Powerhouse Strat Deluxe Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Powerhouse Strat Deluxe
Take the versatility of a classic Strat guitar, combine it with a unique 12 dB active mid-boost circuit and our "Powerhouse" pick-up system, and you'll get sweeping tones ranging from shimmering clean to scorching dirty.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 8.7 
 Votes:
 23 
reviews (3) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Powerhouse Strat Deluxe Reviewed by: koolbrew37, on november 09, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 649

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is a Mexican made Strat. The only difference between a standard and deluxe is the pickguard, tuneing heads and battery powered back up. The battery back up gives a stronger, richer sound. It supplies the middle pickup with an extra boost of power. The Deluxe Powerhouse has three pickups, a 5 place pickup selector, 21 frets, maple neck and finger board, there is a transpartent finish over the Strat style body. It has the volume control and 2 different tone control. One of the tone controls is for the power boost. This guitar came with a hard case, cords, strap, whammy bar and a bunch of picks. // 8

Sound: I play every kind of music. I use a Line 6 Spyder amp that as 4 pre-programmed sounds and the abilty to mix your own. The guitar its self is semi adjustable. The two tones can adjust to make a varity of sounds. The tuneing heads are upgrade from the standard series. These are much easier to adjust. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar is a 1997 edition and I bought it in 2004. For sitting around for 7 years it is completly unflawed. No rusting crossion loose pieces or anything. One flow though, the bridge tends to come lose alot and needs frequent tighting. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is extermly durable. It is my first electric and has with standed a few drops in and out of the case. I have played live with it and it was perfect not one flaw inplayat all. The finish is great and extermly hard to chip. The strap buttons are ok but need tihting sometimes. I wouldn't ever paly a gig without a back up but if I had to I would pick this guitar. This is the guitar the Eric Clapton is pictured with alot. // 10

Overall Impression: This is an exelent choice for any style of playing. I have been playing for about 18 months and would replace this guitar with out thinking about it if I ever needed to. I wish I would have know more about how the battery back up works more before I bought it. I love the battery back up it is the best to boost that rich sound. There is nothing I hate about this guitar beside only have 21 frets. I was looking at standards when I came acroos the deluxe and feel in love with it. I do whish it would have had double pickups, but that is all I could improve on. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Powerhouse Strat Deluxe Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 275

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: Mine's 1998, MIM, Alder body, satin finish C-shaped maple neck, skunk stripe, 21 medium jumbo frets, Vintage hardware, Powerhouse low-noise pickup system, no-load tone controls, 12dB active mid boost (now modded to +25 on mine). Came with a Fender soft gig bag. // 8

Sound: This is an active guitar, using exactly the same mid-boost electronic circuit as the "Clapton" model, which will cost you $$$$//'s more (probably double). Presumably to try to prevent unflattering comparison of the two models, Fender have limited the mid boost to +12 dB. However, you can very easily remove two resistors from the boost pot, and enjoy the full +25 dB boost of the more expensive instrument. You don't need humbuckers or twin-coils, you can make it sound like it has. The next interesting feature of the Powerhouse is that it has a fourth "dummy" pickup coil in the body cavity, which is not musically active as it has no magnets. This acts as a noise-cancelling device in much the same way as humbuckers use two coils for noise cancelling. So it's actually a very quiet guitar with no real need for body cavity shielding. The last interesting bit is the "zero load" tone pot, which switches itself out of circuit at the end of its travel. This removes all the attenuation of the high frequencies and helps the guitar to ring. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Don't be put off by the Mexican build. Mine is fine. Rumour has it that the necks were made in the USA anyway, and taken across the border for assembly. All Powerhouse strats seem to suffer from the fourth "dummy" coil coming loose as the double sided tape that holds it in place ages. It doesn't make any difference to the sound, but you can sometimes feel the rattle in the body. A dob of hot melt glue fixes this in seconds. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The hardware is Vintage hardware, the same as the American strats, so you would not expect it to behave any differently. Stays in tune nicely, but then I have blocked the tremelo off. Finish is as good as any other Strat. I'd never gig without a backup. That's not a reflection on this guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: I've been playing off and on over 34 years, and own a Vintage 70's Eko 12-string, a Takamine EG-10 electro-acoustic, a Gibson LP Custom (flame maple and gold bling - ooooh!) and an Epiphone SG. I play blues, some heavy rock and folk/rock through an Epiphone Triggerman 100H amp and 4 * 12 half-stack. If mine was stolen/broken I'd replace it straight away - trust me, the Powerhouse is a lot better instrument than the Highway One, or whatever cr@p Fender are pushing at the moment. // 9

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overall: 9
Powerhouse Strat Deluxe Reviewed by: FBXZ2, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Features: It's a used 2007 model MIM. Vintage width 9.5" radius C shape 1 piece maple 21 medium jumbo fret neck. Color 306, with Vintage ping tuners and American Vintage Tremolo with large steel block (not the cast zinc). It has a no-load tone, master volume, and active mid boost with low noise SSS alnico pickups and electronics. Requires 9v battery. When I saw this for sale I could not pass it up for the price. IMO People pay way too much for a new Classic series, Classic players, or an American standard. // 9

Sound: The pickups are set up with an active Lo-Z output 6db boost when plugged in, and 6 more db when the boost is on 10. This configuration work well with my 5e3 clone on normal channel. Other passive strats sound muddy on the normal and I use the bright channel for them. Also the pickups measure out at 14.2k ohms, and 26k ohms when the boost is up on ten. The dummy coil reduces the 60cycle hum at idle. The tone/sound is clearer and louder than other strats and more of a up front in your face sound. With other hybird amps the boost sends the amps into overdrive sooner. But with a clear Strat like sound, not humbucker overdrive. Less gritty and more bright clear depending on your amp. I use no effects when possible, just a 5e3 clone and a SF princeton reverb. With the 5e3 I can get a variety of tones, full and dynamic. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up well. The only problem I had was the action on the nut, Appears the previous owner had a fret level and crown and the action on the nut was too high. After lowering the nut action it now is easy to play, and sounds very good. The craftsmanship is as good as any USA Strat. The Vintage hardware is the same as you get on the cheaper USA strats with American Vintage hardware. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The guitar will hold up for gigs. The only piece of hardware I would not trust is the ping tuners. The finish appears to be polyU and they use relic resisive materials, so it will last a long time. The electronics is said to be the same as the Clapton boost. Mods would be: swaping the no-load for a TBX, and disconnecting the 2 limiting resistors on the boost pot to get the full 24db boost. // 9

Overall Impression: I play the blues and some old day rock, surf, jazz, funk, etc. Along with Acoustic guitar I've played for over 30 years. I have owned a lot of guitars and amps. This is the only guitar I have that is completly stock. The only change I see for this guitar is a refret. I like playing this one live at jam sessions because of the boost. I wish it had a V shape neck, TBX, and Vintage noiseless pickups, then it would be a fine clone of a Clapton strat. // 9

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