Stratocaster (Fender) is by all accounts an American icon but it‘s in fact produced in several countries and Mexico is one of them. While Mexican Strat guitars come at affordable prices and feature solid performance, American Strat guitars have tip-top tonal properties. Consequently, as guitarists strive to get their hands on a good Strat, Mexican Strat vs. American Strat is one of the topics that troubles them. Read to the end if you also have a hard time making up your mind and could use some help.
An Analysis Of The Guitars
|Mexican Strat||American Strat|
|Country of origin||Mexico||America|
|Bridge Design||Five-screw design||Two-point system|
|Fret Count||21 frets||22 Frets|
|Truss Rod||Traditional truss rod||Bi-flex truss rod|
Mexican Strat Vs. American Strat:
In terms of electronics, American Strat guitars incorporate a combination of precision and quality. Potentiometers, bows, and five-way switches come from many regions but the guitars only use American pickups. Furthermore, American Strat guitars have a two-point bridge design and a unique Bi-Flex Truss Rod which improves overall performance.
About Mexican Strat guitars, their electronics prove comparable to their American counterparts. The guitars make use of Taiwanese potentiometers and bows, Mexican five-way switches and Mexican/Korean pickups. They also sport a distinct bridge construction produced in Korea and a five-screw design. Last but not least, Mexican Strat guitars integrate a typical truss rod, which limits changes to one direction.
Wood And Tonal Properties
To put it plainly, the wood used in American Strat guitars demonstrates the company’s dedication to outstanding tone. Such guitars possess a three-piece ash body that provides a bright and prominent tone, generous treble, crisp midrange and chiming highs. Their outstanding sustain and harmonic sounds make American Strat guitars excellent choices for those looking for a classic and lively tone.
On the other hand, Mexican Strat guitars come alongside an alder body that sports unique tonal properties. While not as dense as ash, alder produces a well-balanced tone boasting resonant upper mid-range frequencies and long persistence. On average, Mexican Strat guitars excel at producing powerful and well-defined sounds that focus on the high mids. Of course, the choice between ash and alder ultimately depends on each individual so you should take your style into account.
American Stratocaster’s hardware exhibits creativity: they comprise 22 frets and a vintage-style two-screw saddle bridge for playability and smooth rocking motion. The pickup selector uses the standard 5-way layout to provide an intuitive and dependable setup in most of the cases. Meanwhile, Mexican Strat guitars feature 21 frets, one fret less than American models, and a five-screw bridge built in Korea. They differ from American Strat guitars in playability and bridge design too but they remain viable options for people who seek budget instruments.
All in all, the polyurethane coating on American Strat guitars provides nostalgia and an antique vibe. That finish gives the instrument personality and makes it feel like an old friend who has been around for years. For Mexican Strat guitars, they receive polyester coating which results in a shiny and polished appearance. While Mexican Strat guitars lack the vintage vibe, they nonetheless stay faithful to the Fender legacy of quality and craftsmanship.
Regarding the winner in Mexican Strat vs. American Strat, it all comes down to personal liking. That being, if you have the means, go for American Stratocaster. It sounds good, holds together well over time and delivers a high level of convenience. While an American Strat costs more than a Mexican Strat, the performance of the former matches its price. In the case that your shopping budget is kind of tight, feel free to pick up a Mexican Strat.
History Of Mexican And American Strats
For your information, American Strat guitars have a long history spanning more than a half-century. In 1954, Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares set out to build a guitar that would outperform their prior achievements, Telecaster and Precision Bass. American Strat embodied such ideals: they feature a comfortable contoured body, improved playability, and a center single-coil pickup for superior tonal diversity. Nowadays, the community usually thinks of American Strat as a monument in the world of electric guitars.
In the case of Mexican Strat, it was created in 1954 alongside the American version so both share some similarities in playability, comfort, and tonal diversity. Similar to American Strat guitars, Mexican Strat guitars adopted the body curves and the middle single-coil pickup. While they lack the historical significance of American Strat guitars, Mexican Strat guitars hold an edge in terms of accessibility.