Hello all, sorry for the lengthy, ranty post but I'd appreciate it a lot if you could help me out

Before you start reading, I'd like you to know that I don't live in the US but my aunt does and she'll be coming to Europe next month so she'll bring me the guitar I want. That means I really have nowhere to test out those guitars, so if I want to sell the Strat that I bought but I'm not so sure about and get a post-2008 Strat instead, I have to make this decision based solely on reviews and your advice

To the point: After 12 years of playing I finally saved up enough money for a good guitar. I was looking and looking and after months of looking I got a '01 American Lonestar Strat in perfect condition for a decent price in the exact color combination I wanted.
I've read tons of great reviews on 01-04 Lonestars. Many people stated that these guitars were a step up in quality over std Strats and some even said these were among the best Strats they've ever played. Also, Mark Knopfler is my favorite guitarist of all time and his signature Strat has Texas Special pickups in it. So, I thought, hell yeah, that must be THE guitar.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a spontaneous decision at all, it's just that it's been 2 months since I got this guitar and during those 2 months I started wondering if I made the right decision.

Post-2008 Strats have nicer cases, and a more vintage feel with their bodies (EDIT: not sure about the bodies) and vintage bridge. Also, what bothers me a lot, Tex Mex pups look like they're going to be better all-around pickups than Texas Specials (I'm talking about the neck and middle pickups, don't worry about the humbucker as I'm going to swap it anyway).
I'm really worried that Texas Specials won't be able to clean up nicely and deliver that vintage, warm (John Frusciante?) tone that I love equally as much as Mark Knopfler's tone. I'm mostly going to be using my middle and neck positions for clean stuff and I want my Strat to sound like a Strat, clear, round and warm. I'm afraid that with Texas Specials I'm always going to be getting that brittle, overdriven-kinda tone.

Or maybe I'm worrying about pickups too much? I can always swap out the pickups. BUT I really want my Strat to have a vintage vibe to it and be as good quality as possible, so if the Lonestar isn't actually a step-up in quality over a std Strat, wouldn't it be advisable to sell the Lonestar and get a post-2008 Strat (I don't mind the selling hassle, I just want my guitar to be perfect)?

Thanks a lot!
Last edited by mspunk13 at Mar 27, 2011,
I don't have a lot of experience with strats, but I guess all I'd say is that pickups are very easy to replace, so if you find a guitar that's exactly what you want except for the pickups, which you think *might* not be, if you get it and have to change them later, it's not really a big deal, in my opinion.

And Frusciante's tone is not something I would describe as warm and vintage, but I guess that's a very personal thing.
Thanks for the reply Wolffgang! Hah I thought his tone was vintage because he has vintage Strats with SD Antiquity pickups but I like his clean tone anyway (Snow, Scar Tissue etc.)

Yeah you're right pickups aren't that big of a deal (although it's $150 to swap them out).

Still not sure about the rest of the guitar though.
I am not a fender man, but I really enjoyed playing Marks Sig. I was playing into a JCM800.. Couldn't get close to Marks tone, But he uses lots of different Guitars, also I believe Marks Finger picking style is most of his tone.. Swap the pups if you don't like them, Keep the Guitar =)
Caparison Angelus HGS, EMG 85/85 18V | Krank Rev1, JJ's | Mesa Recto Cab | Maxon OD808
That's really cool! I'm a big fan of JCM800 amps although I've never even seen one in person.

Yeah Mark has a '58 Les Paul that he uses a lot, he also uses his Schecters very often.

(I'm actually better at playing fingerstyle than I am at playing with a pick.)
Last edited by mspunk13 at Mar 27, 2011,