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Old February 11th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Strat - current production models

What is the best current production Strat in your opinion?

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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Fender, as in I gotta pay for it?

The MIM Jimmie Vaughan, no doubt at all.

Non-Fender, and I gotta pay for it?

G + L Comanche, with a plain but big maple neck, no fancy cap on the body. Just the tone and versatility, please. Dual Fulcrum or hardtail, ash body or alder.

I would order a Bill Callaham, but I've learned not to look that far into the future.
And besides, it'd probably shame all my other Strats, perhaps all my guitars, period.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Those are interesting answers Bubbanov!

I guess you like the Tex Mex pickups on the Jimmie Vaughan? Other than that, isn't it similar to the Classic Players 50s model, except for the 6 screw bridge plate instead of the 2 point trem?

G&L makes great guitars, I really liked the Legacy. The Commanche has more of a hot rod sound, no?

I guess it's a question that will ellicit very subjective answers. Last year when I went shopping for a Strat I found what I was looking for in a 2005 American Series Fender. It had everything that I was looking for: satin C neck, med jumbo frets, and 3 pickups (RWRP middle) that made my hair stand on end. And I tried several Am Ser Strats before finding that one, each one was different and lacking in its own way.

Using the 2005 Am Ser as a bench mark for my ears and hands, I recently tried a Fender Classic 50s that I really liked. I dug it precisely because it was different from mine, the change was refreshing: vintage frets, V neck, different sounding pickups.

Dmartinez, the best I advice I can offer is to try as many Strats as you can. There are a lot of components that make up a good Strat, and the magic is in they how they come together in a particular guitar, not just the specs on paper. If you know what you like then you have a starting point (neck shape, frets, pickups), but don't limit yourself because you might be surprised by something that you thought you might not like!

By the way, I only know about Strats that I would pay for with my own money! I'm sure there are $5000 magic guitars out there, but I make a point of not playing them lest I catch GAS that I know can't be quenched...
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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American Vintage Hotrod '62

Fatter neck, 57/62 pups, ''thinskin'' nitro finish, back of the neck is satin finished, etc

just my opinion
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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gimme a Jimmie Vaughan as well, that's it for me and I'm good!!

we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Van Zandt.
ESP Navigator...same folks who made Seymour Duncans over here.
quasi mojo
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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62 ri. definetly... Best guitar i ever owned and sold for that matter... Til i got my 62 ri. tele...:
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The absolute best value is the Jimmie Vaughan Strat. Great neck, great pickups, quality hardware.
All Tele necks should be 1" thick, bare minimum. Anything less ought to be illegal.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Several good dealers are doing FSR runs now. Had one recently, should have kept it.

AV62RI's with thin-skin finishes, custom shop pups, vintage style nickel hardware, five way switches, and med-jumbo frets with a 9.5 radius. MIne had a really killer maple top in a 50's two-tone burst as well.

All of the best features of vintage and modern in one guitar, for not much more dough than a stock AVRI.

Dave's guitar has these, along with '54's, 57's, 59's etc. all made the same basic way.

I'd take mine back over any of the Custom Shop guitars I've owned, and they're half the price.

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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For under a grand, I'd have to say the Classic Player 60s or 50s...I have a sunburst 60s that is just fantastic...reasonable weight (7 1/2), CS '69 pickups, and the most comfortable neck I have ever played--I know this will cause pain around here, but it's a thin "C" with 12" radius and medium jumbo frets and plays like a dream. The only problems? You need to get over the non-vintage look of the 2-point trem, and it isn't nitro, but c'mon you can't hear that anyway!

Oh, and I sold my Jimmie Vaughan to pay for it--no regrets!

Last edited by mrbdxmpl; February 11th, 2008 at 10:48 PM. Reason: more info...
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This one is my favorite and just happens to be added to my collection as of about 1 hour ago. It's a Tom Anderson. It's called the "Hollow Classic" in translucent blonde. It's Swamp ash top on alder and hard rock maple neck with rosewood fretboard. It's got 1 5/8 in nut, medium frets even taper and Buzz Feiten Tuning System, Chrome vintage tremolo, locking tuners, VA5, VA4, VA5+ white perloid guard with 5-way switch, pull adds bridge, vintage voicing and VA booster. I love it and it's my new number one.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Eric Johnson Strat. I have gone through 11 EJ's to find 4 that have a big clear killer tone. I have played strats for 20+ years and the EJ is a great axe if you get a good one.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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For quality and consistency in a regular production model I don't think you can beat G&L for the price and they Plek the necks at the factory now. An even better deal is to buy a lightly used G&L for about $600.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree about the G&L's - tonight when I pciked up my Anderson it came down in the end to a fight off between a G&L "Phyllis" Leo's wifes name all decked out in antique white and signed 150 out of 1000 made in the world $3500 MSRP they had it marked at 2500. It was nice but the Anderson was just that good and almost 1000 bucks more though. 1000 dollars better? well, to me I guess it was or I wouldnt be looking at it right now. The anderson was the right choice for me but that G&L was one fine axe in every way. They have her in glass display case and she is pretty. She was a might heavier than this Anderson and had an ash body and real nice thick neck with maple board. It had great tone too with some type of flat poled pickups, whereas the Anderson had staggered plus boost. The G&L was well worth the 2500 buck asking price - stunning.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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62RI. My second choice currently is the Highway One with the 70's headstock- I pulled the pups out and put in Fat 50s.
"Music is not a competition. The best music is cooperative."- Jerry Garcia, Las Vegas 1993 interview
"[Expletive Deleted]"- Richard Nixon
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Old February 12th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I have no experience with custom shop guitars... other than dreaming about 'em. I don't tease myself with them. Plus I'm just a poor working stiff. So, for me a guitar's gotta be reasonably priced.

I've also not gotten the chance to try a JV. But i want to, something fierce!

I did recently buy a Classic Player 50's in Shoreline Gold. The minute I tired it I was in love. The neck is a very comfortable soft V, with nice rolled edges. The radius is 9 1/2, which is my favorite. The pickups are 57/62's which are absolutely dreamy.

At first I wasn't sold on the locking tuners... till the day I brought it home. I tuned it, stretched the strings tuned it again, played for a few minutes, tuned it again, stretched the strings and tuned it one more time and played it... she stayed in tune nicely. Then I grabbed the whammy bar and did a total dive bomb .... When I let it back up, I hit an E chord and it was right in tune. I'm a fan. And it only took me a second to get used to changing strings on it.

The two point trem is smooth. I might have preferred the vintage style, but you know it works and works nicely, so I'm okay with that part too.

The construction, fit, etc were very nice right out of the bag. I had to do a setup on it, but what guitar have I ever bought that I haven't had to? But, it wasn't that far off. Intonation took just a small tweak on the high e and maybe half turn on the g. Mighta just been the difference in string brands (I use DR's exclusively).

Plus I got it on clearance for 483 and change. That's a lotta guit for them gettas!

Is it the best Fender makes? Probably not. Is it the best I could afford? Yeah! Is it the best Fender Mexico makes? Might just be!
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Old February 13th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Bump! There are plenty of TDPRI Strat players here, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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Old February 13th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I rank the MIM Robert Cray quite highly. Good neck, taller frets, good pickups, nice colour - as long as its sunburst;-)

Its one strat that I wouldn't change a thing on...
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Old February 13th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I was highly impressed by the 2006 Fender 60th Anniversary Strat, killer looks and tone.
A coward dies many deaths, a Soldier once.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I should add that I also played a Custome Shop American Ash Strat in blue with curly maple fret board that was among the finest production Fenders I've played recently. Tight articulate tone with great neck on it. I could do without the blue color but it was a pretty blue and reasonably priced too.

When it comes to Strats I see absolutley no advantage in Vintage Hardware other than for looks (unlike Tele's). The wood, hardware quality, pickups and tone are first and foremost considerations. Therefore I am fine with modern hardware and components except when it comes to pickups.

With Strats you may as well get modern easy to use and superior functioning hardware because the only thin that effects tone is wood and pickups I've found. That's why I like the Custom Shop American Standards so much-especially in ash (as long as they aren't heavy). Weight is paramount to getting good tone when it comes to Strats - especially for quack.
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