Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Review

For the longest time, I tried to use my beat up, old, used guitar in an attempt to sound like legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The only problem is that I couldn’t get anywhere close to the same tone.

Eventually, I decided that if I was going to sound like the pros, I was going to have to play equipment that was similar to that of the pros. For that reason, I purchased a premier intermediate guitar: the Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar. Now, my tone closely resembles Hendrix, Blackmore, Vaughan, and other Stratocaster legends.

Things to Consider When Buying a Guitar

When buying an electric guitar, there are a couple of different things which you must consider. While it may seem so, not all guitars are created equally. In an addition to a guitar’s overall tone and sound, you must also consider its construction quality; the way in which it’s built.

A well-built guitar is more durable, more functional, and more playable. It will possess all of the right pickups and switches, allowing you to find your own unique and nuanced tone. When choosing a guitar, make sure you have a good grasp on its construction quality, tonal quality, playability, and overall functionality. It’s also wise to make sure that you like the way your guitar looks. No one wants an ugly guitar.

The Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar

An iconic guitar used by legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton, the Fender Standard Stratocaster has been a mainstay since the mid 1950s. A generally lightweight and balanced guitar, it typically produces a slick and nuanced tone.

  • With 3 pickups, it offers 5 different tonal configurations
  • Excellent construction quality
  • Relatively lightweight when compared to other guitars
  • Capable of long, sustained notes
  • Very easy to fret and play
  • Reasonably priced compared to other guitars of its quality
  • Only 21 frets, so you do not get the entire second octave that you would on a guitar that has 24 frets
  • No full three-band EQ means less control over the tone at the guitar level
  • Sound might not be beefy enough for some tastes
  • Not made in the United States

Features and Benefits

Pickups

Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar

The Fender Standard Stratocaster is equipped with 3 different pickups, allowing for a bevy of different pickup configurations. Whether you want a piercing, treble-filled tone, or a low-key, rumbling, rhythm tone, it will accommodate you. Because it’s capable of so many configurations, it offers tonal capabilities that you often can’t get from other guitars. The pickups are single-coil pickups, and are made by Fender.

Frets

Sporting a total of 21 frets, the Stratocaster possesses a cut out body which allows you to access all frets with complete ease. Frets are spaced fairly close together, allowing you to finger chords and play lead without much effort at all. Your fingers really receive a lot of glide on this guitar’s frets. With many other guitars, your fingers have a tendency to get caught up and disturbed. The Stratocaster has some of the smoothest and most well-constructed frets in the world of guitars.

Construction

Compared to many other guitars, the Fender Stratocaster is quite small. It weighs in at around 7 pounds; a relatively low weight considering that Gibson Les Pauls usually weigh around 11 pounds. With a body made out of alder and a neck made out of either maple or rosewood, it’s designed to hold up for years and years of use. Strategically cut and balanced, it fits comfortably against your body regardless of your overall size and shape.

Aesthetics

In terms of its overall aesthetic, the Stratocaster is nothing short of beautiful. It’s one of the most recognizable and mimicked guitars of all time, and that’s because hoards of people love its sleek, classic style. Available in tons of colors and styles, including black, white, blue, red, and more, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.

Sonic Capabilities

When it comes to sonic capabilities, the Stratocaster is an absolute monster. There is no genre of music that can’t be played with a Fender Stratocaster, whether it be rock, funk, hip hop, jazz, or otherwise.This has a lot to do with the pickups of the Stratocaster. Because they can be put into so many different configurations, they truly do accommodate any tonal quality you may be trying to get.

​Rating

Design

4.5

Performance

5

Construction

4.5

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Gibson USA Les Paul Tribute T 2017 Electric Guitar

Gibson USA Les Paul Tribute T 2017 Electric Guitar

The chief rival of the Stratocaster, the Gibson Les Paul is characterized by a beefier and chunkier sound. Often used in the genres of hard rock and blues, it is a much heavier guitar than the Stratocaster.. Possessing two pickups, it doesn’t offer quite as many tonal capabilities as the Stratocaster

​Compared to Fender Standard:

  • Chunkier and beefier sound
  • Just a little more expensive
  • Fewer pickups, thus fewer tonal capabilities
  • Heavier guitar, physically speaking

Squier by Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Squier by Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Electric Guitar

If you’re looking for a cheaper version of the Fender Stratocaster, you might be interested in the Squier Stratocaster. Sponsored by the Fender company, the Squier Stratocaster is similar to the Fender sonically, but is not quite as nuanced. However, in terms of construction, it’s almost a dead ringer.

​Compared to Fender Standard:

  • Cheaper than the Fender Stratocaster
  • Possesses a very similar tonal quality
  • Similar construction quality
  • Not as loud as the Fender

Ibanez S670QM S Series Electric Guitar

Ibanez S670QM S Series Electric Guitar

If you’re into metal more than rock ‘n roll, jazz, and hard rock, you’re probably looking for a guitar that is suited for metal. If this is the case, you might consider the Ibanez S670QM S Series Electric Guitar. This guitar is equipped to handle ridiculous amounts of distortion, and also accommodate more sustain overall.

​Compared to Fender Standard:

  • Around the same price
  • Handles heavy distortion better
  • Chunkier sound overall
  • Similar tonal capabilities

​Final Thoughts

If you want to play like the pros, you’ve got to have the same equipment as the pros. The Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar is used by professional guitar players of all genres. Well-constructed, uber-playable, and capable of many tonal selections, it will have you sounding like your guitar heroes in no time. If you want to see the criteria how we select these guitars, make sure you follow our best intermediate guitar guide.

Stephanie Su
 

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