Lookin' for my first "good" Strat: which one?

Best strat for me (lol)

  • Classic 70s MIM

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • CS 69' Time Machine

    Votes: 14 21.2%
  • RW 50s Strat

    Votes: 8 12.1%
  • RD 60s Strat

    Votes: 16 24.2%
  • Other model (elaborate)

    Votes: 27 40.9%

  • Total voters


Here's the thing. Im a LP/Humbucker guy 90% of the time but i would like to add a nice Strat to my collection.

The only Strat tones that i dig are Hendrix, Frusciante, Blackmore, Lenny Kravitz (Mamma Said's Stop Draggin Around tune is my benchmark tone). Pretty different tones but all good Strat tones. Also, i love the Strat tone that Pete Thorn gets with his pre CBS sunburst strat.

Im debating between:

Fender Classic Series 70's Reissue (D profile/7.25'' radius/small vintage frets/maple neck/fretboard)

Fender CS Time Machine 69' Strat (D or U profile/9.5'' radius/6105 frets/maple neck with maple cap fretboard)

Fender Road Worn 50' Strat (Soft V profile/7.25 radius/6105 frets/maple neck/fretboard)

Fender Road Worn 60s Strat (C profile/7.25 radius/6105 frets/maple neck/rosewood fingerboard)

What i dig about the two RW Strats is the relic job and the price tag lol. I dont know if the "V-Soft" neck profile would be thick enough (im tired of medium/slim C profiles). The D shape on the 70s Classic Reissue is quite tempting too. The CS 69' is the more expensive one, it comes with Abigail Ybarra grey bobbin pickups. It might be the better sounding one but the Woodstock look is a bit Hendrix "fanboy-ish".

About neck radiuses, i can play with anything, so thats not a problem. Upgrading pickups is fun too, so, if the MIM strats need some love i wouldnt mind swapping pickups for better toanz.


You may have to try a few, but the RW would be my first choice. The ‘50’s model will have the “V” verses the “C” of the ‘60’s. I don’t find either profile uncomfortable


Silver Supporting Member
Against what I thought was my better judgement, I picked up a RW 50’s NOS (2011 with Texas Specials) at a shop and fell in love. Worn in blue jean feel with the classic overwound Strat tone. I pick it up before my AVRI ‘62 most of the time, and I love the ‘62. Don’t be fooled by the MIM, it’s a great instrument.
Last edited:

Buck Woodson

Silver Supporting Member
I was in the same boat, primarily a Les Paul player but realizing there are nice analog and tape delay sounds to be had with single coils.

I've tried many Fender Strats (non custom shop) and was underwhelmed universally.

I tried a PRS Silver Sky and it was all over. Those 635JM pickups are really special and I really love the feel of that neck. For the first time I don't feel undergunned with single coils in all 5 positions.

Like any guitar its not for everybody but everybody considering a strat owes it to themselves to at least try one and see how you like its sound and feel. If you give your ears and fingers some say in the matter it is a guitar worthy of anyone's serious consideration.


Get an Alder Body, Rosewood FB USA Pro Strat. Try the stock pups, which are good. Or drop straight into some CS Texas Specials.

Too much arguing over small details on TGP. It counts for nought except prestige on the trendy chart.

I have a 97 USA Am Std.... does real strat tones all day long.

Remember, its not just about having the right guitar (a Fender Strat in this case). To sound like your Gods, you also have to study them quite a bit - gear, style, technique.


have played 7.5" radius before? if you really haven't i would find a strat with that to play as it will be very different from what you are used to.


have played 7.5" radius before? if you really haven't i would find a strat with that to play as it will be very different from what you are used to.
I had a MIM Tele Custom 72' with that radius. It was a super fun guitar to play. Stones/Keef tunes were efortless on that one.

Tiger Ted

I recently traded and got a new Player Series Strat, which is the new Mexican Standard equivalent. Nothing to not like about it, more modern radius, nice no finish neck, good frets, decent electronics and a bargain even at regular retail.


Gold Supporting Member
It really all comes down to neck shape and pickups. I generally like the 60's style, but it is all preference.
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I have both the RW 50s and RW 60s. Both are great guitars.

Some people can't get over the relic work, and I get it--they're very divisive and not for all tastes.

The two guitars are pretty closely spec'd, with the fretboards being the biggest difference. The maple board sounds considerably brighter on the 50s. The rosewood board on the 60s sounds mellower. Interestingly, my 50s does not have a soft V shape, or else if it does it's too subtle to tell. (I've played a few soft Vs so I do know the difference.)

For me, the 60s is great for the early Hendrix stuff, and I use the 50s for more aggressive sounds.


My Classic Players 60s is excellent, I think that whole line of mim models are a super value for the gtr/ pickups. Just a tad more vibey than a mim standard which isn’t half bad either


Gold Supporting Member
If you want to spend the money then maybe the 69 CS Time Machine but with a rose wood fret board.
Otherwise I'd get the Road Worn 60s olympic white strat. Have one of these of my own and it is a really great strat.
Ultimately it would be best for you to try both of these out.
Why Rose wood. It is easier on the fingers and has a different feel.


Platinum Supporting Member
Based on how much $ I had to spend I'd get, in this order:
1) Fender Masterbuilt with specs you like (John Cruz, Jason Smith, Dale Wilson are my faves).
2) A good Fender Custom Shop with the specs you like.
3) A K-Line or, if you can find one, a Rocketfire Secret Recipe (with Rocketfire Total '60s pickups).

All used if I could find a good one...:)


I went through this process late last year. I bought a 60’s RW body (light weight) and a Robert Cray neck for the 9.5 rad. Swapped the pickups our for a set of pure vintage 59’s and took her in for a full dress and set up. It’s a perfect vintage Strat for me. I couldn’t be happier! Under $1k too. A good used EJ was my second choice.


I've got 6 USA Strats and I think the current American Professional is a great guitar. The neck profile feels really nice. You can spend a lot more money but go find a nice one of these and save yourself some money.

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