Blacktop Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (105 votes)
Fender: Blacktop Stratocaster
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Price paid: £ 400

Purchased from: GuitarGuitar

Sound — 9
I play mostly metal, hard rock, classic rock, alternative and a few other subgenres so this guitar suits my playing well. I like how I can select the neck and bridge coils too. I'm using it with a Line 6 Spider IV 30 and a Boss ME50. Its a good sound for my crappy setup. there's feedback from it unless you're too close to the amp. Its got a very full sound, not very bright, but with the right effects it could be. The volume knob isn't the best but its not urgently needing upgraded.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is a great match to my style. I've been playing for about 2 years and 8 months. I also own a crappy metal beginners crazy shape guitar, which is really bad. If it were stolen I'd probably buy it again, as its a great guitar. I love the humbuckers on it and how it offers single coil options too! I also tried out an Epiphone SG, and 2 other Les Pauls, an Ibanez GRG something, am Ibanez 7321 another Ibanez of some sort, a Fender Mexican Standard Strat and a Squire Jagmaster. The only ones that contended were the other Fender and the 7 string. I wish it had a really good bridge and locking tuners. Apart from that its a fantastic guitar!

Reliability & Durability — 9
After a day there's not much I can judge but, it seems tough. I would gig with it, but I'd need some locking tuners. The hardware should last, if maintained well enough, which is the problem that I had with my other guitar, not enough care taken. I'm not sure about the finish, I hope it will last, but anyway, I like worn guitars.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up well when I got it yesterday, although the bridge has been set so it can go about 2 semitones higher the tremolo. I wasn't given one though, so I just lean on the bridge if needed. The pickups sound great, I'm not bothered about putting them higher or lower. The guitar hasn't got any flaws that have become obvious so far, apart from a slightly buzzy G string. Worst thing it could be is the beginning of a truss rod problem but I doubt it. Its set up better than the Mexican Standard Strat I tried out in the shop.

Features — 9
Made in Mexico, probably around '06-'10, 22 medium-jumbo frets, maple bolt on neck and fretboard, alder body, shiny/gloss finish. Strat shape, with a Vintage style tremolo, 2, juicy, HOT Vintage Alnico humbucking pickups, master volume and 2 tone controls, a 5 way selector and Fender tuners. Overall good features, although I can't rate the setup because it was second hand. One fault is that the tuners don't seem to keep the guitar in tune for a while.

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