Price paid: $ 1300
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play blues all the way to metal-ish music. It handles all of it fantastically. The singles are great for early stuff like clapton, and with some thick gain even get some good SRV stuff. Being singles they are noisy, but I've heard much worse. The Humbucker is thick warm and punchy, with a good edge to it. Might not handle super heavy metal stuff great but anything below that it sounds great, and is totally noiseless. Blended, all the pickups sound great. and the S-1 is a nice addition. I play it through a Vox-VT100 and it sounds great for almost everything. Humbucker is very responsive to how you hit the strings.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 2 years now, and own another MIM Strat and a vox-VT100. This Strat is fantastic and a joy to play plugged up or not. There's really nothing I dislike about it, which is good given it wasn't cheap. If it was stolen, I would literally destroy whoever stole it. If I couldn't, I would definitely buy it again, though that might take a while given I'm 17 and on a budget. If nothing else, the only thing I'd change is getting some noiseless singles, but that's not very high on the to-do list at all. The thing Rocks.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is one heavy mother, and feels as durable as a tank. The hard is all on tight, no loose strap buttons or anything, and personally I would gig without a backup if I had to. The wood and finish seem durable and even with its fair share of bumps, none have broken through to the wood. The frets have worn down to where I like them now. So that was a plus. This guitar seems like a it may outlast me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
When it got to me, the action was slightly high, but nothing unbearable and I fixed it next time I strung it. The action is very low now, but it never frets out and there's only fret Buzz on the Low E if you slam it. The pickups are set great and the finish was flawless, and ten times better than the pictures (they make it look kinda light red, but its a very deep, grain-laden red). The Hardware all came in good shape, though bridge seems to be more of a dive only style bridge rather than a free-floating one. I personally like it as I tune down to drop D often, and it keeps perfect tune. It also holds tune well after a broken string. HOWEVER, as the bridge and strings settle they start to lose their tuning, I woudldnt go more than a song or two without fixing the string and retuning.
Features — 9
I got a 2009 Fender American Select HSS strat. It has 22 jumbo frets and a C neck profile. The neck is maple with a clear satin finish and it has a rosewood fretboard. The body is solid Mahogany with a beautiful transparent crimson finish. The Humbucker is a Diamondback with plenty of gain and lots of warmth, and the two singles are Tex-Mex Singles with the neck having a thin but punchy sound and the middle being more full but still mildly twangy. It has a Volume knob with S-1 switching (which lets you incorporate the humbucker into all the positions) and 2 tone knobs. It has an LSR roller nut and Schaller Locking Tuners on a sweet black headstock. The tremolo is 2- point and it has the elongated (I think string saver?) saddles on the bridge. It came with a molded Hardshell case, a strap, snap in whammy bar, strap locks, and a 12 foot Fender Cable. It also had every sized allen I needed.