Price paid: $ 699
Purchased from: Alto Music NY
Sound — 10
I play blues, classic rock, some punk and some metal. I plug into a Line 6 Spider II series amp. Overall, this guitar is unbelievable in terms of sound. It has a rich tone that the imitations cannot achieve. On the bridge pickup with the volume knob turned all the way up gives a slight buzz, but a lot less than other guitars. I experience this much more on my old Squier guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I'm impressed with the overall quality of this guitar. After playing this, my Gibson Flying V, and my Squier Strat, I'd have to say this is my favorite out of the three, not to mention that I love it over my friend's Gibson SG. It may be just a matter of taste, but in my opinion, once you play this wonderful instrument, it'll be hard to pick up anything else. Work up the extra cash for this fine guitar, if you can. If you're on a budget, I'd recommend the Standard. If you are saving your money for a Standard Strat, just wait a little extra longer like I did. Work for this guitar. You'll appreciate it as much as I do. Many people love to bash Fender, just because they have a Gibson. There is no question that the American Series has some of the best guitars in the industry. My musical tastes prefer this Strat over anything else.
Reliability & Durability — 10
If this guitar wouldn't withstand live playing, do you think Hendrix, Clapton, and Frusciante (and many more great players) would live by the American Series Stratocaster? I would use it on a gig without a backup, but since I have a backup, it's no problem. Everything is solid on the guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
All American Series guitars are set up at the factory in California. The guitar came perfect for my playing. The strings are nice and close to the frets. I experience fret buzz on the 3rd string, but I'll have to look up on that. I have never played a guitar that feels as good as this one. The neck feels like glass. The fretboard is made out of the highest quality rosewood. No flaws at all. I consider the fret buzz not to be a problem, since it can be easily fixed and does not get in the way of my playing. I have the Arctic White color, and it looks sharp. Looking at the other colors, they look good too. Especially the red and sunburst colors struck my eye.
Features — 10
Body: Alder or Poplar Neck: Maple (Bolt-on) Machine Heads: Fender Standard (Cast/Sealed) Fretboard: Maple (9.5" Radius/241mm) Number of Frets: 22 Pickups: American Standard Strat (Neck/Mid/Bridge) Controls: Master Volume, Tone (Neck), TBX (Bridge and Mid) Bridge/Tremolo: American Standard Pickup Switching: 5 position Blade Scale Length: 25.5" (648mm) Neck Width @ Nut: 1.6875" (43mm) Availble Colors: Black, Brown Sunburst, Pewter, Gun Metal Blue, Midnight Blue, Midnight Wine, Frost Red, Arctic White Comes with Hard Shell Case, strap, 10' cable, tools, cleaning rag, manual, tremolo bar, etc.