Made in Mexico Fender Stratocaster – The New and Improved Standard

Although I have probably bought and sold more Fender Stratocasters than any other type of guitar, for some reason I keep coming back to them. I just love them for their warm woody tones, iconic design, versatility and they just feel so damn good to play.

Recently I was lucky enough to purchase a newer model Mexican Strat, and was suitably impressed with it I must say. This particular Made in Mexico Fender Stratocaster that we are looking at today is the 2008 model in an Olympic White finish.

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster – Made in Mexico

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster – Made in Mexico



The Standard Mexican made Fender Stratocaster of course looks like a typical Stratocaster and it’s pretty much what you would expect from a modern Strat. It has a small 50s/60s size headstock, a Maple neck and Fretboard and they now come with medium jumbo fret wire (that a lot of guitarists, including myself prefer over the older, thinner vintage sized fretwire).

The neck profile is a smooth, modern ‘C‘ shape that is finished off in a thin coat of satin varnish, which your hand slides easily over, unlike a lot of the glossy finishes that your hand seems to stick too.

The Fender Website describes the C shape neck profile as…

C-shaped neck profile. The most common modern neck profile. C-shaped necks have a comfortable oval profile that works well for most playing styles. Usually not as deep as most U- and V-shaped neck profiles. Many Fender guitars, especially Stratocasters, now have a “modern C shape” (or “flat oval”) neck profile, a flattened variation of the traditional C shape.

I like to describe it as…

A neck profile that has some meat to grab onto, like an overweight Aunty when you give her a hug or something!

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Neck – Made in Mexico

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Neck – Made in Mexico


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Now there’s one particular upgrade on these newer Standard Stratocasters, which I am really happy about. Fender have upgraded the bridge block to a larger, higher mass zinc block, which I believe helps to aid the sustain and resonance of the instrument, as well as beef up the vintage-style synchronized vibrato.

A definite thumbs up to Fender, and a big improvement there from some of those thin bridge blocks you see on the lower end Squiers and the older Mexican made Fenders.

I thought that the tone and resonance seemed very good, and the instrument sounded musical and had good sustain even when it was being played unplugged. I think a guitar should sound good without amplification because I understand that pedals and amps can definitely help compensate for a poorly made guitar that sounds dead and lifeless when played unplugged.

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Pick Guard – Made in Mexico

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Pick Guard – Made in Mexico



As for the Electronics, it’s pretty much standard Strat fare with the expected three single coil pick-up configuration, a five-way selector switch, a master volume control knob and individual tone knobs for the neck and middle pick-ups.

All of the plastic hardware is parchment, and the three ply pick guard looks very nice against the Olympic white poly finish.

I usually love changing PUPs (another symptom of GAS) but the sound from the pick-ups were warm and sweet and exactly how I thought a Stratocaster should sound, so I left them as is. I really think we guitarists need to spend more time playing instead of reading gear reviews and swapping out gear all the time! Well, I do, as I…umm suck!!

I was very happy to note that the bridge pickup was not too thin or icepicky, but aggressive and full in a good way. The neck pickup, my favorite for cleans was thankfully pure Strat, woody, warm, bell like and so cool for those Hendrix lead/rhythm fills such as ‘Little Wing’ or ‘Castles made of Sand’, I could easily noodle for hours on this pup! It was Lovely…

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Headstock – Made in Mexico

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Headstock – Made in Mexico



As I touched on earlier, the headstock is the smaller 50/60s size, which I think most players prefer. It also has the truss rod adjustment screw in the headstock, as opposed to the heel of the neck which is found on all of the pre 70s vintage Fenders. It only has the one string tree for the top E and B strings.

The Fender logo is written in a black text that has a faint golden outline, which looks kinda cool in it’s simplistic way. The Tuners are the newer sealed cast style with the hole for the string going through the peg rather than the older vintage style tuners where the string is inserted down into the center of the tuning peg.

I found the Tuners were pretty good and the guitar stayed in tune for lengthy periods of playing.

On the back of the Headstock you will find the serial number, the Made in Mexico and the Fender branding stamped on the tuners.

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Tuners – Made in Mexico

2008 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster Tuners – Made in Mexico


Fender Stratocaster Strat DELUXE LOGO GUITAR STRAP Telecaster Tele
US $4.25 (5 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-20-2014 17:39:01 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

So, there you have it, straight from a diehard Strat lover! I reckon this is a great Strat that has everything you need to go from the bedroom stadiums where we pretend to rock, right onto the Live Stage!

From my personal experience, I really think that the ‘hit and miss‘ experiences that MIM Strat’s had a reputation for (you never know if you will get a lemon or a nice axe) is slowly coming to an end, as Fender try to maintain their customer base with good quality, lower priced guitars and improved quality control.

And lastly, try to buy one of these second hand if you can, you will get a much better deal, and with the savings you can upgrade the pups if you really feel the need.

I have found that they don’t really hold their value like a U.S or a Japanese made Strat, so they do come up occasionally as cheap as $300. So if your patient, you can get one for a good price second hand, but really, anything under $500 or so is good if it’s in new condition, and then you have a classic, versatile and fun instrument to enjoy music on!! Rock on!!

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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

One thought on “Made in Mexico Fender Stratocaster – The New and Improved Standard

  1. J’AI LA MEME MAIS ANNEE 2012. SUPERBE FINITION, AUSSI BIEN QUE MON U.S STANDARD. Translated… BUT I HAVE THE SAME YEAR 2012. SUPERB FINISH AS WELL AS MY STANDARD U.S..

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