Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 10
Wow, that's all I can say. The noiseless pickups deliver a wonderful single coil sound. Truly amazing. Imagine taking single coils off of a guitar and eliminating that annoying hum. Imagine taking those twangy, glass-cutting humbuckers and adding some bottom end and reducing some of the treble so the sound is well balanced and buttery. That is exactly what these pickups do. This clean sound is sooooo amazing I could listen to it all day. The standard tone knobs also allow you to tweak the neck and middle pickups for a bit more control over your sound. The bridge pickup clean sounds exactly like a normal humbucker clean. I guarantee, this thing kills when clean. When Distorted this guitar wails with the best of them. Very sensitive though. Good for tapping, handles songs like "Crazy Train" pretty well. With the wrong amount of gain/contour though even light contact with the strings will make annoying squeals. Other than that, I have no complaints with the distortion. These pickups are basically humbuckers, so they get no fuzz, but they still can mimic the Hendrix sound if you have the right equipment. I can also do some pretty good Maiden, Ozzy, Metallica, and Zepellin with the right settings. I play all types of music except hip-hop and rap because you really don't have much to work with in those categories. I bought the Strat instead of something with EMG's because I would need single coils instead of Humbuckers to play Jazz band. So at first I was skeptical about this guitar's sound because I wanted High output pickups for a metal band but humbuckers don't sound too great with Jazz. Unless it's Seymour Duncan's Jazz Humbucker. These thoughts were instantly gone once I heard this plugged in. I was amazed at what this thing could do for my playing! These single- coils sound great with any type of music I throw at it, though I haven't played any "Slayer" yet. I mainly play modern rock/blues/jazz/grunge/and classic rock and these pickups will perform all of them and this guitar will definitely come through in the sound department, clean or distorted. If you don't buy this guitar, and you do have poor stock single-coils replace them with one of these. It's the best move you will ever make. Until Fender releases Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups to everyone that doesn't have a $1200 Strat these are the best single coils you can buy aftermarket (I'm not including single coil slot humbuckers in that statement, because I don't have enough experience with them). Lace Sensors do have a great single coil clean sound, but distorted they are not this good. But then again, sound is a matter of opinion, so see for yourself go play around with some.
Overall Impression — 10
I play all muusic, this guitar fits me perfectly, end of story. If you are buying this guitar, ask how long it will take. I waited a month on backorder before mine shipped, but it was well worth it anyway. If it were stolen, I would hunt the thief down, shake his hand, and congratualte him for being able to hear how wonderful this guitar is. Then, I would steal my guitar back. Otherwise, I would definitely buy it again, I love it. I love the noiseless pickups. I am ot fond of the brown pickguard. I thought the Pickup push button toggle was a good idea, but it doesn't do that much for you. I compared this to a Jackson DXMG dinky, a couple of Ibanez's, a Standard Strat, an Epiphone G-400, and a couple semi-hollow bodies. Above all of them, I love this. At first I bought it for Jazz band, but now I feel I bought it for myself.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is great, It will last, period. High Fender quality. Reasonable price for a guitar this nice. Everything is solid. It is dependable, but come on! If you can have a backup, why wouldn't you carry one? There is always the possibility of bad things happening. I'm giving it a 5 just because I haven't had any problems with it. This is well made.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything in this guitar was perfect. The only complaint I have is some buzzing in the lower strings. But, once you play enough, the strings will break themselves in and the buzz goes away. The pickups were the perfect height. The strings came in tune. Everything was well lubes and easy to use. The finish is beautiful and so far seems very difficult to damage (haven't tried too much). This guitar is perfectly set up from the factory I have nothing but good things to say to Fender about this wonderful guitar. It isn't much of a problem but I will warn you anyway, the 15th fret and higher isnt quite as smoothed down, but it isn't a problem at all.
Features — 10
The Deluxe Player Strat is an updated version of Fender's Super Strat. I believe this guitar was manufactured in Mexico in the year 2004 (if not, that's when this model started being produced). This guitar is a common Stratocaster, plain and simple, but it has just been upgraded with some top-of the line Fender enhancements. First, the usual: 21-frets, 5-way selector, two tone knobs, one volume, Vintage tuners, synchronized tremolo, strings! I am almost positive the body is made of ash, though I have never found a website that fully elaborates on this. The neck is available in two choices: maple and rosewood. Personally I chose the Maple because I felt it looked best with my finish (3-tone sunburst) and it would produce a beautiful sound. The neck is a 12" radius C-shaped neck and is very comfortable and easy to play. All 21 frets are very easily accessible and are good sized. This guitar has medium-jumbo sized frets. This guitar being a Stratocaster I'm just going to tell you now, it has a Strat body style. This guitar is available in 4 different finishes: transparent sapphire blue, transparent red, honey blonde, and 3-tone sunburst. The transparent finishes are beautiful if I do say so myself but the sunburst blew me away. I had seen pictures of it, but when my guitar actually arrived I was amazed. Out of all of them, honey blonde seemed least spectacular though it is still nice. It was just too much of a natural color for me. Be warned though, this guitar does not come with your Standard Strat pickguard, it comes with a 3-ply brown Tortoise Shell pickguard. It still looks good, but you will have to base the finish off of how you think it looks with the brown. Now, the best part of this guitar, the pickups. This guitar comes from Fender's Mexico factory equipped with 3-single coil Vintage noiseless pickups. These are among the greatest pickups ever designed, but I'll go into that later. This guitar also comes with a Fender gig bag. Not that special, but it works. This guitar includes a push-button Switch in between the tone knobs. In addition to the 5-way this button is used to adjust your sound. This button activates the bridge pickup when it can't normally be selected due to the 5-way being in a certain position. This allows you to use all three pickups at once. It's like a cheaper S-1. This guitar comes with Fender Super Bullet Strings. Use .09 gauge to take full advantage of the very low action. To take a normal Mexican Strat and upgrade it with this stuff you would be paying way more than you would for this bargain.