I was looking for an FR equipped super strat type guitar to help me nail early 80s hair metal tones but still give me enough flexibility to cover almost anything else as well. All that with out breaking the bank because this was supposed to be my backup axe. Wow! Is all I can say. Great deal and perfect set up right out of the box thanks to the guys at SW. The stock pickups are thick and awesome for high gain tunes and once I found the sweet spot on the neck pickup height it began to deliver LP-like singing lead tones. The FR Special is excellent, high quality, identical to the FRO with the exception of the saddles and block and you can wail on it and it never goes out of tune. The fit and finish on this strat is outstanding, smooth fret edges, tight neck pocket and the neck has a wide-thin, 60s profile feel to it, very comfortable.
The only negatives for me would be that I would love a satin finish neck, the poly coat can get a little sticky if you are sweating up a storm and I'd like a bit more PAF-type clarity and harmonics from the bridge pickup with a slightly overdriven amp but hey you, can't have everything at this price point and its nothing a bridge pickup swap can't fix. Problem for me is that I don't want to give up the thump I get from the bridge with a saturatued amp. Overall this is a steal at this price. It stands up well against my PRS DGT for high gain tones...yes my USA made PRS. This is a fantastic MIM Fender that can cover a wide range of tones.