Price paid: $ 249
Purchased from: Midwest Music
Sound — 7
I play jazz, rock, country, and blues, it suits rock and country well and I use an Epiphone Les Paul Studio for jazz and blues at the school for jazz band. I use a Fender 15G Frontman II amp with it and currently no effects. It does produce hum and has a bright sound. The sound of the guitar doesn't have much variety but the tremolo is worth having. the only difference in sound happens with the tone pots being changed.
Overall Impression — 9
As I said, I play rock, jazz, blues, and country and it does well for some styles, I prefer this guitar for rock and country but do prefer the LP for jazz and blues do to the warm HB sound. I have only been playing for nine months but am already in the school jazz band which I know usually takes longer to get in. I learn really fast, I learned all the scales and pentatonic scales, I am learning theory and music. I can play really well for someone playing less than a year, I have already written about 10 unique songs (but I can't record them, bummer). I can't thin of anything I needed to know before purchasing, just make sure it is setup. I would buy it again due to it being so inexpensive (not cheap). I love it because it sounds great, I love the Strat tone. I do hate the string changing process on it, It is easier on a Tune-O-Matic bridge. I love the tremolo, a lot, I mnean it, it is fun to play solos on. It compares with all the other Squier products and low end Fender branded and holds it's own, IT is better than alost all cheap Strat copies, I chose it for the brand, Squier (by Fender) and the warranty was better than all the other places in Enid, ok. I wish it had straplocks stock.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar has withstood Live playing and can go w/o a backup, although one wouldn't be bad. The hardware is durable. It wouldn't hurt to have straplocks on any guitar. That is good insurance right there. I have dropped it (on accident) and it didn't even go out of tune. The finish hasn't even scratched. I do depend on it a lot along with my Epi LP Studio.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was set perfect, the pickups were set up perfect as well. All of the hardware was set up perfectly also, none of the tuners were out of place, the saddles in the bridge are good. There are almost no flaws in the guitar, the pickups sound weak at times but that is the only flaw, the selector has no sound to it, the only noticeable sound is the change from the output of the pups.
Features — 8
It is a Strat. It has 3 passive single coil pickups with 5 way switching for neck, neck/middle, middle, middle/bridge, and bridge. It has a solid top in an Olympic white finish, I think. it has a two point tremolo bridge with string through body. It has the 2 tone and 1 volume controls. My Strat still has the stock pups. It also has non locking tuners, made in 2006 in Indonesia, it came with a gig bag, amp, tuner, strap, picks, book, etc.