Fender American Special Strat-o-Sonic DV I
Fender American Special Strat-o-Sonic DV I

American Special Strat-o-Sonic DV I, STC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Stratocaster series.

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Hatsubai 10/10/2011

Fender American Special Strat-o-Sonic DV I : Hatsubai's user review

« Interesting, but far from a real Strat »

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Fender decided to experiment a bit and got an almost Gibson Junior kind of vibe. It's not what you would normally consider a strat, and it's far from it when it comes to the overall sound and feel. The guitar features a chambered mahogany body, a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, dot inlays, a hard tail bridge, two P90s, one volume, one tone and a three way switch.


The first thing you notice about this guitar is that it's super light. The guitar's body is actually chambered, and you can tell it once you pick it up. It almost felt like an acoustic because it was so light. The bridge on this thing is a bit funky, and I can't say I really bonded with it. It was just bizarre as I never expected Fender to make something like this. The neck is the same as every other Fender C shaped neck out there, so no real change there. The control placement was interesting, but it wasn't hard to get used to. Slightly different from a Fender, but nothing too extreme like on some certain other guitars out there. High fret access is the same as any other Fender, so no change there, either.


The guitar had a unique sound, but it reminded me of some sort of thinner sounding Les Paul Junior. Because the guitar is chambered, you had the highs sounding really soft. Combine that with the P90 pickups which naturally have a fatter sound, and it was an overall very dark guitar. It didn't seem to have the natural cut that most Fenders have, and it kind of bothered me. It was just so different. However, it got a pretty ripping blues tone. I was able to get some rock tones out of this, but it started to fall flat once you cranked the gain up. It seemed to sound best through lower gain amps like old school Marshalls and Fenders.


The guitar is unique, but there's no way I'd buy one of these simply because it's so different. If I wanted something similar, I'd probably get a Les Paul Junior, or better yet, I'd get a P90 equipped Les Paul. The price difference between the aforementioned guitars is big, but you're also getting a better sounding guitar, in my opinion.