Check: Mim strat real?


Senior Stratmaster
Oct 14, 2010
So wait. Someone out there might find it worthwhile to fake a common-as-nails circa 2002 MIM Strat? To what end? I mean if you can pull that off, presumably you could easily double your money by faking the real thing, right?
While the OP guitar looks legit I'll answer your question.
To what end?
IMHO, a MIM strat and the "real thing" would attract buyers with different levels of strat knowledge. Someone in the market for a MIM might be less likely to notice a fake. So a fake MIM would bring less profit but be easier to sell. That said, I agree, faking a MIM would be silly, but there are those instances where a MIM neck ends up on some other body. Never hurts to check.


Strat-Talk Member
May 25, 2022
RABIT wanted to know what those holes were for on the body of the strat...

Those holes are used to hold the body in place so the CNC router machine can make percise cavites on a strat.
The CNC router if you don’t know what it is. It stands for 'Computer Numerical Control' and it’s a machine that can precisely cut a hunk of wood into the shape of a guitar body or neck. It can follow a ‘plan’ and rout body outlines, round-overs, recesses, control and pickup cavities, bridge post holes, neck pockets, tuner holes, fret slots, and on, and on. At a very simplistic level, you load up a wood blank, set the machine and it does the rest.
Finally....doubt cleared up...thanks
I mean almico’s

I mean almico’s
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Sep 5, 2020
Detroit, MI
Looks good!
Thank for al your help en support !!
I did my research and did a check the serial nummer on support.fender, all seems ok and gave a match with the strat and color.
What I did not know if serial numbers also get ’stolen’ from internet to use on fake ones??
Hi glad everything worked out. It should be good to go. As to your other question, yes, there is a situation where some guitar manufacturers in China will take a real serial number from a Fender, Gibson, Ibanez or other high end manufacturer, build a copy cat guitar, but put on the head stock Gibson Les Paul, Ibanez JEM, Fender Stratocaster, etc. Then say "Made in the U.S.A.", then use the stolen serial number to make it seem real. These guitars are often referred to as Chibsons i.e. Chinese made Gibson, to reflect this fraud. I have also seen the term Chickenbacker, for a forged fake Rickenbacker. Have not seen the term Chender used, although there are some copy cat Strats. Basically though this is done to forge or copycat very high end guitars e.g. a Gibson Les Paul custom shop guitar, for example. If they were to do it with a Strat, it would be a Made in America Stratocaster, not an MIM Strat. I think you are good to go!


No GAS shortage here
Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
Finally....doubt cleared up...thanks
Haha... actually not.
This has been discussed for years.
Fender Ensenada and Corona use the same CNC machinery, yet the US models do not have the "crop circles"... not all of the Ensenada bodies have them, and there are differences in the layout and position of the smaller circles.
The only consistency seems to be the large one in the neck pocket and the large one under the pickguard.
Fender employees have said that the holes have nothing to do with the CNC process. They aren't hold-downs (they are on a vacuum table), and there is no need for them as references... otherwise they would be present on the US models.

Some have speculated that they are actually to identify the bodies as having been produced in Mexico. Stamps and serial numbers can easily be filled and concealed, but these holes, including the one in the bare wood in the neck pocket, would be impossible to fill and conceal in an attempt to pass the body off as being a US body.

Honestly, Fender employees have shared what they are not, but have not confirmed their actual purpose.
Anything more is speculation.


Senior Stratmaster
Oct 23, 2011
I agree with the others...

It is a solid, 100% legit MIM Strat from 2003. Made in Ensenada, Mexico with either a Poplar body or an Alder body, and basic alnico pickups.

Good guitar, but with an upgrade or two, it could be a serious kick a$$ guitar! Enjoy! :cool:

IIRC all MIM Standard Strats had ceramic pickups. From the picture shown in the original post those do appear to be MIM ceramic pickups, machined pole pieces with chamfers.


Senior Stratmaster
Oct 23, 2011
What upgrades do you recommend?
The early MIM Standards had a thin zinc trem block, in 2006 they changed to a full size zinc trem block.
As a first upgrade I would get a Callaham steel block. If you are on a really tight budget replace the early light block with a later, heavier zinc block.