Extremely pleased with everything about this guitar. Would buy another one.
Extremely pleased with everything about this guitar. Would buy another one.
Had this for about a week now, and every time I play it I can't believe it's not a $2-3K custom shop model. The nicest made Strat I've ever encountered, except for maybe an Eric Johnson signature model a friend owns. The fit and finish are second to none, the chunky neck feels perfect, and the Custom 69 pickups are the best I've ever heard. They absolutely nail the classic Strat tone I hear in my head. Perfect tonal balance, and great dynamic response. I've not played another Strat at any price that's nicer, and many, many that aren't as nice, including many more costly American models. My favorite guitar ever, even far exceeding the new Deluxe Series, of which I own two, and really love. But, this one beats them both. The only criticisms I can possibly think of are these-I'd prefer a new looking Sonic Blue rather than a faded, yellowed version. The back plate should be 3-ply mint green matching the pickguard, instead of a 1 ply white 50s style one. Why did Fender do that? And I'd prefer the truss rod adjustment on the headstock, rather than the old style butt end kind. Otherwise, this guitar is perfect. Keep it up, Fender!
First of all, I've owned two MIA strats and two MIM standard strats. I would put the quality of this above the standard MIM guitars, and right up there with the MIA guitars. There is nothing at all wrong with the MIM instruments, but when you pick this one up it's obviously several notches above. As others have noted, the trem is fantastic and stays in tune beautifully. It feels like a much more expensive instrument. The only issue I have is with the pickups. These are '69 reproduction pickups and they are very true to the originals. That's the catch - in those days, they weren't designated "bridge", "middle", and "neck"; it's the exact same pickup in all three positions. As such, the bridge pickup which in normal modern sets would be of a higher impedance and output than the other two, is exactly the same, and the result is that it is much quieter than the other two positions. In fact, in the bridge position, this pickup is downright harsh in the treble frequencies. Weak and brittle. Probably good for those who are looking for this type of thing but I replaced it with a GFS overwound bridge pickup and it is now a perfect match tone and volume wise with the other two. With that one change this guitar is now awesome in every way.
This guitar is incredible! My new #1. Only criticism is the bridge pick up is a little weak, replaced with a Seymour Duncan Vintage Hot Stack, unbelievable transformation.
Would recommend this guitar to any guitar player, novice or expert.
Of course the staff at Sweetwater was awesome as usual.
This the first Start I have owned and I must say this guitar is everything and more my Sales Engineer Matt Keager said it would be. I own Epiphones, Gibson and Carvin guitars now and this one is probably going to be my #1 for some time to come. The neck is incredibly smooth and very easy to play, the pick-ups deliver so much sound no matter which amp I use and the versatility is unbelievable. The quality of this instrument for the price exceeded my expectations.
Thank you Matt for suggestion of this model and thanks to the Technical staff for verifying the setup on the guitar.
You might be able to buy the same instrument elsewhere but you never match Sweetwater's Support and staff!
Thanks again guys!
If you're looking for an old-school style Strat without a bunch of bells & whistles this is a great guitar. The sonic blue paint job is very striking and has been a topic of conversation when people see it. The 69 pickups have a sweet growl with distortion but sound unbelievable clean. The fretboard was very nicely done and I've yet to see a Mexican Strat that stays in tune as well as this one. Bottom line: it's fun to play and looks very cool. I recommend.
I bought this guitar two months ago and i cant resist playing with her sounds feels and plays great nice tremolo it actually stays in tune very well joe my service assistant also gets five stars for his service and dedication i love sweetwater
This guitar is just wonderful. The fit and finish are the best I have ever laid hands on and sweetwaters set-up made for the best feeling neck and fretboard in my arsenal. The pickups in this thing are on point with genuine cs 69's IMHO. A lot of reviews claimed the neck was thicker feeling which I was looking forward to but in all honesty it is no thicker in comparison to my mexi standard but I was not disappointed because it just feels right in your hand. Consistent with no sharp edges!! The sonic blue finish is stunning. Get one of these and don't think twice!! You owe it to yourself to atleast try this strat and experience sweetwaters customer service. These guys go above and beyond to stand out as a company and they have my svc moving forward. My tech Dustin keesbury sent me pics of my strat before I got it which was something I wasn't expecting but was a pleasant surprise. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly as opposed to big box stores I've shopped far to long. You even get a bag of your favorite candies to enjoy while your angering your neighbors!!! Just do it, you will not be dissapointed with this strat or sweetwaters excellent service, thank you.
This strat borderlines perfection in every aspect.
Here's my breakdown:
- Neck: Feels great in my hands and the playability is heightened because of the 12" radius. The only downside for me is the typical 'new guitar slick feel' of the back of the neck which is quickly remedied with a few rubs of steel wool or a scotch brite pad.
- Finish: I chose the Sonic Blue, which is quite stunning and gets compliments all the time because people think it's white from afar.
- Pickups: Glassy, clear, funky, stratty -- pretty much what you'd expect a great set of vintage-styled strat pickups to sound like. I play primarily blues, jazz and funk and these all are covered with the Custom Shop 69's.
- Bridge: The two-point model really stays in tune well with heavy whammy bar usage.
- Tuners: For stock MIM tuners, I rarely have to re-tune my guitar. Even after 3 hours of constant use, the strings rarely go out of tune.
Because of this guitar, I'm a new convert to strats! This thing blows away my previous Custom Shop Time Machine 60s strat in every aspect! I took a leap of faith and ordered it without trying it out beforehand and I'm glad I took the risk -- it paid off tenfold!
Thanks Fender and Sweetwater!
This is the best stat I have ever owned!!! It has everything I wanted and the workmanship is excellent.
I simply wanted a 12in radius and a narrow bridge (american standard bridge). The rest of the guitar is super cool and is a plus on top of I got it the next day fedex no extra charge. It was set up nice and the wammy stays in tune! I played out the Saturday after receiving the 60's Stratocaster and beat on the strings with dive bombs and pull ups and string bends and didn't have to tune it once. Sounded great and played great... I have owned about seven strats in my life and this one is my favorite.
Thank you Fender and Thank you Sweetwater!
This guitar was such a brilliant surprise. This thing does not feel like an imported guitar whatsoever. The build quality is far superior to my '06 American Standard in almost every way. It's just solid as a rock. The neck is chunky but very comfortable and very smooth and the '69 pickups give you that classic chimey, sparkly strat tone. Don't be fooled by the MIM watermark on the back of the headstock. This guitar is an absolute steal for the price.
Pickups sounds great and very "Straty." Guitar plays smooth and fast. No problem at all with Frets. It's quite possibly my favorite one (Coming from someone who owns a Kenny Wayne and a Clapton Strat as well). The color is beautiful and everything about it looks fantastic. I'd put this up against any Strat, especially for the price. If you're thinking about it go for it!
First of all, this is the best strat I've ever played that includes American, Japanese & Mexicans. I've played all kinds of strats in the last 17 years and this is by far the best on I've ever played. There's not one flaw in the finish or setup. And with the fender custom shop '69 pickups there's not one flaw tonally. I did add a set of Dimarzio trem springs (5). They're a little bigger springs than stock and I use D'Addario 11s. I didn't have to set it up. The action and intonation was perfect out of the box and remained so after my minor upgrades. I absolutely love the vintage styling of this guitar. From the aged white parts and mint green pickgaurd to the two point trem and vintage style tuners (why aren't these used on every guitar? It's a great design).. The neck is huge for a Fender. It's the most comfortable neck I've ever played and that includes many Ibanez prestige, Gibson LP, Charvel San Dimas and Jim Root Tele. I don't know if I just happen to get the jewel off the assembly line or if all of these are like mine, but I'm in hooked on it and it quickly became my workhorse. For Blues and classic rock to country this guitar covers all the bases and the noise is very low of the single coils. Actually, plugged into the same amp with the same settings this guitar is quieter than the EMGs in the Jim Root Tele. I could go on and on about this strat, but pick one up for yourself if you're looking for a new strat and don't have 3K for a custom shop. The Classic Player series is awesome! Highly Recommend!
8 months of living and constant playing of this guitar and I love it. The tremolo arm holds tuning acceptably, as in better than any other Fender I've ever played, and close to perfect. I mounted a Fishman Tripleplay MIDI pickup which is rather sensitive to tuning, by the nature of the nut and tuners one may shift a few hz off perfect pitch between depressions of the arm and is absolutely not an issue to adjust naturally to while playing (a little bend, vibrato, or pull up on the arm itself adjusts the string caught past the nut back to where it should be). It is only when using my MIDI pickup that I notice these few hz can cause a note to trigger a half step off target.
Overall I highly recommend this guitar if you dig Strats, need to save a little money, but still want a proper guitar that you can really go hard on the whammy bar without any worries.
I regretfully had to purchase elsewhere due to lengthy procurement delays with the Sonic Blue (hopefully I made up for it by purchasing my new Super Champ X2 head & Egnater Rebel 1x12 cab from Sweetwater). Guitar is advertised (through info supplied by Fender) as having medium jumbo frets - they are NOT medium jumbos. I would classify these as being much closer to the significantly slimmer vintage-class frets - not even close to medium jumbos. True medium jumbos would have made this guitar absolutely stellar.
The neck and pick-ups are killer, I love the 12" radius, it's got to be the fastest neck I have played, I own several strats( all bought from Sweetwater ) Americans, Mexico , and I have to say, out of all of them this one is my favorite!, it has 3 gigs on it, that's 9 hrs of hard playing, my guitar guru there Brian Lemert put. Set of power slinkys on it, and it's just right!, it's a very nice guitar for the price range!, and where it's made is only about 50 miles from the California shop, it's designed in the custom shop, the pick ups are very good nailing the SRV tone!, and always customer service is second to none!, they are very knowledgeable , they don't try to sell you something you don't need!!, I'm a customer for life!, thank you!, Adam Crampton , and Brian Lemert !
Pros: Fantastic sounding pick-ups, beefy neck with impressive fretwork, ships set-up for 10-46's,unique color/pickguard combination.
Cons: Chipped nut, big gap in bass side neck pocket.
I'm impressed overall with this guitar. I wasn't expecting a high-quality MIM guitar as I'm spoiled by my 04'American Deluxe HSS Strat and a 96'MIJ 68'RI, but this axe has some mexi-mojo goin' on. The 69'pups are keepers for sure and the neck is a beefy, very playable C carve. It's quite a bit thicker than my American Deluxe neck and the maple has a nice vintage tint, not pale white like MIM Strats. The fretwork is surprisingly good as well with no buzzes or dead spots. Overall tone is pure Strat and each pup position offers a distinct voice.
One other thing; the Sonic Blue color is sweet.
If your interested in a "60's" style Strat, but want a little more guitar than the Classic Series 60's Strat and don't want to throw-down 1400.00+ for one of the upper end vintage reissues, this is a good model to look at.
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