I just picked up a 2011 American Strat with all the holiday deals going around last month! I've always wanted a really nice stratocaster and I was thinking about upgrading mine but decided to give that up and just buy American.

I couldn't be happier with it, though the factory set up was terrible. The action was low but every fret on every string buzzed terribly. It was as if some set it up accord to some standard measurements but never actually played to check. It could have been knocked in shipping though and wasn't too terribly hard to set up when I got it so I'm not too upset.

It plays like a dream. My Squier start has always sounded pretty good thanks to all the mods I did to it. I always had to fight it however and trust me, the novelty of reading that Stevie fought his guitar wore off quickly. I have the action set pretty high since I'm using 11s and want no buzz no matter how hard I play but it still feels like butter. There's a noticeable sustain increase from the dense bridge block and set up. It actually sustains longer than my PRS.

I'm probably going to change the pickups out however. They sound pretty good overdriven and surprisingly good distorted but have a rather bland, boring clean tone, even through my deluxe with lots of reverb. The tuners probably also need a swapping, as you can see in the playing example I've provided, I struggle to keep it in tune with all the bends and vibrato I use.

The finish is absolutely beautiful, both on the body and the neck. I couldn't be happier with it. Sunbursts are hit or miss with me and I took a big chance getting one off of the internet without seeing it first. This was definitely a hit, it's gorgeous.

Sorry for the picturing being so low quality, I don't have a great camera. The playing quality in the video is also pretty sloppy because I rushed it but you get a good idea of the tone from it.

Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.

Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
NYC Big Muff Pi