Price paid: $ 399.99
Purchased from: Guitar center
Sound — 9
The tone on the guitar is exceptional and similar to a Strat in its warmth. The pickups tend to be a little noisy, but that is to be expected from single coil and is easily remedied. Even through my solid state crap amp, the sound was very bright and tonal. I'm currently running it through a tweed Fender jr blues, and the sound is absolutely amazing, it's great for playing just about any type of music you're into. I play the full spectrum of music from metal to classical finger picking and it sounded fine for anything. Distorted the guitar can squeal, and still maintain its good tone. I was at first worried I wouldn't like the duncans, but they are actually very nice pickups.
Overall Impression — 9
I Play all styles of music, I just don't see a reason to stick to one. This is my first real higher end Fender and it didn't dissapoint in play or appearance, my friends think it's incredible, and frankly you won't see a lot of these in the sea of stratocasters. Overall this is my ideal guitar, and probably about as close as you will get to a prs, through Fender. It's a great all around guitar, and a good alternative to Strat. I'm very pleased that I got this. The sad thing is that if it is lost, I'm gonna go beserk, as it's a rather hard guitar to find nowadays.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar could be used to beat kid rock to death for faking the ability to play guitar well and then still play a gig. It's a very sturdy guitar. The strap buttons are rather large and will hold most straps in place as long as their not too worn. I would actually use this guitar at a gig without a backup, it's that reliable. The finish is very very difficult the scratch, but don't go grabbing knife to test it. The hardware seems fairly reliable but the locking tuners could be a problem ii you're too rough on them. Overall it's a very durable guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I had to have the guitar set up at the guitar center, but that was after I went and changed the strings to a heavier more comfortable guage (.11). The pickups really didn't need to be adjusted, though you are given that option if you want to sacrifice tone for less noise or vice versa. The Abalone Dot inlays are nice, and the rosewood is of a high quality. The tuners are pretty cool once you get the hang of how to set them up. The guitar has the typical Strat five way selector switch and the two knobs for tone and volume, frankly, it's a nice touch that they are metal knobs and not crappy plastic. I also like the smoked chrome hardware, it's another nice touch. The guitar plays like a highway one Strat, big frets make it easy to play fast, and the strings feel somewhat loose, great for blues. The other thing I noticed was the set neck, you'll notice the nice sustain.
Features — 9
The Showmaster FAT SSS guitar features a basswood body with a beautiful carved flame Ash top and matching painted headstock. The C-shaped maple set neck has a 15.75-radius rosewood fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and abalone Dot inlays. The awesome tone comes from a trio of Seymour Duncan pickups, an SSL52-1 5-2 at the neck, an SSL52-1 5-2 RWRP in the middle and an SSL52-1B 5-2 at the bridge, plus five-position switching. Other features include smoked-chrome hardware, knurled knobs, a graphite nut and a two-point synchronized tremolo bridge.