Price paid: $ 570
Purchased from: Zenith Music
Sound — 8
Sounds great for some things, not so good for others. You would be stupid to buy a single-coiled Strat with plans of playing hard rock or metal. Sounds great for the classic Strat sound, sounds nice clean or with distortion. However the pickups are as basic as they come; although they sound good, the slightest amount of electrical interference creates a lot of noise with a single pickup selected and still some when out of phase. Nice trebly bridge position, deeper sounding middle and neckk for playing rhythm or clean. For that Hendrix sound, a lot of classic rock and anything undistorted, this is the guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a great guitar, especially for the price. I've been playing a bit under a year but I know a good sounding and playing guitar when I use one and this is great. The earthing problem is a one off I know and that's why I am going to get it fixed under warranty. If it suits your style of music get it. All strats generally look great, and the maple neck looks good and sounds greatalso. If it were stolen I would be a Mexican Fat Strat simply for more versatillity. I'm going to put a nice Seymour Duncan humbucker in the bridge position to give me some hard rock/metal playabillity and then it will be the perfect guitar for me!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Very reliable, almost unbreakable. Strap buttons are solid, the strap will slip off before they come the slightest bit loose. Appart from the factory strings having a tendancy to break very easily, I can't see how you could damage this guitar by accident and the hardware will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
Fairly average setup, low E string can rattle a little sometimes, the tuning pegs needed tightening (not a big deal)and the pickups are adjusted OK, however I find that none of the pickups seem to pick up the high e string as much as the other strings, compared to other guitars there seems to be a difference, though this is probably a unique thing to my guitar and is in need of adjustment. The wine red finish is nice, it has a great neck for playabillity. The only problem I've had is a terrible earthing problem that my music shop seems aprehensive to fix. They have tried to tell me it's a problem with my town's power, my amp, leads but it's not. When I am not touching anything metal on myguitar it buzzes like mad.
Features — 8
Maple fretboard, 3 single coil pickups, classic tremelo, the usual. It came with nothing but a brief instruction manual and warranty card. There aren't too many features a guitar can have and this has most of them.