Price paid: £ 400
Purchased from: soundslive.co.uk
Sound — 10
I mainly play pop-punk music, but will also play a whole range of harder and softer genres. I use a Marshall ma50h head with a Marshall 4x12, and the humbucker helps to produce a deep sounds, with as much gain as you need for any genre. I also own a Gibson les paul with p90s, and a Jackson with EMG HZs, and I would say the Fender humbucker can produce a more 'metal' tone than the Jackson even. While the humbucker can be a bit harsh on clean tones with the volume on 10, the neck single coil pickup produces an extremely mellow and deep sounding clean tone. The humbucker also responds well to the volume control, and will clean up nicely to produce a crunch sound just by turning it down slightly. Overall, this guitar will play almost anything.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I feel this guitar is perfect for any type of genre. Also do not be put off by the fact it's made in mexico, as it plays and sounds amazing. I have a USA made Gibson les paul aswell, and I honestly prefer the sound and feel of the fender. It is well worth the price and if it were lost, stolen or broken, I would definetely want to buy another one.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is extremely reliable, I have gigged with it numerous times, and usually without a backup. The only problem I've ever encountered playing live was a broken string, nothing else. The hardware is the same solid plastic you get on most fenders and is built to last. The strap buttons feel extremely solid and my strap never feels as if it can fall off. After gigging with probably between 10-15 times, there is still not a mark on it, which says a lot about the finish and durability.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up perfectly at the factory, and arrived in perfect condition, both aesthetically and function wise. The action was just right for the 9 gauge strings supplied, and the intonation was set correctly. The only problem I had setting up was that I found the bridge to be to high from the body and had to adjust the claw. However this is persoal preference and doesn't reflect the guitar or whoever set it up. I recently replaced the 9 gauge strings with some ernie ball, heavy bottom skinny tops, which are 52-10s. Theses required another spring to be put in (it comes with three), and the claw to be heavily adjusted, however the guitar play extremely well with these strings after these changes. Also the arctic white finish is about as white as fenders come. It is not pure white, but in most light it looks it. It is usually only noticably creamish in un-natural light. I have had this guitar around 18 months and there is not a mark on it, I have only lightly caught it a few times, and it hasn't even been scratched.
Features — 10
Mine is a mexican Standard strat, HSS, I think it was made in 2008.2009. 21 frets, rosewood fretboard. Arctic white finish. It has a 5-way selector between the humbucker and two single coil pickups, and has one volume and two tone controls, the same as any Standard fat strat. The guitar came with a Standard Fender gigbag and accessories, such as whammy bar and allen keys, etc.