Product Type: Fender guitars and bass guitars
Newest Review: ... crunchy blues Clapton style! This guitar by far is probably the smoothest one I have - any musician who has picked it up always comments ... more
Fender stratocaster - The pathway to becomming a rockstar!
Fender Stratocasters in general
Member Name: surfaholic18
Fender Stratocasters in general
Advantages: Great guitar all round, superb quality and a good variety.
Disadvantages: Possibly the price but you are paying for quality.
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!
Summary: An umbelivable guitar that offers everything that you would want from your dream guitar!