Price paid: $ 999
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 10
I purchased this Strat from the Gainesville, Fl Guitar Center in January of 2015. The serial number reads out to be a 2013 model, which makes sense because it was on clearance when I bought it. The FSR Stratocaster's body is made from alder, finished in a gorgeous urethane Surf Green, also featuring a modern C-shaped satin maple neck with a rosewood fret board. The dashing good looks are complimented by three Fat '50s single coils, two-point tremolo (the smoothest I have ever played), and Delta Tone Circuit. The Delta Tone Circuit is fantastic; it enables you to bypass the tone circuit on the bridge pickup, squeezing every last bit of treble out of the guitar that it possibly can.
Sound — 10
This guitar handles blues like a champion. I play fairly clean, sometimes kicking on a Timmy or Blues Driver for a little dirt. If this Strat could marry my Timmy pedal, I'm sure it would. They get along that well when running through my Hughes and Kettner Tubemiester. If I turn the Blues Driver to 10, I can also achieve Ritchie Blackmore-esque tones. This, of course, can make any guitar buzz like Bill Clinton in the playboy mansion, but, flipping to the second or fourth position solves this; it's dead quiet. Anything from jazz to rock, this guitar can handle it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this guitar straight off of the shelf, and it looked flawless, and played almost as well. I had no problem with the frets, bridge, pickup height or finish, and the "aged" pickup covers only add to the vintage vibe that this Fender puts out. The action is a little low, fretting out when bending more than a step above the fourteenth fret, but seeing as I am not Kirk Hammett (I only own one wah), I might put off setting it up a bit longer.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Electronically, the FSR Strat could not be more reliable. The only problem I could have with this guitar's reliability is the tuning stability. For the first two or three months, it was horribly unstable. Since then, things have started to improve, but I am cautiously optimistic.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is the best Stratocaster I have ever played. It plays and sounds better than anything in its peer group. If you are looking for a great American made Stratocaster, and have the patience to sort out the tuning stability, this is your guitar.