Posted on Apr 15 2018 09:43 AM
Tweaking and mixing parts is a crap shoot.
One may be overlooking the fact that the wood may be different and the issue for both body and neck on the MIJ vs an American Standard or vintage Leo made guitar.
That's not to say that there isn't a good MIJ guitar. I found a great sounding MIJ Fender P-bass. Plays/sounds better than my MIA P-bass ever did. But this was the MIJ bass made for Japan-only consumption, not the "export" model that was an agreement with Fender USA to not clobber their American market, that Japan only sells those Japan-only issues in Japan.
The MIJ bass I purchased as 3rd owner was purchased from a seller who bought it from a Japanese gentleman friend that was in essence gifted to the seller.
One can try to find parts that may enhance the sonics of the wood of the MIJ whatever that might be, rather than buying parts nilly willy because they are deemed "better parts." It's hit and miss if it will make it sound better off the bat..
It doesn't work in a linear way.
It's like trying to photograph someone's face who has moles and scars with too good of an HD camera when a lower-rez camera would be more flattering, if you can follow this analogy.
"Better" parts will tend to enhance certain undesirable overtones that may detract from the sound rather than enhance it.
It's a balancing act.
Another issue is if one is willing to spend time and money finding the magic combination, of any parts, for that matter, with so many do-overs.
Reason that when buying a guitar, some go through many guitars at the store to find the one in the bunch that has their mojo. Or go to several stores until we find something that has an inherent sound that sends us. If not, keep looking.
Not every store will allow us to do that, open boxes of new guitars, only what's hanging on the racks.
If the guitar is ordered online we're facing the luck of the draw.
And this can be said for no matter where the guitar is made.
Sometimes better suited strings is a good start.
I find D'Addario's to add life over other brands.
Replacing the neck plate screws with better grade stainless screws helps in the sustain department and is also a good start.
And then changing the jack to a Switchcraft on an MIJ guitar adds better connectivity with the better cable plugs.