Purchased from: 5
Sound — 8
The only thing it can't do is a heavy metal tone. That is not to say you can't get a metal tone out of it, it's just different. It does most other styles great. Samick 15SR (not the greatest thing ever, but can still get some good tones with this Strat). Does it buzz? Due to the nature of single, I'd have to say yes. However in the 2 and 4 positions of the selector Switch they act as humbuckers. The single coils give a typical Strat, bright sound. When set in selector positions 2 and 4 it gives a more rounded, mellow sound. The variety is surprisingly good. I find that you can get a nice creamy santanaish tone with the selector Switch set to position 2 (neck and middle), with neck tone at 10, middle tone at 6 and volume at 7. Then to make a more metally tone I put the selector Switch into position 4 (middle and bridge) and boost the volume to 10. I would've liked it if it came with humbuckers that had a coil split, but this works out. Selector positions 2 and 4 do not have the tone of a full humbucker, they don't sound bad, just different.
Overall Impression — 8
What can it do? Everything really, and for the most part this is a very versatile guitar. I've been playing for 3 years or so. The other gear I have is a Samick 15SR amp, and a crybaby. Would I buy it again if it were lost or stolen? It really depends how much I could scam the insurance for. I love the general feel about it. The neck is very nice and smooth (and pretty fast), and the body shape is very comfortable to me. I would like it if the action could go a bit lower, but it doesn't matter that much. I looked at heaps of other guitars in the same pricerange, except just passed them by because I saw this as being better in all ways. The only other guitar that at the time was a competition was one of the Ibanez RGs (forgot which), but I liked the feel of the Strat better. Humbuckers with coil split, HardTail bridge (I ended up blocking my trem, which nearly does the same thing), possibly a compound radius (but that would bump up the price quite a bit). I reckon this is a great guitar, but that's just my opinion, and you should check out every guitar in your price range before making a decision. Check out guitars that are more expensive just to see what qualities they posess. People with bigger hands could possibly find the neck to small, so check that out aswell.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came with the action set up almost perfectally. The height of the pickups needed to be adjusted a bit. Maybe I just got a good one, but it was flawless in the crafting. The only complaint I have is that the slot in the backplate where the strings go in was made for a floating bridge, so if you block up your trem then you need to take the backplate off in order to change strings.
Features — 8
All the same great features incorporated into the Standard Strat, but now featuring four velvety satin finishes with black pickguards that resonate class! Offered with rosewood or maple fingerboards. - Body: alder - Neck: maple, modern "C" shape (satin polyurethane finish) - Machine heads: Fender/Ping standard cast/sealed tuning machines - Fingerboard: rosewood - 21 Vintage style frets - Pickups: 3 standard single-coil Strat pickups (ceramic magnets) - Controls: master volume, tone 1. (neck pickup), tone 2. (middle pickup) - Bridge: Vintage style synchronized tremolo - Hardware: chrome - Unique Features: satin finish, Vintage styling.