Jeff Beck Stratocaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Jeff Beck Stratocaster
From his blistering British Invasion beginnings through his amazingly varied solo career and right up to today, Jeff Beck's Stratocaster guitar has been an integral part of his signature sound.
 Sound: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.6
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
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reviews (5) pictures (2) 28 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
Jeff Beck Stratocaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1342.21

Purchased from: Ted Good Music

Features: I am reviewing a 2006 Jeff Beck Artist Series Stratocaster made in the USA. It's Olympic White with an alder body, 22 medium jumbo frets (0.103 inches wide and 0.046 inches high), soft-C maple neck with a rose wood fret board, Fender special design dual-coil ceramic Noiseless pickups and straight-ahead five-way switching. It features Fender/Schaller Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking Tuning Machines, American 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with 6 Stainless Steel Saddles, a thinner C Shape Maple Neck, a contoured Heel for Easier Access to upper frets, LSR Roller Nut, aged knobs and pickup covers. And it comes with a very nice tweed case from G&G and all the usual case candy. It has a neck radius of 9.5" and the neck is slightly wider which helps keep the high E on the fret board. // 8

Sound: I need to be able to play anything from Deep Purple to Walter Trout to Elvis Presley to country and Fender Strats have always been able to deliver. This guitar has that Stratocaster sound but with it's own set of unique characteristics, it's a little darker sounding than usual, but at the same time, the bridge pickup can really scream. Unlike a conventional Stratocaster, the bridge pickup has it's own tone control and this is necessary at times to "tone" it down. What sets it apart are the noiseless ceramic pickups. Through the clean channel of my Marshall JCM 2000, it is easy to dial in that old Strat twang like through an old Fender Twin, but kick the Marshall into overdrive on the crunch or lead channel, and it's slightly higher output (I am comparing it to a 1979 Statocaster) lets it Drive the Marshall very nicely. However, it is not the same as my Les Paul with P-90s, which will produce a creamier overdrive sound due to the higher output of the Gibson pickups. But even though the Fender pickups are not as hot, they got the tone, and lots of it. And best of all, this guitar is quiet! Venues where the Les Paul would be almost unplayable are simply not an issue for this Stratocaster. Even with the JCM 2000, I usually boost the signal level of the guitar through a tubescreamer, then turn the volume on the guitar down to. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When the guitar was ordered, I was informed that there would a waiting period as they were no models currently in production. Then, out of the blue, a "brand new" Jeff Beck Strat arrived. As soon as I looked at it I knew Olypic White was the right color. Photos do not do justice to this colour! The creamy white poly finish was absolute perfection, beautiful workmanship and finish on the body, the neck and the frets. The satin finish on the back of the neck is smooth and fast. Very few guitars come from the factory set up just right. I immediately changed the strings from the stock 9-42s to a heavier set of 10-52s. This is personal preference and not a set-up issue. While adjusting the neck I noticed the truss rod was very stiff, so rather than force it I made arrangements to have the dealer look at it after the next gig. In the meantime I decided to change the neck tilt (this guitar has the micro-tilt adjustmment which I find to be very useful in getting the action just right)and adjust the action at the nut. On this particular guitar the LSR roller nut was slightly high for my tastes, but unfortunately, the nut was already set as low as it could go. Normally there would be thin metal shims that could be removed to lower the nut in.005" increments, but this nut had no shims at all. That could end up being a real problem at some point down the road when the frets are leveled and recrowned. Action at the nut would be even worse. I new this was going to be a big problem for me. So I took it back to the dealer and pointed out the truss rod and nut problems. When they tried to adjust the neck the allen wrench just slipped in the truss rod nut, almost like the wrench was too small or the nut too big. Then I noticed that the string angle off the nut to the machines was almost flat on the E string, consequently there was not enough pressure exerted on the nut and that effected the clarity of the open E string (this guitar does not use string trees but rather controls string angle by lowering the sring at the tuning peg). That should have worked but upon closer inspection of the peg head I noticed that it was out of it's plane slightly. It started at 6.35mm away from the strings at the nut and by the high E it was only 4.76mm away, basically defeating the purpose of the using staggered machine heads. I knew the action could be better and that I would never be happy with the neck, so after discussing the issue with the dealer, a replacement neck was ordered under warranty. When the new neck came quite a few weeks later, I ran into a different problem, the nut slot was cut too low on the new neck so now the roller nut sat so low on the high E side that there was no relief at the first fret. So back to the dealer to order shims which should have been sent out with the neck in the first place. OK, shims installed, neck tilt adjusted, truss rod much, much better, the wrench actually fit right, everything else adjusted to Fender specifications except there was still too much relief in the neck and the truss rod was getting too tight. So I loosened the srings, lossened the truss rod, has someone firmly hold the guitar down while I manually pulled the neck into a back bend and tightend the truss rod. Presto! Problem solved. Action is now better than Fender specs and the guitar feels great! I have played a number of gigs in a wide range of temperature/humidity conditions and the neck has only needed very minor tweaks, which is normal. As anyone should do with a new Strat, I smoothed out every point of sring contact on the guitar, except of course the roller nut, and lubricated every point of contact. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will easily withstand Live playing. It is a rock solid guitar now that I have the new neck on it, cheerfully provided under warranty by Fender. The strap buttons are the locking type which is a thoughtful feature, almost everybody removes the conventional strap buttons, like I did after dropping my '79 Strat on my sax player's horn back in the 80's. The poly finish on this guitar looks so good it is beyond words, you have to see one in person to appreciate it. The poly finish seems very durable. Time will tell. Poly does not wear off easy like the old nitro finishes and really has little to no impact on tone that can't be compensated for in some other way (my opinion). I always have a backup on stage. Strings can and do break from time to time, although attention to the string contact points goes a long way to eliminating any problems. I also find certain sting brands to be more durable than others. // 9

Overall Impression: I love this guitar and will keep it for a long time. It is a versatile instrument. I have been playing for 37 years and I am not a collector. My guitars need to work for me and I don't need more than three or four. I have a Gibson Les Paul Special with P-90s, A 1979 Fender Statocaster with several modifications and the new Jeff Beck Strat. I plan to add a Tele soon. I mostly use the Marshall half stack for gigs and a mini Marshall for really small venues. I also have a 1964-5 Fender Tremolux which has not seen the Jeff Beck Strat yet, and I use an old Peavey Chorus 130 for rehearsing which sounds great with every guitar but has no botton end. And I have a three foot wide pedal board hand wired with high quality cable and connectors to various pedals. I would defintely buy another one of these guitars if it were stolen. In my opinion nothing represents rock'n'roll more than a white Fender Stratocaster. My second choice would be a Fender Deluxe Strat with two-tone sunburst and noiseless pickups. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Jeff Beck Stratocaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2205

Features: I went into the store to get myself a new guitar, I thought of a normal american Strat until I saw the Jeff Beck. There were 2 Jeff Becks (the cheap and the expensive) and because of the price I only played 5 minutes on the expensive one. I tested the cheap jeff beck and the american Strat guitar longtime and the Jeff Beck was defenitly the best! After I tested some other guitars like the Eric Clapton, Johnson but for me the Jeff Beck was the best among them. The neck is C-shaped with a contoured heel which is very easy to play high notes and to play them quick and smooth. The pickups are Noiseless and they give a great sound, that bit better than the Standard ones. It has got a roller nut and locking tuners which are some nice extras. // 9

Sound: I play all styles except metal, I play blues, jazz, rock, punk and silent pop. It's a Strat so it can handle about everything, it isn't the greatest guitar for heavy music but it can manage it very well. I use an AC30-CC2 and the sound is sex! I also use an overdrive/DS pedal to get me some hard sounds and it works ok, as you can expect from a Strat. But if you want to play all kind of genres and styles buy a Strat. If you want the extras and a "bit better" Strat, buy a Jeff Beck. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I had to adjust some minor stuff just to suit my style but no big deals. I have a normal playing style (I do a lot of bends) but none of my strings have broken! On my previous guitars and my mates guitars I had to adjust the saddles a bit 'cause the strings would break but on this one: no! It might be only my guitar, that's something I don't know. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have the guitar for about 8 months now and nothing has happened. When I got back home I checked the hardware and everything was well done, it will last for ages. It's a great guitar for playing Live and I would defenitly go without a backup because it doesn't seem like the neck will break or the hardware won't last. // 10

Overall Impression: I like strats, and it's the best guitar if you play a lot of different genres and styles. It's not the best guitar for metalheads or hardcore moshers but the guitar can handle the genres. When I just had it, a friend wanted to play and he directly fell in love with it (like I did). He plays the guitar for over 25 years and had over 30 guitars. He says it's one of the best guitars he ever had and I think he says the truth. If it was stolen I would just buy another one, it's not a cheap guitar but it's worth the money! // 9

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overall: 10
Jeff Beck Stratocaster Reviewed by: kena48, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 2011 model - US made. Surf Green. See Fender's website for specific features. I.e. Custom noiseless pick-ups, Schaller locking tuners, much more. The quality, I think, is much higher that an American STD Strat, or the HSS Custom Deluxe Strat models. Fender strap, cable, tools, strap locks (U-shaped), all normal case candy. // 10

Sound: It sounds great finger picking like on an acoustic, or cranking distortion, or clean Jazz chords. Extremely versatile. It sounds great through my Fender Cybertwin, Fender Frontman, and Carvin Acoustic amps. The whammy bar is great (two point) and will pull up or down high. It's hard for me to describe the pick-ups, but they are versatile, quiet, and controllable with tone knobs. They "may" be more sensitive than my custom shop Strat with noiseless cobalts - or brighter, if you need that, but not twangy & "in your face" like a Telecaster. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: VERY nice fit-n-finish. It's as nice as my 3, 000 dollar custom shop Strat! This guitar is really a bargain. About the same features as a 1,500 dollar American Deluxe, but you get that rare surf green color and Jeff's specially designed pick-ups. Wildwood guitars set up the whammy for me mailed it. Risky, but I got a peach. The guitar was actually in perfect tune after being trucked from Colorado to Oklahoma City! They are a good company to deal with too. If you no likey, they'll take it back with no hassle. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very well built and dependable. Again, better that an American Std Strat. I would feel comfortable traveling with it without a backup. The retro case is very nice with bright Orange fur in it. Pretty cool. If you've never changed strings with locking tuners you will be amazed. I will never buy another ekectric without them. // 10

Overall Impression: In summary - the best feature is the perfect intonation. It vibrates so fully unplugged. Every chord sounds rich and in tune all over the neck. Play a normal E chord on the 12th fret and it sounds as naturally in tune as it does on the 1st fret. It's as nice as my 3, 000 dollar custom shop Strat! If I lost it, I would seek out another. I never really knew anything about Jeff Beck. I appreciate his talent, but a bit over-the-top for me. But he & Fender put together a great guitar. This guitar "feels" good. // 10

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overall: 9
Jeff Beck Stratocaster Reviewed by: ProgJazzMath, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The guitar was given to me by my dear uncle who was currently under the influence of alcohol so whether or not he regrets it means nothing to me because, guess what? It's mine now. I'm not sure when this guitar was made honestly. It is a U.S. built guitar though. It boasts 22 medium-jumbo frets with mostly easy access although reaching the 22nd fret on the bottom strings is a slight challenge, but if you really need to get that high on those strings, I guess you have to work for it. It has Sperzel locking tuners and as for the bridge it is an American Standard 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo. I'm going to be honest here, from my experience with Floyd Rose Tremlos and the Ibanez tremolo, this one has it beat. Beat in the tuning sense, because it will stay in tune no matter how hard you drop it or de-tune it. Of course it will get out of tune eventually, that is purely inevitable. I play mostly heavy metal/prog and believe it or not, this guitar gets the job done. If you are familiar with Meshuggah, they have one song on their Catch Thirty Three album called "Mind's Mirrors" and it starts off with a humongous tremolo drop where you can hear the strings rattling. I can re-create that with this guitar and keep it in tune. Check it out so you can get a real picture of what I'm talking about. This thing means business and really does not mess around. For just subtle vibrato, it is a piece of cake. Literally. The picture for this article shows the model with all single coil pickups, mine has two single coils and a humbucker at the bridge. They are licensed Fender Laced pickups. Beautifully crafted white covered pups. For styles on this guitar, If you are playing metal, I recommend switching it out to something like a Bare Knuckle so you can at least keep the integrity of the Fender by not too-metalifying it. Yes I realize that isn't a word. For anything other than metal, this will stomp plenty of other guitars to the curb. With that said, it can handle heavy tones with the Standard pickups, just for the users preference. Obviously this guitar isn't made for metal. For jazz, rock and anything of the sort, you are good to go. It contains a 5-way selector switch, with a volume and 2 tone knobs. Also it has a button to Switch to single coil. Comes in very handy when playing southern rock. Personally, I don't use anything but the Neck and Bridge switches so I can't tell you how good the other options are because I wouldn't know. The guitar is a beast so most likely they will suit if you use them. I am not sure if it came Standard with a case but it was given to me in a tweed Fender brand case. It comes with a whammy bar of course. It has a Standard Strat body style with a contoured heel to aid you in the upper fret region. It's very comfortable to play with sitting down or standing up. It is slightly heavy, but not too much. As for the neck profile, it boasts a comfortable maple, C shaped neck. There isn't any trouble reaching around the neck, very comfortable. As for the finish, it is a metallic purple color and is gorgeous. Just for the record, I had my Ibanez painted purple to match it. // 8

Sound: My music style is mainly metal like I have already said. It gets the job done with the Standard settings. I replaced the bridge pickup with a Cold Sweat BareKnuckle. I use it with my Randall 200 Watt Tube combo, pretty bad amp, but has good tones. I have played the Strat through a Tube Marshall Combo and it sounds even better through that. As for it being noisy, there is absolutely no hum or any feedback, even at high volumes. The guitar is EXTREMELY quiet even when the gain is at full blast. It has a very chunky sound perfect for power chords. As for the sounds I can produce with this guitar, the possibilities are unlimited. Like I said, I play metal and it kicks ass. You can get amazing clean tones out of this as well, very rich sounding and when you throw a little reverb or chorus in it, prepare to make some soothing music. For pinch harmonics, it kind of lacks. You can get some nice pinches here and there. One thing I love to do is tap. Not just scalar lines but as well as chords, the neck provides a solid structure to do so on and sounds amazing. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set-up for me before I received it. I'm assuming because of it's sky high price, it would come set-up perfectly. The pickups and everything are perfectly in line. There really is nothing about this guitar I can say that deeply dissatisfied me. Pick-up change was just for me to get heavier tones, but with it standard, it still makes for a damn good guitar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely stand live playing. Not once has it cut out on me and when played loud the guitar really sings. As for the hardware, it is top notch. The locking tuners/pegs are brilliant. The strap buttons handle abuse very well and at a gig, the only reason for a backup would be to get a different sound for different songs. It will not crap out on you unless you treat it badly. Honestly, it would take a beating to hurt this bad boy. Everything about it is flawless. The finish stays golden and bright even with my sweaty arms rubbing against it constantly. The white pickguard saves most of the damage to be done from my pick. It's a beautiful guitar, and nothing could make it not so. // 10

Overall Impression: I wish the guitar came with better pick-ups to suit my needs, but it is a Strat. If it wasn't for the metal playing, it would be phenomenal. I have been playing guitar for about 5 years now and I know a good guitar when I see/play one. This is among the best I have ever played. My favorite feature are the locking tuners and the LSR rolling nut that keeps everything in tune. It's great not having to always worry about the guitar randomly getting out of tune. Basically, this is the best Fender Stratocaster I have ever played. I recommend anyone looking for a tight guitar to by this. So hop on over to guitar center and pick one up. // 9

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overall: 9
Jeff Beck Stratocaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 1410

Purchased from:

Features: 2010 model made in U.S.A, 22 frets, C shape neck, rw fingerboard, alder body, surf green color. It has two point tremolo and three Fender noiseless pickups, locking tuners. It came with tweed case, strap, straplocks, and two extra springs for tremolo bar. I miss push pull tremolo, sometimes its tricky to screw the arm in tremolo. // 9

Sound: I play classic rock, blues, hard rock and a bit of metal. It is really a beast, it nails almost everything with ease, and I love it. At first I wanted to buy Deluxe in sunburst, but in comparisson to JB it wosent any good. The guitar spoke to me: "Take me home, I'm yours" (Phil X) The guitar is completely noiseless, even in 1. 3. and 5. position without suffering clean shime. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory finish was good, everything was almost perfect except the rolling nut, i have a feeling they could fit it in better, the hole is a bit too deep and wide, so they had to adjust it with little steel leaves. Frets are perfect and smooth, tremolo setup is almost perfect, intonation is top notch. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is a beast, I doubt it would brake. After two days I had an issue, I broke first and second string, I don`t know where is the problem, maybe because I am using tremolo a lot... I almost never have a back up, and I don`t feel a need to carry another guitar with me. In worst case a string would brake, but as it has locking tuner, string change takes about a minute. // 8

Overall Impression: The guitar is beautiful, sometimes I just want to stare at it or hold in my hands, it plays smooth and I love it. I have been playing Ibanez RG1570 prestige and Squier affinity strat, Jeff beck srat is the ultimate answer to me. I got the ultimate deal, way under price found in popular internet shops, I have it for few days now, and I would buy another if it was stolen. // 10

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