Standard Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (460 votes)
Fender: Standard Stratocaster
1

Price paid: $ 350

Sound — 9
Suits my style (mainly classic rock) perfectly -- obviously the classic "Strat sound" of Clapton, but it also does justice to some mainly-Gibson stuff like Boston. With the neck pickups and the right pedal settings -- currently Boss AC-3 -> Boss OS-2 -> amp -- it even works passably for what little I know on "Crazy Train". Never had any hum problems, but I use a solid-state amp, and usually play on fairly low volumes. Very bright sound, especially with the strings I use (Fender, but forget the specific brand). The pickups sometimes sound a little weak on hammer-ons and pull-offs, so it's a little tricky sometimes on things like "Layla".

Overall Impression — 10
The only thing I truly regret is not buying a better amp. I would prefer if it had a different color pickguard (probably dark blue or some metallic gray), but considering my biggest complaint in almost a year of near-continuous playing is purely cosmetic, I'd say it's worth it. I might buy a different guitar to complement this one -- possibly an electric/acoustic, or even something with nasty humbuckers for the heavier stuff I play -- but certainly never to replace it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
So far it's been nearly indestructible. The strap sometimes pops off, but I have a cheap strap. I haven't played any electric gigs yet, but I would easily depend on this guitar (which is good, since it's my only electric).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Maybe I'm slightly biased because this is the guitar I really learned to play on (I had a cheap knock-off before, but never got far with that one), but this has the nicest neck I've ever played. Action's just right, and the fingerboard is slightly convex, which gives it a great feel. I've played much more expensive guitars -- including a G&L -- that couldn't even come close to this. Bridge pickup was adjusted perfectly. Can't comment on the others; for a while I never used them (and had them screwed down), but I've since re-adjusted to approximately original height and they seem fine. I ended up peeling the laminate off the pickguard, but it didn't really tear until I took off a glued-on design I printed from my computer.

Features — 8
Standard Strat (year unknown, purchased 2008), made in Mexico, black finish w/maple neck. Standard S-S-S pickups and electronics. My only complaint here is the white pickguard -- I'd rather something darker, but fortunately that's replacable.

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