Price paid: $ 790
Sound — 10
I play mostly blues and rock but do play some hard rock. The EC Strat plays all three genres perfectly. The thing sounds like a classic Strat. Until you slip into mid-range boost mode. Then the guitar takes on new dimensions. Particularly when using a good tube/valve amp. The mid-range boost is controlled from the second tone knob and provides gradual increments in mid-range boost. For example, roll the knob to 3 and the boost just starts, crank it to full and the Strat takes on Les Paul like tones and makes your tube amp thicken and fatten.
Overall Impression — 8
For the style of music I play being blues and classic style rock I found this guitar to be excellent. Its classic V shaped neck goes perfectly well with its low action playability. I've been playing for 5 years and this is easly the best guitar I have baught in my 5 years of playing. If this guitar was ever lost or stolen I would buy a new one without thinking about it. I love the tone this guitar gets making it go from a classic strat to a les paul in tone. If I could change anything about this guitar id change the pick guard because its only single ply and it tends to lift up which gets annoying when playing. My favorite feature of this guitar is the pick ups they give it a vintage sound which you can't find much anymore. When I went to buy a new guitar I tried out a les paul standard, Gibson ES335 and this Stratocaster and the Strat out played out sounded and just out classed the other two and also was about 1300 dollars cheaper. I recommend this guitar to anyone who wants to have a guitar that sounds like liquid gold.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is defently built to last. when I braught it home I played it for 5 hours straight and when I stopped it didnt look like I touched it. I haven't had to tune it since I first did. The strap buttons are solid but I still use strap locks just incase. I would bring this to a show without a backup its just so vercitile. The hasn't chipped and I've abused it. Overall I think this is the best guitar I have ever baught.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action can be set very low without buzzes, which indicates the quality of the fretwork and the neck alignment. It just feels great to play. You'll notice a difference if you have always played '62 style rosewood necks, which are flatter across the back and more, curved across the front. Like everything, its what you get used to, but this EC neck is smooth and full of big bends and quick passes.
Features — 10
The model I baught was a 2005 and was in a satin black which looks quite impressive. It has 22 frets which were set very well with no protruding parts or glue. The body is made of Alder making it light but gives it great tone. It has a one piece maple neck with the classic 50s soft "V" shape. It has three "noiseless" pickups which give it no feedback which is great.