American Stratocaster Plus Deluxe review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (12 votes)
Fender: American Stratocaster Plus Deluxe
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Price paid: $ 695

Purchased from: local music store

Sound — 10
This guitar is like a dream! It is perfect for any style of music except for death metal. I play a variety of music and it handles all of it. It is noisless and has a bright hard rock sound. The pickups are amazingly responsive and have such amazing clarity.

Overall Impression — 9
I play alot of instrumental music like Steve Vai and alot of hard to heavy rock like Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden and Van Halen. This guitar is perfect! I tried it alongside a 1980's Japanese made Strat and a Mexican Strat and it blew them away. I would buy it again if it were stolen. The only complaint is the locking tuners not keeping it in perfect tune, but oh well.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I know this guitar will withstand live playing and I believe it will be my main guitar. I'm putting strap locks on it because I think the ones that were on it are gone now except for the base and I don't want my guitar falling off while I play. The locking tuners don't work perfectly so you can't go crazy on the tremolo but hey, its not a floyd! There than that the thing seems Bullet proof.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this guitar used so I can't say much for factory setup and factory finish... But it was set up perfectly from the, music shop. It had a few minor scratches and the fretboard has some sweat stains but it just adds to the cool Vintage essence of the guitar. It plays like it was brand new right out of the corona California factory!

Features — 10
This American Stratocaster Plus Deluxe is from 1999. It has 22 frets, it is a solid top. Maple neck and fretboard and I'm not sure what kind of body wood. It is a cream white with a Fender 2 point tremolo with locking tuners. It has a five way switch that controls the passive Lace Sensor pickups. The pickguard is a beautiful tortoise shell pickguard with gold screws.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rv_phoenix
    The guitar's just great. But I wonder (no offence) how can you play Steve Vai's stuff on it, given Steve's extensive use of a double locking tremolo, which is absent on this guitar. Btw, de-tuning doesn't come from the locking tuners, they are OK. But they are not a substitute for a double locking tremolo: the tuners keep the pitch, but the saddles give up if you push the strings hard (bending, vibrato techniques and so on). And there's nothing you can do about it.
    kie.cochran
    The Strat Plus Deluxe HAS a double locking tremolo! Ball ends must be cut off then locked into the Floyd Rose tremolo using the allen wrench located on the base end of the tremolo arm..(great design!!). The Sperzel locking tuner keeps it stable on the other end. The LSR Roller Nut allows frictionless movement alleviating possible binding and tuning issues such as those often found in a traditional nut slot. Once installed, stretch the strings physically then retune. Your Strat Plus Deluxe should be one of the most stable guitars where tuning is concerned. You might need a bit of graphite in all areas of movement. Theses guitars aren't young anymore!! I've had mine since 1997 and later had Fender install the Clapton boost. I'm just now rediscovering it after all of these years which brought me to this page. Thanks for all the great information and opinions shared!! Mine is Mystic Black which looks black....but in Sunlight looks deep purple with a green metallic flake
    MaggaraMarine
    The review was lacking some information. Can't people write a bit more, please!!!!! So I didn't find the review helpful, sorry.
    rob904
    rv_phoenix wrote: The guitar's just great. But I wonder (no offence) how can you play Steve Vai's stuff on it, given Steve's extensive use of a double locking tremolo, which is absent on this guitar. Btw, de-tuning doesn't come from the locking tuners, they are OK. But they are not a substitute for a double locking tremolo: the tuners keep the pitch, but the saddles give up if you push the strings hard (bending, vibrato techniques and so on). And there's nothing you can do about it.
    you don't need a double locking trem, you just need to set your guitar up right.
    The^Unforgiven
    rv_phoenix wrote: The guitar's just great. But I wonder (no offence) how can you play Steve Vai's stuff on it, given Steve's extensive use of a double locking tremolo, which is absent on this guitar.
    I dabble in Vai territory occasionally, and even though I've got guitars with double locking systems, I don't do the whole whammy shit he does. I do something else in it's stead. I feel that it's pointless to play Vai note-for-note - the guy is clearly all about the guitar being a tool for expressing oneself, so I think it's more in the spirit to instead do your own interperations on his compositions.
    rv_phoenix
    The^Unforgiven wrote: I dabble in Vai territory occasionally, and even though I've got guitars with double locking systems, I don't do the whole whammy shit he does. I do something else in it's stead. I feel that it's pointless to play Vai note-for-note - the guy is clearly all about the guitar being a tool for expressing oneself, so I think it's more in the spirit to instead do your own interperations on his compositions.
    Well, my friend, using the tremolo is not a fancy thing someone might just give up. It's what players call an expression tool . Not doing all the bendings, vibratos and tremolos which Steve Vai is using extensively means not playing Steve Vai. And also a misunderstanding of Vai's way of playing the guitar. Btw, I'm not a fan. I've just tried to tread on his territory and the first thing I've noticed was my locking tuners and my excellent Wilkinson tremolo bridge were not enough, although they were perfectly setup. And despite the fact I can normally play a whole gig, covering Deep Purple or Pink Floyd stuff, without de-tuning the guitar.
    SISO
    The problem it's not from the locking tuners. I'm almost sure that you just need to lubricate the nut with graphite.
    AlanD
    Get a hipshot tremsetter and a grap tusk. Ut and that will help with tuning a lot.
    rv_phoenix
    rob904 wrote: you don't need a double locking trem, you just need to set your guitar up right.
    No kidding? Did you ever played a 5 minutes of Steve Vai on a guitar without a double locking? What has the setting to do with physics (balls at the end of the strings givin up, saddles giving up inevitably)?