So Ive had my eye on an 89 american standard strat, candy apple red with maple board. I went in to play it against every strat I could find. I can get this one for around 600, but would be willing to spend slightly over 1000 for something I really want, Id just have to wait a few more months. Ive been playing every strat I can get my hands on lately. So anyway, I matched this baby up against an SRV strat, 08 American strat, used 1998 American strat, 57 Reissue (which to its credit had some intonation issues), and an EJ strat (believe it or not, my least favorite of the bunch.) NOW- while this guitar did not necessarily PLAY the easiest, I kid you not when I say it sounded BETTER than every other strat I put it up against. I was in disbelief. They had decent deals on all kinds of used strats, and at $999 I wanted that 57 reissue so bad, Ive been dreaming about that guitar for years. I literally sat in a back room for hours today, and this 89 strat one every head to head competition I had.