Fender Jim Root Stratocaster
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Fender Jim Root Stratocaster

Jim Root Stratocaster, STC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Artist Stratocaster series.

tjon901 07/08/2011

Fender Jim Root Stratocaster : tjon901's user review

« The heaviest metal Stratocaster you can buy today »
5

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This is the kind of Stratocaster I have always wanted. This guitar is a metal machine from start to finish and fits what I want in a metal guitar perfectly. This is how you make a Stratocaster for heavy metal. First you get a Stratocaster body made from solid mahogany. There is no alder or ash here this is a beefy piece. Cover the mahogany body in a thin coat of black lacquer so the wood can breath well. Drop in a set of EMG pickups in a matching black pickguard. Throw away all the controls except for the volume knob and the 3 way. Give it a matching black string through hardtail bridge for ultimate tuning stability. For the neck you get yourself a thin C shaped piece of maple. Throw on an ebony fretboard clean with no inlays anywhere on it. You get 22 of the biggest railroad tie frets you can find, in this case Dunlop 6100s. Up top you give it a big in your face 70s headstock with some black locking tuners. This is what you have here. This is probably the heaviest tone you can get with a Stratocaster. You can also get this guitar in white and when you do it comes with a maple fretboard but other than that everything is the same.

UTILIZATION

This Fender has a real Charvel super strat feel to it. It has the smoothened out neck joint heel that you find on high end Fender guitars. This gives a bit better access to the upper frets. I have heard that the neck profile is based on Jim Roots favorite Charvel guitar and you can really feel it. The neck has a compound radius like you would find on a Jackson nowadays. The compound radius allows the for great playability on both ends of the neck. Near the headstock on the low end the radius is 12 inches which means the fretboard is slightly more curved up there to make playing chord shapes more comfortable. Near the high end the radius is 16 inches which makes shredding and lead playing effortless. The locking tuners are a great feature and I wish every guitar came with them. This with the huge frets make the action so easy the guitar pretty much plays itself. The ebony fretboard is smooth to the touch and well finished.

SOUNDS

The one thing I would do different with this guitar is the pickups. I am not a big fan of the 81 and 60 combination. EMG's are some of the best active high output pickups you can get for metal. Since they are active they need a 9v battery to work. The 81 in the bridge is a classic setup for metal. The 81 gives you great high end crunch and clarity even in the lowest of tunings. With the 81 harmonics pop right out and you get a nice searing high end tone. This high end is what keeps the sound nice and clear. The 60 in the neck is a pretty much neck only pickup. It is not super high output and is best used for clean tones. In the neck position I personally prefer an 85. The 85 has about the same output as the 81 and I think it is better for dirty solos in the neck position than the 60 is. I would have liked to see them put an 85 in the neck. The 85 in the neck is a great pickup too. It has a more fuller sound than the 81 so in the neck position you can get fat lead tones. The 85 is also good too in the bridge. With EMG's quick connect system you can easily swap these pickups position without soldering anything. The 85 in the bridge produces a super thick tone and cleans up better than the 81. Speaking of cleans if you do the 18v mod on the EMG's. With the 18v mod you run the pickups on two batteries instead of one. This provides a more organic tone with more headroom.

OVERALL OPINION

Its like Jim Root and I are on the same wave lenght when it comes to guitars. This guitar is pretty much exactly what I would do to a Strat right down to the big 70s headstock that no one likes. If you are looking for the heaviest strat possible this is it. Finally there is a strat designed to melt faces with metal tone and most importantly it has the 70s headstock.