Standard Stratocaster HSS review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (301 votes)
Fender: Standard Stratocaster HSS
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Purchased from: MusiciansFriend.com

Sound — 9
I play mostly rock, classic rock, blues, and this guitar sounds great for that style. The single coils growl out power chords and barre chords Shine on clean. For leads, the humbucker gives this axe some added power and less noise on overdrive. I use it through a 10-watt practice amp and it sounds pretty good on the clean channel and the overdrive gives it a blues sound through the single coils and a classic rock sound on the humbucker. I also sometimes use a Electro-Harmonix Doctor Q envelope follower on the clean channel for funky or melodic playing and it sounds great.

Overall Impression — 10
I think I fell in love with this guitar. It sounds good, but I might switch out the humbucker for something with more power. I've been playing for 2 years, and I have a bass and an acoustic. If this were stolen I would kill the person who stole it and take it back. I would also take his wallet. I love the pickup configuration, b/c it gives me a good variety of sounds to choose from. The neck is good and it looks awesome. The knobs, tips and pickups are black giving it a different look from most strats. My favorite feature has to be the pickguard, though. It is the most interesting flashy feature and it never ceases to catch my eye.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I don't really play gigs, but I would totally use this guitar for a show. It looks great and the metal pickguard would look awesome under lights. The tuners seems to work pretty well and the tremolo doesn't seem to cause to many problems as long as you don't abuse it. I wouldn't use it without a backup b/c that's not really a good idea. The finish seems pretty solid, I've hit it a few times and it doesn't scratch.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was great when I got it. The strings they put on it are kinda rusting, so I'm gonna put some elixirs on it soon. The pickups were situated at good heights, they don't really get feedback unless I get really close to the amp on overdrive. The bridge seems fine, and it doesn't seem to go out of tune when I use the tremolo. There were no flaws with this guitar yet, but I have only had it for a month or so.

Features — 10
This 2006 Fender guitar was made in Mexico I think, it is a Standard. It was a Factory Special Run, so it has so special features. Has a 21 jumbo-medium fret 9.5" radius C-shaped maple (satin finish) neck & fretboard w/black dot inlays and a black painted headstock w/silver Fender and Stratocaster logos. Solid alder body w/black satin finish and a machined metal pickguard sets this Strat apart from most. Fender Vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and Fender/Ping sealed tuners. S/S/H pickup configuration w/Tex-Mex single coils in neck/middle and a humbucker w/coil tapping in the bridge. Passive electronics, 2 tone knobs & 1 volume, 5-way switching. 2 allen wrenches included for truss rod & saddles.

72 comments sorted by best / new / date

    StratRat13
    Goldy93 wrote: every stratocaster to me is the same. dont see the point y they bring out new ones
    And that's why you know zero about guitars.
    E V H 5150
    Hey, doommaker, I think what you picked up for $200 was a Squire. Fenders may be cheap(er), but the quality certainly is not lacking. I admit I've never played an American Deluxe or an Eric Clapton Strat, but the ones I have played are some of the best guitars for the value.
    jacobiss622
    KCW1229 wrote: is this guitar versatile? caus ihave a choice between this, an ibanez RG350DX and an epiphone les paul custom
    go with this guitar. les pauls are overpriced and the ibanez isn't that good. this guitar kicks ass.
    CalebMarshallif
    Um.. Some if you people have no clue what you are talking about.. This guitar has a GLOSS finish.. Not a satin one.. A satin finish isnt shiny but it's easy turn into a gloss finish if you buff the body too much
    panic!!!
    im thinking of getting this guitar or the epiphone g-400 custom or even a jackson rx10d. any suggestions? i play all types of music from jazz to metal and all the guitars feel equally as awesome but im leaning more towards the strat. if anyone can help me id really appreciate it! thanks!
    stnicksgirl
    to lithium26: where did you buy your HSS strat in Singapore? I'm looking for one too
    tothepoo
    I've been thinking about getting this guitar for awhile. I only have 1 guitar (Jay Tursner lp) and i was wondering if this would be a good second guitar. I play rock, pop, and metal.
    SilverSpurs616
    fender--player1 wrote: i hate mine and everything about it. cant wait to get rid of it
    lol @ ironic username I plan to test this guitar out soon, I'll be going for white with maple fretboard
    eSdaze
    just buy a pacifica instead and save the added 400 on a fantastic amp
    peterocker
    bluesblaster wrote: freebyrd32 wrote: dude that sux about your guitar. The s-1 switching is on american hss too, i just bought one and when i was playin it i thought it was a deluxe because of the s-1 but then i looked at the tag. they have S-1 on the Fender Hwy 1 models as well as the deluxe guitars. it uses a special capacitator to use the pickups in series connections rather than parallel, turning your guitar into one of the most versatile instruments on the planet
    and its called a potentiometer not a capacitor...
    jetwash69
    Benjirob, I had the problem with the input jack letting go of the "lead" with my Squier, too. $5 and 2 solder joints later and the DiMarzio jack holds the cable great. BTW, for anyone interested in the Fender S-1 "stealth switching", it's a combination of the S-1 switch, hidden in the volume potentiometer, and a "superswitch" instead of the normal 5-way. These parts can be hard to find but these guys have them, along with a wide array of different knob styles. http://www.darrenriley.com/fenderparts.h... Here's an example of the fun you can have with this stuff (scroll to the bottom of page 1): http://www.darrenriley.com/fenderparts.h... 149482 I don't know how deep the control cavities are in the real Fenders, but I had to route out a lot of wood for both the S-1 volume pot/switch and for the superswitch to fit in the Squier. The neck pickup route was big enough for the 'bucker, but I had to deepen it under the height adjustment screws so the bracket could fit without the pup being too close to the strings. I think I cut the screws a bit too so I wouldn't have to do so much routing. If you'd like an HH Strat, check out the Blacktop series; the one with the Floyd Rose is an incredible deal. These are the best MIM Strats I've seen and they even have 22 frets. But the one with the normal trem still has the 6-point style.
    Epi g-310
    I get that for people on a budget having the HSS configuration is nice, but I kind of fail to see why you wouldn't just get an HH or an SSS. If you like the sound of both and you don't have a lot of dough, go for this I guess, but... I dunno... or get an HH with a coil split.
    jetwash69
    Epi g-310 wrote: I get that for people on a budget having the HSS configuration is nice, but I kind of fail to see why you wouldn't just get an HH or an SSS. If you like the sound of both and you don't have a lot of dough, go for this I guess, but... I dunno... or get an HH with a coil split.
    It's easy enough to install a coil split in an HH if the pups have 4 conductors. That's a $10 upgrade if you DIY. If not then you're talking $50-$500+ depending on your taste in 4-conductor humbuckers. BTW, if you like SSS but sometimes want the bucker soung, but you already have HSS, you can split that coil to achieve the SSS. I recommend using Fender S-1 hardware like discussed above because if you use a push-pull tone pot, IMHO those look goofy with Fender Strat-style knobs. The S-1 hardware lets you hide the switch in the volume knob.
    Nanobotter
    I have the squier strat version of this guitar and you can do the pickup selector switch trick on it, put the switch between the first option (bridge pickup) and the second option (brige+middle) to get a new sound.
    richardlpalmer
    CalebMarshallif wrote: Um.. Some if you people have no clue what you are talking about.. This guitar has a GLOSS finish.. Not a satin one.. A satin finish isnt shiny but it's easy turn into a gloss finish if you buff the body too much
    I think pretty much every mention of "satin" was referring to the finish of the neck. And in that case, it's correct...
    bluesblaster
    freebyrd32 wrote: dude that sux about your guitar. The s-1 switching is on american hss too, i just bought one and when i was playin it i thought it was a deluxe because of the s-1 but then i looked at the tag.
    they have S-1 on the Fender Hwy 1 models as well as the deluxe guitars. it uses a special capacitator to use the pickups in series connections rather than parallel, turning your guitar into one of the most versatile instruments on the planet
    red star
    to clear up some of the confusion fat strats are now called hss strats and the s1 switching system is on the american deluxe models. this article is about the standard mexican series. i have mexican standaed hss strat an di love it! so versatile
    Fender_For_Life
    I own a Standard Double Fat Strat, which has a hummer at the neck aswell as the bridge, but its currently being modified to a Tom DeLonge setup concerning the pickup. Seymour Duncan Invader at the bridge. my fat strat has 22 frets, why does this, and all the other strat reviews, have only 21? its kind of odd. in my opinion, stratocaster's are the best quality guitar in the world for its price. hands down, top notch guitar. peace out
    freebyrd32
    dude that sux about your guitar. The s-1 switching is on american hss too, i just bought one and when i was playin it i thought it was a deluxe because of the s-1 but then i looked at the tag.
    scarfacesuit
    i have a guitar similar to this with a humbucker at the bridge, and that's all i ever used to keep the pickup selector on because it had such a great sound. then, sadly, when trying to spin my guitar on stage the strap snapped and it fell.... ever since then my humbucker has been broken, but the ****in single coils work fine...
    jhjps
    the single coils are reversed so when set with both of them on they cut out some noise, but still not as much as the humbucker
    freebyrd32
    i have one and it is pretty good, much better than the epi les paul i played. and the s-1 isnt on any standards just on american mades.
    lithium26
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but i believe that is the Fender Standard Fat Strat?
    StratSlinger421
    I have one of these. It is one of the most versatile guitars on the planet. When I first got it, I thought i was simply just getting a beginner guitar, but now that I have gotten more experienced and have played dozens of other guitars, I realize that my Fat Strat is really an amazing guitar. I am glad that I have my own, and I would whole-heartedly recommend this to any intermediate player who wants an extremely satisfying piece of equipment for an unbelievable price.
    E V H 5150
    Deportivo, is that the S-1 switch you're talking about? I think it's also on some Telecasters.
    deportivo
    i also think the newer ones have a switch in one of the knobs so the single coils sound like humbuckers? something about stacked humbucks and switches. check the fender site.
    SgtMiyagi
    I always read about comments regarding the action, intonation or strings after buying any guitar. Personally, I always factor in the cost of having it professionally setup and putting on new strings, be it on an American Strat or PRS. Even the best guitars still need some tweaking from the factory to take into account the player's style. Just my $0.02.
    joe kool
    I got this guitar for Christmas and I absolutely love it!!! I of course have the HSS model with a midnight wine finish and a white pickguard, (Practically my school colors). I love the versatility of the humbucker. It really makes the harmonics scream with a heavy, crunchy sound. On the other hand, I've heard from a guitar enthusiest that the humbucker is a disadvantage because the "best" sound is the setting in between the bridge pickup and the middle pickup. I don't agree with this though. I play all different kinds of music from hard rock to country to Buffett and all the different pickups this guitar has makes it easy to play all of them. I play it through a Marshall Halfstack Valvestate VS 100 and it's honsetly the most versatile instrument I've ever heard. BUY IT!!!
    joe kool
    jacobiss622: GET THIS GUITAR! I HAVE PLAYED IBANEZ'S AND THIS GUITAR PUTS ALL IBANEZES TO SHAME!
    Goldy93
    every stratocaster to me is the same. dont see the point y they bring out new ones
    drmbdrummer
    I love this guitar, the range of tone is awesome for the price range and it's a Fender so it plays smooth as silk. And as I was told by the guy at guitar center "it's great for metal", psh, ok. Maybe not metal, but jazz, blues, rock, prog, and yes if you put it through the right effects...metal...fine.
    doommaker
    Never a big fan of fenders... dont like the feel of them, but i have had a play of this one.. and although i still didnt like it much atleast it had a humbucker to give it some power.. even clean... i dunno i say if your gonna play clean guitar go buy a semi acoustic. I guess im just more of a Gibson man. Not saying that this guitar is bad, just personally the feel and sound of it doesnt appeal to me. And no im not a metal head or a shredder, hell i even play some Ska music, but i play everything from soft rock to hard rock, that includes jazz... and i'd still say my semi acoustic sounds better clean... and dirty than this strat did even if it is a cheapo one i picked up for 200 bucks and needs some work. But thats my opinion so dont bag me just coz i personally dont like fenders.
    freebyrd32
    $400 for $500 you can get the 60th anniversary standard, it has upgraded pickups but it doesnt have a humbucker
    Shib
    I got this exact same guitar Except its a baricuda Its blue it has a maple neck and a rosewood fretboard
    XPandaXBear
    this fender sounds nice. Id like a different color tho. My ibanez switches from single to humbucker as well.
    woodenbandman
    all i can say is that i want one. in natural/transparent orange like the '52 telecaster finish.
    DrosteGuitar
    Freebyrd, the people who want a Fat Strat usually don't want to spend a hundred dollars more on a Strat without a humbucker. It's the humbucker that defines the model.