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Which Strat Has Surprised You The Most?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by misterwogan, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. misterwogan

    misterwogan Strat-Talker

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    In the last ten years I've bought (and sold) more Strats than I can remember. From the Jeff Beck Custom Shop to MIMs and absolutely everything in between - Standards, Deluxe, Artist. Some of them were terrible mistakes and some of them I miss. Most of them lived up to my expectations and some of them did not get even close.

    Which Strat that you've bought has pleasantly surprised you, or greatly exceeded you expectations?

    For me, it is this 2017 MIM Standard. I bought it new, two years ago just to record some parts for a funk track - but I kept it, swapped the pups for Fat 50s and made a few other minor mods. In absolute terms, nothing that I have previously owned (including the CS Jeff Beck) was "better" than this White Mexican. When you factor in how little this guitar cost - this makes it exceptional, a real keeper.

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  2. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

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    I think those David Lozeau strats from a few years ago really surprised me.

    Way too cool to be a Fender product.

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  3. sgarnett

    sgarnett Strat-O-Master

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    My 2018 Road Worn 60s surprised me from the moment I first picked it up. I don’t like artificial wear and tear AT ALL, and most relic jobs are waaaaay past any abuse I’ve ever inflicted. The 2018 is too, but not as bad as the earlier versions.

    It felt comfortable, resonant, and alive, more than any of the other Strats I had tried.

    I bought the RW despite the simulated wear, not because of it, because it’s just that good.

    The only setup change has been a very slight tweak of the intonation. The frets were level but slightly rough or scratchy, but that went away in the first day of playing (with some light bending).
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    This one

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  5. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I bought a 2018 Fender Road Worn 50s Strat late last year and when it came to both "feel" and "tone" it surpassed my 2012 American Standard Strat (which I have since sold).

    The smooth neck fits like a well used glove, but it was the Tex Mex pickups that really surprised me the most! The incredibly affordable Tex Mex Strat set doesn't seem to get a lot of praise, but I really find them fitting exceptionally well within a range between vintage and modern tones.

    Where this guitar fell a tad short was in the "appearance" department, with the so-called road worn treatment lacking in a couple areas, but that provided an excellent opportunity for me to complete the process myself (as outlined here):

    https://www.strat-talk.com/threads/2018-fender-road-worn-50s-stratocaster-review-relic-tips.499873/

    Otherwise, I have pretty much made this my main guitar these days...

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    That said, I have to also give a shout out to a very close 2nd place "Blackie" partscaster I recently completed, which is outlined here:

    https://www.strat-talk.com/threads/i-finally-got-my-own-blackie.507170/

    The Squier Classic Vibe Alnico III pickups I eventually installed sound amazing and really sealed the deal on this one! In fact, I sometimes find myself favoring the partscaster over my Road Worn because the tone is so sweet - but each has their own special charm so I can at least justify keeping them both...

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    `
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  6. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Strat-Talker

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    A partscaster Strat I built for my brother surprised me so much that I built a similar one for myself. I think my brother's guitar is still the better guitar with more natural resonance.
     
  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    My Bullet surprised me the most. I'm amazed at how much guitar it is for the approx. $100 I have in it.

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  8. Belexes

    Belexes Strat-Talker

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    This one.
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  9. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    As far as all "original" Fender or Squier products go I would have to say my 2 1994 MIM Fender black label Squire Series Strats. Amazing necks, nice comfy deep body contours and absolute dreams in playability and sound after changing the electronics.
    [​IMG]
    The strat that surprised me the most over all was this one that I just finished parts casting.
    20190806_113328.jpg
    2015 MIM Standard neck, Fender hot noiseless p'ups, Babicz 2 point bridge, Hipshot Tremsetter, EC midboost, TBX tone, 3 piece ash body custom PG and neck plate to finish it off. Plays and sounds absolutely amazing.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
     
  10. Belexes

    Belexes Strat-Talker

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    That is beautiful!! I Love it!
     
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  11. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm with Triple Jim here, this one !! [​IMG]

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L22 using Tapatalk
     
  12. circles

    circles Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Pleasantly surprised at my EOB. Honesty alert: Admittedly, my friends new Player series Strat plays better, it's one of the smoothest one I've ever played. But this is a close second, I love the electronics.

    Also it has not been professionally set up yet, and I suspect the action could be lowered a bit, and I'd love to round the edges of the fret-board. Having the sustain on tap is freakin' wonderful, and it's beautifully integrated.

    ftrf.PNG

    I shouldn't say surprised, I guess I'm more relieved, since I bought one without playing one first, which I've never done but in this case worked out.
     
  13. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier Freak Strat-Talk Supporter

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    This thing - I know this is a Fender forum but....I love my new-ish Jay Turser vintage series Strat.....

    Awesome neck, gloss finish, high quality split shaft tuners, full thickness alder body......

    My buddy fret leveled and crowned it for me and made and installed a new bone nut from a blank......and sold it to me for $120 Canadian $91 US....

    could use better pickups, electronics, and maybe a new bridge/block, but for this price it plays as well as any Fender I've ever tried....

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  14. misterwogan

    misterwogan Strat-Talker

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    No worries, this is strat-talk.com not fender-strat-talk.com. A strat is a strat, even if it's made by G&L, Suhr, Fender or Jay Turser. But definitely NOT Paul Reed Smith!
     
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  15. joemoe

    joemoe Strat-Talk Member

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    canada
    i had a few that i loved ..the first one was a 91 american standard i play it till the 2 points tremolo broked....the second one was a 57 avri made around 2005....a 72 white strat with the bigger neck ever made ??? and finally the one on my avatar the best of em all : a 2012 avri 56 stratocaster thin skin 2 tone burst ...this axe is ¨perfect¨ 4 me chunky v-boat neck phat tones and clear.as a bell.the only complaint is the finish is so thin just my arm rubbin the axe while i play uncover the wood after 3 years of non stop playing...but it doesnt bother me really..war scars...2012 avri rules
     
  16. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Uh-oh... I fear something bad is about to happen...

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  17. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    The one that really surprised me is the Jimmy Vaughn strat, bought one used many years ago and I think it's top notch.

    I come from an era when at one time the MIM strats were at best, eh. The weren't terrible but they were definately NOT on par with the US models.

    But over the years I've been surprised quite a lot as to how Fender REALLY stepped up the quality and craftsmanship overall making them one hell of a guitar for the money!

    Fast forward to today overall I feel the entire MIM line of Fenders today are almost too good to be true for the price point they're at. You just can't go wrong.
     
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  18. misterwogan

    misterwogan Strat-Talker

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    de acuerdo!
     
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  19. TimJ

    TimJ Strat-Talker

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    I guess the design principle of the Fender Deluxe Roadhouse guitars, of which I now own 4, two of the latest style and two of the iteration before that.

    Large headstock, flat fingerboard and midboost if you need it is pretty much my perfect Strat.

    I used to like Superstrats but have pretty much given up on them now.
     
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  20. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

    Age:
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    I suppose it was my Deluxe Roadhouse Strat, because after a lifetime of pooh-poohing strats (Sorry, I'm a Tele player mainly!), picking that one up was what opened my eyes to the comfort and versatility of the model. Also, through it I discovered that a nice MIM is oftentimes a better instrument than a MIA. That was a high hurdle for my brain to clear, but that guitar did it.

    20181105_194231_2.jpg
     
    ProSonicLive likes this.
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