So, which Strat is my next Strat?

Blackmore Fan

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I'm in a fortunate situation. I have some gear that is no longer in my long term plans--I can sell a couple of these pieces and pay cash for my next Strat. My search won't be constrained by anything other than common sense. That sense dictates that I don't really play enough to splurge for a true Custom Shop guitar, but pretty much anything else is within my reach.

My criteria includes maple fretboard, medium-jumbo frets (or larger), SSS configuration.

The models I'm considering include:

* Eric Johnson signature: the pickups have a sterling reputation, and the neck is supposedly "full". I'm leaning towards the "white blonde" if I buy this one. Does anyone know whether the "4" position on this one is the neck/middle combo? I thought I read once upon a time that it was instead the neck/bridge combo instead (which I'm not a fan of)?

* Fender Ultra: I haven't played this one--the noiseless pickups supposedly sound "traditional" (which is a plus). One concern is whether the neck might be too thin? The mochaburst color looks beautiful! The plasmaburst color looked great too, but I'm lead to believe its no longer available?

* Fender Professional II: Beautiful guitars for sure. I've read mixed reviews on the pickups.

* Fender Mod Shop: I can write my own ticket here. I'm not sure what I think of the pickup choices. It seems like kind of a waste of blank palette to settle for Fender Tex Mex pickups, even though those have a great vintage sound.

What are you guys thoughts?
 

loopfinding

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You want a new one or you’re not opposed to used?

The EJ one is probably the only sig model I’d consider buying, but the 12” radius might be weird, you gotta play it. The standard one (not the Virginia) is standard 5-way wiring.

The classic player 50s (basically the Baja strat, the one that was “custom shop designed,” not the classic series) is really great for less money if you can find one. Probably my first choice for a strat.
 
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HolmfirthNJ

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Well, if budget is not too much of an issue, I’d wait a few days and take a look at the American Vintage 11 Strats… but I see you really want more modern specs so that’s probably not particularly helpful.
 

Cheap Trills

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If you are set on Fender, then I think you gotta try the different neck/fingerboard profiles in the EJ, Ultra, and Am Pro. Everything else can be changed later, but the neck's the guitar.

Mod shop is a no for me
 

G Stone496

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I'm in a fortunate situation. I have some gear that is no longer in my long term plans--I can sell a couple of these pieces and pay cash for my next Strat. My search won't be constrained by anything other than common sense. That sense dictates that I don't really play enough to splurge for a true Custom Shop guitar, but pretty much anything else is within my reach.

My criteria includes maple fretboard, medium-jumbo frets (or larger), SSS configuration.

The models I'm considering include:

* Eric Johnson signature: the pickups have a sterling reputation, and the neck is supposedly "full". I'm leaning towards the "white blonde" if I buy this one. Does anyone know whether the "4" position on this one is the neck/middle combo? I thought I read once upon a time that it was instead the neck/bridge combo instead (which I'm not a fan of)?

* Fender Ultra: I haven't played this one--the noiseless pickups supposedly sound "traditional" (which is a plus). One concern is whether the neck might be too thin? The mochaburst color looks beautiful! The plasmaburst color looked great too, but I'm lead to believe its no longer available?

* Fender Professional II: Beautiful guitars for sure. I've read mixed reviews on the pickups.

* Fender Mod Shop: I can write my own ticket here. I'm not sure what I think of the pickup choices. It seems like kind of a waste of blank palette to settle for Fender Tex Mex pickups, even though those have a great vintage sound.

What are you guys thoughts?
I’d also throw the Fender American Performer Strat and a used Fender American Special Strat from 2012-18 into the mix. Fabulous frets, noteworthy neck, prominent pickups.
 

drmordo

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I have to say that the Jeff Beck is pretty much the ultimate Strat IMO, even though the PUs are not my favs. If it had a big headstock it would be absolutely perfect for me.

1. Thick C shaped neck that is about perfect (they were apparently a deep 50s U in the earlier versions)
2. Locking tuners and rolling nut make it as tuning stable as a guitar with a Floyd Rose, so I can finally wang it to my heart's content
3. It's US made so the fit and finish are pretty dang good
4. Med jumbo frets FTW

If you are totally focused on getting a maple fretboard, I get it. In your situation, I'd at least consider trying to spec out a custom shop or mod shop guitar to be like the Beck but with a maple fretboard.

jeff beck strat.jpg
 

hopdybob

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This would absolutely be my number one suggestion, but it doesn’t get the OP the large frets he wants. Current production guitars have taller frets than when the SS first hit the scene, but they’re still pretty skinny.
i always think that you have to play a guitar first if there is that instant connection with it ore not and don't bother the specs.
sometimes, in a way, you 'come home' on a instrument.
 

Skyhook

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I'm in a fortunate situation. I have some gear that is no longer in my long term plans--I can sell a couple of these pieces and pay cash for my next Strat. My search won't be constrained by anything other than common sense. That sense dictates that I don't really play enough to splurge for a true Custom Shop guitar, but pretty much anything else is within my reach.

My criteria includes maple fretboard, medium-jumbo frets (or larger), SSS configuration.

The models I'm considering include:

* Eric Johnson signature: the pickups have a sterling reputation, and the neck is supposedly "full". I'm leaning towards the "white blonde" if I buy this one. Does anyone know whether the "4" position on this one is the neck/middle combo? I thought I read once upon a time that it was instead the neck/bridge combo instead (which I'm not a fan of)?

* Fender Ultra: I haven't played this one--the noiseless pickups supposedly sound "traditional" (which is a plus). One concern is whether the neck might be too thin? The mochaburst color looks beautiful! The plasmaburst color looked great too, but I'm lead to believe its no longer available?

* Fender Professional II: Beautiful guitars for sure. I've read mixed reviews on the pickups.

* Fender Mod Shop: I can write my own ticket here. I'm not sure what I think of the pickup choices. It seems like kind of a waste of blank palette to settle for Fender Tex Mex pickups, even though those have a great vintage sound.

What are you guys thoughts?
Can't speak for the other models but I can speak for mine.
I've got an AmPro II with maple neck(of course).
Neck finish and profile are both great.
So far I've got no complaints about the pickups.
This thing really sounds like a Strat and that's kinda what I was going for. ;)
AmPro II has the lower tone pot wired to the bridge as default and me likee. YMMV.

Given your options though, I'd probably go for the Mod Shop.
 

JIMMY JAZZMAN

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If you have the time try a PRS Silver Sky or Silver Sky SE. Great stratocaster tones, fit and finish top notch,
very musical pickups and on the SE version an 8" fretboard.
 




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