Highway 1 Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (196 votes)
Fender: Highway 1 Stratocaster

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: music123

Sound — 10
I play most kinds of hard rock and heavy metal but can't get out of the Strat bubble (I have a Flying V but find it to hard to get the high notes on a Gibson scale fretboard) and this guitar only makes it harder to leave strats. The Alnico 3 pickups are the best stock pickups I've ever played on cause they give all the Strat tone you could wish for and with a nice Marshall distortion you can play anything from old Purple and Hendrix stuff to Judas Priest and the new Ozzy stuff! The sustain in this guitar is just amazing, I can like the words of Nigel Tufnel say that you only need to look at the guitar and feel the sustain in it! I'm also using beside the Marshall tube distortion a Line 6 M13, WHA and a Boss NS2 to remove the sound from my noisy Marshall JMP from 84. The volume and tone knobs are very sensitive and are great for swellups and other stuff. I have customized my guitar a little bit since I bought it like to make the middle pickup out of phase to make a bit more Brian May'ish sounds.

Overall Impression — 10
This guitar I bought to have a guitar that look like the one Ritchie Blackmore used on the "Live In Munich" concert with rainbow with the 3-tone sunbust strat (I skipped the rosewood fretboard cause I don't like them for reasons unknown) and I have never been a big fan of the small Fender headstocks, only the cbs 70-style heads for me. I have been playing since 2009 and this is the 4th guitar I bought (got 10 now) and this guitar will stay 'til I die! If it was ever lost I would look long and hard (no pun intended) for the H1 again, biggest mistake Fender ever made was to stop the production of the H1 strats. It's my split favorite guitar I have and is always with me on my gigs! I wish this guitar had a scallop to begin with, but that was not the case so I have to leave it to someone to do it for me cause I don't trust myself to file my girl.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I use this guitar mostly as a backup nowadays cause I have yet to give the neck a scalloped fretboard and have another guitar that has it that is my main for the moment. But when I don't play on my scalloped guitar this is the guitar for me! I've bought two sets of alnico pickups for the other strats I have to give them that Strat tone I've looked for so long after. I have not had any problem with the guitar other then the intonation on the tremolo is to loose and I had to carefully glue them in place and I also managed to chip of a part of the neck on the low E string while jamming. I depend on this guitar all the time, although I seem to burn through A strings like butter in the sun on this guitar, but that might just be the way I play and use the tremolo.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought the guitar new from USA (I live in Sweden and bought one wile in USA) and I really liked the setup for the guitar that Fender made, although I had to make the strings lower so all my guitars are the same and adjusted the pickup heights (I have the middle pickup all the way down) but I regret adjusting the guitar to be like my other guitars, cause now I would like to have make all my guitars like the Strat was when I got it a year ago. And the finish is made to wear of and relic the guitar, I got worried at first with my new guitar looking like my road worn Strat but later on liked it very much tobehonest. I can shred all I want and go more nuts with the tremolo then what I can with my Floyd V. The damn guitar wont get out of tune! Would be a 10/10 but since the guitar description did not say that it would wear of as fast it gets a 9/10

Features — 9
My H1 Strat was born in August of 2011 (last year of production) and is a 22fret guitar with a maple fretboard that has jumbo frets for a better bend control. It has the big cbs headstock with the handsome 70's logo and it has Alnico3 stock singlecoil pickups in the hardware and also has a standard volume, tone, tone and a Vintage tremolo. With the purchase I also got a Fender gigbag and a Fender tweed hardcase. (Since I play music in the way Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth and Malmsteen play I use scalloped necks and I would give this feature field a 10 if this would be the one scalloped non-signature guitar to get on the Fender market.)

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pre 2006 H1 has more of the Classic Vintage Strat Sound. 2005 added the Greasebucket Circuitry which cleans up the tone as you minimize tone controls. 2006 and later has hotter pickups catering more for hard rock. If you like Vintage Strat sound, the 2005 H1 is the sweetspot.
    Highway one with its somehow poor finish it gives all i ever wanted from a Fender USA.That stock finish have a "old",almost roadworn look wich i love.Vintage Strat sounding and silk action is spot on.The stock finish is only a small detail that gives it character and mojo.Love my 2004 USA H1.It´s a keeper for life.