From mbree–(at)– Wed Feb 16 22:53:32 CST 1994
Article: 14811 of
From: mbree–(at)– (Michael Breen)
Subject: Mexicasters: finally, “definitive” answers
Date: 15 Feb 1994 19:14:44 GMT
Organization: Univsersity of California, San Diego
Lines: 61
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <2jr6v4$40--(at)>

I’ve been talking Mexican-made Stratocasters on this and other venues
for quite a while. It all started when someone swapped out their pickups
on their USA-made Strat and offered the originals for sale. I posted the
honest question “are these pickups any better than those that came in
my Mexicaster”. Vicious lies and rumours regarding the quality of
wood, construction, and hardware have been flying ever since.

I just got off the phone with a person named Jeff at Fender Musical
Instruments (7975 N Hayden Road, Scottsdale AZ 85258 (602) 596 9690,
Product Services is extension 7378, 9AM to 4PM Mountain Time).
I asked him a lot of questions, and he is calling me back.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Wood: Mexican Strats made of Poplar, USA Strat either Poplar or Alder.
As Jeff said “50/50 chance that the woods the same as your buddy’s
USA-made Strat”.

Tuning keys: They lack the scripted “F” logo on the back. Jeff’s response:
“They are slightly inferior to those on USA-made Strats, but are Schallers
or Gotohs.” This is one of the things he will call me back on.

Pickups: “Some are made in Mexico, most are made in the US. They are
slightly less ‘beefy’ then those in USA-made. They are ‘single coil
standards’ while the USAs have ‘American standards’. They are wound

Intonation: “Every guitar leaves the factory with the same attention to
set-up. It is not true that the USA-mades are set up (intonation, quality
of strings, etc.) any better than Mexico ones.”

Why Mexico?: “It is true that we started doing them there because of
limitations imposed on us by the EPA regarding the number of paint jobs
we could do.”

Sold in Mexico?: As far as he knows.

Fretboard radius: Exactly the same as USA-mades.

A few other tidbits:
Bodies *and* necks made in USA, shipped to Mexico for painting. Exact same
dimensions, routing, etc.
New Squire line, incl. Teles Strats P & J Basses, starting this year in Mex.
Parts like tuning keys, pickups, etc. can change from year to year and
month to month, so it’s hard to give absolute definitive answer. Depends
on individual guitar model and month/year manufactured. This is also true
of USA models.

Any mistakes and typos are mine. These are *not* exact quotes, but I wanted
to make it clear what he said, and what I’m saying, thus the quote marks.
(I didn’t tape the conversation, but I took notes).

I’ll post more after he calls back. Any questions for him, please email
me and I’ll include them.

I also talked to Alesis yesterday. Good news coming for Quadraverb
owners; I’ll post soon.

Michael Breen
singing and philosophizing
(and I knew my Mexicaster was nice all along…)


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