That’s kind of the point too, considering that MIM models are Fender’s budget brand (above Squier).
However, over the last decade or so, the MIMs has gotten a considerable face lift and the overall quality is very high.
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This has nothing to do with what models you choose or how much they cost.
You could very well build the guitar yourself from scrap metal but what’s important is that you’re comfortable with holding the guitar in your hands, playing it and the sound it creates.
In the 80s and early 90s, Japanese Fenders were well known for being superior to any other models and the quality is still top notch.
Neck wood and contour plays an important role in how the guitar sounds and how it feels to play.Some basic knowledge about the different wood types, neck and body profiles, pickups etc will help you in making the best choice.There’s little doubt that US Fenders are better than Mexicans.This can easily be adjusted later on, so don’t dismiss a perfectly good guitar just because the setup isn’t how you normally prefer it.Keep in mind though that there’s a difference between a setup that you don’t like and a bad setup caused by poor assembly and parts. Over the last decade, Squire has regained much of its old reputation of producing high quality instruments for even the tightest budgets.Depending on the radius, thickness and contour of the neck, maples are generally brighter sounding with a bit more top and less mid range.