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Bought a MIJ Strat today

11/11/1999 6:08 PM
Bought a MIJ Strat today
Hey all,  
I own two US made standard strats. One is equiped with Van Zandt True Vintage p/u's and the other one with Texas Specials.  
However, I always felt there was something missing in the tone and besides that I prefer the neck to be more chunky.  
Today I played this MIJ sixties re-issue strat and I loved it so much I actually bought it. I compared it with my other strats and even with those tiny thin strings it sounded way better.  
Now I'm thinking of putting either those Van Zandt's or Texas Specials in the MIJ strat.  
I was amazed about the difference in tone, it was almost tragic howmuch better this relatively cheap strat ($500)sounded than my US Standard.  
Have a nice day,  
11/11/1999 6:36 PM

Good luck with your new guitar. I ended up buying one of these guitars for my girlfriend. It was Lake Placid Blue. I've only seen them in three other colors here on the east coast, Burgundy mist, Sunburst, and Olympic white. But, although the Daphne Blue is the only one pictured in F's catalog, it's the only color I've never actually seen. What one did you buy?  
It's interesting that you find the sound of the new mexican guitar better than Am Std. The only basic mechanical differences are the body wood (poplar vs. alder) and the tailpiece (vintage, w/ stamped steel saddles vs. two point pivot, w/ sintered stainless saddles). Well, I guess the truss rods are different also. Paint's the same material.  
If I may offer one suggestion: Unless you really need pull-up (pitch raising) capability on the whammy bar, you can set the tailpiece down tightly against the body by adjusting the spring claw. I set the springs securely, tight enough to prevent forward bridge movement while string bending, but in a fashion that will allow easy pitch drop with the bar. (You don't want it to bend or break the fragile bar.) There is a great increase in acoustic vibration and note sustain on a strat with just this easy tweek. It's a really simple thing, but those who don't know about it are amazed at the improvement when shown. Works on any tremelo strat, even helps the american standard's streamlined tone. As a bonus, the guitar stays in tune much better.  
I read somewhere that, although Leo's patent drawing shows the tailpiece set in a balanced, above the body position, early strats were shipped with five springs and the tailpiece adjusted down solidly against the body. It wasn't until late '50s (surf music craze) that they were delivered set in a balanced position.
11/12/1999 4:05 AM

I have mine set exactly that way, and I love it.  
I managed to do it using only three springs, and tightening a bit deeper the two screws inside.  
I'm sure the springs, set that way, act as a sort of reverb chamber, too. More noticeable with the guitar unplugged.  
11/11/1999 6:48 PM
John DeLuca

That's interesting. Isn't the body basswood on the MIJ? I always thought that basswood gives more high end than alder.  
Anyone know?
11/11/1999 8:15 PM
Ted Matsumura

For the regular (non Squire) line of Fender Japan strats, yes, by 1996 about half of their strats were made of Alder, other woods used were basswood of course, ash, sen and poplar.  
You'll likely get a lot of subjective replies on the effect of the type of body wood on the overall sound. I personally don't think the body wood type has much to do with the sound of an electric guitar. Again, that is my personal opinion, shared by very few.  
11/11/1999 10:23 PM
John DeLuca

I wonder about that myself. I do notice that my maple Westone has great sustain, but not good low end. My alder guitar has less bite, but more richness in the upper mids.  
Just A Thought,  
11/12/1999 9:56 PM
Glen Harras

My 1982 Squier '57 Strat "copy" plays better than any American Standard Stratocaster I have ever owned (and I've owned a few). I owe this to the choice of tone wood (alder) and electronics. I also have a 1984 or 1985 Squier '72 with a basswood body (I believe), and it does sound good, but just does not have the same "woody/sproingy" sound as my '57, unfortunately.

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