Fender Stratocaster Iron Maiden
Fender Stratocaster Iron Maiden
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Hatsubai 03/19/2011

Fender Stratocaster Iron Maiden : Hatsubai's user review

« Good strat but not really Maiden »

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The Iron Maiden Stratocaster was a limited edition Strat that Fender Japan released. It featured a basswood body, maple neck and maple fretboard. The guitar also included a recessed floyd, which is actually pretty rare for Fender guitars. Most Fenders that have floyds tend to be flush mount. This model came equipped with a mirror pickguard and mini humbuckers -- Hot Rails in the neck/middle and JB Jr. in the bridge. Aside from that, everything else was pretty much the same. I believe the bridge tone might have been wired a little differently, but I can't remember.


Fender Japan is a pretty underrated division of guitars, for some reason. They tend to be more consistent than the MIM and even the MIA line at times. The Original Floyd Rose was an awesome touch on this guitar, and the fact that you didn't have to replace the pickups made this guitar great right out of the box. The neck is a Fender standard thin U neck which is somewhat similar to the ESP Thin U. The fretwire was medium jumbo, and the radius was 9.5''. I wish the frets were bigger and had a flatter radius, but these features were pretty standard on almost every Fender at the time.


The guitar sounded pretty good, but it doesn't sound that much like a strat. For one, the JB Jr. is a bit thinner than the normal JB. It seems to lack some body that the original has; it's simply not as lively. The Hot Rails generally sound pretty good, but the middle pickup was totally useless due to the output. The biggest issue I battled was that the body is basswood. I like basswood bodies with Ibanez guitars, but this is a Fender. It should have really come with an alder body. Why they chose basswood, I have no clue.


Towards the end, the bushings in the floyd started pulling out of the basswood. I had to glue them back in, so if you have one, be sure to check for bushing movement. It can cause some trem. instability and other tuning issues. If you don't mind the floyd being flush mount, I actually recommend trying to find a Fender Floyd Rose Classic American Strat. They can be hard to find, but the quality is usually just as good, and it has an alder body like a proper strat should. For the Iron Maiden collector, it's a pretty cool guitar. Just realize that none of the Maiden guitarists really played this that much.