Price paid: $ 1216
Purchased from: Green Brother's Music
Sound — 10
The Strat seems to suit my style of music perfectly. I play anything from blues like Stevie Ray Vaughan to Rock like RHCP and Oasis. This particular model of the Stratocaster has the satin finish which seems to affect the tone considerably. When I was looking at new guitars I played everything up to Delux American Stratocasters and nothing quite shaped up the the beautiful blues tone of this guitar. I'm not good at describing tones but I will use examples of songs that the pickups sound simular to (this is just my opinion by the way): Neck - Under The Bridge, RHCP. Neck and Middle (I like this combination the best) - Lenny, SRV. Middle - haven't really played this much but it could mabey be used for more overdriven blues like Foxey Lady by Hendrix or mabey even pride and joy by SRV again. Middle and Bridge - great twang but not going over the top. Sounds something like the main riff of Back to you by John Mayer. Bridge - great for solos but the main tone works for Especially in Michigan, RHCP. I use this amp with overdrive, distortion and chorus and I don't feel that these effects cause any decline in sound quality. Let's face it. This thing sounds great!
Overall Impression — 10
The main thing I absolutely love about this guitar is the tone. It is worth putting up with the new '70s styling on the '06 models just for the different pickups you get. They sound so much better and they don't whine as much as the '05 pickups. The only thing that I would change on this guitar is the '70s headstock because it seems to be too big for the body but I am begining to get used to it. If it was stolen I would not hesitate to spend the money on this guitar again. I would recommend this guitar to anyone Who is interested in an american made Fender for a reasonable price!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar would definately withstand Live playing. All the hardware seems solid and it would be simple to replace any broken parts because it is all easily accesible. The strap buttons are solid but I wouldn't recomend swinging a this guitar around your head by the strap. I wouldn't gig without a backup but I worry about things going wrong. As I said above, the finish will wear off this guitar which is fine with me, but if you don't feel the same way I would suggest a different guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar's finish is magnificent. I have always had a soft spot for 3-colour sunburst so that is the colour I purchased. The satin finish suits the Strat's body shape. I expect that the finish will wear off after a while as mine is already starting to become glossy around the top of the body where my arm sits while playing. In a couple of years it will pick up a few scratches and chips but that is always to be expected. I would not buy this guitar if you want a mint looking guitar for the rest of your life. The fit feels good and solid but my only complaint here is the tremlo bar doesn't quite fill the hole in the bridge. The action is excellent. I will deduct two points because the easily wearing finish isnt for everyone and the tremlo bar problem.
Features — 10
The Highway One Stratocaster series is made in USA. The Strat features 22 'Super Sized' frets and the neck is available in either rosewood or maple. The body wood is Alder and it features a satin finish unique to the highway one series. The Strat comes with a volume control and two tone controls with a 5-way selector for the 3 Alnico III single coil pickups. This guitar has Standard Fender tuners and comes with a gig bag, tremlo bar and tools to alter the neck and action.