Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: Drome Sound NY
Sound — 8
This axe will cover almost any style. Where it came up short for me was when you want that low end. If you like that funky sound, or country twang or even some styles of rock and blues - this is your guitar. If you want meaty low end bang that you can feel on your chest, keep looking. Overall, I still keep coming back to this guitar for obvious reasons.
Overall Impression — 10
If you want a guitar you will learn to cherish than the Strat is where it's at. If you want something that has some 'umph' than keep looking, but be prepared to spend about double for anything in the same level of quality. This is the guitar you want if you are serious about playing live and don't want to bust your budget. I only learned to love mine after I had bought the Gibson and Rono, mainly because this guitar has style, it has a history, and it has it's own personality. It just sings on the solos and it practically plays itself. Go out and buy one, you'll be glad in 30 years when it's value has increased and it plays just as good if not better than the day you bought it!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is the guitar to take on the road or to any gig. I have a Gibson ES-137 and a one of a kind Rono Hollow body. Both have a tone that I prefer to the Fender since I like that deep full sound, but everytime I take them out of their cases I fear cracking them or scratching them. The Strat allows professional quality sound and reliability like a tank. If Jimi Hendrix played them, they had to be strong right? They are the best for taking a nocking and still sounding fantastic. I always bring mine to a gig. It's the standard for a reason.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The fret board is really fast, although it's all personal taste. The guitar is lighter than Gibsons and other competitors and the positioning of the knobs/switches allows you to play unconventionally quite easily, allowing unique effects.
Features — 10
Having a banana yellow Strat means you better be good. This guitar is a great guitar to find yourself in. Mine's about 7 years old. It was my first serious guitar purchase. It has all that you expect from a 'real' Strat. I say real, because I had a Squier and they're just crap. This guitar has all the features you need to attempt any style. Whammy bar (definitely cool), three way Switch (find an array of tones), and just enough frets to find any note.