California Fat Strat Review

manufacturer: Squier date: 12/18/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Squier: California Fat Strat
The California Fat Strat features a US-made Fender humbucker paired with two single coil Tex-Mex pickups in the neck and middle positions.
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.7
 Features: 9.3
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (3) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
California Fat Strat Reviewed by: mi6_ninja, on december 12, 2005
6 of 12 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 152

Purchased from: Music World

Features: My guitar was made in China in 2004. The guitar has 21 frets. The guitar has a Strat body style which I thinks is very comfortable to play. It has a maple set neck and a rosewood fingerboard. The guitar has 1 humbucker and 2 single coils as pickups. I got no accessories as I just needed a guitar but they upgraded the lead that was included for me but I'm sure they would give some free accessories if you asked. The pickups I think are active pickups. The is 4 controls if you include the pickup selector, 2 tone knobs and 1 volume knob. The finish is a satin finish. The guitar is a solid top. // 10

Sound: The guitar perfectly suits my music style which is rock. I use this guitar with a Roland Cube 15 and I have to say that is sounds awesome with the effects that are available on the amp. The guitar can amke a variety of sounds if you know how the tone knobs operate and know how to adjust them accordingly. You can play all types of music with this guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The pickups are well adjusted as they are perfectly under the strings. The guiatr s far has no flaws for the time I've been using it for. Everytrhong was perfectly set-up at the factory. The first flaw would be that the tone kobs would be loose but that is probably my fault as it has been used negligently. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar would sure withstand live playing as the pickups are great. I would advice everybody to get a guitar with a humbucker as they a much better than single coils. The strap buttons are solid as I have applied heavy pressure and they didn't break. The hardware also seems like it wuld last but for howlong I'm not sure. The finish is also very good but again I don't really know how long it will last. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a wide variety of music but mostly rock and punk rock Green Day, U2, Velvet Revolver, Good Charlotte and Pink Floyd this guiatr suits that type of music perfectly but it suit other types of music well. I have been playing for 2 years and I don't much othergear besides the basics needed to play electric guitar. The amp I have is a Roland 15 Cube. If this guitar was stolen I would get the same one if I was on a budget but if I had more money I would get a "Jackson JS1" or a "Jackson JS20 Dinky". It would have looked cooler if the knobs were metal, it was thin and had no scratch plate. I would recommend this guitar to anybody starting out playing electric guitar as it is personally very comfortable to play and is very affordable and you get freat value for the price you play. This guitar is much better than the the "Affinity Fat Start" exept that the Affinity is slim. // 10

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overall: 9.8
California Fat Strat Reviewed by: Drop the Leash, on august 14, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 500

Purchased from: Go West Music

Features: This guitar looks extremely nice. It has a beautiful Shine to it and I was instantly hooked. I'm a lefty and brought a white right-handed and strung it backwards, none the less, it is still bad ass. My version has a rosewood neck with 21 frets and a whamy bar. The cutaway can be limiting due to the fact that mine is restrung, but it is awesome none-the-less. It orignally came with two tone knobs and a volume knob. Again, doing left-handed modifications, I removed the two tone knobs and moved the volume knob to the very front so that the volume would not be turned down accidently by my arm. It has a 5-Way selecter with absolutely amazing pickups and sound, I have put this guitar through hell, litterally to make it unique. It has scratches and dents and home-made drawings on it, and it looks brutal. This is by far my favourite guitar. // 9

Sound: I play almost every style, but have most playing experience in grunge/hard rock/metal genres. This guitar plays brilliantly! I have used it through various amps, including a Marshall, a Vox and a Peavey Stack and it never fails to dissapoint! It has a wide sound potential and can sound anything from the roughest of rough to the cleanest of clean. Using the right combination of pickups and effects, you can make almost anything sound professional on this guitar. I was absolutely blown away! Whether you play Punk or Blues, or Funk or Jazz, this guitar will have you up for hours! // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar seems to have been made almost perfectly. No major complaints. The pickups are marvelous. It has two single-coils and a humbucker to the bridge end. This guitar (has) and can take one hell of a smashing. I use this guitar EVERYWHERE. It is my travelling guitar. It's purpose is to take a beating and be subjected to many conditions - but still be able to perform at a Killer level. It does that and so much more! This guitar could last you a lifetime! There are two problems I have had with this guitar however...Firstly - The bridge was initially loose. However this was quickly resolved. I gave it a good ol' adjusting and it has stayed perfect ever since. Secondly - (This was my fault,) but this guitar once fell from a stage to a concrete floor below. and the fretwire on the 8th fret popped out. Because of this I have not played this guitar in about 5 months because the guitar shop cannot find a piece of fretwire to fit. The strap buttons are perfect and sturdy, and the hardware is otherwise flawless. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will most definitley withstand Live playing. It will also withstand hundreads of beatings and abrasions and defacings without any hinderance in performance quality. The hardware WILL last! If it has survived 2 years of terror from me, it will last a whole lot more from players Who don't intend on having a ruthless looking guitar. If you have one of these bad boys that is strung in it's intended fashion, it absolutely could gig on its own! No questions asked. But because mine is restrung and the cutaway now limits the fretboard movement, I use this primarily as a rhythm guitar. The solos do sound absolutely magical though! The finish is pure and clean and doesn't seem to wear off easily. Not even after it's been dragged along the ground and smashed into walls. This is one of the most reliable and durable guitars I have ever played. // 10

Overall Impression: Musicians of all styles, types and experiences should buy one of these babies if ever the opportunity presents itself. I have had this guitar for about two years and it has been played solidly every day for a year and a half. I was originally NOT going to buy this guitar, because I thought I was being scammed into buying a cheap piece of dirt... but this is perhaps the BEST purchase of a guitar I have ever made. I love almost everything about it, except for the fact that I can't find a natural-left so there are some limits of the restringing. It's sound and playability will be unmatched for its price. I was originally going to buy a Cort EVL over this, however I fell in love with the sound and presence of this guitar almost instantly. If I could, I'd buy a whole wall of these... but they are becoming harder to find. Do yourself a favour, buy one and never look back! // 10

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overall: 8.4
California Fat Strat Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 18, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 210

Purchased from: Roland Pro Music Store

Features: This is a 2008/09 deep-red Strat, made in China. These are the most common models here in India. Its a 21-fret, maple fretboard with a basswood body. (The maple fretboard is the main reason why I picked up this baby.) Its got a Standard contoured body with the Standard the pick-ups. A 5-way tone selector(another thing I love in the strats) and a Standard Vintage-style bridge with a tremolo arm. It came with a gig bag and a cheap cable. // 9

Sound: I'm a huge fan of blues music and also of John Frusciante and Derek Trucks. So basically, I prefer clean tones and use a lot of reverb, low-gain overdrive and flanger with the occasional use of distortion(low/mid-gain) for some solos. And this baby is probably the best in its class when it comes to this kind of sounds. The maple fretboard adds to the twangy sound(kinda like the tele sound which I love too.) The difference in sound from the 3 different pick-ups can really surprise you. I use it with a Zoom 2.1U thru a cheap 70$ solid state amp and I STILL get lovely sweet sounding tones. This thing is immensely versetile from fuller tones to brighter ones but if you're fully into thrash/heavy metal, I'd recomend you to try something else. On my part, I'm not much of a metalhead, so this guitar is GREAT for me. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set-up was ok but leaves a lot to be desired. The action suits me well. The pick-ups are ok too but you would probably need to make some adjustments like I did. No complaints with the bridge, tremolo arm and pick-up selector. I've read many reviews on this saying that the nut is set at a weird angle but on mine it seems fine. The paint job is really the main problem in this guitar. It's not done well at all. It doesn't matter to me much when you're paying over 200$ for a guitar you'd expect a simple thing like the paint work to be decent. Everything else tho, seems in perfect order except for the vol&tone controls and the tuning pegs. The pegs are not made or set very well. And the control knobs look way too cheap for my liking. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Like I've mentioned before, with the exception of the tuning pegs, this thing is absolutely gig-ready. The hardware, with a little care should last me for at least the next 2 decades. I use it without any back-up for live shows. The finish is a bit thin and eventually might wear off. But I think I'd like the road-worn look of a Strat. If only it were black tho... P.S: Mine's deep red. It was the only color they had with a maple fretboard. And I wanted nothing but a maple fretboard so I had to settle for the red. But I'de much rather have a black one. // 8

Overall Impression: I mainly play blues, blues-rock and alt-rock and this fits the bill perfectly. This sounds wayyy better than a 200$ guitar. I use this with a Zoom G2.1U which is pretty basic and still the sound it gives it heaven. In fact, the sound I get when I plug it in directly to my amp in itself is worth the 210$ spend. If this gets stolen, I'll definitely get another. I would surely recomend this guitar, specially if its your first. But I must warn you. These entry-level guitars can be quite tricky. Not all the strats I played at the shop were of the same quality tho all were Squiers and cost the same. I just got lucky to get my hands on this one which IMO sounds as good as my friends MIM Strat. // 9

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