#1
I love stratocasters. Everything about them. But after dealing with fender's customer service, I don't ever want to give them my money again.

So what should I do? I'm left handed, and I'm okay with going the custom route if I have to. I'm used to paying before playing, unfortunately. So what would you guys recommend? Carvin/Kiesel? Suhr? Nash? Aesthetics are important but not as important as tone and playability.

I play everything. Blues, rock, jazz, folk, etc. Just not much metal, so I don't need multi-scale, 7+ strings, djenty pickups or motorcycle parts. I love the typical strat tone. SRV, really. I can afford up to $3,000 but anything beyond that would be pushing it on my teacher's salary.

Thanks!
#2
Check out what you have listed and also throw G&L on your list
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#3
I would second the G&L sugestion. The other thing to consider would be building one yourself. Warrmoth makes great parts and you could do one for well under $3000.
#4
I usually don't worry about someone's customer service; I've never dealt with the parent company of most of my guitars and really wouldn't care to. You're not going to find customer service nirvana with most brands. I love hanging with the marketing folks at NAMM shows, but the customer service people are hardened, I think, by having to deal with idiots on a daily basis.

That said, if you're going for a strat-alike, my recommendations would probably start with Suhr and Tom Anderson. Suhr's factory is in my back yard, they will do semi-custom work and it's great quality. The Tom Anderson guitars (also in my back yard) offer subtle innovations that make tons of sense, and those guitars are about as well-done as it gets. http://www.andersonguitarworks.com/

G&L makes very good production-based guitars, and I'd keep them toward the top of the list.

Carvin/Kiesel guitars are favorites of mine (I have seven) but I'm not sure that I'd put their bolt-neck strat-type guitars at the head of this list for a true strat-lover. They're extremely well built and offer a huge list of customizations, but Carvin's strengths are in what they do really well, and that would be something like a 25" scale 24-fret neck-through with a strat-shaped body. Absolutely awesome guitar, but it's just a bit further afield of what you're used to.

I'd move Nash guitars well down the list, but that's personal opinion speaking. I don't think they're extremely well done guitars, though they're not bad. Their forte is in making new guitars look old while retaining very good playability, and I have to admit I'm not a fan of poser instruments and that includes ten grand LPs that have been carefully made to duplicate some collector's instrument. They're fun in their own way, like the rust-bucket-looking rusto-mod cars that actually have all-new components, but they're not daily drivers.
Last edited by dspellman at May 14, 2016,
#5
I'd look at Ron Kirn for a great strat and good customer service. ron often posts on Strat-Talk and The Gear Page. he's very accessible and a great guy.
#6
G&L if your budget is closer to 1000, Suhr if your budget is closer to 3000

G&L do an import series for 400-700 that are very good for the money as well.
#7
Quote by dspellman
I usually don't worry about someone's customer service; I've never dealt with the parent company of most of my guitars and really wouldn't care to. You're not going to find customer service nirvana with most brands. I love hanging with the marketing folks at NAMM shows, but the customer service people are hardened, I think, by having to deal with idiots on a daily basis.

That said, if you're going for a strat-alike, my recommendations would probably start with Suhr and Tom Anderson. Suhr's factory is in my back yard, they will do semi-custom work and it's great quality. The Tom Anderson guitars (also in my back yard) offer subtle innovations that make tons of sense, and those guitars are about as well-done as it gets. http://www.andersonguitarworks.com/

G&L makes very good production-based guitars, and I'd keep them toward the top of the list.

Carvin/Kiesel guitars are favorites of mine (I have seven) but I'm not sure that I'd put their bolt-neck strat-type guitars at the head of this list for a true strat-lover. They're extremely well built and offer a huge list of customizations, but Carvin's strengths are in what they do really well, and that would be something like a 25" scale 24-fret neck-through with a strat-shaped body. Absolutely awesome guitar, but it's just a bit further afield of what you're used to.

I'd move Nash guitars well down the list, but that's personal opinion speaking. I don't think they're extremely well done guitars, though they're not bad. Their forte is in making new guitars look old while retaining very good playability, and I have to admit I'm not a fan of poser instruments and that includes ten grand LPs that have been carefully made to duplicate some collector's instrument. They're fun in their own way, like the rust-bucket-looking rusto-mod cars that actually have all-new components, but they're not daily drivers.


Thanks for the reply and for your anecdote about Nash. That's what I was looking for. I'll admit that I do like the poser guitar look, but I'm not willing to sacrifice playability and tone for it. I'll start with Anderson and Suhr for sure.

The issue I have with Fender is recent so it's probable that I'm just too emotionally invested to think clearly right now. That said, I've been pretty disappointed in my treatment. They sold me a broken guitar and refused to warranty the entire instrument, just parts.

I gave it to their licensed Sam Ash tech in February and I only got it back a week ago. Fender told SA that they still need 90-120 days to replace only the neck, bc it's a "rare part." I'm left handed so I get that it's more rare, but It's a 2013 American Standard Strat. Are those really that uncommon?

I even spoke to fender directly multiple times and explained to them that I've only ever played fender, I'm a teacher who runs a free after school "rock brand" program for the kids who have nowhere safe to go after school ends. I live and work in Queens Village, NY, and it's not the safest area. Without my guitar, I couldn't really give lessons or run the program. Fender basically said "sorry, you'll have to wait."

I even offered to pay more for a custom neck but they told me none was available in my dexterity and model. All I wanted from them was a playable, working guitar, which I paid $1100 for.

I understand that they're a business and have to make economically profitable decisions. I get why they won't help me, but I'm nonetheless disappointed. The guitar was "broken" straight out of the shop. If you look at my post history, you'll see. It's had odd pickup "warbling" problems, badly finished frets, a badly cut nut, the list goes on. I guess that's just the risk you take buying site unseen from a factory, but being a left-handed player, I don't have many options.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks again for your reply, DSpellman.
Last edited by RyanMW2010 at May 14, 2016,
#8
Besides G&L, Carvin, and Suhr, I'd add Godin and Fret-King as obvious options. That's a good starting lineup.

If you can't find something there, I can dredge through the several hundred makers I have bookmarked to find you something else, because there are LOTS of other quality options out there, at all kinds of prices..
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!
#9
Isn't Nash just parts-caster guitars? That they relic and then they charge a fortune for a guitar that is nothing more than a parts-caster
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#10
I've heard that, but since I'm no fan of relicing (and thus would never recommend a Nash), I never bothered to do any research to confirm or debunk.
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!
#11
Quote by RyanMW2010


I understand that they're a business and have to make economically profitable decisions. I get why they won't help me, but I'm nonetheless disappointed. The guitar was "broken" straight out of the shop. If you look at my post history, you'll see. It's had odd pickup "warbling" problems, badly finished frets, a badly cut nut, the list goes on. I guess that's just the risk you take buying site unseen from a factory, but being a left-handed player, I don't have many options.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks again for your reply, DSpellman.


I'm in a bit better position to deal with Fender than you are, I think. The Fender Museum is literally across the parking lot from one of my offices in Corona. If you get out here, there's an awesome high-end (and hidden away) store for Fenders and Suhrs and such called Wild West in Riverside. NO walk-by traffic, NO window display. In fact, it's a locked door in a light industrial complex. Their website has only a teeny fraction of what they have onsite. Room after room of high end Fenders, Suhrs and the like. Suhr is just south in the Lake Elsinore area, Tom Anderson is up in Newhall, in between we have Trussart (check THOSE out!) and, of course, Fender.

Lefty is, unfortunately, a serious curse when it comes to guitars. Now you know why there are a lot of lefties that learn righty Custom builders to the rescue.

I'm a bit concerned, however, about your having a really good guitar in a high-risk neighborhood. I'd probably have a nice one at home and cart a cheapie around. Something like this: http://www.rondomusic.com/hawkmnashbklh.html Well, actually, there's no "probably" about it; I mostly play LP-style guitars and have a couple of $200 (B-stock and used) Agile AL-series guitars that are my "bar guitars." Both have had their frets superglued and had a run on a PLEK machine, so they're outstanding players, and I'd hate to see them damaged or stolen, but they're a better bet in a high-risk environment. The good stuff stays home (knock on wood...).
#13
Quote by dspellman
I'm in a bit better position to deal with Fender than you are, I think. The Fender Museum is literally across the parking lot from one of my offices in Corona. If you get out here, there's an awesome high-end (and hidden away) store for Fenders and Suhrs and such called Wild West in Riverside. NO walk-by traffic, NO window display. In fact, it's a locked door in a light industrial complex. Their website has only a teeny fraction of what they have onsite. Room after room of high end Fenders, Suhrs and the like. Suhr is just south in the Lake Elsinore area, Tom Anderson is up in Newhall, in between we have Trussart (check THOSE out!) and, of course, Fender.

Lefty is, unfortunately, a serious curse when it comes to guitars. Now you know why there are a lot of lefties that learn righty Custom builders to the rescue.

I'm a bit concerned, however, about your having a really good guitar in a high-risk neighborhood. I'd probably have a nice one at home and cart a cheapie around. Something like this: http://www.rondomusic.com/hawkmnashbklh.html Well, actually, there's no "probably" about it; I mostly play LP-style guitars and have a couple of $200 (B-stock and used) Agile AL-series guitars that are my "bar guitars." Both have had their frets superglued and had a run on a PLEK machine, so they're outstanding players, and I'd hate to see them damaged or stolen, but they're a better bet in a high-risk environment. The good stuff stays home (knock on wood...).


You know what, I didn't even consider that. I do have an Mexican tele that I play every once in a while that could also use a re-fret. Thanks for looking out.
#14
I'll add Blade guitars to the list, too.

But onto the thing about your usage. I commend you for your program- it's a good idea. But when it comes to theft, I think the only difference between an expensive guitar and a cheaper one is how much you lose if it is taken- thieves don't check the headstock before they rob you.

Still, the value/risk of loss is nontrivial. Considering decent budget guitars would be good idea if you think your odds of getting robbed are significant enough.

In that case, I'd look at MiM Fenders, G&L Tributes, Godin and Dean Zelinsky Provate Label. I believe all are available as lefties.

You might also check Adirondack guitars and other online retailers who specialize in lefty guitars.


http://leftyfretz.com/
http://www.southpawguitars.com/
http://www.adirondackguitar.com/lefty/LHMenu.htm
http://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/
http://leftyguitarsonly.com/
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 May 14, 2016,
#15
I have a carvin bolt (their strat) and while it plays fantastic, it doesn't FEEL like a Fender. It feels like other Carvin guitars, sort of like their DC series. So if you want a Fender look/feel/sound a like, I would avoid it. Still a great guitar though.
The gear:

Carvin Bolt Classic
PRS SE Singlecut
Agile AL-1900
Peavey Vypyr 2
#16
I love my G&L Comanche. It is the best non-Strat Strat I have in my collection.
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#17
LsL makes by far the best strats out there IMO.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
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 oneblackened
LsL makes by far the best strats out there IMO.


Was just about to say this. Played on of them a few weeks back and loved it, not sure if they do lefty models though
Bands:
Native State
A Titan, A Deity
Rash L.A

Gear:
PRS P245 Semi Hollow
Suhr Modern Guthrie Spec
Mayones Regius 7 Buckeye Burl
LSL CVS Studio Strat
Fender American Standard Tele
Faith Hi Gloss Venus

Mesa Lonestar Special
Bugera 333
Zilla 2x12 Fatboy
Line 6 PodHD500
#19
A lot of builders that do work of that quality usually do.
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!
#20
Quote by RyanMW2010
I'm a teacher who runs a free after school "rock brand" program for the kids who have nowhere safe to go after school ends. I live and work in Queens Village, NY, and it's not the safest area.

i'd skip on the $3000 bolt on then.

get a nice USA G&L and call it a day.

while andersons and suhrs are great guitars, i don't think they're that much better than a good USA G&L.

just my .02.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#21
G&L's play and sound much heavier than a traditional Strat. Or, at least, that was my verdict after owning 3 different Legacies and a Comanche. If you like a thicker neck and play with a more modern/heavier style, the G&L's will be absolutely perfect.

If you want more of a quacky, vintagey Stratocaster, I would endorse Godin. They're very high on my list of "Strats that aren't Strats."

If you're cool with quirky, the Tokai Goldstar ST60's are rather good, and the ESP copies play exceptionally.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
Last edited by JustRooster at May 16, 2016,