Price paid: A$ 1500
Purchased from: Billy's
Sound — 10
I love the single coil sound over humbuckers. The singles coils are supposedly noiselss and I have to aggree. Played through a Boss GT8 deck into a small Fender practice amp, the only sounds it makes are intended. I'd love to play it louder more often but the missus and I live in a unit and I don't think the neighbours would appreciate me stripping the paint of their walls with a million decibles. Sound quality wise, its everything I expected. The harmonics are brilliant and clear.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a great guitar. I don't mean the Fender Strat is great. I mean this exact guitar is fantastic. I'd been eyeing off a new Strat for a while and each guitar being slightly different, I tried a few "identical" guitars, then chose this one. If you're in the market for a new instrument, and you want a tried and tested piece of tomorrow's music history, go to your favourite shop and try one out. I love Blues. BB, Jimi.. Its perfect for blues. I don't really entertain metal. There are plenty of other guitars around for that style, but in my personal opinion for blues there aren't many guitars better suited. As far as playability is concerned, the neck feels worn in already and as soon as I started playing it, I felt like I'd owned it for years. My favourite thing about the Strat is that it feels like it moulds around my beer gut really well which suits me fine. It's like the cutaway on the back was Custom shaped for me. The guitar fits me - I don't have to fit my shape to the guitar. My only gripe with the case is there could have been a small pocket or other similar comparmtent to throw the usual odds and ends I'd normally carry like a handful of picks and other random crap I like to have on hand. Its really only a small price to pay because its certainly a case you could trust to keep you guitar safe in. If this guitar was stolen, it would want to have been pinched by another guitarist because if I found out it was stolen by some junkie mofo in need of their next feed via needle, I'd hunt the oxygen thief down and dead set bury them under the biggest pile of king hits ever delivered. Then I'd buy 2 more and store 1 in a bank vault for retirement.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've only had it for a week so it all smells brand new still. Feels well constructed and its a proper Strat so i don't see it falling apart any time soon. I can't see this guitar NOT withstanding a gig but the other night, the 1st string's Bridge saddle moved a little off its natural orientation, parallel to the strings. It was poiting about 20 degree down. I wasn't playing particularly hard and I didn't notice it until i gaving everything a clean down, so it didn't make a different aside from the high e techincally being slight;y sharper due to the icrease in tension. I've no idea how it happened because bending that string down would bend it off the fretboard, but it slid back into place with a gentle nudge.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Nothing wrong here. If there was anything negative to say right now, it's that she's super glossy that i'm paranoid of damaging it because it looks so damn good. In reality, this is only because its my newest baby and marks/ware will come with time and drunkeness. The neck is slick, no sharp fret ends. The set up has not been altered since the factory set and by chance, it's been set up perfectly for me. Someone else may have picked faults because it may not have been set up the way they like it but I don't care because it doesn't belong to someone else.
Features — 9
2011 American Standard, sunburst, gloss finish, white scratch plate. Rosewood fretboard, alder body. 22 medium frets... There's not a lot to add really that hasn't been mentioned by every other review. It is the standard, after all. Mine came with a lockable Fender/SBK hard case which is black with black inside. Other goodies included are a Fender strap and lead, small Allen keys for Bridge adjustments, a polishishing cloth and an intructions manual which is fairly redundant considering there are more than enough explainations on youtube demonstrating the pots, pick ups, selector Switch combinations. Of course, if you have ears you'll hear the differences in sound soon enough. Its nice a light too. Nowhere near as heavy as a Les Paul. Oozes a lot more cool as well!