Dave Murray Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (34 votes)
Fender: Dave Murray Stratocaster
1

Price paid: € 1600

Purchased from: DLX

Sound — 10
I play a large variety of styles, so I need a guitar that can produce a large variety of sounds. Of course, as you probably guessed, I play a lot of Iron Maiden, too, so this is the ultimate guitar for that.

I've used this guitar which Peavey's 100w Valve King and Roland's 2w MicroCube, and the guitar sounds _amazing_ with both of them. I don't use any effects, except a bit Boss's PW-10 wah. Both, the bridge and the neck pickup sound just like 80's heavy metal, from Iron Maiden to Queensrche and Megadeth. You can also get amazing Randy Rhoads sounds out of this beast. One night I ended up playing Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley for a couple of hours, just because it sounded just like the original.

The middle pickup, which is totally different from the two others, produces an amazing blues and jazz sound. It's very much like Fender Texas Special pickup. It sounds great with a low-gain setting, so you can play everything from Jimi Hendrix to Rory Gallagher and Eric Clapton. So the middle pickup is great, too!

One thing I was suspicious about, was the clean sound. No problem, this guitar gives you everything you need. Even with the humbucker pickups the clean sound is astonishing.

The pickups don't produce any kind of noise while I'm not playing/while I'm playing. It's awesome, because almost every Fender produces some noise. I can play with solo-setting and take a break and just leave the amplifier on, and it still doesn't produce any noise. So, overall the guitar's sound is perfect.

Overall Impression — 10
The guitar is pretty much everything an Iron Maiden fan can hope for. It's captures Maiden's sounds perfectly and it's one of the best guitars I've ever played. Fender's artist series has got a lot of guitars, but I consider it to be one of the best Fender artist series guitars.

Don't worry about it being only for metal; it handles a large variety of styles, so it's a good all-around guitar. I've been playing only for two and half years, but I've tried a lot of different guitars and I think my playing skills are good enough to make review of this guitar. It's hard to choose my favourite feature, because there are so many great features on this guitar. I think I'd go with the guitar's versatility, which is amazing. My other option was Fender's American Deluxe V-neck, but this guitar proved out to be better.

The only thing I wish it had was locking tuners, but that's not a big flaw in almost flawless entity. To all Maiden fans this is _the ultimate and greatest_ guitar, which is a must-buy for a big IM fan, who plays guitar and has money. There's not better investment considering the price as this guitar.

Finally thanks to Dave and Fender by putting this guitar to sale. Up the Irons!

Reliability & Durability — 9
Here comes the worrying part. Due to the nitrocellulose finish, the guitar is quite fragile. With just a couple hours of playing, the finish on the guitar's body started to feel and look less new. So I started to think, is it durable to enough gigs and all the sweat you drain on it.

I'm not worried about it totally wearing off, but it definitely seems fragile. The hardware seems top-notch all the way, and I would rely on it when doing gigs.

I'm not sure whether I have to worry about the nitrocellulose finish, but I'm quite sure that after years of gigging, all the fluid it absorbed during the years would No Doubt affect it very bad. Although I got the guide that helps taking care of nitro finish guitars, I would say I have to be careful while handling it. It's very vulnerable to all kinds of scratches, too.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The factory set-up was good, and I didn't have to do anything to make the guitar better. The strings were maybe just bit low for me, but it's not something that bothers me. I've tried a lot of Fender's guitars, and in all of them the factory set-up has been good, so I think there can't be a lot of bad set-ups. So high five to Fender. So, no problems here, either.

Features — 10
This guitar is Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray's signature Stratocaster, based on his original Stratocaster he used on 70's and 80's (previously owned by Paul Kossoff).

Presumably made in 2009, in USA. It has 21 medium jumbo frets, that are very comfortable. It's scale is 25.5'', and it's neck is made of maple.

The body is made of alder, which gives the guitar a great boost to sound. Alder is one of the finest woods, mainly because it sounds so great and it lasts very well. It is finished in a fine coating of nitrocellulose with satin finish on back. The guitar feels very smooth after using it for a few months, because the back feels a bit sticky due to glossy finish.

The body style is basic Stratocaster, except with a modified, soft V-shape. It feels very comfortable and gives you a brilliant access to higher frets. It has got Fender's Vintage bridge, which feels very nice and gives you a good sustain. Of course, the bridge doesn't keep the guitar in perfect tune all the time, but it's alright nevertheless.

It has got this extraordinary set of pickups, H-S-H (humbucker - single-coil - humbucker). It has got DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 on bridge, Fender's Vintage style single-coil on middle and DiMarzio's new PAF DP-103 on neck. The humbuckers are coloured "aged", so they look very cool and Vintage. The guitar also has a Vintage pickup selector, a 3-way Switch.

It has got Fender/Gotoh Vintage tuners, which are pretty cool and keep the guitar in tune well. Locking tuners could've been better, but these are are okay, too.

It includes a Fender Vintage tweed case, which looks gorgeous. Inside it looks something like tangerine/red and its very sweet. The case includes a very bad, leathery strap, pretty crappy cable, "how to take care of nitrocellulose finish guitar" guide, tremolo arm and a couple of Fender stickers.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    metallo
    my guitarist bought this little monster, but it has floyd rose bridge and the iron maiden logo at the end of the neck..
    Bytor1990
    affinity_strat wrote: I haven't tried either of these but seeing their last live DVD, I would have to say Adrian's Jackson cut through a whole lot more than either of the strats. maybe it was more of a mixing issue on the dvd than a guitar issue though.
    It should also be noted that Adrian uses more treble than Dave and picks harder than Dave. Dave has a much smoother sound.
    de-fexxx666
    mrstergiou wrote: I once tried this guitar in a guitar shop, and really, her sound remains trully unforgettable to me! Dave's sound is so melodic and smooth. The guitar is really great, too bad there is no floyd rose, Dave uses it quite often... I would definetly buy this piece of art if I had the opportunity...
    Yea, Adrian was higher in the mix than usual for sure. However, Dave wasn't using his sig model in '08, he only used it in '09.
    Serjem
    i've always loved the fact that all the metalheads use some badass jacksons or dean or whatever, but maiden dont... they simply use fender... . man i love fender.
    affinity_strat
    I haven't tried either of these but seeing their last live DVD, I would have to say Adrian's Jackson cut through a whole lot more than either of the strats. maybe it was more of a mixing issue on the dvd than a guitar issue though.
    mrstergiou
    I once tried this guitar in a guitar shop, and really, her sound remains trully unforgettable to me! Dave's sound is so melodic and smooth. The guitar is really great, too bad there is no floyd rose, Dave uses it quite often... I would definetly buy this piece of art if I had the opportunity...
    de-fexxx666
    To clear up all the confusion about Floyd Roses, Dave has used Floyds on ALL his guitars since I believe The X Factor, maybe Fear Of The Dark. This includes his signature model he used on the '09 tour. However, when I asked a Fender rep why there wasn't a Floyd on it, I was told Fender (And presumably Murray) wanted to keep it as close to the original Kossoff Strat as possible, which means no Floyd. He has guitars with the exact same specs as the Kossoff Strat that have locking trems (He didn't use Floyds in the 80's), but the original Kossoff remains unmodified, and was retired following the last show of the Seventh Tour in '88. Maiden fandom aside, I also have one, and I must say it is hands down the nicest guitar I've ever played (And I've played some really amazing ones at a local store). The tone is great, through any distortion or clean, and sounds identical to recordings with the Kossoff Strat. IMO, after having played both, the Murray Strat is far better than the Smith Jackson. I agree with the review however, the nitrocellulose is my main concern with this guitar. I've had it a little over a week, and with only playing it an hour per day, it already seems to have aged a bit.
    WashingtonsNext
    Mr. Murray never had a Floyd installed on this guitar. He played this one from the mid seventies to the mid/late eighties. He did, however, have a Kahler tremolo installed in 1984 (I believe), but it was later removed. I think they decided against the Floyd because this guitar is supposed to capture all of that classic Maiden magic. Most people don't consider anything after Peace of Mind (pre-Kahler) classic.
    Playgtr1
    Just got one. It is a killer guitar. I added a five way switch to make it even better
    shreddyboy
    strat with humbucker = awesome! would be nice with a floyd as nostrotomas said.
    boarderx-henry
    nostr0tomas wrote: I want. My question tho is... Doesn't Murray have a Floyd installed in his actuall one? I guess they couldn't figure out a way to get the licensing for it. Oh well
    He has them on all except this one i believe.
    itchy guitar
    nostr0tomas wrote: I want. My question tho is... Doesn't Murray have a Floyd installed in his actual one? I guess they couldn't figure out a way to get the licensing for it. Oh well
    Adrian has one on his Jackson signature and Jackson is owned by Fender so that doesn't really make sense. I think Adrian's would be better anyways. Just my opinion though.
    dash-rendar
    nostr0tomas wrote: I want. My question tho is... Doesn't Murray have a Floyd installed in his actuall one? I guess they couldn't figure out a way to get the licensing for it. Oh well
    Yeah Dave does have Floyds on all his Strat guitars
    nostr0tomas
    I want. My question tho is... Doesn't Murray have a Floyd installed in his actuall one? I guess they couldn't figure out a way to get the licensing for it. Oh well
    Explorer939
    Would've been better if Dave used a Dean or a Jackson, I mean, we're talking about Heavy Metal, right? Not that I'm against Fender or the guitar, but he could've used a different brand, considering he's a metal guitarist. Anyway, UP THE IRONS!!!!!