Price paid: $ 675
Purchased from: marshall music
Sound — 7
The sound is great for blues, rock, and funk. These are the main things I use it for, and it doese pretty good. I run it through a Peavey Transtube 212 EFX. I thought the tone was a little thin with the stock pickups, and it was somewhat prone to loud hum and a little feedback with too much gain. I gave it a seven with stock pickups, but keep in mind that I give it a ten with better pickups.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been impreased with this piece of Fender history. I own a Gibson Les Paul, and a Godin Montreal, and am now finding that the ol' Strat is the most popular guitar ever for a reason. If it were lost or stolen, I would go out and buy two more so that I could have a backup, because a guitar this good is likely to be stolen again.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The moment you pick this guitar up, you can tell it is durable. I don't know how much it weighs, but if you like ultra-light guitars, this isnt for you. I have had mine for a little over a year, and have found that it is as durable as a tank. I must at this point, however, chastise Fender for their stupidity in using three bolts instead of four to secure the neck on. I wish CBS hadnt bought the company.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was piss-poor from the factory, but I spent some time on it and was pleased with ow responsive the guitar was to my finger movements and how easy my fingers could fly up and down the neck. The neck is possibly somewhat wider then most other, as it is styled as they were in the seventies, so those of you with smaller hands may have trouble reaching the low E-string. The fit is very good. The neck is shaped perfectly, and it is just heavey enough to tell you that you have a serious guitar, but not so heavey that it is uncomfortable. The top was so closely matched that on the one o bought you can't eaven see the seam on the two piece body, however, there was another one in the shop that was so poorly matched, it almost made me cry, so one again, pay attention to detail. The finish is simply impeccable. That is all that needs to be said.
Features — 9
I bought my guitar about one year ago, and have been nothing but pleased with this wonderful chunk Ash. the maple neck is a gloss polyurethane finish, and was literally flawless in my guitar (although a friend of mine played one on which the frets were so poorly filed he cut himself, so pay attention to the small stuff like that) it has 21 "Vintage style frets" (no idea what that means) The finish on the body was beautifully done (mine is in natural finish), altough on the back there were a few places that I could see the use of wood fillers, but hey, they were on the back anyway. I have been pleased with the tuners on the guitar and find that unless I really reef on the wammy bar it will stay in good to for up to a week (altough it should really be tuned before each session). The pickups are allright, but I replaced the pickups in mine with some high quality seymour duncans, a change that is well worth the money because the stock pickups are quite marginal. the gig bag that came with it is good for a gig bag, but it can't replace a good hard shell case. I also love the '70s look and the huge headstock.