Lite Ash Stratocaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Lite Ash Stratocaster
The Lite Ash Stratocaster is something new from Fender. Ash is a desirable body wood because of its tonal qualities and with its birdseye maple neck and Seymour Duncan pickups, these guitars give players just what they need to get the job done.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.4
 Features: 9.6
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (2) 27 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: BadGonzo, on november 09, 2012
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 630

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Made in 2004 in Korea. 22 fret birdseye maple fretboard attached to a natural finished ash body. The bridge is the new 2 point style not the 6 point Vintage and has milled saddles not stamped. Also it has over sized strap butttons so it takes quite a bit to have your strap come off accidently. It comes loaded with 3 Seymour Duncan single coils. I'm not sure what models. I cant seem to find that anywhere. I did reload it with some Texas Specials however. That may change soon as I'm looking to get some Kinmans. All in all great features, and at the price you can't beat it. // 10

Sound: It has all that youd expect from a Strat but with the Texas Specials the bridge gets really shrill. I haven't adjusted the hieght though so I shouldnt complain about it since thats a matter of the owner being lazy. I run it through a blues jr. and for recording (basic home stuff) I run it through a Korg PX-4 into my sound card. Nothing fancy but both setups sound killer. Imno tone guru but I can get what I like and thats what matters anyway right? Sure its noisy in 1, 3, and 5 postions but its single coils. Away from interferance its not. You can get some variety out of it. I had a Mexi-Deluxe with the 7 way Switch an EMG midboost and gold Lace sensors (ick, Lace sensors)in it and with all them controls I couldn't get that many distinct tones. I can get more out of this. Maybe it's just more experiance though. Think what you will. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The only thing I've done to it was put some 10 gauge strings on it since factory slaps 9's on. That was kind of annoying because there was only 2 trem springs attached and I didnt get an extra from the store. Adjusting the screws in the back took care of the problem but I had to reef them in as far as they could go. I think I came close to stripping the wood which made me uneasy. Other than that everything was stellar. The neck feels smooth, the fret work is awesome. Almost has that rolled feel that they put on the americans. Almost. The tremolo is smooth and holds tune pretty well, just don't turn all stuka dive bomber and you'll be okay. Even then I only have troubles with the b string. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I don't play live since I'm not in a band but I wouldnt worry about a back up too much. I would take my Les Paul just in case something happened. That is the point of a backup anyway right? Not because your sure your first plan will fail but just incase. The hardware seems reliable. Most stainless should be though right? As I said earlier it has over sized strap buttons so it takes alot for a strap to come undone. They have never come loose and I dont see any signs of it happening. Worried about strap problems? Buy some strap locks. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this guitar. It does what I need it too. Though I did say I wanted to replace the pickups with some Kinman MK-II's to keep that Strat sound but get rid of the noise too. All the other silent single coils on the market that I have played really lack that bite and snarl of single coils and I want both. So I'm getting Kinmans regardless of how good the pickups in it now are (I do a lot of work by the computer). If someone stole my guitar I would buy another, but not before I beat him to a pulp and made him watch me fornicate with his mother. Overall this thing is great. It's on par with some of the americans I've tested out, and the price just blows everything else away. Thats the clincher. $630 for something youd pay $900 for 'cause it's american. Not very patriotic but if your buying from Fender then it doesn't matter what line cause its all going to the same place. Great axe. Go get one! // 10

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overall: 9.4
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: DMorkus, on november 09, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 860.1

Purchased from: Regent Sounds

Features: Made in 2004 in Korea, with 22 Medium jumbo frets coated with a polyurethene finish, This part of the new, cool, special edition series form Fender. In terms of the body, it sports a beautiful lightweight Ash wood, with a smotthly crafted birdseye maple neck. I opted for the sleek all black color, which definately gives the guitar a edge, stylish, contrasting look. The bridge is a 2-point synchronized tremolo, which I find can sometimes cause a problem, especially if I'm doing some picking where I require an amount of sturdy-ness to rest the side of my hand on, the slightest movement affects the sound. The controls consist of the usual 4 knobs of the Strat, 2 for tone, 2 for volume, and a 5-way pickup selector (form left to right, Neck through middle, to bridge), equipped with 3 Alnico Pro Staggered, Seymour Duncan pickups, also matching the color of the guiatr's body Cast/Sealed, Silver Tuning Machine heads, create good contrast to the maple of the guitar's neck. When I bought the guitar, I bought a Standard Jim Dunlop Cry-Baby Wah pedal with included battery, that explains the price. usually, it would have been 400. Also included with the guitar, was a Fender gigbag, polish cloth, extra tremolo arm, 2 cables (1 Standard, 1 Fender), and a year's warranty and service. // 9

Sound: I like to play indie/alternative rock music, when I'm jamming with my friends, such as the likes of Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, for which this Fender provides the appropriate twang of a Strat, and the degree of lightweight sound. it's also great for blues/jazz music, as the guitar has a smooth, flowing tone curtisy of it's brilliant Seymour Duncan pickups, when put on a clean setting. I currently use a Marshall MG10CD 10watt amp, but will soon upgrade to a MG100DFX amp, so I can gig with it. It works will for all types of rock music and all pedals, I use a Classic Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal, which also gives the guitar a sweet-sounding Pete Townshend Tone. A wonderful sound. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I feel that it was well made, apart form the Floyd Rose, only because I don't really use it and it has no relevance the to style of music I play. Also, the input nut on the jack may become loose over time, but doesn't pose a long term problem. Overall, a well thought-out build. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I strongly believe that this guitar would provide a great Live performance from small to large gigs. I have played with it at a reletively small venue, with no intention of bringing a backup, and it ran smoothly. One other feature of the guitar is that it has oversized strap buttons, which provide a great deal of movement on stage, and the worry of a loose strap doesn't cross the mind while playing. I do believe this guitar has a long-term use and durability, and will not need to purchase a new model for many, many, years to come. // 10

Overall Impression: A great match for Indie music, and also a definate for a bluesy msuic. I've been playing for about 6 years now, and I first had a Epiphone Standard black Les Paul as a hand down from a family member, but soon found it was too heavy for me, and I needed something lighter. Therefore, I purchased a cheap, Standard sunburst, rosewood neck Squier Strat. However, as my knowledge and skill of the guitar grew reletively quickly, I found myslef needing an upgrade, as the Squier soon became unreliable, and worn. This guitar definately equipped me with everythng I need to peform a good Live performance, and matched my quality of playing. If it were stolen, I would definately wold be in pieces, and would want to purchase another or one similar to this model. I love the colour of the guitar, and the durablity. I don't hate anytihng on this guitar, but merely a few mild annoyances, suck as the Floyd Rose. Previously, when I set out to buy a new guitar, I had my sights set on the Squier Tele Custom, and when I arrived at the shop, immediatly fell in love with this guitar. And from it, I have developed a keen intrest in Fender Strats, as they suit my style. It has been a sucessful and rewarding relationship with guitar, and if you decide to buy one, I doubt you will not love it as I do. // 10

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overall: 9.8
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: mbkarner, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 900

Purchased from: Swee Lee Singapore

Features: This is a Korean model bought in 2012, year built unknown. I won't repeat the other reviewers' description save for, light yellow body, Seymour Duncan pickups, satin finish on neck and glossy body with black scratch guard. The only accessory I got with it was the tremolo arm, a bare chrome plated rod. The guitar looks stunningly beautiful and not far off some much more expensive US made models with nitro lacquer. What I did not like so much is that the scratchguard came with a protective plastic sheet that was very tricky to edge out of every nook and cranny of the controls where it got wedged in during production. // 10

Sound: My taste goes towards blues and "classic" rock but I was an absolute beginner when I bought it. I couldn't play a single chord. So I went around in stores and just picked single notes on the guitars on display. I never thought I'd spend more than $200 on my beginner's guitar but the tone on this model was just beautiful. And I could not resist buying it. It really had the purest tone of dozens I must have tried. Oddly another same series model in a different store did not sound nearly as nice as the one I bought so both the string condition and individual variation must play a big part here. I have now used it daily for six months with a home built amp, mostly w/o distortion. There is some minor noise in single coil position but it is not a real issue. The sound is incredibly mellow overall but of course on the bridge pickup it is much sharper. All five pickup positions yield a different sound. The middle position is close to jazz/acoustic ideal balance for me. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Setup from the factory / store was great for me except for the pickups. I did have to adjust them quite some to bring them in line with Fender specs and the sound improved even more. I have not changed anything else in six months save for 10 gauge strings. I play it about an hour a day. It is much easier to play than my son's small Squier. Finish still looks great as it did from the start. I am really picky in woodworking but I could not see any real flaws. The wood grain is not absolutely select-grade on the body if one wanted to nitpick but I bought it for the tone anyway. And unless you have an eye for this and look closely you won't notice. The bird's eye neck is stunning and the finish super smooth, the thumb glides easily. Action was ok and I did not touch it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I am still a beginner and I only play at home. But it all seems very solidly made. The finish is very thick, sort of a glassy appearance. No reason to believe it wouldn't last. No scratchy sounds from the pots, no mechanical sounds either. It does not seem to go out of tune easily either. If I make it to a gig one day for sure this is what I would bring. // 10

Overall Impression: I start learning songs now, of the bluesy / singer-songwriter kind. It works very well for this and it has a jazzy tone to it where I can see this will work very well for intricate picking work (should I ever become capable of that - remember, only 6 mo of experience here). I haven't tried effects with it, the "plain vanilla" distortion of my amp doesn't suit it too well but some amp simulators from the PC sound card kind do work well with it. If lost or stolen I would buy the same, but I would choose carefully amongst individual bodies of the same kind. Actually I'd be very sad because mine has a unique tone compared to what I have compared it to when I bought it and that includes the US built models. You'd have to pay several thousands more to get a similar tone. The only one on par in the Fender range for this kind of pure tone I tried was a 2.5 k model, also ash but US made. I tried the various usual suspects, I did not like the weight and feel of the Gibson/Epiphone models, the tone of the affordable Ibanez, and in the Fender range many of the lower end models to me just sounded thin. On the upper end of course you'll always find something special but within some kind of reasonable budget this guitar seems to be a real steal. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 732

Purchased from: Dawsons

Features: This is a Korean Stratocaster, it came with a padded gig bag and tremolo bar etc. As the name suggests, the body is made out of Ash and the neck is birdseye maple. It has the classic 5-way pickup selector, 2 tone controls and a volume control. It is fitted as standard with Seymour Duncan single coils, I think they are the quarter pounders but could be another model. It is fitted with non-locking tuners and a Standard Stratocaster tremolo. The only downside is I was supplied with an incorrect tremelo bar which is slightly loose in the fitting. // 9

Sound: I manily play Jazz and Blues, sometimes playing rock. The three single coils supply a great clean sound, and a just as good distortion, though overdrive is better. On some amps when just one pickup is selected it can be noisy but this does not affect me (If considering buying, make sure you try it out on a few amps as this can vary). The pickups supply a bright sound, similar to all strats, but when the neck pickup is selected it is possible to get a very nice full sound. I play in my own rock band and a big band playing jazz/funk/blues this guitar suits my style absoloutely perfectly, and can supply the sound I want when I need it. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was perfect from the day I brought it apart the horrible strings that came on it, I changed these immidiately. Apartfrom that it is perfect for me, the action is just right, and the neck is just so playable. I have played my friends USA deluxe Srat and I feel that this is much better. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have played live with this guitar, and it stood up to the job like no other. The hardware is good quality and well fitted, and I think will last the lifetime of the guitar. It comes fitted with oversize starp buttons, so there is no worry about loose straps. I have used this guitar without a back-up and will continue doing so, it feels like it will last forever, as does the finish. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a perfect match for my style of playing. I have been playing for around 3 and a bit years and I run the guitar through a Line 6 Spider 2 112 and through a Marshall MDFX 100, it will sound good through any amp with a bit of tweaking. Should it be stolen I would not hesitate at buying another I think this guitar will stay with me forever. I love the playability and the sound. I compare it to my PRS santana and it outclasses it. I would be good if it had locking tuners but they are not really necessary. If you like Strats buy this! If you like guitars buy this! // 10

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overall: 9.8
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 730.17

Purchased from: Local music store

Features: 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! // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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! // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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! // 10

Overall Impression: 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! // 10

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overall: 9.6
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: nariek, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 569.13

Purchased from: Thomann

Features: Korean made, 22 fret, maple, neck which I feel is surprisingly angular but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Solid transparent, Ash top: stunning. Tremelo bridge, 1 volume, 2 tone and 5-way selector. 3 Seymour Duncan pickups. Non-locking, 6 in a line tuners. Came with cable, tools and tremelo. // 10

Sound: The guitar doesn't really suit my music style, which is mostly rock and some metal; but that doesn't bother me because I bought the guitar for occasional jazz/blues/acoustic songs which I play, it's a tad too twangy for me but I have heard that is what the Strat sound is. If you want to play with distortion I suggest not buying this guitar because it can't cope. A definite buy for a blues or jazz player. I play it through a Roland: Micro Cube. It is sufficiently loud, it has a VERY bright tone when on the bridge pickup, but that brightness immediately becomes richer after you change to the middle or neck pickups. When selecting a single pickup there is a noticeable amount of feedback, but it is dead silent when the pickups are combined. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was fantastic and on par with another Fender a friend owns; Eric Clapton Stratocaster (multi-coloured, 900 pounds). I was very pleased with that. The pickups are about 1/4 cm away from the strings which is fine for me. The guitar had no flaws when I received it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think that it will withstand playing Live and it better cause I've got a gig coming up. The hardware seems pretty sound but the chrome finish will probably fade in time but it just depends when, but so far still shining. The strap buttons are great and are solid, I own several guitars so I always will have a backup but I think I could rely on this guitar without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: As I said it's not the best match for my style but it was what I was looking for, it plays clean and acoustic well which my other guitars just can't because they were made for heavier things. I have been playing for 2 years and own 8 other guitars, this Fender and my Les Paul Custom are the 2 guitars which wow people the most, it definitely looks more expensive than it is. I would definitely buy another one if it got stolen. I love the neck and the body but not too keen on the twangy sound. I compared this against other low priced Fender's and I found that this guitar had both the looks and the sound which I was after. For the price you can't go wrong. // 10

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overall: 9
Lite Ash Stratocaster Reviewed by: SadGuit, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 603.9

Purchased from:

Features: Seems to have been made in 2006. Says Korea on the neck but some say elsewhere and assembled in Korea. However that's not important as long as it is made well. Has 22 med jumbo frets with a birds-eye maple neck. The neck uses a satin finish and so looks undressed. Body is two-piece Ash affair, the join is hard to see. It has a floating tremolo bridge which seems quite stable for tuning. Has Seymour Duncan pups with Standard Strat controls. No extras were present except for an extra spring (it uses two for the 9 gauge strings and would use the extra spring for say 10s). // 9

Sound: This is very good through a Vox Valvetrnoix AD15T. It varies from the bridge pup being twangy to mellow sounds from the middle to neck. I do feel that it lacks a bit of the edge I hear from some other older style Strats but gives a wider variety, can't have it all. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was set fine and low with no fret buzz. I had to adjust intonation though and now it is in tune everywhere. Pickups were set okay. The body wood has some blemishes but they are the character of wood. Birds-eye maple is nice but a bit spotty for my taste. All the bits fit well with nothing out of place. Not bad for the money. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I always play live, unless I am dead at the time. Seriously the hardware is fine and would easily withstand gigs. The finish is fine but Who wants it to look perfect? This guitar like many Strats will age well with a bit of care. Obviously a good case and stand are basic that. // 9

Overall Impression: I play all types of music and this suits a wide variety of styles, jazz to rock. I have been playing for over 30 years and have seen guitars get cheaper and better as the market has become wider and more competitive. The Net has added to that. Much more info is available to the buyer/player. Overall this is a great instrument for a beginner to a pro. Paying more for a Strat will simply give better furniture. // 9

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