Your thoughts on the U.S. HWY 1 Strats...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by retro, May 20, 2006.

  1. retro

    retro Member

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    Well I finally noticed the U.S. made Hwy 1 Strats ( and Tele's) selling for $630.00.

    What intrigued me mostly on the Strat was they comes with a vintage trem and a 9.5 inch radius. And they appear to have greasebucket tone controls.

    I really enjoy my simple AM Strats and have maintained pretty much a workingmans approach to my electric guitars, except for my acoustics.

    I thought these looked like a great bargain and I have been looking for a Maple neck strat. I wouldn't mind the satin see through finish at all.

    At any rate thought I would mention them and see if anyone has any thoughts on these not being the bargain they seem to be.
     
  2. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Member

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    I've been thinking of getting one and going crazy with some cool pick-up additions - like a Filter'tron in the neck or something. I like the features too, the price is right, and they'll probably age in a unique way!

    Any other input from any other members?
     
  3. Dave Cowley

    Dave Cowley Member

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    I have one that I bought a few years back and it's a nice strat. Construction, feel, tone, and sustain are comparable or maybe a little better than my late 90s Lone Star strat (which come to think of it, needs to be dug out of the closet and played :) ). I did buy it specifically to install an EMG DG20 pickup set in, so I ripped the stock pickup assembly out right away, and really didn't listen to the stock pickups. At least on mine, the nitro(?) finish is vulnerable to damage from synthetic materials; I put mine on a stand that's padded with surgical tubing and it pulled the finish off where it came in contact with the surgical tubing. Turns out that people who understand those finishes know that will happen, trouble is, I didn't! :jo

    I do think it's a good guitar.
     
  4. GuffMorgan

    GuffMorgan Supporting Member

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    I still don't understand why guitar stand companies make stands that are a risk to damaging finishes on some guitars. Is it not possible to find one material that is safe for all the finishes out there?
     
  5. thrill74

    thrill74 Member

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    I got to play 2 yesterday and today. One sunburst with 3 singles and one black with the Atomic 2 HB. For the first hour I could not put the sunburst down. The HB was pretty cool, a good all around guitar, made for any event. I actually like the singles in the Highway 1 better than my SCN's in my US Deluxe. Much more straty but not so cool in the hum department! But they are incredible buys I think.
     
  6. GuffMorgan

    GuffMorgan Supporting Member

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    I was looking at a Highway 1 Texas Tele to have just as kind of a throw around guitar, and it still interestes me.

    But then so does the Thin Skin Nitro Tele :)

    But on topic, the Highway 1's that I have played sounded quite good and felt just as good to play.
     
  7. Intelligentpony

    Intelligentpony Member

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    Thin nitro finish, 'nuff said. What does a Custom Shop thin go for? The Highway's are THE bang for the buck Fender.
     
  8. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    One word of advice: even though they're great for the price, you can't give 'em away on resale. I had mine listed here for two months for $400 shipped, and nobody would touch it.

    YMMV,

    Stormin!
     
  9. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Guest

    Thats true of most production strats. There are way too many in the market to support a decent price in the used market. If you won't drop your pants the next guy will. Its the ebay factor
     
  10. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    The Hwy 1 doesn't have nitro - it is a thin polyurethane finsh. The Fender website erroneosuly calls it (under special features) a "lacquer" finish. But under colors, it states satin polyurethane. All that aside, it is a cool guitar. I've seen a couple of shots of guys who have waxed and buffed their Hwy 1s to a nice soft gloss. And I bet there is more than one person who has topcoated their Hwy1 for more durability.
     
  11. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe I got a-hold of a poor example?
    The one I picked up felt as if apprentices had assembled and finished it - rough fret edges, poorly fitting neck pocket, poorly fitting trem assembly, horribly installed and finished nut, and the WORSE quality on the finish for an American-made Fender - I mean orange-peel city. It looked pretty at a distance, but when viewed up close it appeared to have been garage-applied. Maybe I'll give them a second look, but that first one left a horrible taste for them...

    jb
     
  12. NatStrat79

    NatStrat79 Member

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    for the last 6 months i had been looking for a new guitar to replace my aging 70's strat as my number one. I played just about every strat out there from custom shop relics to squire affinitys and i must say I had about the same feelings when playing the few highway ones that my local dealer had in stock. ALL of them had an awfull looking orange peel finish. SOME of them played okay but most of them were outdone by the mim classic series hanging right next to them on the wall.

    I have to say though that my local dealer is a little lax about setting up their guitars properly. With some work a highway might be a great playing guitar but i really couldnt get over the finish which i was told was a water based acrylic lacquer. Ive heard that some people have them buffed out to a gloss ,but really for 630 dollars i dont feel like i should have to do that.

    needless to say i ended up snagging a nice used G&L legacy that plays like a dream has a gourgeous candy apple red finish and cost a little less used than a new highway one

    Best advice...play everything you can whether it says USA or (insert foreight country here) on the headstock
     
  13. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Member

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    you realize that finish is SUPPOSED to look that way, right?

    Interesting hos a poly finish is reactive to the crappy stands, Ive seen it damage a HWY1, too. Any other poly finish is unaffected by them. I have a little red HWY1 strat that is one of my favorite grab and go guitars Ive ever had. I don't worry about hurting it, and it seems to always be in tune for me. Has a very Stratty sound too.

    H2H
     
  14. NatStrat79

    NatStrat79 Member

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    i do understand that it was supposed to look that way..I didnt intend to offend anyone and i guess i should have been more specific and a little less critical.

    My beef isnt with the satin finishes themselves but the fact that the few highway ones ive encountered have had satin finishes with the texture of an orange peel. I was always under the impression that this was not intentional but an outcome of poor application...please correct me if im wrong.

    I had also been told that the reason the finishes were satin was not entirely a matter of looking cool but meeting a price point. eliminating the wet sanding and buffing process of the lacquer finishing reduces the cost of labor.

    IMO the highway is an OK guitar. The ones that i tried seemed to have similar hardware and electronics as a mim classic series guitar. If you are okay with the finish then you will most likely be happy with the highway after its setup to your liking and you'll be getting a guitar thats made in the USA. If your like me and your really picky about your guitars the classic series has nice looking finishes and seemed realtively equivalent to the highway ones i tried in the tone and playability department...just something to think about in the same price range.

    in the end play whatever makes you happy thats really what its all about.

    As far as i know the highway 1 finish is an acrylic lacquer and not poly and that is why it reacts to the rubber on cheap stands.
     
  15. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

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    I bought one off the bay last year. It had been modified a bit; graphite saddles, schaller locking tuners, pots, trem blocked. Most importantly the finish has been completely removed and now its just waxed. I also replaced the useless bridge single with a DiMarzio chopper to suit my tastes.
    It's so good I sold my 2004 Deluxe in a heartbeat. A very lyrical and resonant guitar, and after a full setup, it held its own with a couple of CS axes my luthier had lying around. We were both shocked! :RoCkIn
     
  16. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    All the Hwy!s I've seen were quite nice with no orange peel and well setup. I guess a lot has to do with the store setup.
     

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