Preface: I bought this from HelloMusic, which elicited a little drama from me in another thread, as they initially shipped me a Tele. This is just a post about this guitar ...
Awesome cat checking out new arrival ...
American Standard Strat, black w/maple fretboard, "custom shop pickups" and the new, super-nice molded case.
So, about a month ago, I had too much to drink and had this dream where I had a black strat, a bit beaten up, with a maple fretboard ... the only part of the dream I remember really well was someone saying "did you get this because of Eric Clapton ...?" and me saying "**************** YOU! Eric Clapton is ****************ing boring!"
Over the next few days, scornful thoughts of Eric Clapton and visions of my fingers dancing along a maple fretboard with a nice, shiny black strat body in the background began to intrude on my thoughts. Clinical diagnosis is 'obsession,' but we know better. GAS.
I'd also been wanting a strat with a real floating trem for a while; I don't use them that often, but I just did ... and then here is Hello Music, touting the very guitar of which I'd dreamed for $798.
I was pretty excited to get this guitar. I'm a notorious Fender whore, and yet I'd never purchased an American one new - always used or in a trade, etc. I pictured fondly getting old, together, with my new Strat. No one else would ever play it. Ever. Just the two of us. Long walks on the beach. Trips to Paris, Rome. Sunday mornings in bed with the tablature books.
Plugged it into my Peavey Classic, just back from the pricey hippie and sounding better than it has in years ... and I have to hand it to Fender, whatever "custom shop pickups" means, they're pretty damn good. It sounds great.
Sadly, that's about the most passion I can drum up for this guitar. The neck is 'nice enough,' but it isn't one of those that makes you go "gahhhhhh ... this is the ****************!" and truth be told, I prefer smaller frets. The new radius is okay; I don't really find it that noticeable because I play so many different guitars and it's very average (as opposed to the old 7.5" which are definitely at one end of the spectrum).
The finish is nice; it will probably look a lot cooler as it ages, and I was surprised how indifferently I felt to dings; within a few hours I'd accidentally banged it on a couch corner and didn't care; I envision this thing looking worn. Which is certainly not how I feel about my Jag, or even Marauder ...
... and having just ripped through an hour or so of nice, fun playing, I guess I feel like this guitar is average. Don't get me wrong - it's quite nice. It's a Strat, quack and all, and not a thing needs fixing (except for a bit of a setup, which I'll do tomorrow if I don't go skiing). Still, it lacks duende. Which bums me out, great price or not.
I won't get rid of it, and I'm very sure that over time, it will earn respect from me, but to be very honest, it's nowhere near as nifty as a MIM 50's RI I have. I'm trying to figure out if it's the shape of the neck, the size of the frets, or what, but as they said once on TV, "he's just not that into you."
For my disappointment and financial inconvenience, I blame Eric Clapton.