Any time I wandered into a guitar store, i'd glance at the wall full of Fenders. I constantly told myself that if I was ever to get one, it would be a thinline tele, either a custom or perhaps something with P-90s, preferably a MIA. Maple neck/fretboard for sure, more iconic, and i've already got a pair of rosewood fretboards in my collection. I was sure i'd convinced myself that I wasn't interested in any stratocaster, just wasn't my "style" of guitar.

So sure enough, I walked into the store again yesterday. Sitting right at the edge of the fender side of the wall, right near the used guitars section was this.

And I buckled. So much for not liking strats. This one is a MIK Koa Stratocaster. I'm definitely not the first owner of this instrument, but overall this thing is in pretty good shape. I've yet to find an appreciable nick or dent in the guitar, except for tiny scratches the finish is near mint. The fretboard right up against the nut has a couple very small, shallow chips in it, due to the less than perfect job a previous owner did in replacing the original plastic nut with a graphite one. A layer of glue is visible behind the nut, again not going to hurt the guitar any way other than aesthetically. Apart from the slightly rough job there, though, it appears to have been well maintained and taken care of.

Tone-wise, it's reasonably bright, but without quite the chirp-y sound i've noticed in the past with strats. Alas, this guitar merely has a koa veneer atop a basswood body, but from what i've heard of it thus far, i'd not be prepared to condemn basswood quite as readily as some have. It is a fairly neutral sounding instrument, but that's not a bad thing really. It's not as though basswood is at all detrimental to the sound the guitar is producing. The pickups are duncans, Alnico II Pro Staggered. The bridge pickup when used alone is a bit on the thin side, the other four switch positions sound fine. The middle pickup in this set is RW/RP, and really does work to cancel hum in positions 2/4, although the instrument still doesn't quite replicate that beefy humbucker tone. I'm not sure quite what it is about that RW/RP pickup, but i'd imagine it's the polarity that gives it a slightly different, unique sound when used on its own. It's a bit quirky sounding... and I love it.

The neck is satin finished birdseye maple, very smooth to the touch. Neck is a little fatter than the neck on my Les Paul DC, still very comfortable to play on. Volume knob placement is a bit closer to the strings than i'm used to, and i've got a tendency to unwittingly adjust the volume knob while strumming. I'm sure i'll get used to it over time.

The koa top is beautiful... but you know that, you can see it for yourself. It seems slightly figured, under certain lights it develops a shimmery quality, looks a bit like quilting. Hard to capture via camera lens, though you can sort of see in near the arm contour on the body shots - it in fact occurs throughout the top on the instrument, not just in that small area.

Overall, i'm very pleased with this instrument. I don't imagine I should have any trouble finding stuff i'd be interested in playing on it, I mean the stratocaster has only been a staple in most rock/blues-derived genres of the last what, 55 years? I figure it'll see the most use playing Rush/Rainbow and the like, at least in my possession.
Quote by Ur all $h1t
I furiously masturbate on public transportation.
Um, Wow. May i be the first to say, shes gorgeous. I have never seen a Koa strat, but i just got some serious ****ing GAS!
looks like rootbeer. now i want some rootbeer.
Quote by webbtje
A woman's perspective is great, you get to stare down at least one top without anyone caring.
I just shit my pants. That is the most absolute beautiful finish I have ever seen on a Strat. Happy NGD dude and I really hate you right now. Wanna trade?
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Love it man. I just got a MIK strat but I'm undecided on mine

hope you get a great time from yours (which looks better than mine aha)
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The body of that guitar is so damn beautiful!
Would look even more awesome with black pickguard and pickups.

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That's one very beautiful looking thing! You are triggering my strat GAS again! Don't do that, please!

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Really nice! TBH I was a bit put off on the MiK part (call me racist or prejudiced, whatever you want ), but that sure is a looker, I live birdseye maple, and the koa top is really something you don't see every day.

HNGD, I want!

Edit: Yes, I live birdseye maple. :p
Last edited by Y00p at Jul 10, 2010,
That looks amazing. How much did it set you back?
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That is so nice. The best strat ive ever seen. Please tell me how much it costed you?
Thats gorgeous. Gotta love dem strats.

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looks amazing! a black pickguard and you would have one of the prettiest production strats i've ever seen! congrats. happy new guitar day!
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Quote by sepultura alma
That looks amazing. How much did it set you back?

$360 CDN out the door. Seeing what they went for new before the model was discontinued, plus the upgraded nut and that stellar top, i'm rather pleased with the deal I got.

Quote by cdr_salamander
Wanna trade?

haha i'd hate to disappoint you, however i'm in quite a state of lust currently, and just can't see myself parting ways with her any time soon.
Quote by Ur all $h1t
I furiously masturbate on public transportation.
Wow. Looking at that I never would have thought (no disrespect) Korean. I've a owned MIC Squier that surprised me though so good for you. I love that color.
Quote by cranium2001
Wow. Looking at that I never would have thought (no disrespect) Korean.

Nor did I originally, haha. Saw it sitting there, "22 frets... birdseye maple neck, koa top, seymour duncans, for only how much?" Flipped it over, "wait what, Korea?"
Quote by Ur all $h1t
I furiously masturbate on public transportation.
wow, that looks amazing, probably the coolest strat i've ever seen
grats man!!