Fender Satin Standard Stratocaster / Rosewood Fingerboard Reviews 5

I bought my Strat from Music123.com after looking around online and viewing many reviews. I used to play in bands for about 19 years total, but stopped playing for several years after starting a family. I guess I was kind of burned out, but now I wonder how I could have stopped for so long. I started getting the bug to play again so first I purchased an acoustic guitar to mess around with, then soon wanted a new electric, since that was what I used to play the most. I didn't have alot of money to burn, so I was looking for something fairly inexpensive, but wanted quality too. Music123.com provided online financing which I found to be fairly quick and easy, but I could see where it could be confusing to some people without a little help. I had always kind of wanted a Strat, and I was very surprised I could get a real one (MIM) at a very reasonable price. All the online sites had it at the same price ($349.99), but I also could get a closeout deal on an attractive looking amp, so that's mainly why I went with Music123.com. They also had pretty good reviews.

From what I understand from researching it, this guitar is basically the original standard strat design, but with the 'C' style neck, which is very comfortable, and I think the original had alnico magnets in the pickups, but this has ceramic. The ceramics are a bit hotter, and if you get 'em too close to the strings it could dampen it quite a bit and you'd lose sustain, but you can also get a hotter sound for heavy distortion from these, so I guess it's a matter of taste and what you're planning to use it for. This one was made around 2003-2004, and according to information I've found, it's got the alder body like the American Strats, instead of the poplar they used to use. I also read that older MIM's had inferior electronics, but they now have the same as the American. The neck has the vintage single truss rod design which is pretty tried and true, although I suppose the double truss design is superior. Still to get the vintage sound you would require the single truss design. I like everything about this guitar.. whatever Strat related idiosyncracies it has is part of the charm. I like it fine the way it is, but if I wanted more sustain I could stick alnico pups in it and/or retrofit a tremolo stabilizer. That would also help reduce the strat-itis effect too... kind of a warbling sound that's common to strats.

There's not really anything I don't like about it. It is what it is.

This is a very well made guitar. Even the setup was very good. Of course setup can be changed according to your taste. Intonation is very good. The action was just right for my style.. high enough for ease of bending and low enough for some shredding. The part where they grind the headstock behind the nut was a little uneven, but that doesn't affect playability, and to me added just a touch of charm without compromising performance of the instrument. I changed the nut to a Graph Tech Trem-nut, but mostly because it was black and matched the black pickguard etc. It stayed in tune either way. The satin finish is cheaper for them so they get a bit more profit margin on this, but I prefer the look.. it's a really cool looking gun-metal blue. It's a weapon, you see.

I'd recommend this guitar to anyone. I've played much more expensive ones and had performed for many years. I used to break strings alot, but so far I haven't on this yet.. even with extreme bends. That's with the original 350L's it had on it, as well as the Vinci's I got on it now, with the same gauges. BTW, I teach guitar lessons at a music store with alot of nice guitars in there, and some of those are great, but right now I'd rather be playin' my Strat 'cuz it's MINE and it's GREAT!

Wes rated this unit 5 on 2004-10-07.

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