Purchased from: The Music Den
Sound — 9
For those Who believe the proverb, "beauty is only skin-deep", go in a dark closet, with a paper bag on your head, and cut yourself. This beast is sexy on the outside and even more hardcore on the inside. As I enjoy any style of rock music, I play any stlye of rock music. No matter what I attempt, if I can play it, this guitar can play it. I have it plugged into a Peavey Transtube Rage 158 through a DigiTech RP50 effects pedal (only to enhance the sound, not cover it up). The actual sound of the guitar on a clean tone is bright, on a single pickup, with the tone knob on a 10, to a rich sound with multiple pickups on. This guitar can really bring out a vast range of tones from blues to metal. This is acheived though the 5 different possible pickup configurations, and the 2 tone knobs (making a total of about 500 different tones, if you think about it, although not anything major. The pickuos never fail, and the guitar outputs everything I put in. Too bad it doesn't have an autopilot mode, because its sedative tone tells me to play for hours, and I listen and obey.
Overall Impression — 10
Above all, the requirement for me to keep a guitar forever and play it daily for hours, is for me to love it. The Fender Stratocaster delivers everything I could possibly want from it. It never is below top notch, and I am already thinking about buying another Strat, in Sage Green, and I've only been playing for 4 1/2 years. I love my choice (which was my fist guitar, along with my two acoustics). Peace out, posers.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Every true guitarist's dream, playing in front of a crowd that for the duration of your performance are your minions and will do whatever you say. However, playing live is a major difference than playing at home or in the recording studio. Many people buy a guitar for its looks, not its sound, reliability, and duribility, which are the keys for a live jam. If you believe that live playing is smashing your guitar and then kicking the corpse around the stage, then don't bother continuing to read this review. But if you are like me and focus on delivering to the crowd the music they came to see, then I don't see why not to throw a few jumps, spins, or seizers into your execution. This guitar can defidently handle that. And the pickups will never fail, so you don't need to worry about the guitar's guts having a coma while you're on stage, or ever. The hardware is very firm, and well-built, so when you need to detune, or dive-bomb the bridge, or even put your cable into the guitars 'sweet spot'; P, with thelights off, or flickering or something, you can accidently bump into something and it should remain in place (really depends on what you just crashed into). And some guitars, the guitar is a work of God, but the strap buttons are crap and fall off randomly and your axe falls on your foot, or worse, the floor. I would nerver expect that out of a Strat, the buttons are so strong that I would bet that you could hang the guitar on the ceiling, or the like, and hang onto a strap that is supported by the strap buttons just as if one of the world's strongest men (refer to that tv show plz), were hoisting you up. Overall, I would always use it at a gig witout a backup, even if I did have another guitar of its quality or better (which I most likely could not find). And if I was a hippie and did outdoor gigs, even for non-stop weekends, for years in the sun, the finish would last for life. The blue agave finish on my beast has experienced the scorching sun many-a-time, and Still Remains as gorgeus as when I first removed it from its coffin (Who would think of puting this guitar in a box for 3 weeks).
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
After picking up at the store where I custom ordered it, I arrived at home and opened the box. My baby couldn't have been more protected (unless put in a metal Crate) as the box was filled with supports, packing peanuts, cellophane wrap, and strong double-walled corugated cardboard, and all of this was put inside of another box (which had an ispection stamp on it). The guitar was perfect out of the factory. The pickups were in well and their was no static sound, and the body/neck were properly aligned. On the whole guitar, there were (and still are no flaws what so ever. The only thing is, there is a minute (1/16 inch) piece of wood mising under the neck (when I took it off once), and there is the guitar's finish over it so it must have came that way. The finsh is very lasting, hasn't faded at all, or worn. The body itself is very strong, because I smacked it on a chair by accident once on the side, and the only proof of that is a small 1/8 inch diamter x 1mm deep dent, which I think is still the paint, not the wood of the guitar. The only things I have ever done to it are: periodically replace strings, and add a spring to the internal backing of the bridge to help generate a slightly deeper tone. Amen.