Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
The SRV has a fantastic bright tone, due in part to the overwound Texas Special pickups. It's pure Stratocaster, which makes it fit for just about any form of music. Don't expect instant SRV tone that takes skill from the player. The pickups (typical of single-coil Strats) are kind of weak for metal and are extremely bright for those grunge players out there. So if you fit in either of those categories, you'll probably be adding an extra set to the package later on.
Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly instrumental blues-style music, and thise guitar has served me well for going on 3 years now. As I stated above, aside from a sensitive finish and slightly weak pickups, this is my pride and joy (a little SRV plug there). I play through a Marshall Valvestate 100w and a Fender DSP 150w Stage, and the SRV puts out a wide variety of tones. Throw in a Tube Screamer, some Super Bullets (mine came with 150's), and a Crybaby, you've got a top-of-the-line blues machine. I hope to have at least one SRV in my collection from now on. If you're frequently on stage, however, I would definately recommend going to the Jimmy Vaughan Tex-Mex Strat or maybe a Clapton for that hardcore blues tone.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This is where I had to give the guitar a lower rating. The finish has proved in my experience to be very sensitive to scratching. I was sickened the first time I scratched the beautiful tobacco sunburst finish, and I've learned to be extremely careful when placing it in the case. The bridge and tuners are time-proven Fender Vintage, in other words, this axe is made for playing, not just for display. I wouldn't get too wild and crazy on-stage with it, but as far as the hardware is concerned, the SRV is just about stage ready from the box.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
My SRV is among one of the most well-built axes I have ever picked up. This is not a cheap merchadising endeavor you're buying a top-quality guitar. The action is actually much faster than most Standard Strats I've played. This guitar actually excells in everything from speed riffs to slow blues, and has served me at church on top of that.
Features — 10
Standard Strat features: - Solid body Strat - Volume and tone controls - Vintage bridge - Vintage tuners - Tobacco sunburst SRV features: - Three single coil Texas Specials - Left-Hand tremelo - Engraved pickguard - Pao Ferro fret board - Gold-Plated hardware.