American Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (399 votes)
Fender: American Stratocaster
1

Price paid: $ 1512

Sound — 10
I play blues/rock such as Clapton, Hendrix, and also some punk rock such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and so on. The guitar suits all these styles perfectly, it's very versatile. Sounds great when I play classic guitar songs eg the Eagles on it too! There is a bit of noise but the cable is dodgy. The guitar can make a great variety of sounds, thanks also to the amp.

Overall Impression — 8
If I lost it, I would buy it again. Except I would buy it in America or somewhere similar, where the price would be a lot cheaper. The price I payed here in Ireland was a bit over the top. It was definitely worth it, but compared to how much the same guitar costs in other countries it was too dear. I would also like to downgrade the hardcase to a gig bag as the hardcase is very heavy to carry!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't played it live but I cannot suspect it would trouble me. The hardware seems built to last, without a doubt. The finish is strong and complete, the strap buttons are very strong and survive if I am literally jumping around the place. I would surely depend on it, no need for any sort of backup!

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything was adjusted and set up very well. As I said, I haven't altered any settings at all yet! Everything is presicely set up, with little noise coming from the pickups. Finish is perfect, no chips or flaws whatsoever. Polish has a few imperfections but nothing a new coat of guitar polish wouldn't fix!

Features — 10
Made in 2003 in USA, Corona CA. 22 medium/jumbo frets. It has all the usual controls: volume/2 tone/5-way selector. It hasn't been customized yet so is still the same configuration as when it was bought. Maple neck, with Alder body, finished in black with white fretboard. Came with lots of accessories: Fender hard case, strap, cable, tremolo arm, lots of screws and hex keys, bumper stickers, picks, etc.

131 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Strat_Monkey
    yeah one of the reviews says somthin about jimi, actually he just used a standard, if he had used an american.....great fun, DEATH TO LES PAULS
    The only Strats made back then were made in Fullerton, California. They didn't call them American Stratocasters for the simple reason that there were no other Stratocasters.
    TOB00
    prpl? wat in the heck is wrong with u? go with sunburst dweebo
    Night Revolver
    guitarsolo_17 wrote: yeah one of the reviews says somthin about jimi, actually he just used a standard, if he had used an american.....great fun, DEATH TO LES PAULS
    Back then there was no mexican Fenders.
    pete-c
    Jphthe1 wrote: Does anyone else think this is not a classic and just a piece of ****ing shit?
    Considering it's probably the most popular/copied guitar in history, I'd say... nah. Judging by your profile's gear/music taste, it's not really your thing anyway, so why bother coming here to troll?
    Luke Brennan
    pete-c wrote: Jphthe1 wrote: Does anyone else think this is not a classic and just a piece of ****ing shit? Considering it's probably the most popular/copied guitar in history, I'd say... nah. Judging by your profile's gear/music taste, it's not really your thing anyway, so why bother coming here to troll?
    You rock...
    eSdaze
    just a quote to think about
    Mexican strats are made by mexicans in mexico. American strats are made by mexicans in america.
    slash02
    ppl, what's the difference between Fender American Stratocaster and the HSS version? and what's the humbucker?
    Swamplord
    hippie_punk wrote: Too many damn people love strats... what can I say it's the first guitar I got, but I should have just gone with an ibanez or gibson. Terrible sound with distortion on. It's fine if you really gotta have a guitar like hendrix. It's terrble for the stuff I play (Tool, The Casualties, Fugazi). I paid like 500 bucks for this thing, when my 200 doller Ibanez sounds way better. It's not even the best thing fender makes, Jaquars and Mustangs sound way better. When you grow up, get a better guitar.
    Icebolt wrote: i think strats suck, fender standards sound alright, but true strats are terrible with distort, my first guitar was strat so i CAN talk, they suck. Ibanez and gibson rock!
    You both say that strats sound terrible with distortion. I have a strat and you can get any sound you want out of a fender (or any guitar for that matter) if you have the right sort of pedal you dweebs. And for god's sake... gibson, ibanez, fender. They are all crafted pieces of wood. What determines the quality of the guitar is: The quality of wood used to craft the guitar. What determines the sound coming out of the amp is: The type and quality of pickup used. Its like Nike and Adidas all over again.
    straternator_1
    Mahoru wrote: I hate Strats. I don't like they're style and their sound doesn't fit at all with anything I've played. Gibson and Ibanez are a lot better by far.
    i hate people like you. if you are just looking at this page to bag strats, why bother? just P.O (i dont wanna swear lol). strats and les pauls are both LEGENDARY guitars. NEITHER should be bagged!
    hippie_punk
    Too many damn people love strats... what can I say it's the first guitar I got, but I should have just gone with an ibanez or gibson. Terrible sound with distortion on. It's fine if you really gotta have a guitar like hendrix. It's terrble for the stuff I play (Tool, The Casualties, Fugazi). I paid like 500 bucks for this thing, when my 200 doller Ibanez sounds way better. It's not even the best thing fender makes, Jaquars and Mustangs sound way better. When you grow up, get a better guitar.
    Shredy_Mc_shred
    SupermanIsDead wrote: rocketman1010 wrote: EC_AL_JH_GH wrote: Not that I hate Strats or anything, but I will remind everyone that talks about Hendrix's use of Strats that he did in fact use 2 Gibson Flying Vs, A three pickup SG and a ES-335 near the end of his life. Dude, tons of AMAZING guitarist have used gibsons exclusively, tons fenders, and most just play both. They are two really great guitars, nobody can say they aren't. I think we can all agree, however, as regular people that fender gives you the best bang for your buck. By the way I wouldn't play an ibanez if you payed me. Not that they aren't played by some of the greatest players in the world, because they are. I just HATE the sound they give off. Plus Steve Vai used one in the guitar duel on "Crossroads" and he was a dick in that movie. P.S. Steve Vai rules. But the Karate kid rules more. In the movie I mean. man, don't watch movie too much will you, you don't use a scene in a movie as a reference to choose a guitar. steve was the dick, not ibanez. besides, steve's ibanez sounds whole lot better in that duel. while that karate kid's fender sounds like dying cat screaming for help. a crap. playing metal with fender?? what a joke.
    I know the guitar wasnt out when you posted "Metal with fender?? what a joke" but Jim Root's sig guitar is a fender.
    jv_music
    Uncle Gibson wrote: Please somebody tell me, can you play rock (AC-DC) on Stratocaster?
    LOL you can play anything on any guitar. But if you want the actual tone from angus young than check out an sg or something with humbuckers.
    Vikash78
    or does the standard stratocaster still sound awesome and close in quality to the american version
    ACDCrocker01
    Strats are great. Mines even better because i have one humbucker at the bridge instea of the regular 3 singles. It works great with pretty much any type of music. It also sounds great with my Vox AD30VT amp. It's also worth the price (mine was 1,150). It's highly durable and I don't have any scratches what so ever on it. The 2 minor downfalls are the plastic on the pickguard since it's so hard to take off and some gets stuck under the tone and volume buttons and also mine was brand new so the neck smelt kind of funny .
    richgray5
    theres great strats and not so great ones. I have played ones that felt like a kids toy. My strat looks, and feels like a high quality guitar. I bought mine in 94, and its my main guitar. you can play anything on it....anything. The most easily moddable guitar around as long as the cavity is routed. I would never pay a grand for one, even for a classic, that kind of stuff is overrated
    netwizard90
    well well. i love strats too. but i was diappointed when i played this guitar. i went to a store to buy a new electric (a cheap one). i choosed a vintage brand guitar (the v6) and i wanted a fender to compare it. the vintag guitar which i own now costs 350 dollars and the fender costs 1000!!! and when i played the fender i was like. wtf...this guitar aint worth a thousand dollars. the sound of the vintage is great too, its solid, and everything works. except that one tonepoti is a bit strange. you only hear differences from 1-3 the rest is all the same. but why pay 1000 dollars if ypu can have a great guitar for 300?????
    netwizard90
    well well. i love strats too. but i was diappointed when i played this guitar. i went to a store to buy a new electric (a cheap one). i choosed a vintage brand guitar (the v6) and i wanted a fender to compare it. the vintag guitar which i own now costs 350 dollars and the fender costs 1000!!! and when i played the fender i was like. wtf...this guitar aint worth a thousand dollars. the sound of the vintage is great too, its solid, and everything works. except that one tonepoti is a bit strange. you only hear differences from 1-3 the rest is all the same. but why pay 1000 dollars if ypu can have a great guitar for 300?????
    mothola
    Who the hell gets an american strat as their first guitar?!?!? Is your mommy a hooker? POSTED: 02/04/2008 - 09:22 pm 10-4 on that. Thats the world we live in now.
    mxh
    Who the hell gets an american strat as their first guitar?!?!? Is your mommy a hooker?
    Fambi
    AJCreary wrote: I have a Strat and a Gibson Les Paul... I would rate the strat a 7 as opposed to my Gibson being a 9... Why? Well, the strat doesn't play very diverse sounds. Everything sounds pretty much the same. And it has a kinda fuzzy distortion, to be honest. I think the Strat sells so well because of its fame. Plus, the shape of the neck gave me carpel tunnel. The Les Paul, overall, is a MUCH better guitar. The neck is a much better shape for my wrist, and it has such a great sound. So basically, if you're going to spend that much money on a guitar, pay a little more and get a Les Paul Studio. TRUST ME.
    Sorry mate. Les Paul Studios don't cut it for me. American Strats are the best bang for your (overpriced) buck. By far.
    JoelTheShredder wrote: **** this and get an ibanez
    And that depends on what kind of music you enjoy to play. Ibanezes are only good for metal, in my opinion. I went to Allans with my mates one day to have a look at some stuff. I played an Ibanez, American Strat, American Tele and a Les Paul in succession. The Strat was the winner, no doubt. The Tele has a nicer neck but I hate the way Teles look so I would definitely buy an American Strat
    AJCreary
    I have a Strat and a Gibson Les Paul... I would rate the strat a 7 as opposed to my Gibson being a 9... Why? Well, the strat doesn't play very diverse sounds. Everything sounds pretty much the same. And it has a kinda fuzzy distortion, to be honest. I think the Strat sells so well because of its fame. Plus, the shape of the neck gave me carpel tunnel. The Les Paul, overall, is a MUCH better guitar. The neck is a much better shape for my wrist, and it has such a great sound. So basically, if you're going to spend that much money on a guitar, pay a little more and get a Les Paul Studio. TRUST ME.
    Ali-b912
    i dont think of single coils as noisy, i think of it as free fuzz distortion.
    EC_AL_JH_GH
    Not that I hate Strats or anything, but I will remind everyone that talks about Hendrix's use of Strats that he did in fact use 2 Gibson Flying Vs, A three pickup SG and a ES-335 near the end of his life.
    dgme92
    yo-shiuan wrote: i got one o these its SCHWEET!!!
    hmmm.... i spell it "shweet" yeah stratocasters are pretty sexy alright!!
    seijo_hxc
    Sly Stone wrote: You can use strats for metal just look at iron maiden they use strats and shred as good as any other, im not into that type of music but i thought i'd put ppl straight about strats not being able to be used for metal
    Do they use S-S-S strats or humbuckers? I'm buying a new guitar and my doubt is between this Am Strat or the HSS American Strat. What do you think about it, is it worth to have a humbucker in a Strat? Thanks PD: I'm not doing metal on a Strat, I just want a very versatile guitar
    KX36
    wiki's a bad reference, i saw an article the other day that had "the guitar's bridge" replaced with "the guitar's a**hole" american strats have "hand rollered" necks, which is basically wearing them down a bit so they feel aged... or something, i don't have one personally, i've never played a 20 year old guitar, but ageing guitars comes from "sweet spots" appearing as a result of vibrational wear on the wood.. not just rolling the edges of the fingerboard. american strats are generally higher built quality + setup than a standard mex, i don't know if the materials are better too.
    Sly Stone
    You can use strats for metal just look at iron maiden they use strats and shred as good as any other, im not into that type of music but i thought i'd put ppl straight about strats not being able to be used for metal
    Gibson_Rocker13
    travman_401 wrote: ^ Quality mainly. People can fight and fight about there being no difference. There wrong, although there may not be a huge difference in the sound. There IS a difference in craftmanship. The neck is bertter and the guitar overall will last MUCH longer. I know from expierience.
    i love how you say that becasue all of the strat necks are made in the USA i belive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Stra... second point under current models
    humpacow6
    it always comes down to taste, it really dosen't matter what has better what
    nicodimus
    In my opinion, mexican fender strats sound better than the American, and are a damn site cheaper too
    rocketman1010
    EC_AL_JH_GH wrote: Not that I hate Strats or anything, but I will remind everyone that talks about Hendrix's use of Strats that he did in fact use 2 Gibson Flying Vs, A three pickup SG and a ES-335 near the end of his life.
    Dude, tons of AMAZING guitarist have used gibsons exclusively, tons fenders, and most just play both. They are two really great guitars, nobody can say they aren't. I think we can all agree, however, as regular people that fender gives you the best bang for your buck. By the way I wouldn't play an ibanez if you payed me. Not that they aren't played by some of the greatest players in the world, because they are. I just HATE the sound they give off. Plus Steve Vai used one in the guitar duel on "Crossroads" and he was a dick in that movie. P.S. Steve Vai rules. But the Karate kid rules more. In the movie I mean.
    mattyp90
    Mahoru : straternator_1 wrote: Mahoru wrote: I hate Strats. I don't like they're style and their sound doesn't fit at all with anything I've played. Gibson and Ibanez are a lot better by far. i hate people like you. if you are just looking at this page to bag strats, why bother? just P.O (i dont wanna swear lol). strats and les pauls are both LEGENDARY guitars. NEITHER should be bagged! Well, last week I tried this Strat on my local shop, w/o anything in mind, and I have to say I've changed my mind. My only experience with Strats was with a Standard MIM, and I didn't like it at all. But man, I loved this one (it was a candy cola with rosewood). It sounded and felt great, everything in a total different way of the Les Pauls I'm used to. So let me change my comment: "I love Strats. I love everything on them (if they're good quality, like this one). They can cover all styles, and this may sound strange, said by a Les Paul lover, but it's what I realized: go and try a good American Strat (not Mexican!), without anything in mind (what you have played before, which guitar does your idol use, what style do you use to play before...); they may not be for everyone, but at least, try them them TWICE, as I did! xDD"
    Why can't more people be like this.
    guitarsolo_17
    yeah one of the reviews says somthin about jimi, actually he just used a standard, if he had used an american.....great fun, DEATH TO LES PAULS
    Icebolt
    i think strats suck, fender standards sound alright, but true strats are terrible with distort, my first guitar was strat so i CAN talk, they suck. Ibanez and gibson rock!
    Mahoru
    I hate Strats. I don't like they're style and their sound doesn't fit at all with anything I've played. Gibson and Ibanez are a lot better by far.
    duzit89
    if you buy a Mexican Strat ($500).. and do the necessary upgrades.. you will be happy with how much money you SAVE.. then getting a $2000-$2500 dollar strat...
    speedfreak_808
    Amroth wrote: I really can't see the reason for arguing about whether or not the Strat's better than the Les Paul. They're really two very different guitars suited for different styles. I think everyone should be able to see that both of these guitars are highly worthy additions to any collection.
    Finally someone who talks sense.
    speedfreak_808
    KCW1229 wrote: is it better to get a HSS or a SSS
    Depends what you're into. Personally I think a strat should be all singles like it was designed to be but thats only me being a perfectionist
    speedfreak_808
    seijo_hxc wrote: Sly Stone wrote: You can use strats for metal just look at iron maiden they use strats and shred as good as any other, im not into that type of music but i thought i'd put ppl straight about strats not being able to be used for metal Do they use S-S-S strats or humbuckers? I'm buying a new guitar and my doubt is between this Am Strat or the HSS American Strat. What do you think about it, is it worth to have a humbucker in a Strat? Thanks PD: I'm not doing metal on a Strat, I just want a very versatile guitar
    If you want to know if it will work for you go and play one. Personally I don't like humbuckers in a strat but thats just me. go play one and find out.