Sound — 7
Play mostly classic rock, alternative, adult alternative. Use with a Fender Mustang II and also used on a Marshall MA50C. Shows nicely on the Mustang, has excellent hold. On the Marshall the imperfections in the electronics were easy to pick up, but this may have just been aging as the guitar is now 20 years old. Neck setting is very sharp and clean, in between neck and middle is noisy, lots of static. Middle is very clean and round. Between bridge and middle has a very roots rock feel, a lot of natural distortion. Bridge pickup has very thick bass, but leaves much to be desired on the treble strings.
Overall Impression — 8
Guitar is a good fit for me, bought it several years ago as a new player and has held up nicely. At the time of purchase was told it was a 2003, however it was not, and the price was considerably higher at the time, than what a 1992 was being sold for. I can't say I love this guitar, but it's suitable for those who are waiting to get an American Strat or to upgrade to something else. After playing several American Strats, the difference in quality was very noticeable, especially in the fretwork. Overall, a solid guitar for the $250-$350 range and a great first electric for beginners.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Guitar has held up very well for being 20 years old. Could easily be played live, if the right amp is used. A low end amp will produce a lot of unnecessary buzz due to the bad action. Would use with a double reverb, seems to hide many of the imperfections, if that's your play style. Dependable for a low end Fender however.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
When purchased action was extremely high, and there was considerable fret buzz. Had guitar set up professionally to bring the action down and fret buzz lessened, but still is noticeable. Tuning pegs were slightly loose, but may be a product of age. Tone knobs were not fit properly, this was also corrected.
Features — 8
1992 MIM Strat. 21 Frets. Solid Top. Body is Alder, Maple Fretboard. Traditional Strat style. Fender stock bridge. Cherry Red. Held up very well, has been dropped and knocked over and only shows small scratches. Fender Stock pickups. Shoddy fretwork, frets well overextend neck, some may cut fingers if not not sanded down.