Price paid: $ 500
Sound — 9
Very nice sounding strat. Like all strats it has a clear voice that cuts through the mix great. The HBs are surprisingly versatile and noiseless. And obviously they have double the power and fatness of SCs, making this the perfect Strat IMO. The PUP selector has the standard 5 positions but with this HB guitar the top neck is a full HB, followed by SC neck, great for Hendrix and that bell-like chime that only a Fender will give you. Then mid position gives you both full HBs, followed by bridge SC and bridge bucker. So a lot of tonal options here. The two tone knobs and vol. Knob aren't the most sensitive but they work alright. Might be worth upgrading the pots but not urgent. In short, you can get pretty much any rock tone you want, from metal to classic and all sounds a clear and precise. The sustain of this guitar surprised me, at least in HB mode. For a strat, which we all know aren't the most sustainy guitars, this will hold the note as long as I need, at low vol also. Very pleasant surprise there. Although some might think I'm not being critical enough, I can only mark down in this section because the tone and vol pots aren't that sensitive.
Overall Impression — 9
I've always loved strats and owned two in the past, but never felt it could be my main guitar until now. A dual humbucker version with no floyd rose, a maple frtbrd and all black body was what I always wanted and now they make it standard and at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, the QC on this series seems far superior to any other Mexi Fender I've played and nicer than the Highway 1 series for instance. I love everything about it and don't know if this will because my main axe. I also play a PRS Santana, which I can't really compare since it sounds very different. They both have their place. I'd recommend this guitar to anyone who wants a quality Strat with HBs at a decent price. You'll get what you pay for, which considering with Fender that hasn't always been the case, I'd say this is a reason to celebrate.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Only had it a couple of days but it seems as solid as any guitar I've had. I would and will gig with it, without hesitation. Of coarse I'll bring a backup. Only had it a couple of days but it seems as solid as any guitar I've had. I would and will gig with it, without hesitation. Of coarse I'll bring a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This is really what sold me. I know what a Strat sounds like and one with HBs I know would be what I want. But the problem is for years I've just thought the worst of Fender's quality control, especially made in Mex. This is a total exception. The body and neck are carved flawlessly and all the hardware is well assembled. The neck is a heartbreaker. The sleek glossy finish and well dressed frets sealed the deal for me. This Mexican Strat is just as well put together as most American models. I can't mark down for anything.
Features — 10
Made in Mexico, don't know what year but recently since it's a new model. 22 medium jumbo frets, alder body, maple neck and fretboard with a nice glossy finish, Fender tuners... And what sets it apart from other strats: two humbuckers. Standard Vintage trem. I have to give it a top rating in this section because it has exactly the features I've always wanted in a strat.