Standard Stratocaster HSS Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Standard Stratocaster HSS
The Standard Strat HSS guitar features special switching for its humbucking bridge pickup and two single-coil pickups in the neck and middle positions.
 Sound: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.4
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 8.6 
 Votes:
 300 
reviews (14) pictures (1) 73 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: FoolOnThePlanet, on november 09, 2012
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Mines a Mexican made HSS Strat. 21 frets, Fenders signature neck, rosewood... I got a sunburst Strat. It's got the stock bridge, I took out the trem bar because I never use it. It has 1 Volume, 2 Tone, and a 5 way Pup Switch. It's an HSS config of course, with stock pups. I've never felt the need to change them, they're very nice. The guitar as a whole is very solid, I've never felt the need to exchange any hardware yet. It still holds great tune and everything so no new tuners needed. I kept the stock strings for a while Fender Super Bullets. They were very nice until the high E broke. Instead of replacing them with Super Bullets I put in D'addrio .10s which are my original strings of choice on all guitars until I got this one with SB. I'm trying to think of at least one downside, but I literally can't. I don't know if I got lucky or theyr'e all like this, but this is a great guitar. I got a Roadrunner hardshell case and strap bargained in with it along with the 30 doller price cut thanks to my sales guy at GC. // 10

Sound: I play everything. I play blues, the full spectrum of rock from surf to hard, and dabble in jazz, funk, and classical. It's an extremely versatile guitar, I can get great tones from the HB, then neck pick up is awesome. I never really use the mid, but it sounds nice as well. I can get a surprisingly nice acoustic-like tone in the mid/bridge position. My rig is pretty complicated. Not techniqully, but I have a lot of effects. I run it through a Twin Reverb (Fender+Fender is orgasmic), with a Chorus Ensamble, Phase 100, Screamin Blues, Super OD, Blues Driver, Distortion, Mega Distortion, Dynamic Wah, OCD Octave, and Big Muff. The pedals color my tone slightly, but not much. It's a great sounding guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I kept this guitar stock everything. It really wasn't as bad as I thought. I was planning on exchanging pups and tuners, but this is an extremely solid guitar. Everything was set up coreectly, action perfect to my liking. The guy at GC made sure everything was great with it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It is my top guitar. It definately withstands Live playing. It seems like a solid guitar. The strap buttons are great. I've jumped around with it and nothings wrong. I've yet to get straplocks, but I don't know if I'll need them. I could deffinately play this without a backup, but I won't simply becuase I need other guitars for specific songs. It could deffinately be my all around guitar though. // 10

Overall Impression: As said before, I am a very varried musician Who needed a very versatile guitar. I got what I asked for. I've been playing for about 2 and a half years now and own 7 or 8 guitars. In my house between my dad, brother, and I, there are about 15-20 guitars/basses. So I've been brought up on a lot of different instruments. This is deffinately my favorite. I deliberated long and hard before getting this between about 15 guitars. I narrowed it down to an Epi LP, this, a SSS Strat, or a Mustang. When I went to GC, they didn't have the Mustang anymore, and I liked this more than the SSS, so I was stuck between the Epi LP and the HSS for about a half hour. I finally decided on this. I'm glad I did. Not only is this a great guitar, but now I know about Agiles and am getting an Agile LP instead soon. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: NoFX_Fan182, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 383.15

Purchased from: Guitar Works

Features: This guitar is a 2006 model made in Mexico. The neck has 21 medium-jumbo frets, and is a one-piece maple neck with walnut skunk stripe down the back. The body is alder, and is finished in Arctic white. Very cool looking. There is a Vintage syncronized tremolo with stamped saddles. I might upgrade the saddles to something heavier for better sustain. The electronics are passive, so they don't need batteries. Like most Strats, you get the Standard Volume/Tone/Tone controls, as well as a 5-way selector Switch. None of the controls are noisy, and they feel solid. Because this is an HSS Strat, the bridge pickup is a humbucker. The pickups are machine-wound by Fender in Mexico I believe. The tuners are Fender/Ping Standard tuners, and stay in tune very well, even when dive-bombing. The guitar came with a durable Fender Standard gig-bag, tremolo arm, manual, Fender bumper sticker, warranty card, registration card, and two hex wrenches for adjusting the truss rod and saddle height. The only reason this didn't get a 10 is because of the cheap saddles, however that doesn't mean the sustain is bad. It just could be better. // 9

Sound: I play mainly punk and pop-punk music and the humbucker pickup really gets the job done for that. The single coils also work well for classic rock and blues. I think the pickups sound just as good as the ones on the American HSS, although a bit hotter. I use a little 15 watt practice amp, and this guitar still sounds awesome! As I said before, the controls don't make any noise at all. The neck pickup has a very warm sound (for a single coil). The middle pickup is bright, but not too bright. The humbucker doesn't sound too bad clean, but it really sings distorted. Over all, a wide variety of sounds can be made. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Honestly, the factory setup was pretty bad, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed with a few tools. The truss rod needed to be adjusted to get rid of fret buzz, and the saddles needed to be raised a bit. Luckily the guitar came with the tools to make these adjustments. The pickups needed to be raised slightly, but they still sounded ok at the factory height. The neck itself has no flaws whatsoever, but the frets sticked out and made it hard to play. The guitar store offered to file them down though, and it plays great now. Intonation was setup fine except for the high E string, which needed just a small turn to get perfect. The body also has no obvious flaws, but the tremolo routing is slightly too big at one corner where the hole for the tremolo arm is. Not too noticable unless you look carefully. The screws for the pickup selector Switch were loose and needed to be tightened, and one of the screws for the tremolo cavity cover was half-way out! Not too big of a deal to tighten, it was just kind of annoying. None of the hardware is rusted or anything, and the tuners were tightly secured to the headstock. The neck wood has a straight grain, so it leads me to believe that it is high quality wood. The nut was cut perfectly. There were no flaws in the finish on the neck or body. Nothing here that couldn't be fixed (except for the tremolo route, but it doesn't bother me), but I expect better from a company like Fender. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is solid as a rock. The hardware definately looks like it will last (although I don't think using stainless steel strings on the Vintage saddles are a good idea). The strap buttons looked solid, but I imediately replaced them with Schaller strap locks so I don't know for sure. By the way, for anyone Who plans on putting Schaller strap locks on this guitar, the screws that came on the guitar will work with the strap locks, so you won't need to drill or plug the strap button holes. I would totally use this guitar for a gig without a backup, it's that strong. The finish looks thick enough that it won't wear off, but it's not so thick that it prevents the wood from creating nice tone. Over all, the durability is awesome. The only bad thing are the strings. They're pretty wimpy, like 9's or something. That's ok, I plan on changing them with a heavier gauge soon. These ones look like they'll break soon with some hard playing. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is awesome for punk music and pop-punk music. It's also great for modern rock, classic rock, and electric blues. I've been playing for about 4 years, and despite the fact that my previous guitar is a Squier Bullet, I know how a good guitar plays and feels. I think this one feels and sounds better then my Dad's '77 Stratocaster. My favorite feature is the humbucker. It really sounds great with distortion; it makes a thick, heavy sound. Despite the poor factory setup, the only thing I don't like about it is that tremolo cover is solid (1 ply) white, but the pickguard is 3 ply (W/B/W). Not that it makes too much of a difference anyways, Who really looks at the tremolo cover? If this guitar was stolen or lost, I would definately buy it again if I had the money. It's not like I have a ton of cash though, I'm only 14 years old and don't have a job. I would totally do everything I could to get it back though. This guitar deserves a 9/10. If it wasn't for the poor setup, it would get a 10. This is a great guitar for the money. You may have better luck with the setup. And even if you don't remember that it's all fixable with the tools that come with the guitar and a phillips screwdriver. Buy it! // 9

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overall: 9.4
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Features: This 2006 Fender guitar was made in Mexico I think, it is a Standard. It was a Factory Special Run, so it has so special features. Has a 21 jumbo-medium fret 9.5" radius C-shaped maple (satin finish) neck & fretboard w/black dot inlays and a black painted headstock w/silver Fender and Stratocaster logos. Solid alder body w/black satin finish and a machined metal pickguard sets this Strat apart from most. Fender Vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and Fender/Ping sealed tuners. S/S/H pickup configuration w/Tex-Mex single coils in neck/middle and a humbucker w/coil tapping in the bridge. Passive electronics, 2 tone knobs & 1 volume, 5-way switching. 2 allen wrenches included for truss rod & saddles. // 10

Sound: I play mostly rock, classic rock, blues, and this guitar sounds great for that style. The single coils growl out power chords and barre chords Shine on clean. For leads, the humbucker gives this axe some added power and less noise on overdrive. I use it through a 10-watt practice amp and it sounds pretty good on the clean channel and the overdrive gives it a blues sound through the single coils and a classic rock sound on the humbucker. I also sometimes use a Electro-Harmonix Doctor Q envelope follower on the clean channel for funky or melodic playing and it sounds great. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was great when I got it. The strings they put on it are kinda rusting, so I'm gonna put some elixirs on it soon. The pickups were situated at good heights, they don't really get feedback unless I get really close to the amp on overdrive. The bridge seems fine, and it doesn't seem to go out of tune when I use the tremolo. There were no flaws with this guitar yet, but I have only had it for a month or so. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I don't really play gigs, but I would totally use this guitar for a show. It looks great and the metal pickguard would look awesome under lights. The tuners seems to work pretty well and the tremolo doesn't seem to cause to many problems as long as you don't abuse it. I wouldn't use it without a backup b/c that's not really a good idea. The finish seems pretty solid, I've hit it a few times and it doesn't scratch. // 9

Overall Impression: I think I fell in love with this guitar. It sounds good, but I might switch out the humbucker for something with more power. I've been playing for 2 years, and I have a bass and an acoustic. If this were stolen I would kill the person who stole it and take it back. I would also take his wallet. I love the pickup configuration, b/c it gives me a good variety of sounds to choose from. The neck is good and it looks awesome. The knobs, tips and pickups are black giving it a different look from most strats. My favorite feature has to be the pickguard, though. It is the most interesting flashy feature and it never ceases to catch my eye. // 10

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overall: 9.4
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: B_Man4949, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: My second guitar, a Mexican made Fender Stratocaster HSS. I don't know the exact year but I got it Brand New in 2005, so it could be either an 04 or an 05 (it was the store's demo model, so they knocked $150.00 of the price). The body is solid alder painted in wine red. It has a polyester finish. The 25.5" scale length neck is maple with a walnut skunk stripe, I believe the neck is also finished with polyester, nonetheless it feels great and plays fast. The fretboard is unfinished rosewood with 21 medium jumbo frets. The bridge is a genuine licensed Floyd Rose II. The Strat's humbucker and two single coils are made by Fender. I found this guitar's bridge humbucker sounds great for blues and heavier, dark metal styles, but lacks, in my opinion, a little output, and a tad bit of sustain, nonetheless it still has enough output and sustain for lead legato lines. The two single coils in the neck and middle are great for playing blues rythmn in both clean and dirty tones, but lack a ton of output and sustain for legato playing. As on most Strats, there is a single five-way selector Switch. There is one master volume control, a tone control for the neck pickup, and a tone control for the middle pickup. The tuners are none-locking, Fender tuners. This guitar comes out of the box with a set of 9-42 Fender nickleplated steel strings. // 9

Sound: This guitar somewhat fills the requirements of my music style. I play mainly 80's style shred (Vai, Van Halen etc.)as well as rock (AC/DC, Kiss, Led Zeppelin etc.)and just a touch of Clapton style Blues. This Strat fills my requirements for the blues and rock, but lacks a touch of sustain and bite when it comes to the shred style (a Duncan Custom would probably fix that). I play this Strat through a Fender G-DEC 15 watt amp and use various effects including Flange, Phaser, Wah, and stereo/tape delay, I can almost get the VH signature sound out of this Strat. There is not much variety of sounds from this guitar because the two single coil pickups are the same, so it is very hard to tell the difference in sound between the two. This guitar, as far as I know, Makes little to no noise when the humbucker is switched on, depending on the amp's settings. The single coils make a lttle more noise than the humbuckers as they aren't hum-cancelling. Overall, this is one great sounding blues and rock guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Since this guitar was a demo model, it probably had countless people adjust things to suit them in the 5 minutes they were playing it for. So it would be very hard to determine Who well the factory set it up. There were no routing errors, allthough there is a scratch on the underside of the headstock, and a miniscual dent just above the pickguard, but this could just have been from it's life as a demo model. The guy at the store said to bring it back in a month to get it set up. Before I got it set up, It played beautifully, no buzz or anything. After I got it back from being set up, the low E-string kept rattling in the nut slot, even through my amp, unless I maxed out distortion, which made songs like "Stairway to Heaven" Sound like crap. I took the guitar back to the store several times (which isn't easy since I Live an hour and a half away from it), and they said nothing was wrong. Only when I actually stayed there and watched the guy fix it, It got done properly, I have since never stepped a foot near that place. Other than that little problem, The guitar's fit and finish is excellent. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is rock solid, except the strap buttons, the one on the upper horn keeps working loose after having the strap on a while. I would most definately use this guitar at a gig whitout a backup, as long as the strap buttons were changed first. This is one guitar the will last for several years of hard playing, if it is well taken care of. I also had a slight problem with my high e-string breaking at the saddle with extreme whammy bar use (it is a Floyd-Rose after all). After tuning my guitar a half step down, I haven't broke a single high e-string yet and I have had my guitar tuned a half-step down for almost six months now. // 9

Overall Impression: I have been playing for about 2 years now and this is my favourite guitar. I also own an early '80s Yamaha G-231 accoustic guitar, which is an awesome guitar to learn on because of the wide neck and huge gut strings. If someone stole my Strat, I'd spend the rest of my life tracking the theif down so I can beat the crap out of them. The best part about this guitar has to be the Floyd Rose. The worst part about this guitar is the low-output single coil pickups. I tested a Yamaha Strat copy(about 25% less money than the Strat) before buying my Strat and in comparisson, the Strat won hands down. I would definately recomend this guitar to anyone looking to buy an excellent guitar for under a thousand dollars. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: partsimpson, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 640.5

Purchased from: www.soundlive.com

Features: The Fender Standard Stratocaster H/S/S is made in mexico. It has 21 Jumbo Frets. I personally have a maple fretboard (which is extremly confortable. The body uses alder wood and has a maple neck. It has one volume and two tone knobs and a five was selecter to pick between the 2 single coils pickups and the humbucker at the bridge. // 9

Sound: I play every style of music really from blues to metal to jazz and the guitar is so versitile. I run it through a Boss GT-8 and a Bos ME-50 and a Electro-Harmonics Big Muff Pi into a Fender FM212R and this allows me to play any style want. I can get a very nice high tone sound out of the humbucker and that really jazzy sound out of the single coils. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well it's a Femder. You no when you get a Fender the quality of the finish is going to be brilliant and this was no different. The pickups on the guitar came nicely set but I raised the neck pickup a bit to give it a bit more heat. The action on the guitar was really nice and really confortable. Over all extremely good. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very well built and will last. I would easily use it at a gig without a backup. It says in tune very well. The hardware looks like it will last and so far I haven't had any problems with it in that area. I give my Strat a bit of abuse and the finish has lasted without chipping which I really like. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is a great buy for the price and I would definately buy another if I lost it or got it stolen. I like the playing the blues with this guitar if you put it on the neck pick up and put through a bif muff with the tone turned down it is a really nice sound. Igave mine in Artic White and to look at it it is a beautiful guitar. // 10

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overall: 8.2
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: lithium26, on november 09, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Singapore

Features: This Strat is made in Mexico in 2002. 21 medium jumbo frets on a rosewood fingerboard on a C-shape neck finished with satin polyurethane finish. Alder body with 2 single coil pickups on the neck and middle positions, and a humbucker on the bridge position. Passive electronics. Bridge is a Vintage style synchronized tremolo 1 volume knob, 2 tone knobs for the single coil pickups only, and 5-way selector switch. Machine heads are Fender/Ping Standard cast/sealed tuning machines. // 8

Sound: I play music along the lines of rock, hard rock, alternative rock, blues and metal. The Strat, in stock form, is not very good compared with my Jaguar, but it is pretty decent. It's HSS configuration makes it extremely versatile. It allows me to play what I want to play, but there's a but of a problem for metal. The Strat's not really a metal guitar. There's a bright sound overall due to it's alder body. The stock humbucker sounds pretty thin and weak. I like the neck pickup, but it can get a little muddy sounding. I don't really use the middle pickup, but it sounds pretty decent too. I'm currently using it with a Laneey LC15R, and it sounds awesome. To my suprise, there is not much noise with this Strat. With a pickup change, this guitar has tremendous potential. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set up really really really badly. The action was too low and there was a lot of buzz. There was also newspaper stuffed into the guitar. However, that's the only major problem. I'm not liking the feel of the finish of the neck. I like the nitrocellulose finish on my Jaguar, and the polyurethane finish feels rough compared to the nitrocellulose finish on my Jaguar. // 7

Reliability & Durability: A few months after I got the Strat, there was signs of rusting on the bridge especially, and some oxidation on the pickup pole pieces and tuning pegs. This is mainly due to the extremely humid climate in Singapore. I can use it on a gig without any backup, as the Strat can keep in tune really well. I don't use the trem much so it's all great. I haven't changed the strap buttons actually, and I just bought the locking strap buttons. I'm going to install them soon. The finish seems reasonable. I don't think it would wear off in the near future. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, I like this guitar. However, I do have certain problems with the guitar. Such as the weak sounding pickups and the neck. I don't play as much metal as I used to play, so it's fine as of now. Unfortunately, when I bought the guitar (2.5 years ago), I didn't know much about electric guitars (I haven't joined UG yet), and I wished I bought the SSS Strat instead, or perhaps a higher-end Strat. Such as the deluxe or the highway one. Compared to my MIA Fender '62 Jaguar, it sounds pretty weak, but with a pickup change, I believe I will love this guitar much more. // 9

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overall: 9.2
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: tjcoleman95, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 430

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I bought a 2008 (? I believe, the product dating on the Fender website isn't really up to date) Mexican made Standard HSS Strat. 21 medium jumbo frets. I got the maple neck with a brown sunburst. It's absolutely gorgeous Passive electronics. 2 Standard single coils. Came with a free gig bag. 5 way selector switch which allows sooo many different tones. blah this is all stuff you can read on Fender's website. The big highlight here in the humbucker that's been placed ever so graciously by Fender in the bridge position. For a stock, it's actually a very good sounding pickup. It dramatically increases the versatility of the guitar. // 9

Sound: I play anything from classic rock to blues to grunge to hair metal, but its pretty rare that I play any type of metal without the prefix "hair" or "glam". I am playing through a Fender Hot Rod Deville 2 12 and straight into the amp this guitar sounds . The single coils on this guitar are honestly not too noisy at all, and the humbucker is just absolutely orgasmic. It really beefs up the Strat. For heavier distortions I use this guitar through a big muff. They fit hand in hand perfectly. Then when I really wanna get different, I throw in the wah, which sounds awesome... Duh. The guitar is bright, which is a nice change over the Les Paul I played for a while. The humbucker in the bridge is still plenty twangy when played clean. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is a little higher than waht I'm used to, and yes, I would like to lower, but I have absolutely no clue how I would ever go about that. The pickups are at seemingly the perfect height to me. Everything sounds wonderful. The finish was done wonderfully on this thing. Exactly how it looked online. No complaints. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I haven't really "tested" it yet. But this guitar seems pretty durable, so long as your not carless with it, I think it will last a while. One of strap buttons is pretty loose, but I've been meaning to get around and fix that. I would say yes to using it at a gig without a backup, but I would have said that about my Les Paul too. And I tried, and the tuning machine snapped off right before we played... sad face. So no, never again will I play with a backup. The finish seems pretty thin, but I don't know. Isn't that a good thing though? I like having my "own" guitar. With "my" wear markings on it. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar is pretty damn close to perfect for everything I've ever wanted. The versatility of this guitar allows you to play and sound great with so many different styles. If it were stolen, no I would not buy another one. Well, instantly. It takes me a while to save up money to buy these things. And before you think I'm some jobless hobo, no, I'm 14. Lol. My favorite feature is by far the humbucker, but isn't that the reason you buy this one anyways? If I could wish for one thing this guitar had, it would be a case. So it never gets beaten up. // 10

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overall: 7.6
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: dzaerpoor, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Not sure when mine was made but it was made in Mexico by the finest of mexicans. It has 21 medium jumbo frets that seem prett good all through out the neck. One of them isn't filed very well but it's on the low e side and it's at the 19th fret so you don't really realize it. it's alder body is nice, keeping it fairly lightweight but still with a fair amount of punch. The Strat body has nice curves to fit your body where the guitar would meet your stomach and where your right arm curves over to strum the strings. I have the "Elctron Blue" Finish which I like but I realize I should have gone with white. I got the maple fretboard mainly because of looks but it's also smoother than the rosewood. It has a floating trem and mine stays in tune very well. I don't really use the trem very much but even if I don't tune it for a week, it's only a few ticks off on my tuner. Being an HSS Strat, it has passive single coils in the neck and middle with a humbucker in the bridge. it's not that great but I'll get to that. It has a master volume and two tone knobs for the two single coils. I wish it had one for the humbucker as I like to use that more. It also has a five way pickup selector to chose between the 3 and mix the middle and neck or the middle and bridge. The tuners are fine, nothing special and it came with a very simple gigbag and tools to adjust the truss rod. It would be nice if the gigbag was better and the humbucker had a coil tap but you can't always get what you want. // 8

Sound: I play mostly clean and classic rock. Right now I am trying to learn Black Dog which is classic rock and I can get this well. The humbucker adds quite a bit of versatility in this guitar. It's a little higher output so when you Switch to it, the volume gets louder but it's not by that much. The only problem with this was that when I got it, the humbucker was super trebly, and chord sounded very harsh and mean and it made me hate the guitar for a while as I bought it intending to use the humbucker quite a bit. I later turned the screwa next to it a few times and the problem was fixed completely. Now I love my guitar. With my solid state amp on full blast with distortion it get only a little hum from the humbucker and a noticable amount with the single coils. it's wierd though that when I use the middle and bridge pickups I get the least amount of hum. Anyways, great guitar, the neck pickup is very smooth and the tone and volume knobs give even more possibilities. By the way, The pick up selector makes almost no noise. don't get this guitar expecting the humbucker to be great though because as this body is light and alder, it lacks the punch and low end normally associated on les pauls and humbuckers on those. don't think you will get that with this. Also, I had a ton of fret buzz on the low E string but I changed strings and it went away. 7 before the alterations, 8 after. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set up great for me. I don't really know what perfect action is as I haven't delt with any guitars with bad action so I couldnt say. The pickups as I said before sounded harsh but it's probably the easiest adjustment you can do on a guitar and it changes the sound a lot. The intonation is almost perfect as I checked it with a tuner and the bridge is just right for my needs. If you are using the vibrato arm a lot, I suggest looking at a guitar with a locking bridge as too much use will make this guitar go out of tune. Everything is good on this guitar. The middle pickup tone knob is a little stiff compared to the others but I barely use the tone knob or middle pickup any ways. I have bumped and dinged this guitar on various walls and door ways but I have yet to find a single scratch on it. Very durable finish. I give it an 8 because it's not the prettiest guitar and there's always better. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will last. plain and simple. The pickups may not be the best and wou may get them changed but it is dependable. I once caught my strap about to come of my my strap is the worst I have ever seen. I usually play sitting down but I would recommend getting straplocks if you move around on stage a lot. I would never use a guitar on a gig without a backup as it never works out well not to do so. You need to have some sort of thing to fall back on when you break a string or something. Like I said about it has a great finish. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar is a great match to any sort of music. I would only say it's not good for metal but overall I have no like for metal and I find that it's only teens who really like it. Trust me you'll grow out of it. I've been playing for a while. Ignore the onfo in my profile as that is my brother. he's the fifteen year old. I'm writing a review of his guitar as he's too lazy to do so. I own a few tube amps and I've realized, it's better to have one thing that does one thing great than have one that does everything ok. that's how I feel about this guitar. I lean more towards humbucking guitars as I like a more warm and full sound that I feel most strats do not provide due to the weight and shape of the guitar. I would not buy this guitar again because there are so many better and I would just save to get a better one. it's no fun getting the same guitar again and not expecting anything new. My favorite feature is probably the humbucker now that I adjusted it. I hated it before. Thanks for reading this and I hoped it helps. I give it a seven not because it's bad but because there's much better. For the price range I say it's in the top three along with Agile and possibly Hamer. // 7

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overall: 9.8
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: The_Teleblaster, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 800

Purchased from: Guitar Centre at the Gabba

Features: This particular guitar was made in 1999 and is a Mexican Standard Stratocaster. The guitar is finished in a beautiful wine red with a rosewood 'board and maple neck. it's body is made of alder, which has a nice tone for the styles that I play with this particular guitar. The bridge is a Standard Stratocaster Vibrato, which is great for dive bombing and all those freaky effects. Pickups are passive American single coils (they had been upgraded by the previous owner) and are controlled by a pickup selector, two tone controls and a volume control. Tuners are Standard Fender-made tuners. I knew the guys I bought this off and bargained a case and cable out of them (I was also buying an amp at the time, so they were happy to throw them in as freeies), but with new Strats you get a gig bag as Standard. // 10

Sound: I bought this guitar as my first electric, as I wanted a guitar that would be able to handle my my penchant for blues rock, as well as fitting my unhealthy obsession with Pink Floyd and The Stones. Tonally the USA pickups sound fantastic and emulate those classic SRV and Hendrix moments. As is with all Stratocasters the guitar has a nice bright sound that shimmers on clean settings and dirtys up for a crunchy overdrive. Overall a very versatile guitar that suits many styles and has a timeless tone. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar had been set up by the guys at the store I bought it. I am left handed so they only had a few lefty Strats in store and although the others were good this one stood out in terms of both tone and playability. The action was just right and all the hardware was in good order, although some of the screws were rusted (not a big deal but a bit annoying). The pickups were also adjusted to a great sounding height. Apart from the screws I am completely happy with this guitar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have gigged with this guitar on numerous occassions and it hasn't let me down. All the hardware has stayed in good order and the strap buttons are nice and solid. I would have no hesitations in using it in Live performances again and would have no problems using it without a backup (but I have other guitars that I use Live as well so there would always be one on hand anyway). The finish has lasted extremely well since 1999 so I don't think I'll be having any problems with it. Certainly a very well built, reliable guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: I mainly play blues, blues rock, rock, classic rock, hard rock, prog rock and all those kinds of genres and this guitar suits these styles perfectly. I have been playing guitar for over 5 years and use this mainly with a Peavey Bandit 112 and DigiTech RP250 multi-effects pedal. If it were stolen or lost I would have absolutely no hesitation with buying another, it simply suits me perfectly. I love it's fantastic neck and beautiful pickups, as well as it's finish. Of course I could go on about the Saga of the rusted screws but it is really not a big issue. I knew that I wanted a Strat but did try a few other guitars including American Standard Strats, but I honestly liked this one best. Although single coils do have that annoying buzz it is not a big issue, it is barely audible in a Live situation anyway. Overall a timeless design and a well-built, beauiful sounding instrument. // 10

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overall: 10
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 400

Purchased from: soundslive.co.uk

Features: Mine is a mexican Standard strat, HSS, I think it was made in 2008.2009. 21 frets, rosewood fretboard. Arctic white finish. It has a 5-way selector between the humbucker and two single coil pickups, and has one volume and two tone controls, the same as any Standard fat strat. The guitar came with a Standard Fender gigbag and accessories, such as whammy bar and allen keys, etc. // 10

Sound: I mainly play pop-punk music, but will also play a whole range of harder and softer genres. I use a Marshall ma50h head with a Marshall 4x12, and the humbucker helps to produce a deep sounds, with as much gain as you need for any genre. I also own a Gibson les paul with p90s, and a Jackson with EMG HZs, and I would say the Fender humbucker can produce a more 'metal' tone than the Jackson even. While the humbucker can be a bit harsh on clean tones with the volume on 10, the neck single coil pickup produces an extremely mellow and deep sounding clean tone. The humbucker also responds well to the volume control, and will clean up nicely to produce a crunch sound just by turning it down slightly. Overall, this guitar will play almost anything. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up perfectly at the factory, and arrived in perfect condition, both aesthetically and function wise. The action was just right for the 9 gauge strings supplied, and the intonation was set correctly. The only problem I had setting up was that I found the bridge to be to high from the body and had to adjust the claw. However this is persoal preference and doesn't reflect the guitar or whoever set it up. I recently replaced the 9 gauge strings with some ernie ball, heavy bottom skinny tops, which are 52-10s. Theses required another spring to be put in (it comes with three), and the claw to be heavily adjusted, however the guitar play extremely well with these strings after these changes. Also the arctic white finish is about as white as fenders come. It is not pure white, but in most light it looks it. It is usually only noticably creamish in un-natural light. I have had this guitar around 18 months and there is not a mark on it, I have only lightly caught it a few times, and it hasn't even been scratched. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is extremely reliable, I have gigged with it numerous times, and usually without a backup. The only problem I've ever encountered playing live was a broken string, nothing else. The hardware is the same solid plastic you get on most fenders and is built to last. The strap buttons feel extremely solid and my strap never feels as if it can fall off. After gigging with probably between 10-15 times, there is still not a mark on it, which says a lot about the finish and durability. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall I feel this guitar is perfect for any type of genre. Also do not be put off by the fact it's made in mexico, as it plays and sounds amazing. I have a USA made Gibson les paul aswell, and I honestly prefer the sound and feel of the fender. It is well worth the price and if it were lost, stolen or broken, I would definetely want to buy another one. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: 91chevywt, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Private Seller

Features: It's an '07 model. Dark blue metallic finish with a white pickguard. Maple neck, with an Alder body. 5 way selector, 2 single coil Fender pickups and 1 humbucking Fender pickup. Fender tuners. Came with a gig bag and a quick lock stand. The guy got it as a present. It was pretty much a brand new Strat I got for $300. Couldn't pass it up. // 9

Sound: I play mostly blues and rock music. Perfect for that genre. Strats can fit into almost anything in my opinion. It sounds like a Stratocaster which is what I wanted. Humbucking pickup sounds great..like it should. Single coil pickups could sound better in my opinion. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Action was good from the factory. My issue is with the bridge. One of the pieces was stripped out from the factory. By clamping it down with some plyers after taking it out, the screw had something to grab onto and I could adjust the bridge for intonation purposes. Not something that should happen on a brand new guitar. Also, the plastic piece on the back of the guitar DOES NOT line up with the bridge...so every time I want to change strings this piece will have to come off. Something that could have easily been avoided during assembly. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Electronics and hardware seems sturdy. It stays in tune. It's my main guitar. Other than the fit/finish issues it's a very nice guitar.. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a good match for me. The Stratocaster is the ideal guitar for me. I like the way they feel. I played quite a few guitars over the last couple years trying to find what fits me best, and the Stratocaster is it. Absolutely hated any Gibson I played. This one has its flaws, but I expected some flaws on a made in mexico strat. Only guitar I think I would want over a Strat is a thinline telecaster..but I didn't feel like dropping $1000 on a guitar at this point in my life. This was an excellent deal in my mind. Very good sounding guitar for the money. // 9

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overall: 10
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: adox26, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: My fat Strat was made in late 2003, purchased in early 2004. Standard frets (whatever, I never bothered to count 'em). Maple fret board, alder body, non-locking Vintage Fender tuners, Vintage tremolo. I never made any alterations, so it's all original Standard stuff, okay? // 10

Sound: This guitar suits my style of play, blues-based rock, very well. I play it through a Fender FM212 amp with a DigiTech GNX3 guitar workstation. Not noisy at all, has a rich full sound. I typically only play on the humbucker setting, though sometimes I will use the single coils when I I'm looking for a more "twangy" sound. I love the sound of this guitar, it is fantastic for almost any kind of rock and roll or blues sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything was perfect, and still perfect, I haven't had it set up since I bought it. One minor paint flaw on the back, and for that reason, Guitar Center sold me this guitar for the price of a Standard single coil strat. The action was nice and low, and made it easy to play. It has a beautiful Midnight wine finish, I love to polish it and look at it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've played this guitar on numerous gigs, one of which was on a rainey day in Wisconsin with a chilly wind blowing in my face. The guitar performed flawlessly, and stayed in tune. I've read some other reviews where the reviewer has complained that the guitar does not stay in tune when using the tremolo. I am doing this review to state categorically that this is NOT TRUE! If this guitar is going out of tune, it is because YOU ARE USING THE WRONG STRINGS! The Fender Vintage Tremolo is designed to work with Fender Bullet strings. Get 'em use 'em or quit complaining. // 10

Overall Impression: Hands down the best value in Electric guitars today. Gibson makes the best quality guitars overall, but for the price Fender guitars are the best value! A quality instrument for a decent price. I've been playing for 33 years, and I own four other guitars. This one is the best overall. I can use it for Rock, blues, country, funk, anything I feel like playing. It may not be as warm as my Gretsch, or Twangy as my Tele, but it is close in both areas. I could only have one guitar for the rest of my life, this would be the one. // 10

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overall: 6.6
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: Benjirob, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 339

Purchased from: www.gak.co.uk

Features: I have a 2006 Mexican made, 60th anniversary, Fender HSS Stratocaster. It has all the regular features you'd expect with this guitar; a rosewood neck, 21 frets, stock pick ups (one being a humbucker), volume and tone knobs, a 5 way pick up switch, Fender/Ping standard tuning peg and some cheap slightly padded Fender case, supposedly a deluxe but I wouldn't call it that. Having had this guitar for a while I swapped the bridge humbucker to a Seymour Duncan SH4 JB. I also fitted in some Schaller strap locks since my strap would always fall off and I prefer the extra security. // 7

Sound: Well I play a lot of different types of music ranging from Indie music such as the Libertines, Radiohead and Bloc Party through to heavier stuff like Boxcar Racer and Foo Fighters and pop punky stuff like Weezer, Paramore and Blink-182. The guitar has a fairly large variety of tonal varieties and is good for both cleans and dirty sounds. However, I HAD TO CHANGE the humbucker pick up since when played through a high quality amp it sounds terrible!!! I changed it to a Seymour Duncan SH4 JB and this guitar now sounds unreal when played through this pick up. It sounds more like a high end American made Fender than a cheap Mexican one with poor pick ups. I run it through an Orange Thunder Head and Orange Cab along with a lot of pedals but when plugged straight into the head is good for overdriven sounds and clean twangy playing. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was very very poor. There was a lot of fret buzz due to a poor action and the gutiar would go out of tune a lot when the strings were bended. Having had a guitar tech sort it out, since I don't really know what I'm doing it now plays a lot better, nicer in fact than my Gibson Les Paul JR. However, the input jack gives me a lot of grief, it frequently needs repairing and often disconnects whilst playing. Everything else, the paint finish, tuning pegs etc seems nice and having been set up properly, plays nice. However, the out of the box condition was poor. // 4

Reliability & Durability: The guitar has and will withstand live playing. However, I would definitely gig with a back up as the aforementioned input jack causes a fair few problems. I do however prefer this guitar to my Gibson. The paint job is of a high quality if not a particularly interesting dark blue colour. // 6

Overall Impression: For the style of music I play, this guitar is pretty good. I have been playing for around five years now and this is my favourite electric guitar I own and have played (I haven't played a huge amount of rare vintages). If this guitar were stolen, I'd be annoyed at losing primarily the Seymour Duncan pick up and would buy either a better quality Strat or a Telecaster (serious GAS for one of those right now!!!). I wouldn't buy the same, stock issue Mexican made Fender HSS Stratocaster. However, for when I got this guitar almost four years ago it was perfect for me. If the hardware and quality were better to go with the improved tone it has since changing the bridge pick up, it would be a very good guitar as of now. I will base my overall impression score of how it was when it was in it's stock configuration and that would be a seven. // 7

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overall: 6.8
Standard Stratocaster HSS Reviewed by: richardlpalmer, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 449

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: The "Standard Stratocaster" model is a Made in Mexico version and is different than the "American Standard Stratocaster" model. They had two options for this MIM model, HSS & SSS. This review is about the HSS version. I bought mine in December of 2008 in "Electron Blue", which was replaced with the lighter tint "Lake Placid Blue". Features include a one humbucking/two single-coil pickup configuration, synchronized tremolo with high-mass bridge block, shielded body cavities & medium jumbo frets. The guitar does not come with a hard shell case or gig bag. SPECS: - Neck Shape: Modern "C" Shape - Number of Frets: 21 - Fret Size: Medium Jumbo - Position Inlays: White Dot Position Inlays - Fretboard Radius: 9.5" (24.1 cm) - Fretboard: Rosewood - Neck Material: Maple - Neck Finish: Satin Finish on Back & Headstock Front with Buffed Fingerboard - Nut Width: 1.650" (42 mm) - Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm) - Neck Plate: Standard 4 Bolt - Truss Rod Nut: 3/16" Hex Adjustment - Pickup Configuration: H/S/S - Bridge Pickup: Standard Humbucking Pickup - Middle Pickup: Standard Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup - Neck Pickup: Standard Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup - Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade, Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Front Coil of Bridge Pickup and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle/Neck Pickups, Position 5. Neck Pickup - Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup) - Hardware: Chrome - Bridge: Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo - String Nut: Synthetic Bone - Switch Tip: Plastic - Tremolo Arm/Handle: Vintage Style Tremolo Arm - Strings: Fender USA Super Bullets 3250L, NPS, (.009-.042 Gauges) Considering what you get for your money, I think Fender has done a very good job with this Stratocaster. They don't include a gig bag or case, but instead give plenty of features elsewhere. I don't know what else they could have done other than a coil tap. I guess they could have included accessories with it, but for the price I don't see how they could. // 8

Sound: I play a variety of things from blues to metal. The HSS configuration is excellent for this with so many switching options. I played this through a few amps. A Line 6 Spider III 15, Vox AD30VT-XL, Vox VT30 & Blackstar HT-5H with a Carvin G212 open back cabinet. The humbucker is extremely quiet (as you'd expect) but I was surprised how well the single coils dealt with noise. The higher the gain, the more noise - sure. But at moderate gain or clean, they were very quiet. With the switch on the neck &/or middle positions you can get a nice bluesy tone. It can do spanky country or glassy funk. But with it set to the bridge position you can get nice hard rock & metal. The pickups are relatively hot. I'm not sure of the actual specs but I suspect they're Texas Special clones. The quality of sound is nothing special or inspiring out of these pickups. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came set up very well (or at least Guitar Center set it up well). Action was medium-low (which is my preference) and the intonation was good. The neck wasn't bowed and there was no fret buzz. The humbucker was adjusted well but the single coils needed to be raised a bit - this may have been more about taste rather than anything. If you're use to 2 humbuckers, the single coils will naturally sound more quiet. But I wasn't use to 2 humbuckers and still thought they were too quiet and needed to be raised. The neck felt great. It looked perfectly seated in the pocket. The fretboard, fretwire, inlays & nut were all installed properly. There was no glue or rough edges, etc. The body finish was pristine. The paint and top coat (polyester) were flawless. The knobs moved fluidly and the switch felt solid. Nothing loose or rattly. Same goes for the 1/4" jack. Solid. The strap buttons were nice and tight and needed no attention either. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar could easily handle live playing, but you'd probably want to address some things if you were planning on seriously gigging with it. The body & neck are solid as a rock, so that's not the area you'd need to worry about - it's the hardware. Within a short amount of time the bridge started to become a bit loose/sloppy. The trem bar is the typical screw-in style. Unfortunately, if you want the bar to be loose and dangle you're sort of out of luck. The bar will rattle around. Screwing it in tighter will get it to stop rattling, but then you have it sort of "stuck" in one position. And each time you screw/unscrew it, the condition seems to worsen. The tuning pegs are "alright" but I felt these would need to be changed soon, too. Not nearly as bad as the bridge, though. They did stay in tune pretty well, but not as well as you'd expect. They're non-locking and just don't hold the strings well. The other parts of the guitar - great! Had no concerns about the finish, the neck staying true, electronics holding up, strap buttons, etc. But not feeling confident because of what's holding both ends of the strings is pretty significant to me. // 5

Overall Impression: This guitar is potentially an excellent guitar. It can play all sorts of different genres and will appeal to an awful lot of players. It's a huge upgrade from less expensive guitars and is built well. It's held back by some low quality components though. And this is where the rubber meets the road. These things can hurt your confidence if not addressed or taken into consideration. When I bought this guitar I was at the limit of my budget. Knowing what I know now (isn't hind sight wonderful?) I should have gotten a cheap guitar to start learning on and saved up for the "American Standard Stratocaster". I can understand someone not wanting to make that leap at the beginning - it's about twice the cost. I'd been looking at (and pricing) what it would take to upgrade the bridge, change to better tuners & upgrade the pickups. When all is said and done I'd have paid the same as a USA made Strat - but would have still had a MIM one. This Strat is filling the middle ground of cheap, mass-produced guitars and higher-end USA-made versions. I don't think it does enough to justify the added expense over the cheap ones. That being said, it's been about 3 years since I bought mine. Maybe they've improved these things... One big plus of having the MIM version is I was able to sell it for a decent amount - it wasn't a big loss like a cheap guitar might have been. // 6

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