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Why did I buy it?

As a kid my best mate had a squire strat that I used to borrow all the time. I was also a great fan of Clapton and so all through my teenage years aspired to get a US strat. I finally bought a US cherry-red one with a rosewood fretboard when I was 18, played it for a few years but then traded it in for an acoustic guitar when I started university. This was a real mistake that I made after playing bass in a band with an amazing lead guitarist and becoming depressed that I would never be that good. A couple years later I bought a Mexican “Sambora” strat which was great except for the Floyd-Rose tremolo that I really didn’t get on with. After a brief dally with a Telecaster I finally went to ebay and got this second hand maple-necked guitar at about the same time I bought the Fender blues-junior amp. I wanted to “cut back to the roots” with nothing but a good guitar and amp.

How does it sound?

I love the five pickup selections. The neck pickup gives a great bluesy lead, the neck+middle is a variation on this and also good for jazz, the middle is cool for clean, I don’t really use the middle+bridge, whilst the bridge on its own is really trebly and precisely what is needed to cut through a mix, especially with lots of overdrive. On my first couple strats I kept the stock pickups however on my current version I changed all three for Texas specials which have a much higher output and thus drive my tubes much better. After having a Telecaster for a few years it was a real relief to come back to a strat which is far more flexible, and quite good for mixing up your sounds a bit especially when engaged in shoe-gazing noodling!

The only problem I have had is playing in a couple places (churches) with a hearing aid loop that gets picked up by the single coils. After a coupl bad experiences I made sure I always carried a guitar with humbuckers whenever I took the strat out!

Keep or sell?

Although I have tried out other guitars I always keep coming back to strats. I know some people do the same with Les Pauls etc. however there is just something about the sound and feel of a strat that does it for me. I think I will always keep this one, and maybe one day add a HSS version to my collection when I have a bigger house. As blues rock is my favourite genre, a strat is about as good as you can get.