I am blown away by this guitar. First thing was to change out the strings to a set of Gibson Vintage nickel wounds 10-46. This required a lot of tightening of the tremolo block springs, some truss adjustment and then, of course, the pickup adjustments. Now, all together to my liking, this baby sings! The S1 switch paired with the 4th generation noiseless pickups is very impressive. I'm getting some blues tones through my Vox AC-15 that I haven't been able to get from my SG Standard or Epiphone LP Standard. (I know, get the Gibson LP!) I am really impressed by the C to D transition of the neck. Wait until you play up and down for a while. You will appreciate this new design. The body contour is certainly deeper now and I like it. I worried that it might thin down the tone a bit but I can't hear anything other than a nice, full sound from the Alder tonewood. Definitely go for the Elite if you are going to buy a Strat. There is really a big difference between the playability of the Elite versus the Standard. I also want to say thank you to Sweetwater for being incredible. I initially ordered the 3-Color Sunburst. When I received the guitar, I really didn't care for the grain and a bird's eye on the neck. I always seem to end-up with black guitars, so Sweetwater had no problem, at all, and shipped a replacement (Mystic Black) post-haste. I'm much more comfortable with the look of this guitar. The Sunburst was beautiful, don't get me wrong. I just don't feel so comfortable with my guitar looking like a piece of furniture. On the other hand, my Taylor - That should look like a wood instrument and it does. Anyway, get this Strat if you are on the fence. These new pickups and neck design will blow you away. A powerful statement from Fender.