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Sound Quality

Traditional single coil pick-ups hum and - in my opinion - have no place on the stage or in the studio. The bridge pick-up on this guitar was wimpy and was immediately replaced with a Seymore Duncan Hot Rail. My band plays original hard rock and country-ish rock AND some hard rock covers, and the Hot Rail really fills the bill. I really like the sparkle of the single coils, but I only use the noise canceling positions - that's too bad. I play through a Marshall JCM 900 100W Half Stack with a variety of effects, and with the new pick-up and replacment parts; this guitar sounds SOOOOO good. While playing live, I basically just use two pick-up setting and rely on my amp and effects for sonic variety, and here again the guitar does just fine. With the stock pick-ups, it gets a 5 - With the Hot Rail, it gets an easy 10.

Reliability/Durability

Winters in Minnesota are HARSH and the other seasons bring huge changes in temperature and humidity. I didn't have the stomach to try my luck with hauling a $2500 Les Paul or $1200 American Strat around in those conditions, and this guitar has dealt with the elements perfectly. It's taken its share of bumps and dings without any problems, too. With the improvements, it's become my main guitar and is a dream to play. The finish on the neck and body seem VERY durable, and I sort of wish they'd show wear a bit easier - the thing still looks like new!

General Comments

I've been playing for over 20 years and I currently own a 70's reissue Fender Japan Strat (soooo sweet!), another Mexican 60th Anniversary Strat, a Hello Kitty Strat totally converted San Dimas-style, and a Yamaha Acoustic. If my Satin Strat was stolen or lost, I'd be devastated and try hard to put together another one. Like I said, I hate the choices that Fender makes with the colors of their instruments. Also, the bridge on these Mexican Strats is the most ridiculous piece of crap EVER MADE - I can't understand why they keep putting them on their instruments - the are the HEIGHT OF CHEAP JUNK. If you buy a Mexican Fender and put around $200 worth of new parts into it, you'll have the ULTIMATE guitar for quite a bit less than an American - it's become my M.O. and I plan to do it again! ;-) Rock on.





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