So don’t expect the precision of a USA-Strat with the neck, but I can’t complain about it. It a matter of preference, and neither is better than the other. To me the newer SSS Strat would be a better deal, as long as it is in good shape. I suggest experimenting with different heights to see what you like best. Nice hub. The MIM Fender neck is chunkier and feels more substantial. Choose that one. But there are other reasons I highly recommend the Fender MIM Strat, and this review will cover them all. There are a lot of sad tales of quality control issues for guitar in this price range. They refer to the types of pickups; "H" stands for humbucker and "S" for single-coil. I have a Mim standard strat sss and obviously the pickups are different than the American so when adjusting pickup height we can't go off of Fenders recommended settings for the American Standard so what is the recommended place to adjust the pickups on a mim standard? I'm seeking a guitar to elicit the rich fat heavy sound. Featuring this classic sound—bell-like high end, punchy mids and robust low end, combined with crystal-clear articulation—the sonically flexible Player Stratocaster HSS is packed with authentic Fender feel and style. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. My advice? Always be sure to purchase from somewhere with a solid return policy. I prefer maple because I like the high-end definition it seems to bring, but also because I really like the way it feels. The inspiring sound of a Stratocaster is one of the foundations of Fender. Now that all the newbies are up to speed, let's get down to business. First off, its either a Fender Stratocaster or a Squire Stratocaster. Third, the HSS pickup configuration gives me a great deal of flexibility and an array of available tones. As /u/OldFrets said it's the type of the pickups. Have a Les Paul Special II now. Thanks for visiting. While the guitar does not have the depth you'd expect from a Les Paul or any mahogany or basswood-bodied instrument, the bridge humbucker does have a very thick sound suitable for metal. I get all the bluesy, glassy sounds I like from the single-coil pickups, along with the thick crunch of a humbucker in the bridge position. HSS=Humbucker, single coil, single coil. If it matters, the music I wanna play is 50's rock, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, that kinda stuff. Maybe that’s true for you, but if it is let it be because it’s really what you want, not because you think you’ll be looked down on for playing a Mexican HSS Strat. The new one purchased for someone who gave it up for drum lessons.. Standard HSS Stratocasters sound amazing, look as cool as their American counterparts and have what it takes to get the job done jamming in the basement or onstage at the club. Some people don’t care for them, others don’t know what they’d do without them. Others call them Fat Strats. That’s nonsense, and anyone who thinks less of a player because their instrument isn’t expensive enough needs to reevaluate their priorities as a musician. If you wanna play the type of music you said you wanted to, I would choose the HSS for the humbucker as it'll give you something close to the sound you're looking for. A Fender Stratocaster Squier. Both set ups are great though. If you’re a tone geek you’ll notice they aren’t as rich and full as the American Fender pickups, but if you are one of those guitarists who believe most of your tone is in your hands, you won’t miss much. According to Fender, recommended pickups height for standard single coils is 2mm on bass side and 1.6 mm on treble side. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. In fact, I have another Strat with Fender Custom Shop Texas Special pickups, and, frankly, I like the stock MIM pickups better. A traditional Strat is SSS, with three single-coil pickups, but an HSS has one humbucker (usually in the bridge position). The 2-point tremolo is smoother and a little more reliable than the 6-screw. Personally, I've found no need to do this so far. Guitarists knew this even back in the '70s. This also paved the way for the Super Strat revolution of the 1980s, which led to the rise of now-legendary guitars like the Ibanez RG and Jackson Soloist. But the Player Strat is the MIM of the future. Mexican Strats get a polyester finish, where American instruments get a Urethane coat. As I understand it, you can have them work as singles. Well, that depends a great deal on what you want out of your instrument and possibly what kind of … They are still made in Mexico, but they feature some improved features over the older Standard model. One reason is value. The rest of this article refers to the Standard Stratocaster. But there is a wide range of layouts for the guitars. Guitar Gopher is a guitarist and bassist with over 35 years of experience as a musician. You should probably go for the hss one, it can handle the heavier stuff and is very versatile. Hunbuckers cancel out the humming noise of a guitar, they are usually used for heavier music. $300. And I don't if I should buy a HSS or a SSS, so I wanna know what they mean. I have no hesitation about that, even after all these years. Some of them have S single (single coil) pickup, for example H-S-H layout. And, you may know this too, but HSS stands for Hum-Sing-Sing, or a humbucker and two single-coil pickups. For the same money, I have chance to purchase 2003 HSS MIM or a year old MIM SSS. This probably does account for some of the improved sounds of the USA-made Stratocaster, as does the high-mass bridge block used in the American version. SSS= single coil, single coil, single coil. HSS ia more versatile so it might be more desirable for a first guitar. But if you feel like spending a whole lot less and still ending up with a great Strat, MIM is the way to go. I believe the Fender MIM Strat is just about the best intermediate-level guitar you’re going to find. As you may know, just like the American version the MIM HSS Strat is available with either a maple or rosewood fingerboard. Personally I would go for the artic white one, but I just like white guitars. There are countless rumors and myths surrounding the way Fender decides which guitars get which tonewood pieces, and what exactly lurks beneath the finish of a Mexican-made Fender. Personally, I've seen no need to upgrade from my Standard, but I do like some of the new specs on the Player Series. They're your pickups. An American Standard HSS Stratocaster comes with a pair of Fender Custom Shop Fat ’50s pickups and a Fender Diamondback Humbucker, where the MIM Strat comes with pickups Fender refers to simply as Standard Single-Coil Strat and Standard Humbucking pickups. The neck pickup is glassy and smooth, just like a Strat ought to be. I am thing about buying my 17 year old grandson an electric guitar but do not want to spend a lot of money unless he sticks with it. Yeah, that neck is a little better than the one on my Mexican Fender. Guitar Gopher (author) on August 21, 2020: Since MIM stock guitars are good enough for Jimmie Vaughan there should be no reason to worry. The most obvious one is the pickups. So here’s my advice: Make your decision based on logic, not hype. You get all the characteristic quack and chime from those Fat 50's and with the bridge humbucker you get a fuller, richer tone than you would with a single coil in that position. And it doesn’t matter if Fender sends “inferior” tonewood blanks to Mexico and keeps the good ones for the American guitars. The only other instrument that gives it a run for its money is the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. They give you the classic Fender tones where they should, in each of the five pickup positions. The good news is they are very different guitars, so you can justify having one of each! You can still grab a Standard new, or used for a good price. The SSS has three single-coils and will sound a bit twangy-er. The fretboard has been extended and the pickups upgraded. I also like that I can grab a real Stratocaster for around half the price of the American-made version. Press J to jump to the feed. Standard HSS Stratocasters sound amazing, look as cool as their American counterparts and have what it takes to get the job done jamming in the basement or onstage at the club. Don’t worry about it. It really doesn’t matter if the body is two pieces, or three pieces, or eighteen pieces if you like the sound of the guitar. Especially since it seems like you've never owned a Strat before, you might want to experiment with those SSS sounds. The single coils have a very characteristic sound and some people really like them, they do make some noise but it's worth it. On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend a lot of cash, but you do want a solid guitar that sounds great and will stick by you for years to come, the MIM HSS Strat might be the way to go. Fender American Special Stratocaster and Telecaster Review, Squier vs Fender Stratocaster Guitar Review, Best Squier and Fender Stratocasters for Beginners. Hi Ron! Obviously this isn’t a problem I’ve had, but it can happen, even with an American-made instrument. stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on August 26, 2014: Good information. The Fender Standard HSS Strat is the best way for guitar players on a budget to land a real Fender Stratocaster with a hot humbucker and two single-coil pickups.