Price paid: £ 270
Purchased from: Gumtree
Sound — 7
Very quiet guitar, I haven't given it a full set up yet so the pickups are factory stock height. They are quite low. Put directly through Tuner-Wah-EHX big muff pi (bass)-Visual sounds Route 808-'69 master lead combo (Marshall) can go from SRV blues (my style) to actually quite a good metal/hard rock tone. It is very quiet due to the noiseless pickups. Due to the S1 system (I believe its S1?) it can create a multitude of sounds but position 2, 4 are very quiet compared to single pickup switches.
Overall Impression — 9
I play blues and classic rock, it is a pretty good match to that. Sounds solid in the mix for rhythm although for leads a wah is needed as it dosent quite cut it. Iv been playing for nearly 4 years and I use a Les Paul and a Telecaster usually but now I more frequntely use the Strat and Tele live. I love the colour and the quack it gives under a little overdrive, also that at the touch of a button the sound changes. My favourite feature is the switching system and gold hardware. I wish it had either powerful single coils or weak humbuckers I don't like the Vintage noiseless pickups it has. If it was stolen I would buy a different guitar maybe a PRS SE or a Epiphone Dot. But I would also probably cry.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I'm very sure this will withstand live playing, I always take my Telecaster along though (that can withstand nuclear war) the hardware would cope. I need to still get locking tuners and locking strap locks. I never gig without a backup guitar but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't need it. The finish is polyurethane ad very well applied so its staying while longer that's for sure.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action is great, quite low without buzzing. Pickups were very low which wasn't so good. The intonation is a problem but I fixed that now. The hardware is gold coloured and high quality although locking tuners would be a good investment. The Neck joint is solid and Bridge dosent wobble about, the solder is good under the hood and the components are good quality, also 500K and 250K mixture of pots.
Features — 8
Mine is a 2007 model I believe in Sunburst with a tortoishell pickguard, its a looker that's for sure. 21 medium jumbo frets with a 12" radius, which is unusual on a Fender Strat. Polyurethane laquer, the grain of the wood comes through nicely. Its got a Vintage Synchronised tremelo, S1 switching system, basically when the button is pressed the Bridge pickup is added into the circuitry with the neck and neck/mid settings. Neck and Bridge sounds abit Telecaster like too. These are not to be mistaken for active electronics. Pickups themselves are Vintage Noiseless, humcancelling Vintage voiced pickups, not actually that great. You don't get the Vintage ring or the roar of a humbucker. I bought mine with the usual deluxe soft case, case candy and a 10ft koil cable.