Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Elderly Instruments
Sound — 10
I couldn't ask for a more perfect sounding guitar. The versatility of a Stratocaster is astounding. Being in multiple bands and playing mostly ska and punk, one does not need to purchase multiple guitars. Running it through my Fender Pro Jr. 15W tube amp, you can take it from crystal clear cleans ideal for ska (any of the 5 pick-up positions), all the way to piercing thick tone ready for a punk show. I always aim for a bright sound, distorted or clean. Now being in a Ska/Punk band, I do not use any effects pedals whatsoever and am absolutely content with the sound.
Overall Impression — 10
I play ska and punk and cannot ask for another single guitar that can do both. It is the most ideal in my opinion. I have been playing for 2 years now, (1.5 on the strat). I only own anothe Fender acoustic, good for songwriting. It is the absolute first guitar I would but if it were broken misplaced or stolen. I love its versatility and various sounds for different genres. I do not have a favorite feature, as I see all guitars as tools and don't need any special features to "enhance" the sound or playability. I compared it to both Gibson and Epiphone SGs and LPs. LPs were out of my range and I did not like its cleans relative to the strat. The SG was uncomfortable and I did not take a liking to it. I wish it only had 2 pickups, 3 is a bit much. Maybe a single coil and a humbucker and leave it at that.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar has been gigging for over a year now and still going strong. I can't really say though, as I take care of its cosmetics and aesthetics. All the hardware is still in nearly mint condition, although my pickups have attained a small bit of rust. The strap buttons come loose fairly often, so that makes me quite anal about tightening them all the time. I can absolutely depend on it. My Strat and any Strat for that matter is my go-to axe. I won't use it without a back-up, as I often break strings. Nothing the guitar can help there. The finish has minor scratches, barely visible to my eyes. Only uppity people care about finding microscopic impurities.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Guitar came in looking and performing flawlessly. The pickups seemed to be fine to my liking as I have not changed them or adjusted them. As far as I see it, this guitar was professionally done and engineered to perfection. The only flaws as of now are from my own carelessness and stupidity. The strap buttons often come loose, but I believe that is of my own doing.
Features — 10
This is a change on an old review of mine, as I have played this guitar for more than a year. This is a 2009 Left handed Mexican Stratocaster with 21 jumbo frets. It has a one-piece maple neck and fretboard. Classic Black paint with white pickguard and chrome hardware. The body is alder. It is the most ideal Strat one can buy (3 single coils, volume and 2 tone knobs, 5 way selector, Vintage Tremolo bridge). Installed are still the stock Fender single coils. Came with a gig bag and a tremolo bar.