Purchased from: N/A
Sound — 9
As far as styles go it covers a lot of ground. I myself am into many styles including funk, jazz, swing, blues, rock, hard rock, alternative, and a little bit of metal. Now it doesn't handle very heavy distortion as well as some metal players would like and rightly so. It's not really designed for that. With being said, it has beautifully articulate and chimey tones that suit nearly everything from jazz to some hard rock. I'm currently running it through a Vox AD30VT which is not the best amp. It sounds good on the various setting I use though. The bridge pickup has a bright and biting chime to it. It sounds good for brit/pop jangle and twangy parts, but is also the best sounding pickup for distortion. The bridge/middle setting is good for cancelling hum and gives a mellower tone that's nice for distorted open chords and solos or lighter overdrive. The middle setting is nice for sparkly clean tones, but I don't really use it. The neck pickups sounds nice for blues because of it's full and rich sound. It has that SRV vibe going on when I Switch on my overdrive pedal. Overall the tones are pretty suited to anything from Clapton, Hendrix stuff to the alternative stuff of today, but it also pulls off nice tones for funk, jazz, and stuff like Brian Setzer. It's noisy with with lots of distortion, but I have a guitar with humbuckers for that.
Overall Impression — 10
Like I said, my taste in music is extremely broad. It duly would require two guitars to handle everything I enjoy. As far as the softer side of my tastes it handles them flawlessly. I use it primarily for jazz, funk, blues, and Brian Setzer stuff, but it also handles a lot of rock I like. It's no bother because it handles what my other guitar can't handle and my other guitar handles what this Strat can't handle. If were stolen I would cry, because I can't afford to buy another Strat and have it set-up as well as this one is set-up. I really don't hate anything about and like it the way it is.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar seems reliable enough. I've only played out with it once, but it handles well and feels tough whenever I play it. The strap buttons and hardware all look solid enough and looks like it will last. The tone controls do seem a little wimpy, but I take excellent care of my instruments. I would definitely use it when I gig depending on what music we play.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was a little iffy when my friend still had it, but was well set-up when it was given to me. I can't really comment on the factory set-up as I didn't really experience it. The action is nice and low without being too low and there are no flaws on the guitar. The intonation is also very good. Everything is in good shape well set-up now so I'll give it a good rating.
Features — 9
It's your typical Strat with all the basic features. I'm not sure about the year it was made as it was a gift. Mine has a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard and 21 frets. The body is made from alder and it has the Vintage tremelo and the usual single coils. The tone controls include one master volume knob, a tone knob for the neck pickup, and a tone knob for the middle pickup. It has a black finish. As far as features go, it's satisfactory and not perfect because although it gives a versatile range of tones with what it has and has a nice layout for everything, I would like it if Fender would put a bridge tone knob on their Strats.