GAS-ing for a proper stratocaster, your opinions?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Fenceclimber, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Fenceclimber

    Fenceclimber I love Ibanez

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    Hi guys, I honestly didn't think I'd find myself ever GAS-ing so hard for a Fender strat as I am right now, I always saw myself as a Jackson (I know, owned by Fender but whatever) or Ibanez guy. I have this cheapo 150$-ish strat copy that is getting a lot of play recently but it really isn't that great of a guitar and I want something better.

    I've started to play more and more rock and E standard in general and I really want a guitar that isn't a shred machine so I'm thinking about going for the MIM HSS Standard Strat but here's the thing, I've tried some MIM strats in shops around Sweden but the shop owners really don't seem to care too much about setting up the guitars well so most of them have had very sharp fret ends and high string action. They feel good in terms of build quality and I like the neck profile though.

    Realistically, I can't really play the guitar before I buy it since most stores around here don't stock too many of them so I'm asking you for your opinions on some good 500-700$ strats, it doesn't necessarily have to be an HSS model but I'd really like the body to be routed for at least that.

    And oh, spell checking has stopped working on my computer but hopefully you understod what I meant.

    Thanks!
    Swedish chef, out!
     
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  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    buy said mim, get it set up and go play.
     
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  3. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Plenty of American strats in 500-700 range on Reverb just fyi! (I know because I was just looking on account of I also have inexplicable and unexpected strat gas.)

    But there's this dude lives right by me selling a mexican loaded with billy corgan pickguard... I really want it... but I have so many guitars...

    but still I'm really into the idea of a strat with all the single pups switched for single size humbuckers
     
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  4. Fenceclimber

    Fenceclimber I love Ibanez

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    I'm tempted but I really want a white one with a maple board, the one I tried was a sunburst with rosewood and I really just wanted to know how they felt and the quality of them, which I hope is consistent.

    Buying used from the states would be too much of a gamble for me, still, I browse a lot of sites just to look at pretty guitars haha.
     
  5. Flamedmaple

    Flamedmaple SS.org Regular

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    Håller med dig gällande gitarrhandlarna här! :p

    If you are open for checking out some used stuff on Reverb for instance you should be able to raise your expectations a whole lot in that price range.
     
  6. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    does yours have the routiing for Hss? if so you can get a loaded pickguard, ebay got cheap ones with brand pickups. And you can change the neck with a nice warmoth one to your specs
     
  7. Fenceclimber

    Fenceclimber I love Ibanez

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    Mine is routed for SSS, I bight buy a single coil-sized humbucker but still a new neck and a new pickup might end up in the 300$ price range and I don't know if I love that beginner strat that much:D
     
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  8. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    What about a squier classic vibe or vintage modern? Still a solid guitar and a little less expensive.

    My experience with MIM's in shops over the last couple years has been consistently good.
     
  9. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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  10. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    I'd say look for a Squier classic vibe, or vintage modified. Probably better than a Mexican Fender these days, if you can't afford an USA strat
     
  11. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Lover of sasquatch erotica Contributor

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    MIM Strats have been excellent as of late. The Hendrix strats got amazing reviews and they were on sale for less than $700 over Christmas.
     
  12. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I love American strats, the rolled fretboard edges are so nice. Probably my most comfortable guitars to play.

    If you can swing it, I’d aim for a used American strat, personally.
     
  13. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Lover of sasquatch erotica Contributor

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    Forgot to add these for the Hendrix Strat recommendation (you need more Koch in your life):

    Also:


    FWIW with Strats you should identify a couple things:

    Neck radius - vintage goes all the way down to 7.25" which will be hugely different from Ibanez style shredders at ~17" or most modern guitars that are at least 12". Fender and clones range from true vintage 7.25" up to 12" and there's even some with compound radii out there (e.g. Xotic, Fender Elite). This will help narrow down your search field.

    Neck Shape - figure out whether D and C shape necks matter to you. Some Fenders have some really chunky necks... try the new Paisley Tele and you'll understand. They are not for everyone.

    Pickups - SSS (or Reversed SSS a la Hendrix) are the most common. There's also SSH, especially with clones. If you go with SSH, you should make sure it has a coil split/tap, or you won't have the true strat sound from the bridge.

    Fretboard - I prefer rosewood... Generally the two options are rock maple or rosewood, especially in your price range. For me rosewood and SSS just sounds and feels like a Strat to me.

    MIM and MIJ strats are fantastic. There is no dropoff from USA IMO, just more features and cool points available.
     
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  14. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    In that price range I'd recommend a Japanese made strat, without question.
     
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  15. Fenceclimber

    Fenceclimber I love Ibanez

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    Wow, I didn't really think I'd wake up to these many replies. Thanks! I will look into Classic vibe for sure, there are some things I don't like about some of them like the old school truss-rod adjustment but they are vintage inspired so who am I really to complain.

    I've seen some used MIJ strats on websites but no one close to me yet, does fender still make new MIJ? I can't find one on their website.
     
  16. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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  17. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    For that price and that functionality, it really is a great value.
     
  18. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I still haven't seen if it has locking tuners on it or not, but that wouldn't sway me as I can get them at cost & trade out the old ones to use on a hardware upgrade for a customer for an upcharge to them.
     
  19. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Im in exactly the same boat. Ive only ever been a modern metal heavy player and at the age of 28, im really wanting a dad rock guitar haha.
    I would love an s/s fender strat and my tastes have changed in this regard.
     
  20. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    So I recently acquired two Strats - a 2005 Fender Eric Clapton "Blackie" and a 2016 Fender Classic Players '60s Strat. I didn't bond with a PRS HBII that I bought over the summer and moved that, which more than paid for both guitars.

    I had the guitars setup by the same guy (Ben Bruton) and while the Clapton is certainly better from a construction perspective, it's not by much. I would look for a Mexican Strat, get it setup to your taste, and enjoy the hell out of it. The Classic Players are awesome guitars - I'm shocked at how good it is. Fantastic neck, great electronics, nasty Strat tones. It's a monster.

    Both guitars have the vintage tuning machines - not issues for me at all.
     

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