Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 10
This guitar can give me a sound from acoustic to metal. It is very versatile. I run it through a DigiTech RP80 and Washburn Lyon Distortion pedal. This guitar is also very good for jazz and blues, which is great because I am in the school jazz band. The guitar is not very noisy and has a bright or warm sound depending on pickup selection. This guitar can sound like something with a grinding humbucker for rhythm, or like a les paul on lead with the neck position. I often use the bridge pickup alone.
Overall Impression — 9
I absolutely love this guitar. I play all the time. It is very comfortable, but a slightly thinner neck with more frets would be nice. Locking tuners would be good, also. If this guitar were stolen, I'd beat the crap out of the theif cause it's a special edition, so I couldn't buy another. He'd definitely get found and die, cause I'm totally addicted to the guitar. I have been playing for 1 year now and own a starter Ibanez gio guitar and a Peavey Milestone bass. I also have an Ibanez gtp10 amp, and a big, 120 watt Behringer BX1200 bass amp, which I run everything through. I use a DigiTech RP80 and a Washburn lyon distorion pedal from target, which sounds surprisingly good. I love my guitar and bass rig, and may write more reviews later.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar seems quite durable and should withstand Live playing. The strap buttons are solid and the hardware looks strong. I have played with the school jazz band and not needed a backup of any sort. Other than a possible bridge pickup conk-out, this guitar is very reliable and should last a long time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar came relatively in tune and with good feel. The only problem was the factory strings were too thick for my liking. I replaced them but had to fiddle with the backplate springs. The guitar works smoothly, but sometimes my bridge pickup will cut out and not play at all. Sometimes, it will not work for weeks, but then come back for just as long, or maybe a few days. It is very annoying but I get a good sound when it works.
Features — 10
My Stratocaster was made in 2006 in Mexico. The frets are quite large, or maybe regular, but for me the transition from Ibanez to Fender was easy, but definitely not subtle. The Ibanez frets are much smaller and require some adjusting if you plan to do such a switch. I believe the guitar has a maple neck and body, and a rosewood fretboard. The neck is medium thin and has 21 fairly large frets. The finish is solid and does not scratch easily. Mine is black with a black pickguard, and my guitar came with a case and Tex-Mex pickups because it was a special edition FSR. The tremolo is a Standard one and holds tune fairly well unless you like do several huge dive-bombs. There is a 5-way switch, two tone, and one volume control. It has 3 single coil tex-mex pickups which sound really awesome and provide lots of versatility. The electronics are passive and the tuners are non-locking fenders.