Price paid: $ 260
Purchased from: Mudic Go Round
Sound — 7
While made in mexico, it is still a Strat. It sounds great out of any amp. I personally use a line six spider II 30 watt amp which I play through my other guitarist's PA system. When I use effects, I use a DigiTech RP-400 pedal. There is a delay from guitar to pedal to amp, but that's not the guitar's fault. I have Ernie Ball Slinky strings and they are very versatile. The only problem I face is the extreme noise heard when using any one pickup at a time. I have to play with two to even be able to think while not playing.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a lot of metal and them, along with punk. I never play country and never will. This is a good guitar for capturing a heavy sound but bee ready to turn the trebble up on your equipment. The noise on the single coil treble pickup is almost unbearable and I was forced to reset all of my amp settings once I permanently switched to the 2nd Switch position. It's been a nice guitar, and it was a giant leap up from my Silvertone guitar which I previously owned. I would feel like an idiot if I continued to play this while there were gibsons out there.
Reliability & Durability — 5
The only place I would dare take this guitar is the studio. It is a spectacular studio guitar, however during heavy play (like any movement or pulling the guitar for visual effect) will cause the guitar to bend the note. I would bring this as a backup. I would avoid using this as a main guitar if I could hep it. You could survive playing this, but I much prefer a Gibson or ESP or even an American Strat.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
As I have already said, the guitar's neck is slightly curved. When played aggressively, the strings make that vibration type sound on the base of the neck which is very annoying and greatly reduces the ability to sustain a note. The frets are not that solid either. Simply pushing the sring to the fretboard too hard can 'cause the entire chord to sound out of tune. The freboard is very comfortable and decently fast though. Everything else seems to be fine.
Features — 7
This is a Fender Stratocaster made in Mexico which I bought used about a year ago. It has 22 frets on a rosewood board. The board sits on a maple neck with a matching headstock. The neck is slightly curved on mine and the truss rod is a great hassle to deal with. Buying one of these new may solve that problem, because I didn't do anything to it, however I bought in used. The Strat body has a regular finish on it. There are three stock single coil pickups with a 5 way selector switch. It has two tone knobs (which only alter one pickup each) and a volume. Standard wiring, nothing special. Standard Fender tuners which can come out of tune frequently, but you get what you pay for I guess.