Sound — 9
Sounds Like Sex On Strings ... I Play Rock/Blues ... Anything Really Stuff Like Hendrix, GNR, Bon Jovi ... etc I Play It Through A Vox DA5 Amplifier With Reverb (not to much) and sounds amazing whether playing clean or distortion I, Myself have this thing going where I play clean songs with the 5-way selector on the 2nd position (neck/middle) and when i play songs with distortion needed I used treble ... don't ask me why ... I just do, with it on clean and on the 2nd position it sounds quite Hendrix-y and suites most genres (obviously not metal though) Pinch Harmonics (as we call them in New Zealand) maybe artificial to you others are not to bad, they sound great through the Humbucker on the bridge but when u try do them with the selector on rhythm (neck) ... its not as ya know ... ZZ Top kinda squeals. Awesome Sound Non the less !
Overall Impression — 10
as mentioned earlier i play rock, blues, kinda getting into metal, Hard rock ... etc im self taught as im sure most of us are and i've been playing for 3years and i find this guitar to be one to last quite awhile and im in no rush in replacing it (though i wouldn't mind some more guitars for the wall) im a Fender guy, so i also own besides this highway one fat Strat a, Fender 24V Jazz Bass and a Fender CD-60CE Electric Acoustic. So this guitar sits well with those. Amplifier wise i use my little Vox DA5 for my guitars and a Warwick Sweet 25.2 (250W) Bass Amp. When i went to the store months previously, i tried this out and was determined to buy it. My dad came with me to the store and bought himself a Roland Keyboard and i showed him this guitar i was looking at buying. I played that for awhile and then decided to give this Epiphone Standard Les Paul a try... but went to change the pickup selector to treble and it didnt even bloody work! so my dad said Fender it is and i got it. I choose Fender mainly cause i know it has a great reputation for building quality, durable guitars that sound F'n great no matter how much Sh*t you give them. Also because the look of it with the awesome '70s stock looked wicked and many guitar icons of mine use a Fender Strat - ( Jimi Hendrix, Richie Sambora, Clapton Etc) To be honest i think that you couldn't ask for a better guitar from Fender at it's decent price range (In NZ we're quite limited on the guitars and its many kinds) so if ya thinking of buying a guitar or a Strat... Add this to ya list!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar will definately withstand live playing, and is ideal for doing so, I've used it numerous amount of times for playing live and has done well (as i had said previously the tuning is sometimes a worry though) but sound wise you've got your man! finish is quite different I myself haven't seen this kind (my bass, A Fender 24V Jazz Bass has a mat black finish, so this finish is new to me) but it won't damage easily and will serve well if your playing at home or on gig routes etc.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action was not bad, did change it myself when i got home though (just so that im more comfortable in playing) Pickups seemed fine, good sound and what not coming from them not noisy nor quite I find that the guitar's 3 highest strings (G,B,E) can come out of tune and you have to tune them back in ... happens moderately often but you become accustomed to it.
Features — 9
NOTE: This Review Is For: ---HIGHWAY ONE FAT STRAT--- Payed $1500 NZD at Sylvia Park Rockshop, New Zealand ( Had To Do USD :/ ) Made In U.S.A 22 Jumbo Sized Frets With White Dot Inlays Rosewood Fretboard Alder Body w/ Satin Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish Maple Neck Material w/ Modern "C" Shape Headstock Is Large '70s Style Body Style Is Strat (Kinda Obvious)With Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo Passive Electronics Pickup Configuration: Bridge - Humbucker Middle - Single Coil Neck - Single Coil Bridge Pickup:Atomic Humbucking Pickup Middle Pickup:Hot Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup with Alnico 3 Magnets Neck Pickup:Hot Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup with Alnico 3 Magnets Non-Locking Tuners, Standard Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines Standard Strat Controls (Volume, 2 tones, 5-Way Selector Switch) Gigbag Included (Managed To Get Some Strings Too)