Price paid: £ 685
Purchased from: Professional Music Technology Norwich
Sound — 9
I brought the Guitar through Impulse. I was initially very anti-Stratocasters as I didn't like the lightweight body and treble tones. But recently I began to listen to alot of Biffy Clyro, U2. Around this time I was looking for a new guitar. So went to PMT and was looking for a single Coil sound. Prodominantly telecasters. When this beauty Caught my Eye. It was about 50 over my price range, but nothing I couldn't not afford. So after about 15 Mins playing it, I walked out the shop with my first ever Fender Stratocaster. It is lovely to play in Standard, so For bands like the RHCP's the treble pick-up with triad chords and slight overdrive gives that much recognised sound. But I do like to Drop it into D, and play slightly heavier music like Biffy Clyro. All Five pick-up selections give a really nice sound. Both Clean and distorted. I Use 2 Amps, A Roland- 80X and a Kustom 12-Watt Tube Amplifier. They are both connected to my Behringer Pb- 1000. Within Which is a Boss Ns-2, A Behringer Ultra Distortion, Flanger and Delay Pedal. A Marshall BlueBreaker- II and my newest Pedal a Chord Heavy Metal. I use my Strat with the Delay Pedal and Heavy Metal Pedal for Many of Horror By Biffy Clyro, and the sound it makes is orgasmic. The two Pedals really compliment the Strat, while at the same time the combination of Solid-|Body and Tube amp creates a revolutionary sound, within which I had encountered in my short Music Career. The Pick-ups are noisy, but since they're vintage. It's expected. I was even worried about them in the shop. They are not as noisy as the 60's Model, but still have a slight buzz. (which is why I would recommend purchasing some sort of noise-gate, as I did when I got this guitar, The NS-2 is impecable. But enough of that, this is a guitar review). The Bridge Pick-up was slightly too Bright for me, so I compensate this with the Bass controls on the Amp. These had to be slightly boosted as I am a single guitarist anyway. But other than that I can't fault the pick-up sounds at all. All pick-ups give a really clear sound. The Clarity is amazing, I can have loads of distortion, overdrive, delay on this guitar. And the Notes can still be, as each single note played rings out of the amps. The tone ability of this guitar is almost infinite. I have had it about 9 months and I am still finding new sounds. (as I am only just becoming expierienced enough to use the tone Controls)
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for about 4 years now. This is one of about Three Stratocasters I have actually liked. Which is why it was an impulse buy. But it suites my style, and the sounds allow me to diversify into genre's I before wouldn't have. If it was lost, I wouldn't hesitate to buy again BUT as I have said Stratocasters aren't my favourites. So it may be hard to find another as induvidual as this one. So I would definatly look at this model again, but whether it would be as good I don't know. (As all guitarists know, Every guitar is different.) So overall, I love this guitar. Recommend a Strat player to try it out, if you are looking to buy one.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have played 6 or 7 live gigs with this guitar now. No problems what so ever. The hardware will last, aswell as the strap buttons. I have used it at gigs with replacements. ( i have replacements for Acoustics and Pedals) but this Strat will last. I usually replace Strings 2 days before gigs, unless I have several in succession then I change them at the start. I have spares, but as long as your gentle the F Tuners takes good care of them and depending on the strings you could play 7 or 8 shows without changing the strings. The finish seems pretty good, but will probably begin to wear after about 2 years. But as a 70's re-issue I think this is slightly deliberate to allow proper wear and tear of the finish. But the natural finish will compliment the wear fairly well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The Action is Balanced, but Fairly High for a strat. I use 10 Gauge Strings so that increased the action anyway. But people have commented it's fairly high tension. But i like it, add's sustain that is lost due to the NS-2. But I shall get a Cs-3 soon, so i may lower the action soo. The pick-ups were adjusted to perfection with the volume levels between switches perfect. Not too much difference, but enough to show a change if I am going to Rhythm-Solo-rhythm. The only Flaw was the nut. It was too thin for the string so as I performed a bend, or vibrato movement, it would catch. This caused really bad tuning problems. But I used a file, and Pencil Lead to both widen and lubricate this nut. Thus problem....GONE :D
Features — 8
Made in Mexico 2008. It has 22 Frets, they are thin Frets on a maple fretboard. It's a laminated Top with the Body Being made of an Ash Wood. The Neck is Ash and Maple, with Black Dot inlays. It is U-Shaped with a Bullet truss rod. The headstock is large with a 70's Logo. The Finish is Natural coloured, one of the few which I feel really compliment a maple fretboards. (Only Alpine White being the other in my opinion). The Body Style, quite obviously is a Stratocaster. The Bridge is a normal Whammy Bar. It came with three Vintage style Pick-ups. (Just stock pick-ups.) The controls are a single Volume Knob, and then two Tone Knobs. The Selecter is Five way. Stereotypical Strat To be honest. The Tuners are Vintage Style "F" Tuners, very reliable. I can give the Whammy bar some battering during solo's and Dives and the tuning keeps itself pretty much stable, with only the 'G' string going only slightly flat, but not enough to be noticed during that particular song. It came with a Gig bag, typical Fender Logo Painted over the front. Aswell as a lifetime warrenty.