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Your Favorite Fender Stratocaster

slabboard

Member
Messages
211
In your opinion, what is the best sounding/playing Fender Strat you've come across?

I must admit that since I'm a vintage guy at heart, I tend to buy one Relic after another looking for that special something --- but I'm wondering if there are other models that generally sound and play better, yet I don't give them a glance 'cause they're not "Custom Shop."

There are many boutique builders out there that arguably build a better Strat, but there is something about that Fender sound. I may go the boutique direction soon, but there must be Fenders that can match some boutique offerings.

Is this a "run the racks" kind of thing where there is no consistency in models and you just have to play everything and find the best one, or does Fender really knock it out of the park with certain models that seem consistently good?

Anyway, what is the best sounding/playing Fender Strat you've come across?
 

Kappy

Member
Messages
14,033
I love the Wildwood 10s. But I'm sure there are other models/runs/etc. that are really good (and not as expensive).
 

K-Line

Vendor
Messages
8,518
I played a 61 Strat the other day that had a very nice tone but that 7.25 was not the best playing. Believe it or not, the Lollar Blondes were a bit sweeter sounding, but the real 61's were nice and woody.
 

tnvol

Ufologist
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,892
I'm not really a Strat guy but the one I played that I liked the most was my buds Robert Cray sig. That was a nice guitar.
 

Kentano2000

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,236
I love my '93 Deluxe and my '57 reissue, but I think the best I've played have been both versions of the EJ Strat. Even better than the various Custom Shops I've played along the way.
 

cvansickle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,329
The MIM Standard Strat that I have now is the best playing and sounding Strat I've ever owned, and that list includes American and Japanese models too.
 

Heinz W

Genuine '66 Relic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,556
I also like the EJ (maple), which is basically a '57 with a 12" radius fretboard. My American Deluxe Strat has been under the bed since I got the EJ.
 

Blue4Now

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,067
I have had so many strats over the years and could never settle on an off the shelf "model" that had everythign I wanted. Easy solution was to have one built so my specs. 60's contour body in black with super thin nitro finish, vintage trem, rosewood slab board 22 fret neck with thicker c chape 10" radius, 6105 frets, heal adjust, mint green guard and aged other plastic. SCN pickups and high quality pots and such. Just perfect for me. Cost me maybe 900 or so total.
 
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gregc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,926
Yea, I think it's a 'run the racks' kind of thing. I find Strats to be all over the place, regardless of model spec. You gotta play em, uplugged and electrified. Personally, I'm a fan of fat necks, 9.5" radius and 6105 frets. YMMV.
 

kingsleyd

Frikkin genyus
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,097
I love the Wildwood 10s. But I'm sure there are other models/runs/etc. that are really good (and not as expensive).
The few W10s I've played have been great!

Also, I played several of the 2007 NAMM "super relic" guitars -- a bunch of them came through the local shop -- and they were consistently very good guitars. (I'm with gregc btw: a big fan of 9.5" radius and 6105 frets on Strats, which both the W10s and 2007 NAMMs have) I bought one of them and, two years on, it's still one of my fave Strats ever.

Also not cheap, though.
 
Messages
1,427
I love my original 1973 I got brand new in creme color finish with a maple neck that I have kept stock all these years. The guitar cost a total of $312.00 including the tax at Wonderland Music on Greenfield Ave. in Southfield MI across from the Northland Mall that had Hudson's there. Boy I sure miss those stores.:D
 
Messages
201
My Commemorative 50th Anniversary 57 reissue (the limited edition model from 2007, in white with gold hardware) is the best Fender that I have owned, let alone the best Stratocaster! True, they are no longer in production, but they do pop up from time to time on eBay for reasonable prices, and I'm sure that Craigslist will have a few.

The great thing about that guitar (apart from it's looks) is the clarity, sweetness and chime in the treble. It is absolutely spot-on for the type of Fender tone which I am looking for.

Do a search on them online and read some of the reviews - you won't find a bad one!

Best of luck with your search for your perfect Strat!
 

Heritage 80

Member
Messages
1,749
For me it's easily the maple board EJ. Been playing over 30 years, primarily LP's and Teles. I never bonded with a Strat, and played a couple of dozen EJ's btw, then one day I took one off the rack and it blew me away, and still does. I love the 12" radius board, the staggered tuners, the tone control on the bridge pup, the weight, the contours..... great guitar.
 

nnick

Member
Messages
1,489
A friends '64 is my all time fav but a Dave Murray sig that I just played has me wanting a strat again for the first time in 20 years.
 

dougb415

Member
Messages
9,891
I grew up playing (and over-borrowing) Bernie Timbrook's '63 sunburst Strat. I played that guitar off and on from '71 thru '75. Since then I've owned a late 80s MIJ Strat, a 2007 CP 50s, a 2007 CP 60s and just recently got a RW 60s sunburst. The RW makes me feel like I'm borrowing Bernie's guitar again, so much so that I've named it "Bernie". As you've probably guessed by now, the RW is my fave :JAM
 




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