremolos are identical (these tests are w/o amping). I have to say that the Ash bodies have different resonant frequencies and in many cases (not all) produce longer sustains where the mass of the body on an Ash body averages 10-18 ounces more mass weight.

One little bit of discovery, by bedding the neck-to-body using aluminum dust in an epoxe resin (of course all parts are filmed with release agent prior) the OJ Glove thing is obtainable with any guitar and this process produces more uniform resonant frequency between body/neck and therefore the sustain in some cases (where shims were found) has doubled again w/o amplification. This is a technique used in high powered bench rest rifle competition to achieve uniform barrel vibrations i.e uniform point of aim/impact.

A final note for Mexican army soldiers; a nice improvement for not a lot of dough to pickups is the GFS Alnico single coils vailable in various windings that really "Heat-Up" the signal to the amp over stock Mexican muskets.

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The difference between the American Standard Series Strats that currently go for around $950 through the discount distributors and the Mexican Standards, which are currently selling for around $400 are related more to cost of labor than actual construction issues. Both are made from CNC cut parts, both are assembled pretty much on the line.

If you're looking for the perfectly fit neck, your looking for a Fender model that was assembled by a luthier in the custom shop. That's where the difference actually exists, and you will pay for the luthier's time to the tune of $2000+ for the hand fit neck joint. That's the economics of guitar building.


Good points, here, particularly once the CNC routers are brought in. With CNC, it doesn't matter whether the button-presser is in Baja, Fullerton or Asia. It then comes down to QC, components and the bean-counters.

I've seen some US 70s Fenders with silly-money prices and neck-body joins that are a mile out. HST, you have to watch out for "swimming pool" pup routs, rubbish poplar bodies and cheap electrics on later models. Still, a decent "foreign" Foreign Fender takes a soldering iron and a few $ of CTS and Switchcraft to be brought up to spec. Even with a pupgrade, it still makes sense.

Personally, I think the Japanese-made Fenders are the steals. In the US, there are bargains to be had. A 90s Jap Squier Precision didn't even make $150, and that has to be worth having.

I too think that Jap squier and reissues are the steal of the century, the early 80's JV strats were in a league of their own, attention to detail is astonishing, i know so many Strat players that play nothing else.

You made some very interesting points though. Are shims very common in US made strats?

Another fan of Japanese Fenders here! I've had three over the years.

This post had been a reply to someone named Rob, regarding his worry about a Fender Stratocaster Phoney?, but the forum had reconstructed, so will post this here, with the remember the Alamo stuff, US vs Mexican Fenders, as this pertains to that, my reply, and my recent purchase of a used Mexi Fender Strat, as follows, for Rob, but for whoever else here, too, Fender Statocaster, American -vs- MexicanRegarding this Re: Mexican Stratocaster Phoney? issue... I recently picked up one of these babies that have the big Fender Logo, made in Mexico, and smaller Squire Series Logo on the rounded part of the headstock. It has a nice rosewood fretboard, does have those cheap looking tuners compared to the other Mexi Strats I'm seeing, but didn't Strat-Man say that those are maybe vintage tuners? I hope so. I got mine used, and one of the tuning posts is lacking a ferrul or washer so it rubs against the post's hole, that one. There aren't nuts on the top of the tuner to tighten it up to the peghead, so maybe they're cheapo, maybe they're cool vintage tuners? Mine is red, has a great rosewood neck, staggered pickup pole pieces on all 3, nice whammy bar, works nice. Tone is good, but still experimenting. I think I could get to really liking this guitar once I adjust the pickups, intonation, springs, etc., a bit better, and the volume pot definitely needs replacing, but might try some TV cleaner spray, but think it needs a new vol pot, and possibly tone pots too. Otherwise a sweet axe it could become I think. Neck feels great! Rosewood board on it, and it has a stripe down the back. I was going to try to 'upgrade' the tuning pegs, but if Strat-man is right about them maybe being vintage Klusons(?), I'll maybe just try to track down a ferrul for the one tuner that's missing that, as heavier tuners can 'darken' the tone, and I like the sound this one's making. It just needs a little work. I pretty much got this axe for a song, a package out the door deal for it and a nice newer Crate amp with chorus and reverb, from a pawn shop, and with a gig bag and the whammy bar too. Just needs the pots and the ferrul and some new strings and I hope to be whaling. I hope the tuners are vintage, not some cheap garbage. I haven't played it enough to know if they will stay in tune or not. Maybe they're a little worn too, though. Hope this is of some help, at least letting someone else know that I have a recent purchase that fits into what was considered by someone else as being possibly a Mexican Stratocaster Phoney. Would like to play this through a better amp though, once I get it tinkered with. I think it's probably many times better than the Chinese Strats though. I can feel that fact, just by holding it, how the neck feels. It's got some character. I've owned other guitars, and still do have others, so I've had quality guitars in comparing this one, a USA Strat HM, a Fender Solid Ash Tele Plus w/lace sensors, a SRV strat, a Fender Santa Rosa, Gretch Atkins Axe '78, Gibson ES-135 w/P100's, a Les Paul copy (great copy, possibly Cort), Hohner Steinberger copy, Arbor headless Stilleto, and a few more, so you know I've had some nice tuners, pickups, necks, sounds, etc., but even with that, this Mexi Strat with the Cheap looking tuners seems like it might be a decent guitar, and not just because I got it cheap either. Mainly hoping the tuners aren't garbage, but are maybe vintage, and I can get the pots replaced. Otherwise, I like the feel of this axe, and think I'll actually like it better than my SRV that I sold, and maybe my USA HM strat I sold (though it was a great neck, but I like the chimeyness of this Mexi model, compared to the darker HM sound, though I'd love another HM any day. Hope this is helpful to other Fender Mexican Stratocaster owners out there that have a Large Fender Logo, along with Made in Mexico, but also the smaller logo on the rounded part that says Squire Series, as mine says. Any more ideas on these cheap looking tuners, are they junky or are they vintage, before I replace something I'll regret later, if they're actually vintage and just need a ferrul and perhaps some cleaning to stay in tune, etc.? Any input for us with these Fender Stratocasters from Mexico that say Squire Series on a smaller logo on the rounded area, would appreciate any experience or knowledge, just as I'm trying to do for the person who wondered if there's was a Phoney or what. I kind of like mine, but have some work to do on it, so any wording regarding such a model would be helpful, as I have hope that this can be a decent axe I got recently. Thanks. GitBoxKurt


Can we have some paragraph breaks please? A great big block of text like that is virtually unreadable.

In looking at US and Mexican strats recently, one difference I saw was the finish on the ends of the frets. The Mexican models were much rougher.

well they have to justify the $800 difference between the US and the Mex, so there it is... rough fret ends.
BTW you dont get rough fret ends on a Jap model, all you get is pure perfection.

To answer your Q, Kurt, there is no danger of your tuners being vintage. You can either look for a ferrule (without it, tuning on that string will be murder) or replace the set. From a sound point of view, the pups and jack/pots could be replaced but, from a feel/reliability POV, the tuners are often the biggest stinkers in a cut-price guitar.

I once took a French Composition class, and the professor complained all the time about a student who never put in paragraph breaks. He finally took to calling him Monsieur Pavee...Mr. Paving Stone! One big block of print.

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