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Fender/strat experts...What's the best strat out there?

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  • Fender/strat experts...What's the best strat out there?

    Let's limit the choice to Fender, no copies. Doesn't have to be in production anymore, but vintage ones don't count, and no custom shop either. Let's stick to guitars that are someone affordable for the average amatuer I'm not even really in the market for another guitar right now, I'm just curious if there's a particular model that stands out according to guys who've played a good amount of different strats... 

    I know it's a matter of personal taste/preference, cause I'm not asking about the most vintage authentic reissue or anything, although I'm personally mostly interested in a mix between vintage specs and modern features, enhancements...

    Which is why I'd love to try a vintage hot rod strat, particularly the '62 model. Anyone ever compare it to an AV strat, or some signature model I might like? Anything else I'm overlooking? 


  • #2

    Not a Fender...  Seriously, I got to play a couple Nash strats a few years ago and was totally blown away.

    I do like my SRV sig because of the neck, and mine is a ridiculously resonant piece of wood.  The texas specials are nice, but they have a very... specific sound.  Not sure I'd choose them for a "dream" strat, and I already swapped out the bridge pickup in mine, and I'd probably choose a custom shop built w/ SS frets, but for a mid-priced, regular-production strat the SRV is really nice.

    Multiple award winning blues/rock/country at or my solo (instrumental rock) projects at:"Music is like the English language - it's just full of rules that need to be broken or you aren't hip.""It doesn't take talent to upgrade your playing. It takes patience" - Kenny Werner


  • #3

    I had a 2006 Strat Deluxe that was really nice. First thing I really liked about it was the compound radius neck, which was subtle, but nice - the notes were just there exactly where they should be. The contoured neck pocket was great too for when you're noodling up past the 12th. The locking tuners were great for quick string changes. LSR roller nut was nice too. It never went out of tune, like, ever. Only thing I didn't like was the pickups.

    I'll probably never be happy with a strat until I get another one with those features.

    "how come you immediately become terrible at spelling when you're drunk? that's never happened to me and i get wasted" - danswon
    "Fender's pizza sucks. The crust tastes like Tolex." - Guitarcapo
    "ACK TOOBS! Y U NO TONEZ QUIETLY?!?" - nightflameauto


    • #4

      I read an article years ago where Robin Trower said something like:

      "I could walk into a music store that had 10 identicle Strats hanging there...

      One of them is going to be the best one".

      I bought an American 1995 strat before I knew better.

      I have replaced the trem with a Floyd Rose, added a Tremsetter, replaced the tuning gears with Sperzels and had the frets replaced.

      The guy that installed the Floyd put the bridge so far off that I couldn't adjust the intonation...

      I pulled it out and relocated the Floyd...

      Trying to keep it in tune was always a nightmare.

      I have put... I don't know... maybe 50-100-200+ hours into adjusting, etc.

      It's been a labor of love but a buddy of mine bought an Ibanez Gem for about $1,800.00... the one with the flowery fretboard inlay...he beat the heck out of the whammy and it didn't go out of tune!!!

      (But it wasn't a Strat!)


      • thom
        thom commented
        Editing a comment

        I'll look around for a EJ strat I can try out, I'd want to find out for myself why it's so popular

        If I were to buy another strat though, I'd want it to be a little different from the one I already got. Which is a '93 squier, I guess it's supposed to be a '50s inspired model. Car, maple neck, etc...

        Really nice instrument for the money, but obviously nowhere near the quality and tone of a more pricey fender reissue. It was my first decent electric, I basicly learned to play on it. 

        Anyway, that's one of the reasons I'd be more interested in a '60s style strat. Burst finish, rosewood fretboard, vintage tones with maybe somewhat 'modern' playability, whatever that means


        Edit: I think I found what I'd buy if a wad of cash magically fell in my yard, and it's not enough to buy a CS/vintage strat. Just based on specs/pics/clips, this thing is right up my alley: The new '59 American Vintage, in 3-tone sunburst. Supposedly the closest reproduction of a vintage one that Fender ever made outside of the custom shop. That's good enough for me.




    • #5

      I liked the EC better than the EJ, because I got along better with its neck.  I own a 2000 MIA Lonestar that plays really well, but I have a love-hate relationship with its pickups.  Frankly, though, I could be happy with the right MIM, too.


      • #6
        ...and a 2004 50th Anniversary with ash body and CS pickups.
        I have the same, first strat I ever loved. It's the standard edition 50th anniversary, not the custom shop one, but you can tell they were definitely trying to do these right. The cs pups are to die for. Exactly how I expected a great strat to sound.
        Information is not knowledge
        Knowledge is not wisdom
        Wisdom is not truth
        Truth is not beauty
        Beauty is not love
        Love is not music.
        Music Is The Best.

        - Frank Zappa


        • Tone Deaf
          Tone Deaf commented
          Editing a comment

          Just to throw in another contender for the more affordable end of things, the Fender Classic Players 60s model is arguably one of the best bang for the buck true Fender Strats available. New, they can be had for between $600-700. On the used market, if you're really lucky like I was, you can pick one up for as little as $400. (The one below isn't mine, but my photography skills suck.)


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