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Rating and Reviews: Yngwie Malmsteen Strat

Yngwie's Strat has all the signature touches: 3 Duncan pickups, a special '60s neck, and a heavily scalloped maple fretboard for blistering Phrygian runs.

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"Great American made, classic sounding shred machine" submitted March 15, 2018

By Justin P in Allen, TX
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Musical Background: I've been playing a little over 20 years i think?
Music Style: Anything and everything. Love classical music, instrumental guitar of all kinds, shred, many metal genres, blues, classic rock.
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Sound: This guitar is very expressive. The pickups are clear and bell like on clean, and retain this aspect even with distortion. Chords are not muddy, easy to tell individual notes. Plenty of sustain, and the body reverberates well. To me this guitar just sounds so great, I'm having a hard time going back to my other guitars. Feature: Features of this guitar are perfect for a Fender. Vintage bridge works well, pickups sound amazing, fret finish is good. Very comfortable neck profile. Ease of Use: There is a slight learning curve with this guitar because of the scalloped fret board. But the neck profile is great. I've been primarily an Ibanez player, plating jem and other wizard necks. I did not find the profile hard to get used to and I am able to switch back and forth easily. After you get used to the scallops and the benefits of them, its hard to go back to a normal neck! the scallops just make bending and vibrato so much more easy and expressive. You really have extreme control of the strings. The neck is not as wide as Ibanez necks though, and if you are used to having a few millimeters of thickness extra next to the high and low E strings to prevent slippage, you will not have this. I did have to adjust my playing to prevent the high E from slipping, because this will happen if your vibrato is wide, pulling the string towards the outside of the neck. This can easily be adjusted in my case. I rarely have an issue with string slippage now and do not have to think about it. Quality: Although the guitar is really well made. I do have to disclose a few issues. When I received the guitar, the neck was not aligned. This made the high E string easily, VERY easily slip off. So the first thing I had to do was look at the center fret dots and loosen the bolts on the neck and straighten the neck up. (There are YouTube videos explaining this very issue and how to do this if you need them) And this problem could easily be seen IN the pictures before the guitar was sent to me, so this did not happen in shipping I believe. Also I noticed right where the neck pocket and body meet, there was a extremely small gap between the paint and wood. Almost as if the paint did not adhere to the wood well, almost like a bubble in the paint. So me, being like an inquisitive idiot, pushed the paint there. And that put a hairline crack in the paint in that area. So not extremely happy about that, but to me this guitar is a player, and I'm not actually worried about minor cosmetic details at this price point. I guess I'll just be starting on the natural relic process of this guitar early. :) I must also disclose that the inside of the spring cavity is painted, but you can tell it was horribly finished inside as far as smoothness and saw dust under paint there. But this is normal on many guitars and something I'm okay with at this price point. I still think that a guitar over one thousand dollars should be cleaned up a little more. Especially American made. Intonation is still perfect out of the box, and after neck alignment and re string. Fret finishing is good, neck is very comfortable and smooth with rolled edges. Nitrocellulose lacquer can get a bit tacky if your hands are getting warm or sweaty, but it is easy to adjust and clean. The neck did really well with this winters hot to cold temperatures with the heat on. No fret popping out on the sides. Just a good and stable neck so far. Value: I think this guitar, despite the above mentioned quality control issues, is great for the price compared to other American made Fenders. And the added features, like scalloping on the neck are a bonus value above your typical Fender. Guitar strap that came with it is high quality, but I am not using it because it will not adjust small enough for me, and I prefer the guitar riding a little higher. The tweed fender case that it comes with is beautiful. Manufacturer Support: I have not dealt with the company/ manufacturer of the instrument. The Wow Factor: This is a great looking, classic Fender with amazing sound from the YJM pickups, and lots of extras. I wish they would do these in a few more colors. Overall: I have been an Ibanez JEM and RG player for years. I have installed push pull coil splits on an RG just to try to get a more strat like sound. Also being an Yngwie fan, I really loved the sound and tone he was getting from his Fender. I toyed with getting a different strat and possibly switching pickups and modifying it. But the Yngwie strat ticked all the right boxes already. And I was very curious about scalloped frets, and had read about all the supposed benefits. So I went for it, bought one here, am very happy with the purchase. The guitar is very easy to play. Neck shape is just right, not to fat, not too thin, with a smaller width than most Ibanez necks which is fine with my hands. (cursed with shorter fingers!!) The scallops take some getting used to, but after you do, you'll see that bending and vibrato are amazingly easy and expressive with a scalloped neck. And it really isn't a big deal switching back and forth to your non scalloped necks. But I find myself missing the control the scallops give you. Action is a tad higher than my Ibanez typically are, but I find it not affecting my playing and I love the acoustic like tone of the guitar so well I'm leaving it as not to mess with the sound. The new YJM pickups are actually stacked humbuckers, and are crazy silent. They have great output, and very clear bell like sound. You can hear every note. Suddenly my chords are not muddy with the same amp settings I've used with my Ibanez. And notes are very articulate. The guitar is very responsive to dynamics and is very resonant. With the upper horn hitting my chest while sitting and playing, I can feel the vibrations when playing it. It is awesome. Intonation was great out of the box, easy to hit harmonics and great clarity. I checked several different places, even made a few guitar stores weight the Yngwie guitars they had in stock. I noticed 8 pounds and more to be on the mid to high end for them in weight. So I scoured the internet for sub 8 pound models. The one I got was a little over 7 pounds, and is light and fun to play. The guitar stays in tune very well. But I did smooth out the string channels on the brass nut with fine sand paper, and lubricate the nut and other contact points. I have heavily abused the tremolo system and it stays in tune very well now. It actually takes a decent amount of abuse after you have broken the strings in and have it lubricated well, to make it out of tune. The guitar was not without a few issues, and I will list those below. Overall it is an amazing guitar, good price for an American Fender guitar, and having it makes me want to pick up and play it all the time.
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"Beautiful piece of ART tha plays like a DEMON!!" submitted March 4, 2009

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: obsessed shredder. 20 yrs playing with a few breaks.
Music Style: Metal, Shred, Death Metal
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Sound: This guitar sounds awesome. The pickups are incredible. The tone is great for shredding leads! The guitar actually adds clarity to my playing. Feature: The scalloped neck is killer!! Just beautiful. The brass nut adds some class. The pickups set it apart from other strats. They add a very strong tone....they rip! Workmanship was impecable. Ease of Use: It took a bit to get used too. Well....It just wasn't as easy as my Ibanez Prestiges, which are made for speed. Once you pass the new feel, you will fall in love. It plays beautifully. I have no problem with the scallopes....they give tremendous control, and are great for bends and vibrato. Quality: Th workmanship is perfect. This guitar is as solid as they get. This guitar will last forever. The only problem I have is....I'm not a huge fan of fender tremolos, but I new that already. I didn't buy it to do crazy wammy tricks. Value: The best strat for the money .....by far. This is the only strat I would buy. Manufacturer Support: You won't even need to call them. Nothings going wrong on this guitar. The Wow Factor: This is extremely sexy. It's like a beautiful, classy woman, who is also very intelligent. Overall: This is exactly what I wanted when I bought this guitar. Its beautiful, finely crafted, and will add to your playing. 2 grand is nothing, when you will have a guitar for life.
30 of 32 people (93.75%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster WOW" submitted May 9, 2016

By Brad W in Shreveport, LA
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for 30 years or so. I just jam at home right now, building my guitar collection back up.
Music Style: Rock, heavy metal, blues
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Overall: Ok, this thing really doesn't need a review. It is a fender and has a scalloped neck that plays GREAT!!! The scalloping does take a bit to get used to but that doesn't take very long at all. If you are reading this then you are thinking about getting one I assume, so just get one already because I was in the same place and SO happy that I got it. Awesome guitar!!
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"Yngwie Strats are sweet..." submitted October 13, 2008

By a customer from pacbell.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist and Collector
Music Style: Heavy 80s glam metal.
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Sound: The stacked single coil sized pickups (stacked humbuckers) are nice. You get a modern humbucking sound with a guitar that has a vintage look. Feature: The factory scalloped job on these are very nice and deep. The scalloped board even runs congruent with the fretboard radius. The is the single biggest feature to this guitar. A scalloped fretboard is not for everyone. I actually really like it but it does take some getting used to. I primarily play hot rodded super Strats that all have thin necks, flat fretboard radius and hot pickups. This guitar is a really nice change of pace both tonally and feel. Ease of Use: The electronics are essentially a Strat except for the stacked humbucking pickups. So you will notice that the pickups are fatter sounding and quieter at the same time. Quality: Instrument is made with the usually high quality Fender USA shop standards. Value: I got mine on sale at $1,370.00, which is a great price for a brand new Yngwie model. Considering These still sell for $1,000-1,350 used on ebay. Manufacturer Support: No support needed yet but large guitar companies are notoriously difficult to deal with directly so I always take my stuff to a local luthier. The Wow Factor: Yngwie Strats are just cool with the brass nut, the CBS 70s headstock, aged hardware and antique white finishes. A nice vibe and change of pace to all my colorful Floyd Rose guitars. Especially with the release of the "Play Loud" Tribute Strat in 11/2008; now more then ever it's cool to own an Yngwie Malmsteen Strat! Overall: This is a great guitar to add to your arsenal, especially if you have a stable of Super Strats. You will be surprised at how fun these are tp play and how different they are, in a good way.
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"Great USA Fender" submitted March 23, 2013

By Joe F in Davenport , FL
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Musical Background: Guitar for many many years
Music Style: Rock, funk, metal and everything else in between
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Sound: Sweet bell like quality to it. I play everything from funk to heavy rock live and the tone quality shines no matter what I throw at it. Feature: The scalloped frets are fantastic. Should have gone to this years ago. Least favorite thing is the bridge. I can not keep it in tune at all with the trem bar in. Even small vibrato it goes out of tune. Quality: Great everything all the way around, except the bridge... Workmanship top notch. Value: Little pricey, but it is made in USA. Just too. Bad it does not come in more colors.. Manufacturer Support: Have not been able to reach them. Was trying to. Ask them about the bridge. I tried everything for YouTube videos to having someone else do a setup on it.... Still no luck. The Wow Factor: I will probable buy another one soon, just to have a backup.. But will have the color changed Overall: Came very well packed. Intonation spot on, had to adjust nothing on it. And that is a first for any guitar I have owned. Great color, more of a pale sun drenched yellow than a vintage white. Frets even and rounded off at the edges of the fretboard. Pickups sound fantastic. My live sound guy loves the way it cuts across the mix
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Still best guitar for me." submitted October 17, 2018

By Mike M in Brooklyn, NY
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Musical Background: Bedroom player
Music Style: Neoclassical hard rock
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Overall: I wanted Yngwie Strat since the day i decided to learn to play guitar, Malmsteen was the driving force, so almost 30 years later i decided to get one, i was always super intimidated by this guitar, scalloped fretboard frightened me, every time i 'd pick it up in the store i felt like i was holding the guitar for the first time in my life, surprisingly it didn't take me long at all to get used to it once i had it at home, a week late i was completely comfortable playing it in fact a week later i preferred it to non scalloped guitars, i would love to rate this guitar 5 stars but it had a magnitude of imperfection upon arrival, first of all it arrived with a small neck pocket crack, set up was non existent, there was a paint chip around strap lock cup, the neck was misaligned causing high E string slipping off the fretboard and producing a huge gap in the neck pocket, tremolo arm didn't fit the thread of the tremolo block, i decided to return the guitar immediately without giving it a chance and was super disappointed, so i obtained the refund ticket, however since it was a weekend i decided to try and to set the guitar up, i must say that the neck was perfect so is the fretwork, i reset the neck and changed the strings to Malmsteen signature bullets, i intonated the saddles and lowered the action, there was no need for truss rod adjustment, once the guitar was ready i stared playing it and fell for it rather quickly, all the imperfections aside i decided to keep the guitar as it sounded incredible absolutely the best pick ups i ever heard, noise free and violin like clear, sustain is better than my set neck American PRS Custom, just an incredible tone machine, i contacted zZounds and explained the problems with the guitar submitting pictures as well but told them i was willing to keep it, and was offered a satisfying credit in return, so with some work and price break i am very happy and i love this guitar, however if you are unable to do the work that i did myself it can cost you an additional pretty penny at the repair shop and results may vary, i will only recommend this guitar if you really want one and capable of performing repairs, do the set up and neck reset E.T.C, but once it is up and running there is nothing like Yngwie Strat.
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""Not For Everyone, but For Me, A Quality Fender Strat."" submitted November 17, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Musician & Guitarist, duh!!
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Classical, Neo-Classical, Blues, and Experimental
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Sound: Sound is what you'd expect from a Fender, it has that nice bright tone signature only to Fender. Feature: I dig the scalloped fingerboard, while not for everyone, I enjoy the control it gives you over every note you pick, and that is why I like it. The rest is Fender standards, three single-coil pickups, two tone-controls, yada, yada, yada. Ease of Use: I give it an 8 because not everyone has the touch that it takes to play a scalloped fingerboard. But the scallops for me gives me so much control it's unrealistic. It should be noted scalloped frets do NOT make you play faster. For me, next to my Gibson, this is one of the easier ones I've played. Quality: A 9 because I love Fender, but they don't compare to Gibson. Fender has high quality instruments, and you'd expect that from this guitar. Value: You get what you pay for, and this one is worth it if you have the touch it takes to play it. Manufacturer Support: Fender has a great warranty service, and are extremely helpful to their customers The Wow Factor: I have to give Yngwie some credit, he has good taste in colors, I love the candy red and sonic blue, but not so much on vintage white. I good-looking instrument. Overall: This one deserves an 8 because like I said, for some people, they don't have the touch it takes to play this instrument. It has a different feel to it and is a little awkward if you haven't played a scalloped fret. Overall, it's a well-built, good-quality instrument for players wanting more control over their notes.
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"It's a beautiful thing" submitted July 3, 2015

By Thomas V in Lafayette, LA
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Musical Background: 30 plus years
Music Style: Hard Rock and Metal.
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Overall: Just received my Yngwie strat from zzounds. Unbelievable tone a true beast. Loved it the minute I set it up and hit the fist chord. Zzounds and Fender simply unbeatable.
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"Not for everyone....but I like it just fine." submitted November 3, 2014

By Teina A in Honolulu, HI
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Musical Background: Multi-instrumentalist - guitar is my 1st instrument, 30 years and counting.
Music Style: Jazz-rock, country, rock, metal.
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Overall: The scalloped feel on the neck will take some getting used to but really helps you to develop a lighter touch which is what you want with the shred school of guitar. Great looks, serious bends and vibrato! I love this guitar!
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"As Advertised..... " submitted September 29, 2014

By Teina A in Honolulu, HI
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Musical Background: Multi-Instrumentalist (guitar, bass, keyboards & drums) but guitar is my 1st instrument for the last 30 years.
Music Style: My styles range between Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk, & Alternative. It really depends what I'm writing, who I'm writing for and the
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Sound: This guitar is made for one thing - ROCK of METAL. The high output of the YJM Fury pickups paired up with a roaring Marshall is what this guitar excels at. Surprisingly enough, tones do clean up well at lower volume settings. Not that I'm going to be covering any Wes Montgomery tunes with this guitar, but for ballad rock type material, this will fit the bill nicely. Feature: Overall it's a solid setup, I like the recessed strap locks built into the body, nice touch there. The thin "C" shape neck is really nice, the wiring on the YJM Fury pickups are nice and quiet, no hum at all unless you got a short in your cable. I've always like the CBS larger headstock look and love maple fretboards. The color and finish are fantastic and I like the "little" touches like the "aged" volume and tone knobs along with the same look on the pickup covers to give it that "experienced" look. Ease of Use: If you've never played in a scalloped neck, it is actually harder to play. Because of the scallop, your fingers never actually touch the fretboard. If they do you are de-tuning the note, (bad) but it does actually help you develop a lighter touch on your fretting hand (good) which in turn helps develop speed and agility (really good) when you sync up your hands. It's a weird sensation though, like your fingers are playing "wires" instead of fretboard. You'll get used to it in a couple of hours. The place where this guitar really shines is the vibrato and bend control because of the scalloped fretboard. It is crazy easy and you'll have to take steps NOT to over-bend notes because that will happen. I have a relatively "wide" vibrato style and I've never heard or felt anything like it on this guitar. Quality: "American" That pretty much sums it up. I've owned MIM's MIJ, and played a couple of Korean Strats as well. American Standards are just built better. They have better weight, feel dead solid, and just sound and play better overall. You pay for it of course but I finally came around to paying for the good stuff and appreciating it. Just start saving earlier.....that's all! Value: The price at zZounds is the best your going to get, I've seen these go as high as $2300.00 on ebay. 1600.00 and change is about right and worth every penny for a American built YJM strat. I've seen the MIJ models for cheaper, but most of them are not scalloped which is what you want anyways. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to deal with Fender with any of my 4 strats, (this one makes it 5) But from what I've heard, Fender Customer Service is pretty solid. And the peeps at zZounds stand behind their product, so your covered both ways. The Wow Factor: Overall it's a great looking guitar, beautiful color and finish. Has the vintage vibe without going hardcore "relic" through the Fender Custom Shop and paying a couple of grand more in the process. Overall: I've always been fascinated by scalloped necks and it is very rare that you even see them up close. Having never played one but reading what they are all about, I was anxious to get my hands on one but I wasn't sure about paying the premium price for a Malmsteen Strat. I'm glad I did. if you decide to do it, get the american standard version. You'll pay the extra money but it is well worth it. I also though of this as an investment guitar. Fender will stop making this model one day I suppose and hopefully we'll see ROI on this model. I did the same thing with a Gibson Les Paul Gary Moore I also bought from the fine folks at zZounds. (Did I mention these guys are AWESOME!?!?!)
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"Bought an Yngwie Strat and Very Happy With It." submitted September 14, 2010

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Sound: For more than thirty years, I would mod my Strats, each time getting closer to what would be for me, the perfect guitar. My Yngwie Strat was delivered today, a minty 2005 model. After new strings, a setup, and some minor tweaking, I realize that I'll never have to mod my Strats again. I'm selling my other Strats, and will buy another one or 2 of the Fender Yngwie Strat. It is to me, the perfect guitar. Feature: The factory case candy was included. The most useful feature is the scalloped fingerboard. I have performed this mod on all my Strats since about 1977. I got the idea from the great John McLaughlin who had Abe Wechter scallop a few acoustics. McLaughlin got the idea from that wonderful and ancient string instrument of India, the vina. As far as the Yngwie Strat is concerned, the fit and build is spot on. The guitar feels as solid as a tank. I wouldn't add anything to the guitar. Ease of Use: After setup/tweaking the guitar, it nearly plays itself. Quality: Quality is great. Value: Good value. Lotsa bang for the buck. Manufacturer Support: Haven't ever had to deal with Fender Product Support, and I've played Feders for 35 years. I have heard that Fender is very easy to deal with though, and stands behind everything they make.
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"A dream come true." submitted April 16, 2008

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Musical Background: Solo Musician
Music Style: Metal, classical, neo-classical, classic rock
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Sound: Sounds like a true neo-classical guitar. I have way more clarity with the YJM Strat, when Im speeding along my songs. But I would like to Add I'm not using a marshall(never really been a fan of them). I personnally use a Crate practice amp and a Boss ME-20 for my recording. Feature: Bottom line, this is the best strat you can get! Ease of Use: Plays amazing, the scalloped neck is hard to get used to, but I,ve picked it up fast, because my Ibanez RG series has jumbo frets and needs a light touch, overrall the sound very versatile for single pickups. Quality: Perfect craftsmanship, the only thing that I didn't like was the loose spring where the tremolo bar goes, whats up with that?? Value: Big bang for your buck Manufacturer Support: no problems yet, but I will call them soon if i cant find help on making adjustments, I ain't no guitar tech. The Wow Factor: I really could care less what color it is or shape, as long as it plays and looks professional, thats the key. Overall: This is it, my skills took a step back when i first got the guitar but now they are moving in a clearer and more creative turn. I will diffenetly use this guitar to record with, play live shows, great guitar. Never thought I would ever play on one but now I own it!!
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"Eh..." submitted February 20, 2008

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Sound: It has an average Fender sound... nothing special about it. Ease of Use: its a guitar Quality: Built nice. Value: I don't think I would have payed this much. The Wow Factor: Its an Yngwie strat, everyone wants it, but its not that great. Overall: Yngwie is my favorite guitarist ever, but I don't respect his choice of guitars, scalloped fretboard makes it awkward, bending is different, harder to control, but harder to miss at the same time. The tone is not versatile, err, I dunno, I think Yngwie could do way better.
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3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses.

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4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

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orders $59+
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Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay® checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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no minimum

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Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!