Price paid: $ 410
Purchased from: local shop
Sound — 8
I play a wide variety of music and the Strat, even for a mexican, deals with everything well. I can go from playing blues scales on the neck pickup through the clean channel to some heavily distorted punk or metal on the bridge pickup without problem. I play through a Marshall valvestate with 2 12" celestions in it. There is some noise when you take your hands off the strings or tremolo, mostly on the distorted tube channels. As with all fenders, there is that tone and brightness that you can only get from a Fender. this guitar plays everything.
Overall Impression — 9
I usually play classic rock, punk, and blues and it works perfect. I've been playing for about three years now. I have the Marshall, as mentioned before, along with a Fender mini deluxe amp, which is quite fun. the only other thing I use regularly is a Standard die cast cry baby. I never felt a need to ask anything else. I would probably buy something else, only due to the fact the I prefer a Gibson or american Strat. I love almost everything about it, except for the rosewood fretboard, I wish I would have gotten the solid maple neck instead, even though the rosewood looks better. I would have to say that I like the five way Switch and the fact that there are different sounds from each pickup. I was choosing between this and a Gibson SG Special, and chose this only because it had a better value for the money. as of now, I'm looking for a Gibson es 345 for the best price I can get.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It has and will withstand Live shows. Most of the hardware is great except for 2 screws on the pickgaurd that began to rust slightly. The strap buttons are great and I have yet to find a need to purchase strap locks. It is very a very dependable guitar. The finish is great with only a few small nicks on the fron that are hardly noticeable. It hasn't worn at all after playing for at least an hour a day every day for two years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The guitar was decently set-up out of the factory, but recieved some work from a luthier before it came to be what it is now. The pickups were adjusted so that they were all flat, but I took care of that one. Everything else was fine and to this day I've yet to find a defect.