If you were to buy a new strat, which one whould you choose?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by elavd, Mar 18, 2006.


  1. elavd

    elavd Member

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    Which is in your opinion the best all-around Fender strat that is currently available by Fender? (I'm not asking about old vintage Fenders, only new ones!)

    Why do you think it's the best?

    (As you can understand I am thinking of buying a new strat...!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] )
     
  2. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

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    What's your price range?
     
  3. Brad Scott

    Brad Scott Supporting Member

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    I like the '56 Time Machine Strat -- great neck and thin nitro finish. All vintage specs, of course, so if you're not into the vintage thing than this isn't for you.
     
  4. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

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    For the $, the highway series are hard to beat. I like the thin finishes. Also like the hardtail Robert Cray mexican strat. Great neck and pickups for the $. Not a fan of the mexican reissues or squires. But, if I had to choose, I'd probably try out a few relics or NOS or closet classics. Of course, they are 2-3 times as much (or more), but better guitars overall, finish, pickups, neck, body are all way superior IMO.
     
  5. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    If I was to walk into a shop and buy an off-the-rack Strat, I'd either be grabbing an Eric Johnson model or an American Deluxe. Best of the bunch IMHO.

    --chiba
     
  6. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    The one that sounds and plays best. With Strats, I'm one of those "go there and play all of them" guys.
     
  7. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    On my budget, I'd probably go to a store with a huge selection of MIM Strats, and start testing them out, unamplified first, and pick the one with the best vibe.

    If price was no object, I'd probably want a Strat that was built by Bill Nash:
    http://www.nashguitars.com/

    I'm sure there're quite a few other boutique Strat builders that're worth considering. Actually G&L is the first other company that comes to my mind.

    That whole price is no object thing kind of begs you to consider other brands.

    Pete
     
  8. bullet69

    bullet69 Member

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    E.J. or Beck model
     
  9. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    I'd go with the Custom Classic Strat. They list for about $2100 and you can pick them up for around $1600, and even lower if you pick one up used. They're from the Fender Custom Shop. The reason they're priced lower is because they are made by the team and not made by a single person. They come with Custom Shop pickups, a 9.5" radius and medium jumbo frets. Plus, you've got a great feel on the fretboard, because the Custom Shop works over the frets and dresses and polishes them to close to perfection.

    I've got one and it plays better, for the money, I think they're a great buy. When I was looking for a new strat, I went to a couple of stores and played everything from the Highway One, Fender USA Deluxe models, and everything in between. Got to play a couple of Robert Cray models and after all was said and done, I choose the Custom Classic in Daphne Blue with a Maple neck. Played better than anything else I tried.

    I think they're something to consider.

    Good luck!
     
  10. amper

    amper Member

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    American Deluxe, specifically, the mahogany model made for GC, or the Bad Boy Blue (with it's ebony board and ash body). But, I'd rip out the S-1 electronics, and just go with the SCN pickups plain.
     
  11. JackButler

    JackButler Supporting Member

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    Big budget, go for a Nash strat.
    If it has to be Fender, a relic series.
    Production, I just love the EJ strat, I play one everytime I see one. I will have one, but have another Nash on order so it will be next year.
    Low priced, I like the Jimmie Vaughn strat
     
  12. FredW

    FredW Member

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    The best strat Fender currently makes is the wildwood 10 55 relic. I have a John English 59 relic and have had a couple other CS strats, but the 10 is my favorite. Ash with a maple neck, 10" radius and 6105 frets. It is the most resonant strat I have ever played and mine is light at 7 lbs. Pickups are great, just an excellent instrument. Check them out at wildwoodguitars.com
     
  13. Crunchyriff

    Crunchyriff Member

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    It all depends on what your "essential strat" would be. There are so many variants today that it will make your head spin. I would narrow down which features would disqualify a given model from your list, and then go to the next step.

    For me, first off- the biggest disqualifier would be the American Standard bridge itself. I hate the sound of those bridges & saddles. Again, "for me" if I'm looking for a S/S/S Strat, I want the Vintage Synchronized Trem (those cheesy stamped saddles are a BIG part of the "positions 2 & 4" chime); I want alder, or ash body; Rosewood Fretboard; 9-10" radius; Thin lacquer finish if possible.

    The "60's Strat" meets almost all these requirements...and for a decent price.
     
  14. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd get my Eric Johnson strat again. I like the 12" radius, Nitro finish, rings like a bell, and the tone control is functional for the bridge pickup, takes that sharp sound and rounds it out really nicely. And for the price, IMO the best strat made.
     
  15. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Very happy with my American Vintage series '57 strat. The '57 and '62 reissues are very good guitars IMO, I love the vintage specs and looks, and the price is around 1300 $. If you have the money, then I say go custom shop, 'cause they are even nicer, with thinner finish and so on. Actually some of the CS dont appeal to me that much 'cause of the over done flame and birdseye on some of the necks.

    And great thing with the AV series is that you don't feel as bad modding it than the CS series.. I find the bridge pickup needs something to be done with every strat I've ever played.
     
  16. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    If I was to buy a new strat alongside my AV'62RI, I'd probably go with something like a CIJ '68 or a Strat-a-sonic with P-90's. Those guitars are wicked!
     
  17. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    The 3 Eric Johnson Stratocasters that I've played are probably the best new production strats that I've seen & I sold new and S/H Fender Stratocasters from 1989-2004.

    It's more than just the sensible stuff like the machine heads & fretboard radius. It's more than the perfectly wound pickups. The EJs just seem to have this thing where everything works together in a way that you just don't normally seem to get with a new off the shelf guitar-almost like the guitar is older than it is.

    Very impressive!
     
  18. jreardon

    jreardon Member

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    Give an American Deluxe HSS + S1 switch a go. Great value and contrary to some, I love the flexibility the S1 gives.
     
  19. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Would love try out the EJ strat, although generally I'm a bit wary about signature instruments.

    Teddy Boy brought up the CIJ Fenders, and I somehow totally forgot those in my post! They are GREAT! There are tons of really cool, a bit weird models in the Japanese catalogue! It's got like everything the Fender catalogue misses, and that's a lot, IMO. They are very affordable too and very high quality. Just replace the electronics and you're all set. The CIJ '68 is really cool, plus there are many many other models (don't get me started about the Teles, Jazzmasters and such).
     
  20. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    A lot of Japanese guitars used to be basswood rather than alder/ash although I know that isn't always the case-what about the current ones?

    By the way another good thing about the EJ is that aesthetically it's not obviously a signature.
     

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