Straight Six Strat Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Straight Six Strat
This is a FSR Fender Straight Six, limited to 800 or so, and distributed exclusively to small dealers. The theme of this guitar seems to be the classic early 80s Charvels.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 7.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.4
Straight Six Strat Reviewed by: CJRocker, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Lifesong Quarryville

Features: This is a FSR Fender Straight Six, limited to 800 or so, and distributed exclusively to small dealers. The theme of this guitar seems to be the classic early 80s Charvels. Single humbucker, volume control, and a slimmed down neck. 21 frets, 9.5" fretboard radius, 25.5" neck scale. The neck/fretboard is one piece of maple with a rosewood skunk stripe. A nice touch here is the very slight roll applied to the fretboard ends. The body appears to be a three piece body, made of alder. The single Fender Atomic humbucker is a high output pickup in the vein of the DiMarzio Super Distortion and Seymour Duncan JB. It also includes a Vintage 6 point synchronized tremolo. The lacquer finish is a very well done and smooth matte black finish. The three ply pickguard is also a nice touch, as is the black tipped tremolo bar. The guitar is stripped down, No Doubt, but it's target market will not be bothered by this. That said, if you like tons of features, you're probably looking at the wrong instrument. // 7

Sound: I use this guitar with a Crate VC6112 tube amplifier. This guitar is voiced perfectly for 80s rock, metal, and thrash. The wax potted Atomic pickup is a brighter one, though not shrill like a Duncan JB. Nice, pronounced mids, very smooth treble, and tight bass, but not overwhelming, bass response. In terms of output, it is not an Ultra high one like a DiMarzio Super Distortion or ToneZone, but it certainly has more kick than your average overwound PAF. This balance means it will work well with a lot of different amplifiers and setups while remaining clear with a pronounced and unique EQ range. The trebles are exceptional on this pickup, being screaming and powerful without being ear piercing. The pickup also has a nice mid bump to keep the sound textured and powerful. The bass response is very clear and tight, though it is not going to knock you across the room by any stretch. Unlike most higher output pickups, it has pleasant and bell-like cleans, and being precise with the volume knob gives you a great range of sounds, both clean and distorted. I use this guitar mainly for 80s rock and metal. It also does grunge and punk styles quite nicely with the right amp settings. It can do old rock and roll as well, though it's EQ band and output do not make it the best for the job. To get the most out of this guitar though, you need to be versatile in how you play, know how to use the volume control, and monitor the dynamics of your picking. One thing to keep in mind is the alder body and maple neck lead to this being a rather bright instrument, even though I did not find it overwhelming, it may be too much depending on your amp and personal taste. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: In terms of playability, the guitar was well set up at the factory using 9 gauge strings (I received this guitar fresh from the box for the most part) and the bridge had a nice bit of floating action. the strings were set low. The neck did need to have some relief put in it though, but I would brush this off from it being shipped. The bad however is the pickup was set too high and sounded a bit thin at first, and was picking up excessive amounts of string noise. After a quick setup and change to.10s, I found the guitar to be almost perfect. The nut was very well cut, and the frets were perfectly. It intonated right on out of the box. I do suggest though taking the bridge a bit closer to the body or not floating it at all as you could have issues if you are not experienced in dealing with a floating, non-locking trem. Finish quality is excellent on the neck and body. the matte does not easily Shine up like some cheaper matte finishes, and is smooth without a hint of Orange peel. The stain finish on the neck is buttery smooth. The single bad thing I will note is some excess glue seems to have seeped from the 17th or so fret. It came off with a bit of playing, and the fret is seated fine, but it looked a bit sloppy and unprofessional. All parts fit perfectly in there routes. All screw holes are will drilled and the screws are installed correctly (ie straight). The neck fits on tightly to the body with very little, if any gap. In terms of hardware, it does it's job. The finish job is sturdy and does not seem like it would corrode or wear easily. It is basic though, but it keeps the guitar in tune, intonated, and playing nicely so you can't ask for much more. The electronics are very quiet, with a smooth and quiet volume control that has a tone of range. Though this guitar does not have a lot on it, what is on it is quality stuff and done well. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built extremely well. The neck has no play in it, the truss rod adjusts smoothly, and everything seems to have plenty of range. the hardware seems pretty solid as well. The strap buttons are a bit of a concern for looser straps, but I advise strap locks on all guitars anyway. If I would need to gig it without a back up, I would, as it does not seem like there is a lot that can go wrong. In terms of resistance to dings and dents, the finish seems very solid, though it looks a bit vulnerable to scratches. It also stays in tune extremely well, even with the trem set up full floating. As always though, it will go out of tune if you go nuts on it, but it can take a fair bit of abuse before tuning slips. Overall, a very solid and well built instrument. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mainly 80s rock and metal on the guitar with some grunge and punk. It suites those styles perfectly in tone and image. I have been playing for going on 3 years, and is a keeper for sure. The guitar channels the Vintage Charvel style and sound, making it perfect for those seeking that look without the money to spend. If it was stolen or destroyed I would try and find another for sure. I love the simplicity of it, and the fact it feels a lot like an older Charvel. I do wish it said just that, Charvel, on it, but that does not detract it from being a great guitar that fills it's roll well. It also is a fantastic value, and offers something a bit unique from your cookie cutter MIM. // 9

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overall: 8.2
Straight Six Strat Reviewed by: panic!!!, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 330

Purchased from: Tom Lee

Features: This guitar was made in Mexico and as the previous review stated is a limited run guitar only 800 or so were made. it's a Standard Fender neck with 21 frets 9.5" fretboard radius, 25.5" neck scale. The neck is maple. It has a single Fender Atomic humbucker which I want to change to an EMG 85 or a Seymour Duncan sh-4. The guitar has a tremolo bar and a volume knob. Also it has a black lacquer finish. I'd like to sand off parts of this guitar to make it look somewhat like the new Fender road worn series. This is a great back up guitar or project guitar. If your looking for a guitar with tons of features or louder bigger sound this probably is the wrong guitar. I would give the features a 7.5. It doesn't have a whole lot of things going on but still a great guitar. // 7

Sound: I play a lot of types of music. From open chords, to acoustic stuff, classic rock, alternative, to metal like Iron Maiden, mettalica and Megadeth. The guitar does well in all these genres it is a Strat after all. The single Atomic bridge pickup does well but I would like to change it someday. I play out of a 50 watt Peavey basic amp, and for practice I use a Line 6 spider III. I don't use much effects except for a Boss ds-1 and a Dunlop wah. The guitar sounds great out of both amps with effects or without. The guitar on it's own on a clean setting sounds better then you would generally think coming from a single pickup Strat. it's really up to you. The guitar is versatile which I like and as an 80's Charvel like guitar it can shred pretty well to. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I got the guitar on display at Tom lee. The action was great better then when i bought my Les Paul Ultra. I needed to adjust the pick up a bit seeing that it wasn't close enough to the strings but either then that everything seemed fine. Nothing was wrong with the guitar when i got it. It was pretty basic as basic as it gets. my drummer thought it was more of an entry level guitar which it could be but still a great backup. I was thinking of a Danelectro as my backup but i think guitars made in china are nothing compared to fenders even the mexican ones. As for quality the guitar is good. Nothing rusting or fading that is i just got the guitar a couple of days ago, but i have been playing it in the store for a while. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I bought this guitar as an intention to back up my Epiphone Les Paul Ultra and Jackson DKMG. it's doing a great job of that. Easy to use and such. Since there's not much features nothing is worth changing except maybe the pick-up and the tuners to match. This is the type of guitar I wouldn't be scared to play the hell out of and just shred like crazy, because it's affordable in-expensive and looks great as a relic or when it's beat up. Fender makes great guitar to last long and strats are some of the most durable. I haven't gigged with this guitar yet I have practiced with it, but I'm pretty sure it will last a while. // 9

Overall Impression: As I said I play a lot of music. The guitar does well because it is a Strat. I can shred and metal riff, stairway, even play I'm yours and the guitar sounds great. I've played the Standard mexican strats and this guitar is practically the same I like the feel of it better and I love the lacquered finish. I still love les paul though and believe they are the better guitar but this is a great back-up guitar great for soloing and just doodling or playing around with. I'm impressed with the price I got this guitar for it was a steal. This is a reare guitar you can find online for $400 if your looking for a real good project guitar. If I could find this guitar at this price again I would highly recommend it. Fender makes great guitars as I said. There american models are fantastic and the mexican ones are right up there too for half the cost. Some of Fenders mexican models I would say are even somewhat better then Gibsons lower end models. Overall only time can tell how this guitar will play with age, but I believe it's a great guitar. Not a whole lot of features but plays great adn sounds great. You'll love this thing. Can't wait to customize it! // 8

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overall: 9.8
Straight Six Strat Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 375

Purchased from: backbeat music

Features: I just traded even a 2006 Epiphone Les Paul Standard for a new 2008 Fender straight six Mexican Stratocaster. It features a a super slim and super fast maple neck with med jumbo frets. A alder body with pre-cut chambers for adding a three pickup traditional Strat setup if the single atomic humbucker and single tone knob are not desired. Though as is it is a extremely excellent balance of tone, playability and simplicity not to mention quality. // 9

Sound: I have owned at least 20 differnt guitars searching for a particular sound. I mainly write and play my own music when I'm not jamming with other people. I try not to stick with any particular style but I do favor blues, classic rock, electronica and bluegrass. Well I must say this guitar has everything I enjoy about mexican strats:tone, quality and durability. But what sets this one apart is how sensitive it is. It is just waiting for you to unleash its raw power! The first time I plugged it in at The Music store it blew me away! It was a monster full of rich biting tone when using distortion and almost bellike when using a clean channel. I love my Gibson SG and my prs Santana SE but my straight six has now been promoted to my number 1 axe. Why? With only one awesome pickup and one knob to mess with you are forced to go back to basics in finding the proper tone by means of exploring your amp settings and more importantly your own playing. This guitar will actually help in finding your sound since it forces you to actually try to find a balance with how sensitive the atomic pickup can be along with the neck and body combination. This guitar can do anything you want it to do. Bottom line there is no other guitar that sounds like it! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: out of all the guitars I have ever purchased (including other Fender strats) this one was srt-up perfect! Action was low and fast with zero buzzing, the bridge had a slight float but not too much just right, the neck was fitted like a glove to the body with no gaps, every inch of the guitar felt great. I played the guitar the first day I had it for three hours straight even using the tremlo bar semi-aggressively and only had to slightly tune it once. Unbeleiveable! The pickup was just the right height from the strings set slightly higher on the high strings and a bit lower on the low strings making it scream or sing to my liking. My only complaint may be the few slight scratches I already put on it but then again what guitar that gets played doesent get some honest wear and tear? // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think the straight six can stand on its own. If it is anything like my last two mexican strats it will take a beating and keep on playing like nothing happened, though the straight six just feels better built and sturdy yet light and easy on the back. If I was a gigging musician on a tight budget and I had to choose one guitar for the price range of 300-400 dollars I would choose the straight six and not think twice about it, because I know it will last and be very dependable. // 10

Overall Impression: this guitar meets all of my needs. In the 14 years I have been playing this is the guitar I have been searching for. I own a Gibson SG Special, a prs Santana SE, a Squier fat tele, a 1983 Fender f-210 Acoustic, an Epiphone dr-200 and a regal bass. My amp is an old Crate GFX 2X12 solid state. With all that said the Fender straight six is fairly easy to find the right tone where as my prs se and Gibson S I have to constantly switch between pickups and cut down my tone knobs etc. But for some odd reason I am content with the atomic humbuckers versitle range and simple control. I guess simple is the middle ground between good tone and good looks. This guitar especially with only 800 or so made is a rare find. If I were to lose this guitar I would run out and buy another, if I could find one. Bottom line if you find one snatch it up, you will be pleasently surprised! // 10

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