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May 20, 2009

Best stratocaster for the money

There are many options today for getting a good Stratocaster. I am a Stratocaster guy. I have always loved these guitars, and not matter what other type of guitars I play, I always come back to the Stratocaster. It is for me the ultimate guitar. Here are my thoughts on the matter of the best Strat for the money you spend.

Mass-produced guitars are usually hit and miss. Fender have made many good Strats over the years, both cheap and expensive ones. The thing is, there is usually a gem among the lot. My best advice for buying a great Strat is to go to a well equipped guitar store and try all of their Strats. Take your time, you may end up with a cheap, great Strat and find yourself shaking your head at some of the expensive, dull Strats...

One real issue here is that Fender raised their prices recently quite a bit. There are many disappointed guitar players out there after that happened, but what can you do? Look for used ones, I guess.

The American Standard Stratocaster is usually a good buy. They cost from around $1,200 and up. They have good parts and good pickups. However, not all of the Am Strats I've played have been great, although you've got pretty good chances of getting a good guitar if you go with one of these.

The Custom Shop Strats are of course awesome. They are perhaps the best Strats Fender offers, but they sure are not inexpensive. Over 3 grand, in many cases. Still, have a look at these if you want the best Fender Strats available.

The new RoadHouse Strats are interesting. They cost $740 - $790 or so, and they are quite nice. They look cool and have Texas Special pickups. Worth a look.

The Highway One Strats are USA made, and although some might not dig the big 70s headstock, fat frets and the available colours, these guitars are a lot of bang for the buck. I almost bought one once. Price is around $890 or so I think.

The Deluxe Player's Stratocaster is another nice Strat. It's about $7-800 and it has Vintage Noiseless pickups and a really nice 12" radius neck. I think it's one of the better Strats for the money. It is made in Mexico.

The Custom Shop Artist guitars are absolutely amazing, but also amazingly expensive. I've for example tried the Jeff Beck Strat, and it was fantastic. Stayed in tune exceptionally well too. It's about $3,500 I believe. The Eric Johnson Strat is really nice too. However, some of the Custom Shop Strats can cost as much as 12 GRAND! Eek!

The last Strat I want to mention is perhaps the best bang for the buck. The Standard Strat, which goes for about $450 - $550. The reason it cost less is because it is made in Mexico and has cheaper hardware than the American made ones. However, I think this Strat can be a great one, but you MUST try several of them and try to find that gem among the turds. It is sometimes possible to find a great Standard Strat that plays better than a US made one, but you'll have to be patient and keep looking.

There are other models too offered by Fender, for example, the Classic Players 50's and 60's need mentioning as well - they are really nice for the money and also worth a look.

Final word - my Suhr Classic is obviously not a Fender, but it's a Strat design all the way and honestly, I think it's better than most Fenders I've ever played. It costs a lot more than a Fender Standard Strat, so if you are on a budget, definitely consider the Standard Stratocaster from Fender.

You can buy a Fender Standard Stratocaster from A m a z o n

The Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar is the guitar design that changed the world. New features include a tinted neck, parchment pickguard and control knobs, and a '70s-style logo. Includes select alder body, 21-fret maple neck with your choice of a rosewood or maple fretboard, 3 single-coil pickups, vintage-style tremolo, and die-cast tuning keys. Standard Strat guitars now feature a thicker bridge block for increased sustain and a more stable point of contact with the strings. At this low price, why play anything but the real thing?

Great guitars, and easy to mod to your liking if you want to try different pickups, etc.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on May 20, 2009

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