Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
At first I thought the Stratocaster could only play blues, like everyone else does, but I was proven wrong. I play grunge, and this thing works awesome! On the clean setting on my Roland Cube 60, if neck pickups are used if getting a deeper, warmer sound. The humbucker will get more or less the same sound, only higher. While using distortion, the humbucker is the way to go; it has virtually no noise! The neck pickups unfortunately get a lot of noise, so I suggest humbucker.
Overall Impression — 9
I really enjoy this guitar, it is 10 times more versatile than I though it was going to be, and it is definately built to last. I was comparing this guitar to a Highway 1 Strat, but this thing blew it away in every category. If this guitar was stolen, I would go buy another right away!
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is awesome, I never need a substitute, everything is not cheaply assembled; this thing is built to last. I had a scare when my strap came of the button, but luckily I grabbed the neck at the last second. I do highly recommend buying either a high-quality strap, or some sort of strap-lock system or something.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar worked like a dream, right out if the box! Everything was setup correctly, and no buzzing on the strings at all! The one bad thing though, after having the guitar for 3 months, I'm starting to get rust on the screws holding the pickguard on. Also, you should make sure no dust gets into the pickups; I'm starting to notice some.
Features — 9
My Strat was made in 2005, in Mexico. It has 21 frets, with Standard dot inlays. The neck is beatiful rosewood, and the body is sunburst. The pickups are great, 2 singles, and 1 humbucker with a 4 way selector. It's got 2 tone knobs and a volume knob. The tuners are non-locking, so I don't go to crazy with my tremolo arm, which was included. If you use the whammy bar, you better have a lot of time to re-tune and lots of extra strings!