Price paid: $ 1099
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
Very nice clean. Way better clean than any Gibson. Humbuckers just can't compare to single coils in the clean department. Distorted the Strat is very bright and warm. Not great for death metal but awesome for blues and classic rock. If you want to play metal get a fat Strat and change the humbucker to a Seymour Duncan the regular Strat just isn't made for heavy metal. If the heaviest you play is Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd you should be fine. They feedback. It's annoying yes but while your actually playing a ton of the feedback goes away. It only gets annoying when your not playing. It's very versatile. It's three single coil pickups produce a multitude of sounds from clean stuff to searing blues riffs. Also the 2 and 4 spots in the switch produce the funky Fender quack. It's impossible to describe in writing you have to actually hear it. It's very cool.
Overall Impression — 9
Just a very versatile great guitar. Looks gorgeous, has a tremolo unlike GibsonS, and has three diffrent pickups that create a huge range of sounds. It's also going to last forever considering how durable it is. Neck is awesome too and I love how all the tuners are on one side. It contours to your body perfectly also and is the most comfortable guitar to play sitting down. It sure as heck can't play death metal but it can play everything else. I can even get it about as heavy as some Metallica solos but nothing else. I am just going to replace the pickups with EMGs down the road.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is going to last forever. Just holding it you can tell how strong it is. Strats are the most durable hard working guitars ever. The bolt on neck is also a blessing because if you break the neck you can just replace it. If that were to ever happen on a paul, well lets just say it's finished.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The pickups were a little low so I had to raise them for better output. The action was fine and everything was clean and perfect for playing. The finish is also flawless and the sunburst totally glows. I love it.
Features — 9
Right here sitting in my lap is my American Stratocaster. It was made in 2005 in Corono California. It has 22 frets and has an alder body with a maple neck and fretboard. Mine has a sunburst finish that literally glows. It's gorgeous. It also has a very comfortable body and the neck is very slick and very comfortable. It has a string thru body design and it has a kind of meh tremolo that could have been a lot better. It has three single coil pickups. Single coils feed back when distorted yes. The thing is though that their great tone makes up for it. It has a five way selector Switch and a volume and two tone knobs. One for the neck and one for the middle. Tuners are regular not locking and it came with a hard case and a strap.