Are the best strats the more expensive ones???

Alister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,498
Honestly, I'm not gonna read thru 5 pages, but I will say this.
I would like to hear from an old duffer, or even an old Boomer, who has played Strats (Teles, too) in a continuum since the early vintage ones, to the present. Who has owned Strats under most categories brought up in this thread (even if they don't still own vintage, e.g.). What they play now.
 

sleep

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,903
Says the man who uses paypal credit to make purchases:)
Not the man with first-hand experience of a poverty mindset, though. That is YOU. I don’t even know what that term means, but you, being the expert on it, can undoubtedly explain the pain it has caused you.
 

killer blues

Member
Messages
3,044
Perhaps just a silly question but what's your experience about strats? Cheap vs Custom Shop... Which one do you PREFER and why?
Generally speaking if you had a rack of cs strats and a rack of mim strats the cs strats will play and sound better not to mention the overall quality of the guitar. But the BEST guitar may be an mim that just has it.
 

No_Stairway

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,715
I spent 2k on a HSS Elite 2 weeks later it was traded in for a AS that cost $800 less. Better comes down to feel and all that other stuff people say.
 

babadethkat

Member
Messages
196
Did you see that video when Ron Kirn picks out the Squier? I loved it. I think you should run a rack and don't take any forum prejudices for brands with you. I imagine there's going to be more diamonds the higher you go but there will also be some much further down. Its not how it used to be 30 years ago when the lower stuff were generally dogs.
 

Izy

Member
Messages
486
Played a lot of strats during my search for a No. 1.

My experience is there are really great strats at the mid range price point of usd800-1500. They will serve anyone well and could be enjoyed for years.

However, if you're looking for something really special....you will need to go through a lot of strats and with a bit of luck find an amazing one. My experiences is the great ones are just not common at that price point.

With boutique guitar builders it's easier find an amazing strat but you will have to pay a premium.

If you're looking for a traditional sounding strat Lentz is among the best out there.
 
Messages
76
I have a 2014 Classic player built generally with 1954 specs and a 2012 American Standard with CS Fat 50s. I sanded down the neck finish quite a bit on the MIA.

I’ve pulled them both apart and I think the MIM is better made, particularly the attention paid to the fretboard, but not to any degree where I would refuse to play one over the other.

My brother had one of the starter Squiers around 2005 and it was terrible, but the affinities I’ve picked up in shops today feel pretty great. I don’t feel bad picking them up as starter guitars for friends or dropping a couple off at the local foster kid center. Sure, they might outgrow it in a year or two if they’re dedicated, but it’s a relatively frustration free starting point.

I really want to try a nice fiesta red CS with a rosewood fretboard if I ever come across one, but if my MIM or MIA got stolen tomorrow, I’d probably pick up another MIM.
 

tanee

Member
Messages
980
Every time I see a thread like this I like to share my story. Back in 2008 I was studying Jazz at a college level. At that point in time I was using a cheap Epiphone Les Paul and figured it was time for me to upgrade as I was taking my studies seriously. For some reason I decided to get a Fender custom shop strat which isn't typical for Jazz but that's another story on it's own.

I'm the type of person that researches the death out of things and at the time, on paper, custom shop strats seemed to be a winner. That is, until I started actually demoing actual guitars. I probably demo'd around a dozen strats and I was shocked in finding out how good the american standard strat was/is. I demo'd probably 4 custom shop strats and some of them were better than the american strat but not $1,200 better. Some of those custom shops were no good, especially the ones that were replicas of earlier models.
 

jumpnblues

Member
Messages
5,421
Ya know, as the decades go by I've become more and more convinced that spending large amounts of money for a guitar does not necessarily = a "better" sounding guitar. I find this particularly true with solid body guitars. I've owned and/or played, several expensive ($2500 to $5500) and inexpensive (under $1000) guitars.

Too often I've been surprised at how good some of the less expensive guitars sound and how underwhelming some of the expensive ones sound. Too many times I've tried out an expensive guitar with outstanding fit and finish but just average tone. I now think it is quite possible to find great sounding, relatively inexpensive, guitars. Ones that rival much more expensive guitars. It may take some leg work but it's very possible. After all, they're almost entirely wood planks. And obtaining a great sounding plank can be difficult. Predicting how a given plank is going to sound can be somewhat hit and miss.

Yes, there are other components to good tone such as the neck and tightness of the neck pocket. But it's become easier to find great sounding inexpensive guitars. Do I think the percentage of more expensive guitars with great tone increases with the price of the guitar? Yes. The "risk" of getting an average sounding guitar goes down with an increase in your investment. But I think there are a significant number of great sounding, relatively inexpensive guitars. Much more so than in the past. Some in the $1000 to $2000 are even American made. But you no longer have to spend $1000+ to get a good sounding guitar.
 

pistolpete

Member
Messages
16
Different strokes. I just like the stuff you get with the CS Strats.
You know the pickups are good, and are wired completely like the originals. They usually have nicely sawn necks on them. Fit and Finish is Great. I have a year 2000 ‘56 CS
and just grabbed a 2019 ‘66 CS.
They are both incredibly nice guitars. Yep i added a spring and
Lowered the bridge a tick when i got the new one. But I would have done the same thing if it was 1966.
 

H. Mac

Member
Messages
2,118
I started playing Strats in 1965, 55 years ago. I’ve had 15, including pre-CBS, Custom Shop, MIM, MIJ, AVRI, etc. I’ve also tried 5 or 6 sets of aftermarket pickups since the mid-1970s.

The best Strat I’ve played is American Vintage ‘62 Hot Rod Strats, and I own two (sunburst and Olympic White). The others are gone.

The Hot Rod ‘62 Strat necks are big (about 0.90” at the first), and the medium jumbo frets are really likable. The first tone knob controls the neck pick up, and the second works both the middle and bridge. This is the wiring I prefer. The ‘57/‘62 pickups remind me very much of the pre-CBS Strats from back in the day. The finishes are flawless and age well.

I played a few dog Strats from the 70s, but most Strats are excellent guitars, so the choice depends on preference, with almost no bad Strats to be found.
 
Messages
3,165
I've had cheap Strats and Expensive ones (most expensive being the old American Deluxe model from the late 90's/early 2000's) and my personal favorite Strat I've had is the Bullet Hardtail that I currently play. Weighs less than 7 pounds, wired the tone knob to the bridge pickup to tame that treble. I love that axe and even though it was less than $200 it's my favorite Stratocaster that I've played.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
7,479
Honestly, I'm not gonna read thru 5 pages, but I will say this.
I would like to hear from an old duffer, or even an old Boomer, who has played Strats (Teles, too) in a continuum since the early vintage ones, to the present. Who has owned Strats under most categories brought up in this thread (even if they don't still own vintage, e.g.). What they play now.
Old guy reporting in.
I play a 64 and a 61. Had them for decades. Also have owned everything from custom shop to partcasters.
The old ones are better.
 

Steadfastly

Member
Messages
2,042
Only to a point. Once you reach $500.00 or a little more you are paying for the name, marketing or bling.
 




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