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The Tale of Two Strats...actually Four

Best Stratocaster style guitar manufacturer

  • Fender

    Votes: 63 72.4%
  • G&L

    Votes: 3 3.4%
  • Ernie Ball Music Man

    Votes: 2 2.3%
  • PRS

    Votes: 3 3.4%
  • Suhr

    Votes: 16 18.4%

  • Total voters
    87

Ben Pinkus

Member
Messages
399
My vote on personal experience, Your view may and probablly will differ!

Fender - I've played a few Fenders that were amazing, but haven't found the wow factor in quite a few (even CS models). I'm sure 'my' Fender is out there though just luck of the draw on what I've tried means they aren't my fav S type. Obviously if you want a completely authentic strat then Fenders are the way to go.

G&L - I've played 1 custom that was amazing, but don't always thing they are the best looking S types, but very solid and underrated imo

Ernie Ball - I like the idea of the Cutlass, but haven't gotten to play one so can't comment. Not sure on the active circuit in the pickups - definately a way more modern s type

PRS - Great guitars, very well made, but I did not like the silver sky at all. Mostly due to the radius I think

Suhr - I'd say the most consistent out of the list in terms of playability etc etc. I've seen and played some amazing S's from them so they got my vote from your list....

But I'd give my vote to LSL, hands down the best S type guitar I've ever played that captures alot of the vintage fender Mojo, which I haven't found often.
 

Route67

Member
Messages
734
Compared to the Fenders I’ve tried in shop which tend to feel a little retrograde (stuck in the past), I lean to Squier for a sleeker neck profile with smooth beveled fretboard edge, typical tight neck pocket with accurate string spacing, soft feel medium jumbo frets and premium quality maple necks. Upgrade to hardware usually required, but probably less expensive than an all out partscaster.
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,054
My vote on personal experience, Your view may and probablly will differ!

Fender - I've played a few Fenders that were amazing, but haven't found the wow factor in quite a few (even CS models). I'm sure 'my' Fender is out there though just luck of the draw on what I've tried means they aren't my fav S type. Obviously if you want a completely authentic strat then Fenders are the way to go.

G&L - I've played 1 custom that was amazing, but don't always thing they are the best looking S types, but very solid and underrated imo

Ernie Ball - I like the idea of the Cutlass, but haven't gotten to play one so can't comment. Not sure on the active circuit in the pickups - definately a way more modern s type

PRS - Great guitars, very well made, but I did not like the silver sky at all. Mostly due to the radius I think

Suhr - I'd say the most consistent out of the list in terms of playability etc etc. I've seen and played some amazing S's from them so they got my vote from your list....

But I'd give my vote to LSL, hands down the best S type guitar I've ever played that captures alot of the vintage fender Mojo, which I haven't found often.
I've played a few Cutlasses over the years - the electronic circuit is mostly to cut out the 60-cycle hum; voice wise the pickups are pretty comparable to a Fender AV '65/AO 60s. The circuit also does boost the position 2 and 4 to the same level as positions 1/3/5 on the switch so you don't get that normal Strat volume drop in positions 2 and 4.

I will also say that Strats are perhaps the most individual instrument of all - it seems like everyone has their own idea of what makes an "ideal Strat".
 

ezra1

Member
Messages
728
I went with Fender but having said that some Fenders are just so so but it comes down to the individual guitar.
When you find the right one you will know it.
 

CanuckChris

Member
Messages
1,496
I voted Fender because in the end, if it wasn't for Fender, who knows if the strat shape would have ever been invented and available for refinement by the other companies?

That's not to say I wouldn't buy a strat style guitar from any of the other guitar manufacturers listed. In many ways, they are superior to Fender strats as they've taken that blueprint and figured out how to refine it and improve overall QC.

If you include Squier, Charvel and Jackson, Fender makes so many strat style guitars over such a wide range of pricepoints and configurations, it's hard to compare to other companies when on the OP's criteria (craftsmanship, playability, finish, pickups and tremolo).

Instead of worrying so much about who's best, just try out a lot of strat style guitars within your budget and buy what is best for you, not what others say is the best.
 

Melange

Member
Messages
188
My vote on personal experience, Your view may and probablly will differ!

Fender - I've played a few Fenders that were amazing, but haven't found the wow factor in quite a few (even CS models). I'm sure 'my' Fender is out there though just luck of the draw on what I've tried means they aren't my fav S type. Obviously if you want a completely authentic strat then Fenders are the way to go.

G&L - I've played 1 custom that was amazing, but don't always thing they are the best looking S types, but very solid and underrated imo

Ernie Ball - I like the idea of the Cutlass, but haven't gotten to play one so can't comment. Not sure on the active circuit in the pickups - definately a way more modern s type

PRS - Great guitars, very well made, but I did not like the silver sky at all. Mostly due to the radius I think

Suhr - I'd say the most consistent out of the list in terms of playability etc etc. I've seen and played some amazing S's from them so they got my vote from your list....

But I'd give my vote to LSL, hands down the best S type guitar I've ever played that captures alot of the vintage fender Mojo, which I haven't found often.
Excellent review. Thank you
 




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