Price paid: $ 730.17
Purchased from: Local music store
Sound — 9
As my first Strat, I'm bowled over by the range of sounds and styles of music that are possible to play! I play rock/metal style of music and this guitar more than accomodates the smooth sounding solos and lead of classic rock to blistering metal riffs! The guitars natural sound is surprisingly beautiful too, a quite bright tone with a touch of sustain gives this guitar a unique voice. I only use a small Marshall 15 DFX (which has 4 effects: reverb, delay, chorus and flange) and I own a single Marshall "Jackhammer" (distortion) pedal. I often turn the overdrive on and then combine the tone with distortion to give a very powerful metal tone. If I'm not doing this however, it's only either sitting with a weak overdrive or soft distortion (with a touch of reverb of course) which gives me a very harmonic clear sound.
Overall Impression — 10
Compared to m cheap Les Paul Copy, this guitar is indeed the holy grail! For me this guitar is a match made in heaven: it's got looks, style, class and a totally awesome sound without doubt! When I was looking for a new guitar I tried a few different Fenders, foremost of which are the Lite Ash Tele and a Standard Strat. I disliked the Tele's limited range of sound and I despised the feel of the Standard Strat's neck and rosewood fingerboard! So I tried the Lite Ash and bang! That was it for me! All in all, this is an unbelieveable guitar at the price range, the best non-american Fender yet!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't play Live in a band, so I would'nt know if the guitar would stand a Live session. But it does seem like it's built solid so I would (if I could) gig it without any backup! The finish (at the moment) seems fine and the strap buttons are oversized and sturdy!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I found that the Strat was set up pretty well. However, I had to replace the strings after only 3 weeks of playing! That would be my only quibble with the guitar. The rest of it is fantastic, the neck is smooth and the fret dressing is perfect. 100% playable!
Features — 10
It's a Korean made model built in 2005 with a very beautiful 22 fret birdseye maple neck bolted onto an Ash body. There are 2 tone pots, a single volume pot and a 5-way pickup selector on the black scratchplate. In the traditional way there are 3 single coil Seymour Duncan pickups (which I later found out were Alnico pro 2 models) and a interesting 2 point syncronised tremolo bridge.However no gig-bag was supplied as with the Fender standard guitars. Basically it's the quality of an American series Strat but built in Korea!