Price paid: $ 2194.17
Sound — 6
The sound of this guitar is not up to usually Fender standards. The bridge pickup is too quiet and does not work well with my Boss DS-1 pedal. The bridge humbucker takes away the gain on the pedal. My other guitars which I have do not do this. At gigs, I use a Marshall JCM half stack and compared to the other guitarist, I am getting a poor sound. The only difference in our set up is our guitars. The clean sound on the guitar is terrible. It is far to "bassy" for what I would like. It is has a very dull sound to it due to the amount of bass. I have tried getting rid of the bass using effects but I am unable to. So a poor sounding guitar compared to others made by Fender!
Overall Impression — 6
The only reason why I choose this guitar was that Fender are usually reliable and they have a good reputation. I have had Fenders in the past but non have been as poor as this one. As a guitarist who has been playing most of his life, I am amazed at the price I paid and the quality I got. I just goes to show that you don't get what you pay for.
Reliability & Durability — 6
As I said before, the connections keep coming loose so te reliability is poor. The hardware seems like it will last but because there have been so many flaws already, I would not put my life on it. I would definately take a backup to a gig as I am not confident and do not trust the guitar enough. The finish is good but scratches and dents show up well which is obviously not a good thing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The guitar is a nightmare to play with. The action is too slow to play any decent lead breaks. So the lead which I play in my band is not as effective as it should be. The pickups were to high so I was getting a restricted sound, especially on the humbucker. The fret alignment was poor. I had to send the guitar away to get the frets re-aligned professionally. The neck is constantly warping and I have problems with the electronics becoming loose and eventually disconnecting. I am unable to change pickups in the middle of a song because the when I move the selector Switch, I get a cracking noise.
Features — 8
- Body: select alder with flame maple top - Neck: maple, modern "C" shape (satin polyurethane finish) - Machine heads: Fender/Schaller Deluxe Staggered cast/sealed locking tuning machines - Fingerboard: ebony, 9.5" radius (241 mm) - Frets: 22 medium jumbo - Pickups: 1 Fender DH-1 humbucker (bridge), 2 Hot Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Strat pickups (middle/neck) - Controls: master volume (with S-1 Switch), master no-load tone control - Bridge: Fender Deluxe 2-point synchronized tremolo with pop in arm - Pickup switching: 5-position blade and 2-position push/push S-1: S-1 Switch up: Position 1. Full Bridge Humbucking Pickup with Coils in Series (Lead Tone Control); Position 2. Middle Pickup and Inside Coil of Bridge Humbucking Pickup in Parallel (Lead Tone Control); Position 3. Middle Pickup (Lead Tone Control); Position 4. Neck and Middle Pickup in Parallel (Lead and Rhythm Tone Controls); Position 5. Neck Pickup (Rhythm Tone Control S-1 Switch Down: Position 1. Full Bridge Humbucking Pickup with Coils in Series (Lead Tone Control); Position 2. Full Bridge Humbucking Pickup with Coils in Series, in Parallel with Neck Pickup (Lead and Rhythm Tone Controls); Position 3. Full Bridge Humbucking Pickup with Coils in Series, in Parallel with Neck and Middle Pickups that are Paired in Series (Lead and Rhythm Tone Controls); Position 4. Inside Coil of Bridge Pickup Paired in Series with Neck Pickup, in Parallel with Middle Pickup (Lead and Rhythm Tone Controls); Position 5. Middle Pickup in Series with Neck Pickup (Rhythm Tone Control) - Hardware: chrome - Strings: Fender Super Bullet 3250L, Nickel Plated Steel, (.009 to .042), p/n 073-3250-003 - Case: Deluxe Brown Hardshell case - Pickguard: none - Scale length: 25.5" (648 mm) - Unique features: S-1 switching, ebony fingerboard, LSR roller nut, abalone dot position inlays, highly detailed fret work, black anodized mini-barrel knobs, black plastic parts - Width at nut: 1.6875" (43 mm) - Accessories: hard case.