Price paid: $ 819
Purchased from: Kees Dee, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Sound — 9
I play a lot of different music styles, punk, pop, rock, blues. This baby handles it all very well. It's a guitar with character. Don't recommend it for playing metal. It can handle distortion, but not that much. For that you need humbuckers, but I don't care cause I don't play metal. I use it with a Vox AD50VT, and that makes it very versatile. On clean it's just brilliant, great for blues. Only on heavy distortion it makes some unwanted noise, but that's because of the single coil pickups. By the way, it's not really a problem cause there is a noise reducer on my amp. I'm not planning on changing the pickups, they are allright for me and provide that typical Strat sound.
Overall Impression — 9
Have been playing for 2 years now and this Fender was my first electric guitar. I have had it for about half a year now and I still love it. It a great match with the music I play and it's a very durable instrument. I compared this guitar with a lot of different Strat guitars, also american made fenders. I could'nt pay for an American Fender Strat but this one gets very close in terms of sound and feeling. It has a personality of it's own, no Fender is the same, and I just love this model with it's big Fender '70s logo on the oversized headstock. So maybe it was a bit expensive for a first electric guitar, but you really get something great! If it was stolen, I would surely buy it again! If I had more money, maybe I would insure this guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Ofcourse I am carefull not to damage this guitar, and if you treat it properly, it will last you a very long time. I do expect that I will have to replace the inputjack in the future, but for now it's still steady. Strapbuttons are solid but none the less I always use straplocks cause you never know. I don't have a backup guitar cause I'm still saving for another one. I don't expect this guitar will fail on me, but it's always handy to have a backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
When I bought the guitar it was flawless and well adjusted. The stock strings sucked so I changed those with D'Addario 009's. Also, I don't use the whammybar so just like the clapton and Johnson strats, I had my bridge locked with a few extra springs. So now it's a really stable instrument which stays in tune very well. No buzz, nice low stringsetting, plays great!
Features — 9
Mine is a Mexican made 2005 model with a maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, and an Ash body in a beautiful 3 tone sunburst. The rest is Standard, 3 single coil stock Vintage pickups, 5-way pickup switch, and the classic Fender 'syncronized' whammy bar. Couldn't ask more from a Fender Strat.