Price paid: $ 175
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 7
The fiberglass body takes a lot away from the overall volume of the guitar, along with, unfortunately, some of the tone. I found it pretty difficult to get it sounding nice and loud while finger-picking, and strumming with your thumb, it just isn't as loud as a regular-shaped acoustic. Despite these short-comings, the guitar has a very unique tone, and sounds great when played properly. And plugged in, the guitar sounds somewhat similar to a semi-hollow body. The built-in preamp adds a great dynamic to shaping your tone, and lets you dial in exactly what you like.
Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is my new baby, I can't even let it rest in anything but a proper stand. I love the feel of the electric, but the practicalness of being able to have an acoustic jam session anytime I want. It's a great buy, and is a great fit for almost any style, though, obviously, it's meant for the many styles of rock, due to the very electric feel of this acoustic ax. If only the body was a little more solid, to uphold the tone and help raise the unplugged volume, I would deem this the perfect acoustic guitar ever.
Reliability & Durability — 8
My first plugged-in session had me worried I would be shipping the Stratocoustic back. The onboard preamp felt very touchy, and I couldn't quite get it to stay on, even though it was plugged in. After some messing around, I got it to come on, and have since had no problems. The spruce top is so beautiful, that I'm afraid anytime I accidently bump it into something, it'll leave a nick on it. If anything, I'd be worried about accidently denting the top. Otherwise, the hardware is solid and unbreakable, and the finish will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This, I believe, is where the Stratocoustic shines the most. The guitar is absolutely beautiful, and seems to glisten. The neck, being identical in almost every way to a Stratocaster's, is a joy to play on. While I've heard some people complain about the action out of the box, I experienced no problem with fret-buzz, nor have I had a problem with the strings being too spaced from the fretboard. It's a wonder to look at, and amazing to play.
Features — 9
I recently received my Fender Stratocoustic and right out of the box, I was amazed. This was the first Fender instrument I've ever purchased, and if all Fender's are like this, I must say I will become a believer. The Stratocoustic consists of a fiberglass body with a laminated spruce top, and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard (21 frets), and a standard Stratocaster headstock. The body is only 3" deep, making it almost as thin as a standard electric. Being an acoustic / electric, the guitar has on-board preamp, with bass, treble, mid, prescence (mid-sweep), and volume controls, with a low-battery indicator light (requires an included 9v battery). The tuners are great, and I haven't experienced any tuning slippage yet. And on top of all this, the black finish looks amazing. The guitar is absolutely beautiful, and will steal the flash from a dreadnought anyday.