Fender Mexican Std Stratocaster Reviews 5

Long story... but to make it short after several stores including Sam Ash and Guitar center, dozens of guitars played I ended up with a midnight wine, maple neck/fretboard mexican std for a tag price of 349 less the small haggle discount at Sam Ash(AKA VIP price).

Well most importantly it plays well and feels right. The action on the factory setup was very good. The poly finish is very good and as near to flawless as you get(and far better than a lot of the Gibson econo finishes on far more $$ axes). The neck is beautifully figured maple and flawless in itself (a little thicker finish on the neck would have been nice). The tuners are above average and at least metal vs the crap Gibson is putting on low-mid models. Lastly the price. You can't get a better guitar for the price and it rivals many at higher prices.

The pickups... The sound and range of tone are pretty good and in reality vintage strat(flashback to my mid 70's garage band days). However the noise really grated on my nerves. The usual hum, buzz, hiss, pop dirty single coil pickup stuff made far worse with gain & effects turned up on my Marshall AVT275. I considered a number of options and ended up replacing everything with the EMG pro series DG-20 setup for about $265 from Guitar center. Three new SA single coil pickups, expander and presence controls, volume and 5 way all preassembled on a nice white pearl pickguard. Best of all pretty much drop in replacement other than having to solder the jack connections.

What I said in the "what you like" section pretty much sums it up.

A great low cost axe to start with. After adding the new pickups this guitar that I spent about $600 on altogether blows just about every other pricier Fender model away and the range of tone is phenominal. Much more than just the traditional David Gilmour type sound you might expect from the pickup setup. Keep in mind one thing... it has a moderate quality, non-locking, floating, vintage bridge. LEARN HOW TO CROSS TUNE AS WITH ANY FLOATING BRIDGE. Its a bit of a pain to tune with new strings but once your there it pretty much stays in tune day to day with a few tuning tweaks here and there. Also it comes setup for the fender super bullets. They went in the trash in favor of Ernie Ball rock n roll regular slinkies with are a little heavier strings. You will need to tighten/adjust the trem spring claw, when using heavier guage strings, or the bridge will be popping out. Caveat: Not all all created/setup equal. Pickem up and playem till you find one thats right. Same with any guitar.

Lord Raven rated this unit 5 on 2002-08-07.

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