Purchased from: Local Music Store
Sound — 4
The 8" terd, dressed up as a Fender amp, sounds decent clean, but the distortion Drive sucks ass, its noisy as hell and doesnt even sound nice very weak. The strings are made by Fender, so they have a nice clean sound, but put with the amp, it's terrible, so I purchased a DOD Death Metal Distortion stompbox. The pedal gives it some balls, but not enough. I also put on Ernie Ball's Hybrid Slinky strings the other day and the guitar sounds much nicer. The 5 way selector Switch is noisy as hell, 3 of the 5 positions sound like there is a garbage disposal inside of the amp, but the 2nd and 4th ones sound pretty good. The cord that came with the pack is terrible, every move you make makes a really loud, abnoxious buzzing noise enough to make you vomit. If you get this guitar with the pack, I'm sorry get a new amp, new strings, new pickups, a nice stompbox and possible an effects board, and if you dont have the money for that, put the strap on the guitar, swing it around by the strap, and throw it off of a 6 story parking ramp into rushhour traffic, and bring a camera then mail the video to me so I can watch it. Then I will reward you as much money as I can, just as a congratulations.
Overall Impression — 4
I play hard rock and punk and it sounds nice with newer equipment, but the original equipment embarrasses the hell out of Fender. Don't buy this with the pack, buy it separately. I have a Fender FM 212R amp, several DOD stompboxes, Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinky strings, Ernie Ball cables, and custom gold screws. I love how it sounds through my new equipment, however it doesn't compare to my Les Paul. The original equipment is pathetic, dont get the Strat Pak. Buy this separately with some distortion and overdrive pedals by Boss or DOD. Get new cables and strings, possibly better pickups due to the noisiness of them. Great beginners guitar, but I have been playing for 2 years and I am ashamed to gig with it, always have a back up. Take care, I give this guitar a 2.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The strap buttons came loose, but its nothing too big just annoying at times. I wouldn't gig with this without a back up, I have a Les Paul Standard (Epiphone, not Gibson). I like the tone of the Ernie Ball's better than the strings on the Les Paul, and I plan to put some Ernie Balls on that too. The finish on the Strat is nice, the lamination came off of everything like 2 weeks after I got it, so its cheap as hell, but the guitar has been to hell and back since I bought it. Its fallen down stair cases, been slammed in doors, fallen off of tables onto concrete and it still sounds like it did the day it came home. So she's durable, and if it sounded nicer with the equipment it came with. But with its original pack, this isn't gig worthy not even close.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
The guitar isn't that bad at all its the equipment that comes with it that make the guitar suck. I would say the guitar's size and feel is amazing for a 180 dollar guitar after all, its the exact same thing as a Stratocaster, but made into shit by the Indonesian based Squire. The input jack became loose 3 months after I bought this guitar (February 6th of 2004, today is July 6th the 5 month anniversary). The neck is perfect fit, the body is just right as far as weight goes, and the frets are just right. My biggest problem with the guitar is the noisy pickups, other than that its pretty decent. Like I said, the guitar is nice, but the equipment that came with it sucks donkey balls. It's a good guitar, I give it a 3.
Features — 4
Made, I think, in Indonesia in 2003. 21 Frets, rosewood fretboard, I think the rest of the body is maple, however. It's black and has a white pick guard. 5-way selector Switch which is really noisy, has 2 tone knobs that only make it more noticable and noisy when shifting fast across the strings. I got this with a Fender Squire Strat Pak, and I only recommend this to people who are just starting out and cant tell a guitar's front end from its ass. The pak came with this pile of shit they call a guitar, an 8" terd they put in a box and called an amp (Frontman 15G), a strap that falls off all of the time, 3 glow in the dark Fender Heavy picks, a set of extra strings, and the biggest piece of shit cord you can find (a 10' cord). It also came with a tuner that works kinda.