Price paid: $ 924
Purchased from: Rudy's Music NYC
Sound — 10
I play rock/blues and this is the single coil sound I was looking for. I play through Marshall Valve State and also through my buddy's Hot Rod Deluxe, and it punches through the mix very well. The deltatone electronics give my Strat its own distinct Strat sound. It is a little noisey, but all non-noiseless single coil pickups are. The 2 and 4 positions give a very nice Strat "Honk" which are greatly impacted while using the appropriate tone knob. Variety wise, it will do anything. That's always been a Stratocaster's selling point.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for about 5 years now in a rock band in Orange County, NY. This was an upgrade from my Squier Strat so I could stop using my friends poorly made custom guitar. I own a Gretsch acoustic, which was my main guitar. If this was stolen I might go with an american deluxe, but I really could not beat the deal on this guitar. I love the way it sounds. It is absolutely full sounding, the pickups are amazing, and it feels and plays like a monster. My favorite feature is the deltatone electronics, it really lets me come through the mix without increased volume. The only things I hate are the tremelo arm insert and the loose input jack. Not bad though for 900 dollars.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a tank. Strap buttons are solid, although I will most likely upgrade to straplocks. I would gig it without a backup if I was in a pinch. Strats have a tradition of standing up to brutal beatings, but I treat mine pretty well. The finish will be intact for a while I believe.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything was set up well at the shop, execpt the action is a little low. Normally I would appreciate this, but there is significant string buzz. It was easily corrected though, and I find no fault in that. The fretboard rolled edges were superbly done, as was the rest of the construction. The input jack became loose, but this is anticipated on a Strat input jack. It is a design flaw.
Features — 9
2005 model, 21 frets. Made in the USA. Solid alder body, black solid finish, rosewood fretboard. Pretty normal Strat body, made in Corona California neckplate, American tremelo bridge. Deltatone electronic system, which is a treble bypass. Non locking tuners which is ok, pickups are the delta tone pickups. volume control and two tone controls. Came with hardshell case, strap, cable, like 4 allen wrenches, trem arm, extra set of strings, wipe cloth. Overall a decent deal, I was not impressed with the tremelo arm, which screws in (poorly). I give it a 9 for that.