Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: SamAsh
Sound — 8
I bought this a starter guitar mostly becuase of its versatility. I knew I was going to be playing rock like Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Offspring, Jimmy Eat World, Velvet Revolver. There all very different groups, and with my Mexican made Strat I can make all those sounds. It has a nice bright sound and the humming is surprisingly low on my guitar. The switching ability makes it quite versatile.
Overall Impression — 9
I play overall modern rock which this guitar is great for. It's a little above average for your starter guitar, but it is one you will keep and most likely customize or overhaul. I wouldn't buy another unless it were american. I didn't compare becuase as soon as I played I knew it was right for me. What I love about it is the neck, which feels awesome in my hands and is very comfortable. Deffinately a great starter guitar!
Reliability & Durability — 8
Well for 8 months it has held up and I cant complain except the strap pegs. The Strat will sometimes pop out but you can buy locks. There are one or two dings in the guitar. The finish is fine. The only thing I would advise is not using it for gigging, unless you have changed the pickups. Through a small practice amp there isnt a noticeability in the sound quality when playing on live gear. I'm putting in swineshead pickups just to improve quality.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
There was nothing wrong with this guitar. I know some people are suspicious about MIM Strats becuase of their quality. All I can say is play the guitar you are gonna buy. I played a few differenct strats before I settled on this becuase I could see that it was made with no dings and from a noobs perspectective everything looked right.
Features — 9
Its features include a maple neck with maple fretboard with 21 frets. It has an alder body and Sage Green Metallic finish which looks really cool. It has a Standard Stratocaster bridge and basic 5 way split tone controls. The pickups are three single coils. Had I know the difference between a single and a humbucker I would have gone with the fat Strat.