Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I use this guitar mostly to play blues, punk, and metal. This is the best guitar I've played for blues, plays, sounds, and feels as well as a Fender Standard Strat, great sustain, stays in tune even through whammy dives and string bends. Great for punk, especially surf-punk. This guitar is my 2nd choice for metal, only because I'm a humbucker guy when laying on the gain and distortion, but my first choice among other single-coil axes. I'm normally use this through a Drive 120-watt DSP amp, Danelectro Wasabi distortion pedal, (or a Zakk Wylde Overdrive if I want chunk, not distortion), and a Dunlop 535Q Wah pedal. This guitar isn't noisy at all whether playing clean, distorted, or through an overdriven amp, very rich and bright sound. This guitar can make all kinds of sounds, the action is great for pinch harmonics, the whammy is dual pivot, meaning you can pull up for screams as well as dive down for moans. The action is also great for bends, trills, slides, etc all over the neck.
Overall Impression — 10
Again, I play mostly blues, punk and metal with this guitar and it's a perfect match for each. I've been playing for 9 years and this is the best guitar I've come across for the amount I've paid for it. I also own an Ibanez Artcore hollowbody, Ibanez Dreadnought acoustic, Epiphone Studio LP, Gibson Custom LP, Fender American Strat, and a cheap nylon-string classical guitar, don't recall the make offhand. The Squier Deluxe Strat is among my favorites because of the versatility to play all styles of music. Don't be fooled by the Squier name, this guitar plays and feels exactly like an expensive Fender Strat, in fact I bought it to back up my Fender American Strat, but I find myself using the Squier almost exclusively. If this guitar were lost or stolen, then I'd definitely buy it again, I'd may even buy the quilted-top version too. What I love most about this guitar is that it simply sounds amazing, there's nothing to hate about it. My favorite features are the beautiful finish, the dual-pivot tremolo (first I've seen on a Squier), and the '60s retro oversized head looks great too. I compared this to other Squier strats, and this guitar beats them all in looks, feel, sound, and features. The only thing I could ask for is that Squier would make a Fat-strat (2 single coil, one humbucker at bridge) with these features, as far as this guitar goes, it's perfect.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar will excel for live playing, very durable and trustworthy. The hardware seems strong, no loose parts at all. The strap buttons are solid, no drops yet. I would definitely use this guitar through a whole gig with no backup. The finish is great, no wear yet, will last for a long time, even with heavy playing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This guitar came out of the box ready to play, I didn't need to make any adjustments at all. The action is perfect for just about anything, so no truss-rod adjusting needed. the pickups were set up great, all strings ring loud and clear for the length of the neck, no dull frets and no fret buzz. The finish and hardware were set up great, the pickup selector and control knobs adjust with no noise, this guitar has no flaws so far (after 7 months of ownership). My only complaint is having to remove the wrap from the pickguard and under the control knobs, but it's no big deal at all.
Features — 8
- Special Edition, made in China, 2004 - 22 Medium-Jumbo Frets, Rosewood 9. 5" Radius (241 mm), 25. 5" (648 mm)Scale Length - Body is Alder or Agathis, neck is maple, C-shaped - Flamed Maple Top, 3-color sunburst, polyurethane finish on body and neck - Standard Stratocaster body - Synchronous Twin-Pivot tremolo - 1 volume, 2 tone controls, 5-way selector - 3 Alnico Magnet single-coil pickups - Standard Die-Cast tuners - Chrome hardware, 3-ply white pearloid pickguard - No accessories.