Tom DeLonge Strat review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (237 votes)
Fender: Tom DeLonge Strat
1

Purchased from: Long & McQuade in Calgary

Sound — 8
I like to play all kinds of rock music (anything from Ozzy to Blink) and this guitar suits that style just fine. The Stratocaster (in my opinion) was designed to be plugged into 18,000 different pedals, and huge effects-laden amps, so why busy yourself with all kinds of tone control on the guitar? I am playing through a Roland Cube-30 amp (Roland is the company that owns Boss, who makes all those FX pedals we love so dearly). This amp has several preset tones, which are modeled after Fender, Marshall and Mesa Boogie amps, and this guitar sound just fine through all of them. It comes thru a little weak on my Marshall setting, but that could be the amp causing that. Essentially, this guitar is useless if your amp is useless. To play different kinds of music, you will need a quality amp, or lots of pedals. But hey, if you want to play without distortion, buy a Telecaster. I have never gotten any hum, buzz or feedback playing this guitar. I have also never been trying to play any song and said to myself: "Man, I wish my guitar was good enough to play this the right way!" But I repeat, don't expect a lot of variety without a good amp setup. I give it a 4 because it does need help from a good amp setup.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for a little under a year, although I practice enough that it might as well be two years. I am thoroughly satisfied with my decision to buy this guitar, and I would buy another one if it were stolen or lost. The fact that it's a concert quality guitar that costs only $700 dollars is the best part about it, and you definitely get your money's worth in that area. My main objective was to buy the best Stratocaster I could buy for the least amount of money, and this was it. I only compared it to other Fenders (including Squires and Tele's), so if you think your Gibson is better, than I have no say on that. In closing, I just want to give two warnings. Number one, don't write this guitar off as being just a stupid blink-182 merchandising ploy, or think that it only sounds good when playing blink's songs. Second, don't think that buying a concert-quality guitar like this one will make your crappy amp sound better. This guitar NEEDS a good amp setup to be effective. Overall, I give it a 5, simply because it is so cheap, yet so high-quality. I would suppose that since Tom Delonge has influenced so many kids to start playing guitar, that he designed it wanting it to be affordable, so that kids could buy it. Thanks for reading my review, and e-mail me at asstoupee@hotmail.com if you want to make any comments.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Fenders are known to be reliable, and this guitar is no exception. It is the same guitar that Tom uses on concert, so it would obviously withstand live playing. I have had no problems yet with wear and tear, and none appear on the horizon, but then, its only been five months. I would never use it on a gig without a backup, but then, I would never use any guitar without a backup if I have the option.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought it new (5 months ago), and when I took it home, it was already tuned and sounded just as good as it does today. The action was perfect, nothing was scratched or busted or rusted. I read other reviews on other sites, and some people had problems with it going out of tune really easily, but it hasn't happened to me.

Features — 8
Wow. Considering how many f-ing tabs this site has for blink-182 songs, I cannot believe that nobody out there owns this guitar. Just as the name suggests, this guitar was co-designed by Fender and Tom Delonge, to play his music. However, before everyone jumps to conclusions, this is no one-trick pony. The guitar is a Miexican-made Stratocaster, and although Tom uses it in the videos from Enema of The State, I think that they only started mass-producing it in 2001. Just to clarify, this guitar is the EXACT same guitar that Tom might use in concert. It has 21 frets, and no tremolo bar. There is no tone Switch or knobs, just one volume control. This kind of makes sense since this guitar only has one pickup. I don't find that this adversely affects the sound though. The pickup is a Seymour Duncan Invader (Humbucker), and it sounds great. The clean tone is very rich (it is still a Fender after all). The body is non-veneered alder, and the fretboard is rosewood. It's very comfortable to play, the fretboard is nice and smooth, and (like all Strats) this guitar is double-cutaway. If anyone is wondering, the name Tom Delonge is inscribed on the metal plate behind the neck. I bought the guitar from Long & McQuade in Calgary, and paid $740 Canadian. In the Guitar World buyer's guide, the listed price is $699 US, so I got a pretty good deal. It didn't come with any accessories, but that depends largely on the dealer. I'm giving this guitar a 4 on features, simply because there is only one pickup, no tone control and no tremolo bar, but for my style of play, all those things tend to get in the way. Most of my tone is amp-driven anyway.

48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RealGuitarHero
    the tone and sound on the Delonge doesn't have any depth. It sounds very canny. It has a nice distorted and clean sound but is pale in comparison to my Starfire and Les Paul. I use the guitar with a Marshall MG100HDFX Head and a Marshall MG 412 cabinet. I would only use this guitar as a back-up. Not a lead.
    So you think that it's the guitar that makes it canny?
    jshrn31
    This guitar definitly serves its purpose. I loved the thing till i needed a little more options.
    kanarf
    u guys come to a tom delonge review just to hack on a guitarest that shows young muscians you dont need to be van halen to make it? and became a role-model to millions of people? Why??
    MaggaraMarine
    If you play hard rock/metal, you don't really need a neck pickup. And you would probably keep your tone knob at full. I mean, my guitar has a neck pickup but I could live without it. I like the sounds I get with my bridge pickup. I sometimes use my neck pickup, especially when I play clean or crunchy stuff. Van Halen had a guitar with only a volume knob and a bridge humbucker.
    Blink182pwns
    ECwomantoneman wrote: I wonder why both the delonge sig guitars only have one pickup and a one volume control? I guess he's so unimaginative that that's all he needs.
    Tom didn't think he needed any of the extra crap that everyone throws on their guitars. He wanted to keep it plain and simple.
    bundi182
    Guys you are so funny...why aren't you in those music videos, and why don't you have a signature guitar? yeah you say tom sucks, but he plays guitar since 1987. That means that he's got knowledge in this, it's 24 years of experience... I think he knows a little more about these things, and I don't think you've ever written a song. He wrote a "couple." He is talented. You can't say that he isn't. If you looking for a blues guitar that's not the one. But why are you here then? Buy a standard strat but don't say that this is shit because sometimes the simple one is the better one.. It's still good although it's simple...I'm just in love with it since 2001
    mr. blobby
    he doesn't deserve his own sig guitar. It doesn't really look that great, although it did get some decent comments. Waste of money in my opinion. Unless ur a hardcore blink 182 fan i guess.
    hitch69
    I've owned this guitar for about 4 years now. I absolutely love it. I bought it off a friend who owned it for many years. This guitar was the first guitar that I ever played while plugged into an amp. I fell in love with guitars at that moment. That was about 10 years ago. The guitar has lasted. Sure, it's not in perfect condition but it plays beautifully. I'd be lost without it if anything happened to it. It's a very simple guitar. What you see is what you get. Plug it in and what you get is straight from the pick ups. No tone control just a volume knob. It's very comfortable to play sitting or standing. All I'm interested in is playing and that's all you can do with this guitar. These are VERY hard to find these days. It took me 4 years to convince my friend to sell me it. I needed to own it because it was the first guitar I fell in love with. If you are a big fan of punk rock music, want something simple, reliable and with no fuss then this guitar is for you. If you ever have the chance to buy it then BUY IT!
    JamesGlover101
    Ive had mine for about a year. Its a solid workhorse of an instrument, no frills. Its limited on tone (1 pickup etc) but if its the sound your looking for... Im not particulary a Tom fan but the instrument holds its own.
    atomicpunk21
    Wow, why are you guys trashing Tom? If it's because riffs in Blink-182 are simple, grow up and get a good taste in music ,with the guitar, it's simplified but you guys complain about the one pickup, it takes a good musician to be able to be as versatile as Tom with one pickup, and the riffs may be simple but they're are catchy and sound amazing, hate on Tom when you get better than him and by the way, that will never happen
    yogui
    this is a stupid discussion, one guitar would never fit everybody's needs
    CALiS*TX
    kanarf wrote: u guys come to a tom delonge review just to hack on a guitarest that shows young muscians you dont need to be van halen to make it? and became a role-model to millions of people? Why??
    cause we not kinda a man with "long hair" (not a woman hair) playing guitar... btw great lyrics create great song... tats y i salute blink coz they create great ****ing funny lyrics wif simple tone of chords... if you on van halen, juz shutup your mouth or tap on your mouth n let your finger picking the fret & say "Hell yeah"... got it?
    think11270
    Honestly, this guitar outshines some that cost twice as much. I have an ESP Eclipse II and Gibson SG standard, and this strat blows them out of the water for cleans and metal. It actually surprised the hell out of me. I just wish the action and neck were better on it. Surf Green all the way dudes.
    robot house
    Ok first off Tom delonge is not the fastest or theory educated BUT he is more creative and unique than most of us will ever be (no, my fender THEN Gibson deal didn't pan out either haha) second, I have the surf green I actually got into blink after I got the guitar because it's specs were perfect for me and I think the surf green one looks elegant when shined up. I am not a gain freak and I actually have a clue how to play decently. I am not a fanboy but can appreciate uniqueness and was suprised to the solid reliable feeling to this guitar (even at eight years old) apparently fender still gave a crap about it's qc below the $1000 mark in 2002. Another upside to this guitar is that if you like the specs, it's been out of production long enough that if you get it and play something other than pop-punk with it , you won't be stuck with the label. within days it became my main axe and I have a costlier and cheaper guitar. I'm not anti-Tom at all but I am pro-individuality and in conclusion I am definetaly all for this axe, I may get a second one to put away
    ihavenoname93
    CrazyHobo13 wrote: To whoever wrote like the 5th review... Damn dude you're so critical. This was Tom's style at the time and people loved it and look how far his music has come now with Angels & Airwaves! I've never heard anything like it so shut up! Blink-182 was not the most technical band but their music was loved when it was here! But about the guitar, what awesome colors it comes in. Blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange... So much better than your average black, red, or burst .
    im fairly sure all fenders come in gazillions of colors and the 1 pickup no tone thing is stupid imo. people say, "oh its just kept simple", but seriously, if you cant figure out a pickup selector and a tone control, you shouldnt be playing guitar.
    Reverend-Me
    I don't get why anyone buys this guitar, because even though "punk" is played mostly in bridge position and tone is usually full, then a guitar than only has volume and nothing else, you can't only play blink.. Even though i think they suck, it doesn't have anything to do with this...( Love green day and offspring even more, and well.. not like the BJ is fantastic guitar..) Rock on, but not to BLink xD
    guitardude1039
    Nerdo-sez-bo wrote: Single pickup? No thanks.
    same here man.. anyway tom sucks at guitar. everyone knows that.
    CrazyHobo13
    To whoever wrote like the 5th review... Damn dude you're so critical. This was Tom's style at the time and people loved it and look how far his music has come now with Angels & Airwaves! I've never heard anything like it so shut up! Blink-182 was not the most technical band but their music was loved when it was here! But about the guitar, what awesome colors it comes in. Blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange... So much better than your average black, red, or burst.
    fenderdude0071
    i made custom guitar reminicent spl? to this i find it way better maple warmoth neck metalic blue body black pick guard and a ducan supear distortion
    benkarton
    btw yea the one knob is good because whoever wants to buy this guitar is probably into playing that kind of music and the tone is already set for that sound.
    reflex_182
    if it doesnt suit your style of music then why did you buy it! This is actually an amazing guitar!
    wingedgopher
    i definitley appreciate the simplicity of it, i just wish they made it with a single coil pickup and a maple fretboard.
    Ibanez_shredder
    It doesnt look like its made very efficiently, but, then again, i've never played one so... by the looks of the comments, its pretty nice...
    whitewashed100
    this guitar is greattttt. a maple fretboard would have made this guitar seem muchh nicer. as far as the humbucker goes, it sounds excellent. looks great too with the white perloid pickguard
    MESAexplorer
    He was probably just putting the price at $182 for the fact taht its a Blink guitar...personally sig series guitars are a waste of money IMO because there is always another guitar similar or better for a cheaper price. (KH2, KH 602) --> ESP LTD MH-400
    Artisan_Bassist
    I didnt even know Tom HAD a signature guitar. Is it out of production? It wasnt in the Fender catalog for this year.
    Oldmonkeys
    Artisan_Bassist wrote: I didnt even know Tom HAD a signature guitar. Is it out of production? It wasnt in the Fender catalog for this year.
    its been out of production for ages since tom moved to gibsons
    mp3stalin
    Blink182pwns wrote: Tom didn't think he needed any of the extra crap that everyone throws on their guitars. He wanted to keep it plain and simple.
    and then brag about how much better he is at everything :p
    getts182
    This guitar is great. I've had mine since '03, and I've never had any problems with it. It's simple, and I love the single humbucker.
    liam-182
    yea! screw u guys hating on tom, i just ordered my tom delonge strat from ebay!
    ECwomantoneman
    I wonder why both the delonge sig guitars only have one pickup and a one volume control? I guess he's so unimaginative that that's all he needs.