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Fender Stratocasters in general

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      16.03.2014 02:16

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      The electric guitar everyone knows. If you only own one electric guitar this is the one to own.

      When you think about an electric guitar this is the one that springs to mind (along with the Gibson Les Paul). This is because this is the world's most popular electric guitar. If you are looking for an electric guitar this is the electric guitar. Since this is the electric guitar sound you hear most you will like the sound of this guitar. This guitar may not be the best but you won't be disappointed.

      Although I wouldn't recommend that beginners buy this as lots of people give up learning the guitar - it's not easy. You would be better starting with a Starcaster or Squier and then moving up when you become a real guitar play as the real Strat is about 4 or 5 times more expensive.

      I would recommend this guitar for fans of Mark Knopler, Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Pete Townshend as they all have long associations with the strat. Though Guns and Roses or ACDC fans should probably look more at the Gibson Les Paul. However, Sweet Child o' Mine still sounds great on the Strat.

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      02.08.2012 10:51

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      Great guitar overall (my slight problem is not to put off)

      On the whole this is a great guitar suiting a range of styles and genres. One minute you might find yourself letting out the clean warm tone of the guitar and the next on to a more crunchy blues Clapton style!

      This guitar by far is probably the smoothest one I have - any musician who has picked it up always comments on the smoothness of the play. It really is faultless in that respect. Similarly the tone suits a range of genres - I have played in a number of different bands and the guitar has been perfectly apt in every situation.

      The only flaw that I have had with this guitar is the paintwork around the strap attachments (where they screw into the body). The paintwork (not too long after I purchased it) started to crack and eventually came off - I subsequently had to glue it back on. I could be just mine with weakened paintwork I don't know...

      However, this fault is tiny in comparison to the rest of the capabilities and advantages this guitar has - it really is a great purchase to make.

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      18.07.2012 22:24
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      wonderful guitar

      The Fender Stratocaster is probably the most famous guitar of all time, & perhaps the most recognisable. The first model was released in 1954 & Fender has been making them ever since, and they are available in many colours today, the more popular including black, red, white, sunburst & a myriad of others.

      The guitar was originally designed for use in Country music, but was soon used by the likes of Buddy Holly for rock and roll. From there they've been used by everybody from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher & many other players.

      There are essentially 3 kinds of Fender guitar, which relates to where it was made, either the guitar was made in Japan (the cheapest kind), Mexico or in the United States (the most expensive). The US models are generally considered to be the authentic Fender guitars & will probably cost you £750+. Japanese & Mexican produced guitars will probably cost £350-600 depending on design & build.

      A Stratocaster is a pretty versatile guitar, able to play rock, metal, country, blues or jazz very proficiently & I've always considered it to be primarily a lead guitar (a Fender Telecaster would be more suited to rhythm playing).

      There are many different models available now, & can be finished or painted in various ways, and can have varying features, ranging from the finish of the fretboard (maple, rosewood, solid wood etc.) to the pick ups, frets, neck & various other things. To a casual player this kind of stuff is probably immaterial anyway, but no matter what kind of Stratocaster you get, it will likely be better than whatever you had before.

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      13.06.2011 18:21

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      Superb guitar, superb sound.

      I personally find Fender guitars the best kind of guitars on a whole. Considering price, quality, aesthetics and sound i believe Fenders are the way forward. Their excellent repuatation as a guitar producer, and all round music-based company also adds to the overall rating of this guitar.

      This particular style of Fender, the Stratocaster is a superb guitar for all ranges of ability, and it was my first guitar of which i owned. I now own a Telecaster, which portrays my dedication to this brand!

      The stratocaster has 3 pickups, which delivers a great sound when plugged in to an amp. The whammy bar is also a great feature to have which helps you produce some really cool sounds and effects!

      The guitar is easy to tune, easy to play, and easy to re-string... which makes it perfect for any guitarist. Overall it is a superb guitar, with a superb sound.

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      15.03.2011 21:41

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      Fantastic instrument

      The fender stratocaster has to be the most famous guitar of all time. It first emerged in the sixties with rock guitarists pete townsend (the who) and the god, jimmy hendrix. Its characteristic shape has been copied by hundreds of guitar designers, but you can't beat the original.
      My stratocaster was my second guitar and after the relitevely loose strings of my gibson sg mellow sound of my sg, i found this new guitar quite interesting. The strings are much more bouncy and tight, this results in quite a "twangy" kinda sound to it which i really like. It makes playing blues and jazz a whole lot more fun but you can play rock and metal too. It is a very versatile guitar, you can do anything with it to be honest.
      On the outside it looks all right as well. Most people say that as the strat has been copied by so many other companys, its appearance seems more dull. I disagree though, its a very beautiful looking instrument. Unless you get it in some unnatural colour it will look classy anywhere.
      The price of this guitar is quite good aswell. A decent strat will cost you roughly £300 online. In a proper guitar shop it will more often than not be higher, but the enjoyment of choosing there will be greater so I recommend that.
      All in all its a fantastic guitar, great sound, great feel to it, pretty cheap too. I love my stratocaster and although the apperance may put you off, you will love it once you start playing.

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      25.08.2010 18:46
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      A rare and very pleasnt thing.

      My California Series Stratocaster was a real good find. Olympic white (far as I know) I stumbled across it secondhand in my local music store. Now I'd never heard of the California Series till I found this but after a little research it turned out to be a fabulous piece of kit with an interesting if very short history. They were only made for 1 year; 97-98. Made in USA but painted in Mexico cos it was cheaper apparently. Because they were fully assembled and finished in the USA they carry that all important stamp. Purists may argue about the authenticity of this proclamation but for all intents and purposes here we had genuine USA Stratocaster, Telecaster and Basses for Pesos instead of Dollars so to speak.

      Now it is widely held that these beautiful 'hybrids' would stand up to any challenge from the Fender standard catalogue and this is perhaps what led to their ultimate demise, just like the demise of the fab Epi EJ 300 acoustic-dropped for threatening to outsell it's more expensive cousins in my humble opinion anyway. Whatever happened, Fender proved that they could manufacture and sell real quality instruments... for much less than they were doing. And then they stopped!

      The long and the short of it is that the California series Strat is a consumate example of the best of Fender. It handles superbly, is beautifully finished and sonically superb. If you can find one I would recommend that you buy it and keep it and play it and love it like I do. I cant help getting a wry smile on my face evrytime I think about how much I saved over the price of any regular made in USA strat. Heh heh.

      Serial No AMXN7*****
      Body- Alder.
      Vintage style "C" profile neck with a 9½" radius.
      21 medium jumbo frets.
      Vintage tremolo, tuners and 4 bolt neck plate.
      3 Ply WBW pickguard.
      25½" scale length.
      Fender Tex-Mex Pickups

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      09.02.2010 22:36
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      Timeless guitar that will hold it's value

      Just mention the name Fender, and people know you own a high quality guitar. I recently purchased a Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster and the finish is beautiful. The body looks like it is embedded in thick tinted glass and mine is a 3 tone sunburst with maple fret board. All the components are well constructed and I can see the standard of workmanship is also very high. This means I have a guitar of the very highest quality and it is certainly the best electric guitar I have ever played.

      The locking tuners make restringing really easy and helps prevent the strings from slipping on the winders which usually cause the guitar to go out of tune. The neck has a great feel, is fast and has great playability. The noiseless samarian cobalt pickups and new S1 switching system can allow almost any tone to be achieved once you get the hang of it. The push-in tremolo is far better than any screw-in tremolo which, if not treated with care, can easily strip and render the tremolo useless. The familiar classic contoured body is very comfortable and allows me to feel the vibrations through the body better. The strap locks make sure that my guitar is secure and there is no chance of it slipping out of the strap and giving me a slap up the side of the head!

      This guitar compares favourably to other guitars in the same price range or higher. Of course, my opinion is biased but I have heard many other more expensive guitars which don't have the bell tones that the Stratocaster has. The Stratocaster's look is timeless and I don't think it will ever go out of style. However as Fender have recently announced it is soon going to drop this model, it will surely add to its desirability and will make it a much sought after instrument.

      The electronics on this guitar are extremely easy to use once you get the hang of the S-1 switching system. The tremolo arm is easily installed or removed by just pushing in or firmly pulling out of the tremolo block. Strap locks are included and are easily fitted. I would recommend you fit them as soon as you put the strap on as it easily slips out of the strap holes without the locks in place. If at all possible I suggest you get your local music shop to set up your guitar, such as truss rod adjustment, etc. as it doesn't always come in perfect shape. I would also recommend that you change the strings as soon as possible as the factory installed strings could have been on for some time I use Fender bullet strings as the bullet end is specially designed for use in the Fender tremolo block and will not slip or move when the tremolo is used with gusto.

      In my opinion, if you purchase one these you should never have to buy another guitar . It is a great sounding guitar which won't go out of style.

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        09.11.2009 02:21
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        Great overall guitar would recommend to all!

        This was my first serious guitar i purchased and it still remains my favourite! I currently have both have a Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson Les Paul but my Fender is always my first port of call! The guitar is capable of amazing tones whether it be a melody or backing chords!

        There are many types of strats, different necks, pickups and designs but you'll be amazed at how versatile this guitar is! I always see new guitarists going out and buying the guitar that their music heros have and then find they don't actually get on with it, just because you have a les paul doesnt mean you can instantly break into the sweet child of mine solo! Its all about how you feel playing the guitar, as mentioned i have both a les paul and a strat but my start is what i always feel more comfortable playing!

        It has never let me down live, the amount of tones it can produce means i dont have to keep switching guitars and when im recording with it its exactly the same! I cant stress how versatile it is!

        The Stratocaster is instantly recognisable by its body shape and general layout. I have the amercian version (there is also a mexican made version but i dont really feel the difference) The original Stratocaster features three single coil pickups (The white bars underneath the strings on the body), three knobs (Main Volume, Neck Tone, Middle Pickup Tone) and a 5 way selector switch. (1. Bridge Pickup 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup 3. Middle Pickup 4. Middle and Neck Pickup 5. Neck Pickup). The neck features 22 Frets (Neck Sections) but this mildly variable from strat to strat and even guitar to guitar. The body is made out of Rosewood i beleive (sorry im not a carpenter!) and features a tremelo bridge (A whammy bar is attached to increase and decrease the tension of the strings to tune them up and down for effect).

        If your thinking of purchasing a Stratocaster i would definently recommend it to both new and experienced guitarists HOWEVER i would more so recommend that you try the EXACT guitar you want to buy before you do. As i said before they play well and many famous artists use them but that is their personal feel and you must be comfortable playing your instrument before spending quite an amount of money on it in my opinion!

        Overall great sounding and amazing versatile guitar!

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        26.05.2009 22:40
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        An umbelivable guitar that offers everything that you would want from your dream guitar!

        This guitar is simply incredible! It has not got its reputation for no reason and many famous guitar players such as Eric Clapton, Buddy Holly, John Mayer, Bob Dylan and Robert Cray all have one. Without going into a detailed account they were first produced in the 1950s and were designed by the renound Leo Fender. I originally had a Westfield stratocaster as a begginer and then upgraded to a Mexican stratocaster. Needless to say I noticed a big improvement in general. I then a year ago bought an American stratocaster and noticed a similar improvement. I have always felt a loyalty to Fender and their stratocaster models because they have served me so well in the past.

        The built quality of Fender stratocaster's is simply fantastic and what I love most about them is the feel when playing them. Their distinctive body shape make it incredibly comfortable play and it really does fit in your hands well. The neck is beautifully made and can either be maple or mahogany (I have had both and havn't really noticed a big difference). I would really recommend buying the Fender 'Super bullet' strings however which make the bridge float and you can use the whammy bar more effectivly as a result. It goes without saying that the quality of the components within the stratocaster is truly exceptional and I have never experienced any difficulties with that. One thing that really appealed to me about the stratocaster in the first place was the fact that it is available with so many variations. This then makes it possible to have fully customizable to your needs.

        They have released their own signature versions, for example there is the signature Stevie Ray Vaughn (SRV) strat with Tex-mex pickups which sounds incredible for the blues. There is also the Eric Clapton 'Blackie' guitar which has everything tailored to his specification and so is ideal for any Clapton fans. More recently there has been the John Mayer signature guitar release which has three new released 'Big dipper' pickups. I'm guessing that if you are a guitar player you have heard of Steve Vai who is arguably the world's best guitar player. Despite having a contract with Ibanez and his signature JEM series he is seen to practise on a Fender stratocaster in his tour bus, this just shows that this truly is an incredible guitar.

        The Fender stratocaster comes with many different specifications and in many different colours according to which model you go for. I would always recommend trying the exact guitar before actually buying it because you wil find that they do all sound different. Fender as well as having signature artist guitars have limited editions. For example there is a 50's model which is based on the original 50's stratocaster. As a result of their diversity there is a big variety in the prices, you can expect to pay anything from £320 all the way up to over £2000! There is three different forms of stratocaster's however, and they can either be Mexican, Japanese or the best quality American. All this means is where it has been manufactured, the American stratocaster's are quite a bit more expensive because the build quality is much better. I orginally had a mexican Fender stratocaster and then upgraded to an American. I have to say that there was quite a big difference especially in the quality of the pickups. As a resultof my experiences I would really recommend purchasing the American stratocaster over the Mexican version because I felt the sound quality was far better. Alternatively you could just upgrade the pickups in a cheaper Mexican stratocaster with 'Tex-mex' which are awesome!

        The only thing that I have been disappointed with about the Fender stratocaster is that whilst the exisiting bridge is functional and of a good quality, I wish they had a 'Floyd rose tremelo system'. This would make the guitar on a whole new level, there is one model available but it is not American built and is really quite rare and hard to get your hands on. The pickups that are supplied with the Mexican stratocaster I felt needed to be replaced and it can be done quite cost effectivly. It may only cost around £80 or so from a guitar store to purchase some high quality 'Tex-mex' pickups. For me I found that the performance of my guitar in general after the upgrade was significantly worth while. When using my American stratocaster the pickups are more diverse in their tonal ranges and offer a much higher quality sound overall than the Mexican stratocaster.

        Overall I really do think that this is an excellent guitar and well worth getting, I would highly recommend it to anyone. As I said before I would just caution you to be aware that they do vary significantly and so it is a wise move to test it yourself. The overall quality of the product, it's aesthetics, its ergonomics and comforts make this an ideal guitar. The only downside that I can see is the price. If you are a beginner then it is probably not worth spending the high price tag unless you know it a full time hobby. Imagine this in your lounge as an ornament of some sort, it would make it look like some rock star's bachelor pad! I hope you found this useful and thank you very much for reading it!

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          21.02.2009 00:20
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          A simply stunning instrument

          Guitars a little like fine wine...it all depends on the year.
          Recent Gibsons for example are slightly lesser quality wood and tend to have very glossy finishes. I'm so relieved that Fender arn't going through a patch like this though.

          My Stratocaster is an American Standard, made in the USA and a 2008 model. Its in a cream finish with a solid 1 piece maple neck and set up with Fender Silver Bullet strings. It also came in a Fender hard flight case.

          I picked mine up, brand new at "The Guitar Centre" in Orlando, FL. for the princley sum of $900.
          Which at the time was £450.
          I can firstly say then - what an absolute bargain!
          This guitar retails here in the UK at £1,399 but can be bought from most online guitar shops for £1,099.

          So, if your thinking about an american made guitar...and you happen to be going to America soon....you should certainly wait and see what you can get out there.

          The guitar itself is everything I expected and more. I've played Strats before, but all Mexican made, and the action and feel of the neck on an American strat is just fantastic!
          The Versatility of the sound is incredible aswell. It obviously belts out the classic strat sounds (Hendrix, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd) as well as the more contemporary ones (Arctic Monkeys and Jamiroquai). But really, whatever you throw at it, the strat has a way of making it sound brilliant. From Heavy metal to longwinded surf jam solo's, it always sounds the dogs!!

          If your reading this because your thinking about buying a stratocaster, then I really recommend going out to a guitar shop and trying 5 or 6 different guitars and then lastly an american strat with a maple neck.
          Honestly, you won't look back. What ever age, finish, quality; its probably the finest and most classic guitar ever made and I really cant think of a wrong time to be taking a strat off the rack!

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            12.10.2008 12:01
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            A great guitar, especially for giging and recording

            I just want to start by saying: I LOVE MY STRAT.

            My Mexican strat is based on the model from the 1960s with 11 screw holes in the scratchplate, a 60's style neck, 3 single coil picks, 5 way selector switch and is it is also incredibly light and comes with a whammy bar.

            If you love stuff like The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jimi Hendrix then you'll love this guitar. It's light weight means that you can move anywhere around the stage and your movemtent wont be inhibited like it would be if you had a heavy guitar.

            Also a strat is great from recording with, especially with a Fender Amp. The bridge pickup give a brilliant crisp tone whilst the neck pickup gives a warm tone, perfect for rhythm strumming. When you crank the dirt up with some overdrive, the pickups sound a bit hollow, however this can soon be altered to a decent amp setting and playing with the pickups.

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              26.11.2006 06:18

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              Don't waste your time, patience, or money on a new MIM Strat. You'll be tuning if not after every song, then 'during' every song. Cheap tuners, weak pickups, thicker neck than an American Strat, plain corner- cutting on quality. Maybe the Strat 'sound' is kinda there, but, at the cost of everything else. Save up $550.00- $800.00, and go find a 'used' American Strat. You'll thank me in the end...No stars deserved.

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              26.03.2006 19:35
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              Excellent Starter Guitar and brilliant value for money.

              I was given a Squire Strat by a friend, I have had it for just over a year now and it has never let me down. The guitar is in perfect condition and plays brilliantly.

              It has 3 standard single-coil pick-ups (the white things under the strings with 6 metal dots in) and a 5 channel toggle switch (the one with the white top that slides back and forth) which give the guitar a wide range of sounds even with the simplest of amplifiers. You can acquire a very clean, typical "strat" sound with the 1st channel and a rough, grunge style sound on the last. All 3 settings in between offer different sounds and a wide range of effects.

              The 5 toggle positions are:-
              Position 1. Bridge Pickup
              Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup
              Position 3. Middle Pickup
              Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup
              Position 5. Neck Pickup

              There are 3 knobs on the scratch plate which are white plastic. 2 of these are Tone and the other Volume. The 2 Tone knobs allow you to adjust the Neck pick-up and middle pick-up.

              The Body (largest part at bottom) is made of Alder and the Neck (bit that sticks out that strings run up) of Maple and the Fingerboard (on the Neck with the metal Frets on) of Rosewood. The Fingerboard is 241mm in radius and 648mm in length and has 21 medium jumbo frets (small metal bars that run from top to bottom of the fingerboard).

              The Guitar has some special features including Synchronous Tremolo (the bar that sticks out from the bottom of the strings) which allows a "Whah-Whah" effect by tightening and loosening the strings (although constant use of this put guitar out of tune), Large ‘60s Style Headstock (where the machine heads are(the silver things that tune the strings)), Black Silkscreen Logo (manufacturers logo on Headstock) and Dot Position Inlays (small white dots on top and middle of the frets to help positioning of fingers).

              This guitar is a brilliant first guitar as most styles can be learnt on it and it is rather cheap at around £150 ($248.99) in winter 2006. A 5 Star Guitar.

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                09.12.2004 13:10
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                Introduction
                I own a Fender Stratocaster 1962 reissue guitar that I purchased way back in 1989. This guitar was manufactured in Japan at some point during 1988.

                This guitar is something that I am pretty fond of, what with it being my first “proper” guitar, and at the time taking me the best part of a year to save up for!

                I purchased this guitar from Peter Cook’s music shop in London and paid the sum of £299. Try buying a guitar made in Japan for that sort of money these days and you will struggle! Most low to medium price guitars are now made in India, China or Taiwan. It seems quite ironic to me that Japan has now become too expensive to manufacture lower priced guitars in!



                Specifications
                This guitar is based on the design of the 1962 Stratocaster. Therefore it has features common to Fender Strats of that era.

                These include:

                1962 neck profile
                Thin fretwire
                Body contouring based on the 1962 model Stratocaster
                Maple neck
                Rosewood fretboard
                “Kluson” style tuners
                3 vintage voiced single coil pickups
                Vintage style tremolo
                3 ply scratch plate
                “Candy apple red” metallic finish


                Stratocasters from this period were made with a one or two piece alder or ash body, but this reissue features a basswood body, probably made from three pieces, to keep costs down. However, the neck is made from a decent piece of maple and features a nice piece of rosewood for the fingerboard.

                The guitar features 3 single coil pickups wired to the standard Stratocaster controls of one volume control, two tone controls and a five way pickup selector switch.

                As an aside, there is quite an interesting story told about when the first of these Japanese made vintage re-issue Stratocasters were taken to the American Fender factory (where the originals were made in the 1960’s). They caused quite a stir. The Americans were shocked to realise that their Japanese subsidiary company were making more accurate reissue versions that the ones made in the American factory!



                In Use
                This guitar’s main strength is its neck. In this model, the Japanese did a great job in replicating the comfortable feel and shape of a 1962 Stratocaster’s guitar neck.

                The headstock of the guitar bears the Fender name, written in the vintage “spaghetti” style script. It also features a label saying “original contour body”, obviously this is a feature taken from the original model.

                The frets on this guitar are well seated, and the back of the neck is shaped into a very comfortable “C” shape. As this guitar has many years of use, the edges of the fingerboard have become nicely smoothed off. This makes playing the guitar an even more comfortable experience. The frets on the guitar neck are quite thin, but this does not hinder different playing styles.

                Due to the vintage style nature of the neck, the action of the guitar (how close the strings are to the fingerboard) can only really be set at a medium or high level. Personally I don’t find this a problem, but some players who like a very low action may struggle with this type of guitar neck.

                The body wood, being made of basswood, is quite soft and so will pick up knocks and bangs quite easily. If you do come across one of these guitars in decent condition my advice is to keep it in a case out of harm’s way. It seems the slightest bump can cause a dent in your treasured instrument!

                The pickups on this guitar it has to be said are not the highest output and the treble is quite prominent, especially on the bridge pickup. For pop and funk styles they are well suited, but if you play heavier styles of music, they are not quite so good. Due to this weakness in sound, my particular model has been customised with a PRS humbucker at the bridge and a Seymour Duncan single coil in the middle pickup position.

                The five way selector switch is also worth keeping an eye on, as the Japanese electronics were quite prone to picking up dust. This can cause crackling sounds when switching between pickups. It is well worth keeping this clean with an electrical switch cleaning product. I have actually replaced the five way switch on my guitar with an American Switchcraft model, which has worked reliably for many years.

                Other electronics on the guitar, such as the volume and tone controls work well and I have not experienced any problems with these over the years.

                This guitar features a vintage style tremolo system. This allows you to add shimmers and slight pitch dips and raises to your guitar playing. However, if too much abuse is applied it can knock your guitar out of tune, as these systems were never designed for very aggressive tremolo styles. (Jimi Hendrix used to be very aggressive with his Strat’s tremolo, but then ended up having to re-tune his guitar at the end of every song, so be careful!)

                The tuners on the guitar are copies of the vintage “Kluson” type of machine head. These copies are certainly adequate to keep the guitar in tune. The tuners on my guitar have performed reliably in the 15 years that I have owned the instrument, so no complaints to report here.

                The metallic finish is applied well to the body of the guitar. My reissue features a “Candy Apple Red” finish, which if you think of the colour of a Toffee Apple, you’ll be pretty close. (I’m guessing that Candy Apple is what Americans call a Toffee Apple?) The finish is created by first spraying a metallic gold finish to the body and then covering this with a see-through layer of red paint, to cause the sparkling “Candy Apple” effect.



                Conclusion
                OK, so this isn’t really a perfect copy of an original 1962 Stratocaster. The pickups are a bit too thin, the body wood is the wrong type and the five way switch isn’t the greatest quality. Then again, the neck on the guitar is wonderful, the finish is very well applied and the whole package is built to last for decades!

                I would recommend buying one of these reissues if you come across one second hand. Although they were built to a cost, they represented fantastic value for money and would rival or surpass pretty much any lower cost guitars built in the Far East today.

                Thanks for reading!


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                  06.02.2004 13:12
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                  • "looked down on all squiers the same some will think"

                  My mother has not only a great singing voice a piano technique(classical)but a degree as well.So you'd think I'd be musical from birth but I didn't much like classical,hated her country & western stuff -singing cowboys!!!really? - so it never struck me till age 14 when I heard AC/DC for the first time and that was that.Still it took me till about 18-19 to pickup the guitar. When my folks asked me ,approaching christmas '93 what I wanted I told them to get me a good electric with a tremelo because I was in a Kirk Hammett phase and my Les Paul copy couldn't dive bomb.Little did I know how well they'd do..... She's a beauty.10 years old now and looking like she's been carted hither and yon in the boot of my car.a few chips and scratches and other signs of use but then look at Stevie Ray Vaughans favourite guitar - makes mine look shop new. She's Japanese which means she was built alongside all those hhmm 'proper' strats in the same factory by the same workers and even as I found out on the internet made out of basswood(Japanese Maple - apparently)which is the same as my mate's fathers valued at near £2500 one off custom strat.She's got a 32"? radius neck ,rosewood fingerboard,and as the website said by tracking through the serial number list is basically a re-issued '65 slimeline standard model down to the old style bridge which will sometimes drop her out of tune instantly if you start playing with the trem. or if you're lucky it'll last a few depresses but not many more.Saying that you can leave her propped up in tune come back in a month and she's still bang on perfect.So I usually unscrew the bar and play without. Now I'll try hard not to be in anyway biased and I'd told myself I'd write some cons so here they are Though costing £300 new 10 yrs ago they had to scrimp somewhere to bring the price of what's basically a
                  real strat down so the hardware's cheap.The bridge I mentioned,machineheads are alright but the electrics less so.Plug her into any amp and you get that distinctive strat sound you hear from Jimi Hendrix,Ritchie Blackmore and the rest but it lacks real bite,With a wah-wah switched on and in the flat position you could be Jimi or John Frucanti? playing on B,S,S,M 'specially songs like Funky Monks etc. trouble is the 5 way selector- somedays it's not too bad others I can spend ages tapping the switch to bring the sound back.The other pick ups are'nt so bad but it's the bridge I need I use the neck one quite often,once again with the crybaby and the wee 15W park practice amp I use you've pretty much got any Hendrix nailed 'Fire' sounds perfect.Although I play a lot of Hendrix & Peppers I'm a freak for AC/DC and Zeppelin - Metallica,Black Sabbath classic rock/metal basically I don't like to use any effects except for the Jim Dunlop and a Boss Compression/Sustainer pedal but try as I might she won't get that rich,fat Humbucker sound without muddying it with distortion,I much prefer gain from the amp - I've got a big Laney for pub gigs etc.Stuff like 'Whole Lotta Love' is a bit beyond her present pick up without some kind of distortion.If you don't mind racks of effects or these Boss ME5 computerised effects machines then you wouldn't be bothered but I kike the sound to be overdriven and tight but still with the natural sound there coming through. That is my only complaint the electrics I've often toyed with replacing the bridge pick up but can't afford to lose that sound - Deep Purple needs that bridge one.She plays like a dream as sweet and true from nut to 21 and perfectly intoned throughout.The actions set low and with 9 guage strings is as flexible for lead as you could want while having enough tone on the bottom strings for ryhthm. And this is the thing I never knew the di
                  fference till I had the guitar a while but there are two main Squiers you need to know of Japanese and the others.The price reflects the difference mine £300 new and a Korean £150-180 with amp and all the rest.The Japanese built alongside the normal strats while the Koreans are built under liscence for Fender by someone else?I've come across a few Jap Squier owners over the years and they all swear by them and so do I.My mates father I mentioned before with his Japanese Custom has a beautiful guitar but it plays no better than mine and that's an opinion shared by a few folk.I've heard plenty of opinion by those that supposedly know saying no Squier is up to professional standard well the music teacher I went to for a few months to learn music theory from had a Japanese Squier and had played all over the country with it I've done local pub gigs and it allowed me play all I needed with no troubles ,except when the pick up cut out. I'd say any Squier whether Japanese or Korean is good guitar but the Japanese are far more on top.Think of it basically as a Fender Stratocaster with cheap electrics and the old bridge etc.The body and the neck-the part that counts,especially the neck are exactly the same as a bespoke £500 Standard Strat.Put in a better bridge and a humbucker and you've got a guitar that'll last a lifetime and more.If you're just starting a Koreans a good enough place to begin though. I'd didn't go to the Fender website to refresh my memory before writing this but the Jaoanese ones,I can't remember if they all are O series guitars or only the top spec Squiers are I know mine is.If you look at the seriel number - on the face of the headstock below 'Squier' and just infront of 'Fender' you'll see a number if it starts O00...an 'Oh' then two zeros you've got one.I'm pretty sure all Japanese are 'O's and almost as sure they stopped making them some
                  time back si if you see one for sale try it and I think you'll like it especially if it's black & white like mine BB

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