Purchased from: Maximum Music
Sound — 9
I play grunge and alternative stuff, and my favorite guitarist is Tom Morello, so I have upgraded it to look more like his Strat, so I'm playing it with a hotrail in the bridge, through a Zoom 505 II, a Crybaby, and a Boss distortion, EQ, tremolo, and octave. It has a great sound from the pickups, but being used to having a humbucker in my other guitar, I needed to upgrade the bridge pickup to a hotrail. It sounds really good except that when I got mine, the bridge wasn't set right and I had to take it to the store and get it adjusted.
Overall Impression — 10
If this were lost or stolen, I would not buy another one, I would actually hunt down the person who took it and get it back but seriously, if it were stolen I would definately buy it again. Everytime I bring it to the music store I get nothing but compliments on the finish and the way it looks. It's great. However, before you purchase one you need to know the different between the 2004 and 2005 versions, since they are wayy different. The 2005 doesn't have a pickguard, and the jack is on the side, rather than on the top, so it doesn't look like a Strat. I would suggest hunting around looking for the 2004 like I did.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is really durable, as I have dropped this on concrete before I got a case for it, and the paint didn't chip or scratch at all. I can depend on it if I went to a gig, because it has a Fender logo on it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As I said above, the bridge was off, and I needed to have it adjusted, but other than that it was great quality as are most Fenders.
Features — 10
It's a Japanese-made special edition Strat, I have the 2004 version. It is black with a matching black headstock, darker than normal rosewood fretboard, and cream binding around the body. It came with a instrument cable and a hex key, but I haven't used them at all, so I dunno how well the cable works, it looks cheap though.