#1
Hey all:

I have been playing guitar for about 15 years and I am ready to purchase my first Fender Stratocaster. I have always wanted to own one and to tell the truth, it has been my dream guitar since my favorite guitarists play them. I was looking into it and there are just so many version of the strat. To buy new or look for old is an idea as well. I am just looking for advice since I am not sure what to choose.

My price range tops out at about $2500.

Thanks!
#2
I know that the American Standard will give you their most run-of-the-mill guitars with the best features; I very much enjoy mine.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#3
My best advice: Specs and price don't matter that much. Play a bunch of them and buy the one that speaks to you. When you find the right one, you will know.
#4
Quote by Cajundaddy
My best advice: Specs and price don't matter that much. Play a bunch of them and buy the one that speaks to you. When you find the right one, you will know.


I definitely agree. Tried mine out on 3 different occasions before buying it, and I loved the way it felt.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#5
Dude for $1200 - $1500 you can get a used Eric Johnson signature. Hard to beat.

Also explore Suhr, and Nash guitars. Fender is just a name. .

And what Cajun said.
#6
Quote by Bass Builder
Dude for $1200 - $1500 you can get a used Eric Johnson signature. Hard to beat.

Also explore Suhr, and Nash guitars. Fender is just a name. .

And what Cajun said.


Or G&L, since that's the company Leo Fender started after the buyout.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
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Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#7
So many combinations and given your price range you'll have a lot of fun trying out a hundred different models. As said above, try out a bunch using the amp you use at home and see what feels/sounds right.
#8
Quote by Cajundaddy
My best advice: Specs and price don't matter that much. Play a bunch of them and buy the one that speaks to you. When you find the right one, you will know.


totally agree. this might be the one time i tell someone not to blow the budget as you should be able to find a great strat for $1000 or less used and not more than $1400 new. while all strats look pretty much the same at a glance there are differences and the best way to learn is to play them even within the same model there are often subtle differences that can make or break the guitar for you. i would recommend something like an american standard to start with and then down the road once you learn the ins and outs of strat playing perhaps go for a more expensive version (you may well find you don't really need one).

Cajun is definitely right that when you find the "one" that speaks to you you will know. i bought a used MIM strat for $300 a couple of years back to be the backup for my 89 Strat + and i loved it so much that it became my #1.
#9
As others have said, there are a lot of good options out there in that price range. Besides the great suggestions on SLOs (Strat-like objects) already given, I'll add Godin & Carvin to the list. $2500 will buy you one HELL of a Carvin Bolt.

Each maker will give you options that set them apart, though the differences may not be immediately apparent.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Feb 10, 2016,
#10
As a former MIA owner I would suggest you check out the MIA Deluxe Model. Noiseless PUs, better tone controls, locking tuners, straplocks and most importantly a compound neck radius to overcome Fender's biggest weakness - a small radius (gen 9.5 on modern Fenders).
This "play one" regardless of model approach may get you the best player at that moment in the store, but I won't trade major features off simply because I don't hve enough patience to look around and try several of my desired model to get one I like. The extra time is worth it in the long run.
Moving on.....
#11
Quote by KenG
most importantly a compound neck radius to overcome the thing I personally don't like about Fenders - a small radius (gen 9.5 on modern Fenders).

ftfy
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#12
Quote by KenG
As a former MIA owner I would suggest you check out the MIA Deluxe Model. Noiseless PUs, better tone controls, locking tuners, straplocks and most importantly a compound neck radius to overcome Fender's biggest weakness - a small radius (gen 9.5 on modern Fenders).
This "play one" regardless of model approach may get you the best player at that moment in the store, but I won't trade major features off simply because I don't hve enough patience to look around and try several of my desired model to get one I like. The extra time is worth it in the long run.


not disagreeing totally however saying a 9.5" radius is a weakness is way more opinion than fact. no one is telling him to go to one store and just pick whatever is there. of course we don't know how many options the op has either. all that has really been said was to check out some strats and see how they feel and sound rather than just saying i have this much to spend and go by nothing else.
#13
Quote by monwobobbo
not disagreeing totally however saying a 9.5" radius is a weakness is way more opinion than fact. no one is telling him to go to one store and just pick whatever is there. of course we don't know how many options the op has either. all that has really been said was to check out some strats and see how they feel and sound rather than just saying i have this much to spend and go by nothing else.


Not really just an opinion if you bend strings at all. 9.5 inches is one of the smallest radius out there (not including Fender's Vintage radius. Fenders generally need higher action to avoid fretting out on bends, especially in the higher registers. The higher action doesn't do anything good for intonation either. The compound radius is an improvement because it helps avoid fretting out with normal action.
People are telling him to just play a bunch and pick the best player for the most part. Some people here (& to be honest of other forums as well) buy & sell guitars like they're trading cards because they settle for something other than what they really wanted or simply didn't know what they wanted to begin with. The time to ask these questions and decide these things is before you have a guitar in your hand in the store. Car Salesmen sell more cars with test drives which is why they're eager to get you into a car and all excited. How many times have we all read about someone who played a guitar in the store, liked the way it played, bought it and when they got home found issues that bothered them?
All I'm saying is if "features" are important than play as many models of the one(s) with the features you want to get a good one. There's a lot more extras in a Deluxe Strat than there is on an MIA Standard, they may not be worth the extra$$ to some but a person should at least be aware of the differences between models.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Feb 10, 2016,
#14
Wow! Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Just a little bit more information.

I live in Canada and I have a few dealers in my area. The thing is they don't have a very large selection to choose from. One dealer is actually in the small town I live in and he said I could bring in a SKU# and he can order it for me from the site. I have some idea in my head of what I want (colors, humbuckers vs sc., etc). I have been on the Fender website and there are a few there I really like. I like the humbucker sound but I want the single coil because that is one of the reasons I personally see for having a strat.

I do like the idea of the bending being easier which I believe was said to be on the Deluxe version. So that may be an option.

I just don't want to "settle" for something because I am looking at this as being the guitar for me. Ever since I started playing guitar, I wanted a strat and now I have the opportunity to purchase one that isn't a Squire (not that squires are bad...just the Stratocaster's little cousin).

I hope I am not coming off as snobbish. I am just looking at a general consensus here.
#15
Quote by cdanderson04
I just don't want to "settle" for something because I am looking at this as being the guitar for me. Ever since I started playing guitar, I wanted a strat and now I have the opportunity to purchase one that isn't a Squire (not that squires are bad...just the Stratocaster's little cousin).

I hope I am not coming off as snobbish. I am just looking at a general consensus here.


Firstly, I don't think you sound snobbish at all! It's great that you know what brand and shape of guitar you want and I'll be pleased for you if you get the one you've always wanted. Much better than the 'suggest me a guitar' threads that throws you at the mercy of everyones personal opinion (you still got a bit of that in this thread even though you clearly stated what you wanted in the OP ).

I'm a bit concerned about the guy getting a guitar in for you to try. I say that as I know, if it was me, I would probably get a case of the 'I wants' and settle for something not quite right as I could take it home there and then. That is probably what the guy in the shop thinks too Are you able to do a bit of a road trip or combine a holiday with a visit to a bigger store? I think it would be great for you to try/hear lots of models.

Good luck with the search!
#16
Quote by cdanderson04
Wow! Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Just a little bit more information.

I live in Canada and I have a few dealers in my area. The thing is they don't have a very large selection to choose from. One dealer is actually in the small town I live in and he said I could bring in a SKU# and he can order it for me from the site. I have some idea in my head of what I want (colors, humbuckers vs sc., etc). I have been on the Fender website and there are a few there I really like. I like the humbucker sound but I want the single coil because that is one of the reasons I personally see for having a strat.

I do like the idea of the bending being easier which I believe was said to be on the Deluxe version. So that may be an option.

I just don't want to "settle" for something because I am looking at this as being the guitar for me. Ever since I started playing guitar, I wanted a strat and now I have the opportunity to purchase one that isn't a Squire (not that squires are bad...just the Stratocaster's little cousin).

I hope I am not coming off as snobbish. I am just looking at a general consensus here.


There's a big gap between a Squire and $2500. . .

I mean no offense here but have you spent a bunch of time with a strat?

I bought a strat basically to see if I liked one and truth is, I really don't. I'm spoiled with my jumbo frets, humbuckers, flat or compound radius necks, etc.

If you haven't spent time playing starts before, try a really nice MIM or a more standard MIA and see what happens. If you really do like it but want to upgrade some things then sell it and spend the $2500.

Or go with a used MIA Deluxe to try out. Guitar Center ships to Canada I believe.

And if you want a Fender logo to scratch that itch then go for it.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#17
Hell, at $2500 I'd be looking into Suhr Classics. They do the whole Strat thing better than Fenders IME.

http://www.humbuckermusic.com/collections/suhr-classic-pro
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#18
Quote by KenG
Not really just an opinion if you bend strings at all. 9.5 inches is one of the smallest radius out there (not including Fender's Vintage radius. Fenders generally need higher action to avoid fretting out on bends, especially in the higher registers. The higher action doesn't do anything good for intonation either. The compound radius is an improvement because it helps avoid fretting out with normal action.

The action you need to get bends working on a Fender even on a vintage radius isn't that high, though, it's just higher than "low action", which I find to be unpleasant for bends anyway. Which is to say that, as someone who bends plenty, I have no problem with 7.25" radii, and a 9.5" board doesn't even put my action higher than I'd put it on a 12" radius Now it's a fair statement that a majority of people will prefer flatter radii, it's just that with Fender Stratocasters numbering in something like the hundreds of thousands, the majority of which have had 9.5" boards, it's clearly something that a lot of people have had no problem with - it depends what you play and where you like your action.

So yeah, it's a preference, not an improvement.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#19
Quote by cdanderson04
Wow! Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Just a little bit more information.

I live in Canada and I have a few dealers in my area. The thing is they don't have a very large selection to choose from. One dealer is actually in the small town I live in and he said I could bring in a SKU# and he can order it for me from the site. I have some idea in my head of what I want (colors, humbuckers vs sc., etc). I have been on the Fender website and there are a few there I really like. I like the humbucker sound but I want the single coil because that is one of the reasons I personally see for having a strat.

I do like the idea of the bending being easier which I believe was said to be on the Deluxe version. So that may be an option.

I just don't want to "settle" for something because I am looking at this as being the guitar for me. Ever since I started playing guitar, I wanted a strat and now I have the opportunity to purchase one that isn't a Squire (not that squires are bad...just the Stratocaster's little cousin).

I hope I am not coming off as snobbish. I am just looking at a general consensus here.


consensus on a guitar board , oh sorry just had to say that. chances aren't that good to even get a reasonable consensus amoungst guys who play strats as there main guitar. this is kinda why most of us (sorta a consensus) said to try as many strats as you can. Ken G does have a point about specs and if you are used to playing guitars with flat radius's then that might be a consideration. also vintage spec (outside of radius) and modern spec have diffeerences that may or may not matter to you.

KenG i don't have any real problems with 9.5" radius however i will say that i don't care for super low action either. as for guys blowing thru guitars well in some cases you may be right in others it's just a matter of trying different things. you won't know exactly what works for youuntil you try a bunch of guitars so i always recommend that guys play as many as possible.
#20
I don't use super low action either it's 4/64 to 5/64th on the Low E on my Les Pauls. Too low and the strings slip from beneath my fingertips on bends, too high and I don't like the sound of notes.
Moving on.....
#21
American Standard would not be settling. Excellent guitar as is, especially with the fat 50s pickups (though I did put a hot rails in my bridge)
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