Highway 1 Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (195 votes)
Fender: Highway 1 Stratocaster
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Price paid: £ 439.99

Purchased from: Reidy's, Blackburn.

Sound — 10
I play mainly blues, soul, R&B, classic rock and hard rock. It suits my tone perfectly, I very rarely use any of the pick-ups other than the neck pick-up and vary between my rhythm and lead sounds by rolling off the tone (for rhythm) and rolling on the tone (for lead). I am using it through a Hiwatt 100 watt solid state, and this combination can give me a nearly perfect full Clapton tone to a thin almost acoustic clean sound. The tone pots allow you to differentiate between a bright sound or a less trebly sound.

Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 7 years, my other main guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Classic, and whilst being a different sound, I feel the Strat matches it perfectly for more than half the price. If it were lost or stolen, my automatic reaction would be to buy another. In fact I am buying another to have a custom graffiti paint job done on it, something like Eric Clapton's one. So yeah, all in all, it is a fantastic guitar in any light, and will adapt to anything.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definately withstand Live playing, I have never used it at a gig, but it is always being moved between my mum's and dad's house (I am only 16), usually just by being thrown in the back of a Land Rover and is not any worse the ware for it. I will definately use it without a backup, when I start gigging, because the only thing that could go wrong with it is strings breaking, but that happens very rarely. I am not sure how long the finish will last after hard gigging, but I am fine with that because it will just make it look and sound better than it already does.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The pickups were set fine as Standard, although I have lowered the bridge and middle to be flush with the pickguard, because I hardly ever use them. The action was a fine as Standard, if a little high, but I have lowered it slightly, to suit me better. There were absolutely no flaws in the finish from the factory.

Features — 9
I am not sure what year it was made, but I bought it in 2006 Brand New, I have a feeling it might be one of the 60's special ones because it has a spaghetti style logo and smaller headstock, I might be wrong however. It has 22 frets on a rosewood fingerboard, described as huge by Fender and has a 25.5 inch scale, and C shaped neck. It has a satin nitrocelluloselaquer finish, which is brilliant because it allows the wood to age unlike the more modern Fender finish. It has 3 Alnico III single-coil pups, which, in a word, Shine. There are two tone controls and one volume control and a 5 way selector.

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