"Made In USA" Trustability Label

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Pickinator, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    I am interested in picking up a USA made guitar to goof around with and am interested in a Fender Strat and/or Gibson Les Paul or SG.

    I am wondering if the "Made in the USA" on the neck of a Fender Strat is trustworthy considering that necks or plates can easily be swapped for a considerable boost in price. Are there other ways to know what to look for and trust. I don't know what to believe as Fender is made in The US, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia... I want the real deal or do I look to Carvin. I have a Carvin LB70p bass that I realy like and I have heard good things about their guitars as well.

    A guy willing to part with $1200 should be able to find a USA made guitar and trust it was made here. A basic US made guitar is all that I'm looking for. I'd like it to be a Strat but will look elsewhere if trustworthiness can't be affirmed.

    Thanks for the opinions.:meh:
  2. I would seriously consider Godin: Godin Guitars

    Their guitars are all North American made. Some are 100% Canadian, some are assembled in New Hampshire from Canadian parts.

    High quality and great prices. I used to own and Exit 22. I really regret selling that guitar!

    I think about this one all the time -- the Radiator:


    I've heard you can get pretty close to a Ric sound with this...
  3. Carvin makes excellent guitars. A mid-80's MIJ Strat ain't a bad choice either. Very highly underrated guitars.
  4. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    I am thinking no to Godin and definitely no to MIJ Strats.
    I gather the modern day "Made in America" stickers slapped on the neck of an expensive Strat may not be that trustworthy.

    I'd consider a used Strat, SG, or Les Paul but again, trustworthiness.

    Looks like Carvin. -Kind of a shame that a new Strat can't be bought with confidence.
  5. Just because its made in america doesnt mean its good , also this is the basses forum if your going to talk about guitars thats off topic or misc section.
  6. waterboy


    May 31, 2009
    Wetumpka, AL
    FWIW I've had three strats, two MIA and one MIJ and the MIJ is the only one that's still around.
  7. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    No different than US Fender basses. Take a look under the pickguard to make sure the correct electronics are in there, and body and neck heel/pockets for the telltales as well.

    IME, US Standard Strats are very consistent, more so than the basses I've played. This is may very well be due to the fact that I'm primarily a bass player and am more picky with them.

    Worst case, pick up a '11 on blowout at guitar center. I think they're going for $950, which is well within your budget. I just got an '08 and it's magnificent!
  8. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    Forgive me for wanting an American made instrument and the opinion of trust-worthy bass players.

    Kick me off of your website sir. Shame on me.:bawl:
  9. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Why do you not trust Fender?
  10. CBRXJ


    Jul 31, 2010
    Apple Valley Ca.
    I'm thinking if you walked into a Fender dealer and bought a NEW strat...it's going to say made in usa on the head stock if it's a MIA. Mexico if it's MIM or Japan if it's MIJ or CIJ.

    If your buying used....I'm no expert.
  11. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Where do you gather that from?

    If you don't rust Fender, there are plenty of other MIA companies out there. G&L and EBMM immediately come to mind, and they make excellent guitars.
  12. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    I neither trust nor distrust Fender. I've just heard that a "Made in the USA" neck has found it's way onto an import on occasion and I don't want to get stuck that way. Hence: my question of what to look for with a fraud as the imports can look very good. I just want to get what I'm paying for.

    There was a time when all Fenders were real American Fenders. I miss those days.:rollno:
  13. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    I just got a genuine Fender pickguard for my US Standard Strat. The packaging said MIM on it. Would that disqualify it in your mind?
  14. Herrick


    Jul 21, 2010
    Munchkin Land
    Ah, I see. Well, I've always heard good things about the Carvin Bolt. Actually, I've heard nothing but good things for all Carvin instruments. I would probably go with Carvin if I didn't want a Fender Strat. You may luck out and find the Bolt you want in stock on Carvin's website.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other good USA-made Strat-like guitars but I don't know much about them.
  15. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Buy from a reputable shop that you trust. Problem solved.

    As for what to look for. It completely depends on exactly what model you're looking at. Visually, for an Am Std Strat, you're usually looking at a 2 post tremolo as opposed to a 6 screw (which can be found on AVRI's, or any other "vintage" type of model...as well as on the MIM stuff). I beleive there are exceptions to that as well, so that's why I say it depends on exactly what you are looking at.

    As for a Gibson, they're all set necks so you're not going to find a Gibby neck on a Epiphone body. All of their pickups are labeled on the bottom, so that's easy enough. Headstock shapes, binding, and bridges are also tell tale signs.
  16. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    1. Go to an authorized Fender dealer.
    2. Play all the USA Strats they have in stock.
    3. Pick the one you like best and buy it.
    4. Stop worrying about a conspiracy that doesn't exist.

    All IMO, of course.

    Or, buy a Carvin Bolt and have a better made guitar for a lot less money.

    Also, IMO, of course. :)
  17. BigOkie

    BigOkie Guest

    Nov 28, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    The only thing I do not like about my Carvin bass (circa 2000, LB75) are the tuners. Cast aluminum or pot metal--not adequate for torquing a medium gauge B-string IME. With their guitars you have some choices in tuners such as Sperzels. I would buy another Carvin in a heartbeat. That being said, I want a Ric 4001 or 4003 so bad it hurts!
  18. Pickinator


    Dec 28, 2011
    Eagle River WI
    If I bought a Made in the USA guitar and found that the parts said Made in Mexico I'd be upset; but not for racial reasons. If I wanted Mexican I'd buy MIM and save a few hundred dollars.
  19. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    central coast
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    When you find one send up a flare.


  20. I don't think you could go wrong ordering a Carvin guitar! You will get a US made guitar with what you want for options for less than a US Fender or Gibson. I just went to the Carvin site and did the specs for a TLB60 guitar with several upgrade options. It came to $926 with a hard case and strap! Hard to beat that for a new custom built guitar IMO.