In my opinion, Fender's build quality on their standard series is really at a high point right now. I purchased a previous model about 8 years ago. I can say, without hesitation, that, right out of the box, this is a far superior guitar. This Strats acoustic output is quite healthy - it's got a good deal of that "zing" which Stratocasters are famous for. Hardware wise, all the knobs, and switches feel very smooth and stable. The neck and body feel very comfortable from the moment you pick it up. After a small amount of tweaking, the guitar is set to all my personal "sweet spots"; it both sounds and plays very well. I personally love the hot single coils in the neck and middle positions, but I have some reservations about the humbuckers sound quality. (That's pretty much why I went with the 4 & 1/2 stars) The bridge pickup is thin and not quite as musical as I'd like. I'll likely end up changing it later on down the road. Aside from that, there is not one thing about this guitar that I will change. It's a truly excellent buy for just about anyone looking for a great all around electric.