Price paid: $ 583.77
Purchased from: Soundcontrol
Sound — 8
I bought this after owning a Squier Strat, but didn't have the money to go for the American equivalent! I went for it, as this guitar just really suits my style. I play a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters, and everything in between, and this guitar is very versatile. When I first got the guitar I heard stories about how bad the stock pickups were, so when I got it home, and tried it out on my amp (which is a Fender 10W practice amp). I was surprised at how little feedback there was. On the distortion channel, there is some minimal feedback but not as bad as I would've expected from single coils. The tone varies quite a bit from bright to full, between the bridge and middle pickups, but nothing that a good amp setup can't fix. The bridge can sound quite "tinny" with lots of distortion, but I never use that much anyway. I've yet to use it with any pedals!
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly on the clean channel, and normally quite mellow stuff. Comparing this to my Epiphone Les Paul, it measures up in its sound abilities, (although they're beter at different styles) but perhaps it's build quality is not quite as good. I didn't get a chance to try it out in the shop, but if anybody else was thinking about rosewood or maple, I would say try both out for yourself, as only you know what feels right for you. If it were stolen, I would cry because I'm skint and couldn't afford another one, but if I could, I'd definitely get it again! Overall I would recommend this guitar for the beginner or intermediate (or "on a budget, but would like something decent") player.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've yet to use the guitar onstage, but it's withsood some reasonably intense jam sessions. I would be confident of using it without a back up, but I'd probaly have a spanner on stand by, incase the jack plug came loose! The strap buttons seem solid enough, but after my Les Paul came crashing down to Earth, I always use strap locks anyway! There are no flaws with the finish.And notyhing else has fallen off yet!
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar was ordered direct from Fender via the shop I got it from, and the action was setup perfectly, for the gauge strings it has. The action was nice and low for good playability, but not too low so you got loads of vibration. I've read in various places that maple fretboards, can be "sticky", and have slower action, but I prefer playing it to rosewood, as I find it just as fast, if not faster. The tuners seem to hold their tune well (although I'm constantly changing what tuning it's in, so I'm not sure). Only problem so far is the jack plug came loose within a week (don't they all) but a good tighten up tends to do the trick! Other than that, a solidly built guitar (for a Mexican).
Features — 7
2007, Mexican made Fender Stratocaster. 21 medium/jumbo frets on a maple fretboard. Arctic white finish, and alder body to the best of my beliefs. Non locking tuners, and price included Fender gig bag. 3 Standard single coil pickups, with 5 way selector. Tone controls for neck and middle pickups, and tone control for bridge would be nice!