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Rating and Reviews: Fender Standard Strat RW

This Fender Standard Stratocaster has a Rosewood fretboard for mellower sound. The Fender Standard Rosewood Strat is one of the world's most popular guitars.

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"Mexico Standard Strat: VALUE=modest price and excellent build quality and TONE!" submitted December 10, 2011

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: I made a record, played guitar 30 years, studied some classical guitar
Music Style: songwriter, blues/rock, rock and rol, countryl
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Sound: A '9' for sound in this price range (under $500 w. instant rebate!). Pickups are good in all but bridge only position. Get a Lindy Fralin 'baseplate' for $12 and attach it to the bridge pickup. And look up the single jumper wire to solder diagonally across 2 adjacent switch contacts. Now you have the rear tone control for the middle and the bridge as well and you just beefed up the sound of the bridge pickup! total cost: maybe $12-15 dollars! The pickups need to be set with the bass side lower, less so on the bridge pup. For $20 at Guitar Fetish, get the all steel tremolo block that fits (take yours off and measure to get the correct one of 3 models) and kick your tone up several notches. A tremolo block of real steel maks a very noticeable difference! Do all I suggest and you will have a really nice Strat to be proud of and nobody with Mexico like yours will sound near as good! Feature: Versatility is the most useful feature! A Strat is the most versatile of the Fender guitars right AFTER a Telecaster. I feel a Telecaster with a 4-way switch added covers country, blues, rock and roll and it has no tremolo to worry with. Some guys like that stability and simplicity. 5 position switch and add the mod noted above to have tone control over the bridge pickup. Easy and effective and free! Tuners are pretty good, should last you several years and then upgrade to Grover or better still... Gotoh! Chrome is good and finish and general workmanship is very good. The headstock face on mine is gloss, but the neck otherwise is tinted soft satin for a smooth 'dry' feel that I like. It's a great idea and the headstock shines on stage, yet plays smoother. Nice Fender emblazoned padded gig bag with it and an Arctic white body and parchment trem plate and pickguard makes a handsome Strat. Ease of Use: Tip: get a setup guy to lower the nut slots and set the neck relief as well as the intonation. This guitar can be made to play very easy. A rosewood fretboard and a correct setup makes a BIG difference in the action and thus much better tone. Most players will not learn how to do it for themselves, but I got nut slot files, fret end file, and fret polishing abrasive cloth along with a fret shield. My guitars are nearly perfect setup and I let my luthier finish of the final tweaks if needed. Quality: These are really nicely made and look excellent. The Arctic White and parchment guard is fine looking! A great color scheme and well finished in every way. Carefully tighten the hex nuts that hold the tuners on, check the Phillips screws at the strap buttons and get the bridge bottom to float about 1/16" off the guitar top after you settle on string guage. Well set up, these Strats can play really easy with .010-.046 regular lights and SFARZO strings are the best I ever found. These are not second rate guitars, good woods, well made, set up decent but not maximal and need a pro setup guy to make the guitar really sing. See my comments about tremolo block and a bridge pickup baseplate. All guitar geeks know this stuff and it's cheap to do. Value: This particluar model from Mexico is a BIG value with a $50 instant rebate and nice gig bag. Along with the Squier Classic Vibe 50's or 60's Strats, it's one of the best values for all but semi proc players. Manufacturer Support: Rated '8' becasue you need not take a Fender to the company... a decent luthier can do anything needed and you can learn it yourself if you are reasonably handy and understand what you are doing. The Wow Factor: Even if it sounded ho-hum, I would want it because it looks so damn cool in Arctic White and parchment pickguard and a gloss headstock face, yet smooth satin neck otherwise and rosewood board. Nice frets and smooth and pretty good steel in them so they can be made to shine and not rust easily. I have owned an Eric Johnson and for 1/5 the $$, this Mexico Strat is good enough. The EJ is the best of everything; the Standard Mexico is the best value and pocket the $1500 difference! Overall: I may sell my other (A Squier Classic Vibe 50's) Strat and play the Mexico guitar. Rosewood board, good enough pups, stable tremolo, handsome looks and a rather nice feeling neck with good frets. It's got what I want and I can buy what I want, but more money will not get me much more. At some point, I will swap pickups out for Tonerider or Fralins, most likely. But the stock pups are surprisingly 'Stratty' and versatile if you follow my tips above ...
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"Fender Standard Strat" submitted October 1, 2012

By Anthony F in Long Island, NY
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Musical Background: mostly semi pro some pro background.
Music Style: country/blues
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Overall: After owning many Fenders over my lifetime I am totally impressed with the build quality and fit & finish on my standard strat. Although the stock pickups sound very good as they're hotter and fatter than the US alnico pickups I opted to put in a set of custom shop texas specials giving me one killer strat without big bucks. That said the stock pickups are fine especially for rock.
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"Get Out Your Allen Wrenches" submitted June 27, 2014

By Michael Bell in Bellingham, WA
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Musical Background: I've been playing semi-professionally for about ten years.
Music Style: Ambient/Noise/Post-rock
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Overall: I love the guitar now, but when it arrived it was in pretty dire shape set-up wise: the neck was *way* bowed (that took two days' careful attention to the truss rod--I eventually had to give it almost 3/4 of a turn), the wang-bar springs were so loose that the bridge tilted up 10 degrees when I tuned it up, the action was crazy high, the pickup height had apparently been set randomly, and the input jack had to be tightened up. (And of course the intonation had to be readjusted after all of this.) I know every new guitar needs a set-up, but of the 20-some new guitars I've bought, this one required by far the most attention. (The American Tele I have required almost none.) However...the basic craftsmanship of the parts is pretty good. After I finished building it I had a pretty nice instrument that sounds (and looks) great. The bridge position in particular has a snarly bite that really surprised me, and I love the way Strats stay so nicely balanced and hug you when you strap them on. There is a little bit (tiny bit) of fret sprout, but maybe after a few months here on the rainy side of WA State this will smooth out. If not, a few swipes with a file should take care of it. Overall I'm entirely happy with my MIM Strat, just saying that you should probably expect to give it some prolonged set-up attention before it feels like a truly playable instrument. Once dialed in and settled down, I feel like I have something I'll be pulling off the rack quite a bit just because it's so much fun to play. The basic craftsmanship is easily comparable to my MIA Fenders.
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"Quality control not up to par..." submitted November 21, 2013

By Chris B in San Marcos, CA
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Musical Background: Semi-Pro
Music Style: Electronic, Rock
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Overall: Okay...the electronics and hardware are great, but I've never seen a factory neck with such a horrible fret job in my entire life. It was almost embarrassing how sharp the fret edges were on my Strat (which seemed to stick out over a mm on each side of the fretboard...you could grate cheese with the neck). I also have a 2003 MIM standard that was built way better than this 2012 MIM. Its sad to see how quality control has changed over the last decade at the Mexico plant. Luckily, I have the tools to fix the "fret sprout" issue, but no "name brand" guitar should leave the factory with such a poor fret job. Mine also seems to show what looks like many subtle wood splits under the paint. The guitar as a whole was bone dry...obviously sitting in that Nevada warehouse for a year and a half didn't help. Luckily (once again) it is raining here in SoCal right now, so the guitar is getting some much needed humidity (which seems to be helping a little). I don't really blame zzounds, they shipped it quickly and have always been helpful. Fender however needs to up their game...how dare you call this your "Standard". I am still waiting to see how the humidity helps this guitar out, but may be returning it if nothing changes over the next week or so.
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