Price paid: £ 899
Purchased from: Andertons Guildford
Sound — 10
I love the sound of this Strat, it is punchy and powerful, sounds great for blues or hard rock. The middle position of the bridge and neck pick combined is awesome. The scalloped frets help with sustaining notes. If you are a Blackmore fan like I am, you will not be disappointed, however if you are not, then this guitar will certainly offer Strat lovers the tone, feel and playability that they have come to love with a little twist.
Overall Impression — 10
After being set up and fret dressed, other than being minus a Fender hardcase, it makes you wonder why you would pay the extra for some of the more expensive artist USA Strats, don't let the fact that the Blackmore model is made in Mexico put you off, it is a well made Strat and sounds awesome. I have been playing for 15 years and have owned many USA and custom shop Strats, however this is one of my favorite Strats.
Reliability & Durability — 10
As with any good quality Strat, look after it and it will look after you for life. This guitar sounds and feels great when gigging. I like the flush mounted strap locks, it makes holding the instrument whilst standing up feel a little more comfortable somehow.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As you come to expect from factory set ups, it was awful and fret care was not too great either, however once I had the guitar set up and fret dressed by a professional guitar tech, the guitar felt slick, professional and a pleasure to play. The overall build quality is really good and looks no different when compared to the quality of the 1400 USA artist Strats.
Features — 10
Purchased 2011, Olympic white Ritchie Blackmore Stratocaster. - "U" Shape neck - Graduated scalloped rosewood neck with 21 Vintage style frets - Fretboard Radius: 7.25" (18.41 cm) - Nut Width: 1.650" (42 mm) - Scale Length: 25.5" (64.8 cm) - Headstock: Artist Signature on Headstock - Neck Plate: 3-Bolt Neck Plate with Micro-Tilt Neck Adjustment - Truss Rod Nut: "Bullet" Style - Bridge Pickup: Reverse Wound/Reverse Polarity Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 Single-Coil Strat Pickup - Middle Pickup: Non-Active "Dummy" Pickup - Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 Single-Coil Strat Pickup - Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup - Controls: Master Volume - Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups) - Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup) - Flush Mounted Dunlop Straplocks - Fender gig bag included.