Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Guitar Center Arlington, Tx
Sound — 10
I play rock (screamo, grunge, etc.) and use a Crate amp. It suits that style perfect. It buzzes a little on overdrive, but I'm not sure if thats my amp or the pickups, it does have great tone though, and you can get pretty much any sound you want on the thing.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this guitar is the best in the price range for my personal playing, it may be a Mexican, but is plays just as well as any amercan I've tried out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is solid as a rock, I mean its a Fender Strat, would you expect anything less? The tuning knobs do tend to slip a little but those can be changed easy. When I first bought the thing I expected to have to purchase strap locks but after using it with a strap, I found that to make the strap fall off you would have to play with the neck pointing strait to the ceiling, those things are very solid. I depend on it everyday and it never fails me, I don't even keep a backup around when I play live. The finish is also solid I don't see it comming off any time soon.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Action was great straght from the box, pickups were fine, and there were no flaws what so ever. I got the white finish (I'm a sucker for the off white color) and it looks great, no paint swirls or anything, the only thing I really don't like is that there are 3 springs instead of 5 but thats a very easy adjustment.
Features — 10
It's a 2004 Mexican guitar with 21 jumbo frets and a thin maple neck with rosewood fingerboard (maple just feels weird under my fingers). It has a 5-way selector, H/S/S pickup config. There are 2 tone knobs (one for rhythm and one for lead) and 1 volume knob.