Price paid: C$ 700
Purchased from: Steves Music
Sound — 10
I play everything with this guitar, from BB King type blues to Green Day power chord riffs. I play through either my 30 watt Vox tube amp or my Laney 212 solid-state. When you Switch pickups on this guitar it sounds like your changing the guitar itself. The neck and middle position single coils give the classic Fender sound. They have a balanced tone and absolutely sing with the right amount of reverb. They are great for blues, jazz, rythm chord riffs or a low frequency type lead sound. When you Switch to the bridge SD humbucker everything changes. This "pearly gates" pickup has been made famous by John Mayer and give a beautiful rock tone. It has a strong but subtle mid-range which sounds great for lead solos. Crank up the gain and get a nice metal tone, mabye not the same thing as an Ibanez type sound, but much more then you would expect from a Fender. If you currently own any type of Fender fat srat, I would highly recommend installing one of these for a nice hot lead boost.
Overall Impression — 10
With this guitar pared with my Epiphone Dot, I feel like I can create any tone ever imaginable. The only thing my lonestar fat Strat can't do is give that deep sweet humbucking blues tone because the neck pickup is a single coil. Unless that is the sound you are looking for, then this guitar would be perfect. This guitar has a fast neck for shredding but still feels comfortable playing some chords. The guitar is meant for rock, but the possibilities are endless.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is built as solid as most Standard Fender strats, whose reputation speaks for itself. If Eric Clapton toured with these guitars for decades I have No Doubt in their reliability. Pretty hard to scratch or dent, and the neck is connected flawlessly to the body.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup on this guitar was quite good, but I needed to raise the action slightly to get a bit more sustain on the higher frets. The guitar has a pretty slim neck so it's easy to get your hands around it. I adjusted the pickup height to experiment with different sounds but it wasn't necessary. The guitar stays in tune perfectly as the nut is perfect and the tuners are well contructed. One big bonus of this guitar is it comes with upgraded "super Bullet" Fender strings which play like heaven. The only reason I gave it a 9 is because the low E string was much closer to the frets then the other string for some reason. The guitar comes with an alan key so it takes 30 seconds to fix.
Features — 10
I went to my local guitar store looking to buy a Standard MIM Fat Strat, but when I saw this guitar right next to it I couldn't resist. When I played it I was even more impressed. This guitar has 21 frets, maple neck, rosewood fretboard, alder body, Fender tuners, tremolo bridge, 1 volume control and 2 tone controls (1 for humbucker and 1 for the single coils), H-S-S pickup configuration with 5 way selector Switch. The single coils are Fender Texas specials, and the humbucker is a Seymour Duncan "pearly gates" bridge pickup. This guitar was made in mexico. The guitar included a couple of alan keys, a Fender manual and bumper sticker, and a Fender padded gig bag.