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Fender American Deluxe Fat Stratocaster HSS [1998-2003]
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Fender American Deluxe Fat Stratocaster HSS [1998-2003]
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mooseherman mooseherman
Published on 02/24/10 at 22:51
This is an American made electric guitar, with a standard Fender bridge and a maple C-shaped neck (the standard neck for Stratocasters). There are 21 frets, a humbucking pickup in the bridge position, and two single-coil pickups in the center and neck positions. It has a five-way toggle for selecting pickups. There is a knob for volume, a knob for tones when having one pickup selected, and a knob for tones when splitting the signal between two pickup.

UTILIZATION

This is a pretty easy guitar to play, as are most Strats. The sounds that you can get out of this guy vary from pickup to pickup, but it's not too tough to find the sound you want. It's not too heavy (although heavier than most Strats), and it's easy to lug around. Everything on this guitar is stable.

SOUNDS

I wasn't anticipating much from this guitar, because I was skeptical about what a humbucker would sound like on a Strat. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The bridge single-coil pickup on many Strats can be extremely bright, and is often grating to the ears when used with heavy distortion. This proved to be a great Strat for rocking out, as the humbucker kills much of the excess noise, and rolls off some of the brightness. While I think it might have rolled off a little bit too much of the brightness (especially for a Strat), I'm still happy with the sound I get. In some ways, it makes the Stratocaster more versatile than it would be with the normal configuration. This setup is good for rock songs that get by more on tone and attitude than raw power. With a good distortion pedal you can really get a great midrangey sound that cuts through noise and cymbals. I really like the neck pickup sound as well, it has a nice, thick tone reminiscent of blues players like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Buddy Guy. I think that the middle pickup on this guitar is unspectacular, but it's never been my favorite on any other guitar anyway. This guitar is pretty good for my style of music, which is classic rock-style rock and blues-rock.

OVERALL OPINION

I liked this guitar a lot, it's very useful in live settings and it provides a great rocking or bluesy clean tone. For me, that goes a long way. I don't think it's the perfect guitar for recording, none of the sounds are perfect (though they are close). It's not the most expensive Strat out there, but I don't think it's too overpriced. There are certainly inferior ones that go for more. I'd say that this one is worth checking out if you have any doubts about getting a Strat.
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