I know I gave this guitar a great review, but thats exactly what it is - a great guitar.
It handles all the blues, jazz, rock, and even hard rock I throw at it with no problems at all. I can't even say that about my Clapton signature strat. Sure, it has its bells & whistles but it does not feel as solid as this instrument, and I payed alot more for that one than this one.
The only thing this guitar would not do is the extremely heavy hardcore stuff. But it handles even heavy rock well because of the hot pickups. It sounds warm in all aspects, and it is a real treat to play. I have removed the tremelo and blocked the bridge because I dont like them or use them.
I have found a guitar that I can say for sure I will always own. It really is mindblowing that it was built in Korea. This guitar sounds better than my American deluxe, and it is more solid than my Clapton signature. And it is everything I wished my Robert Cray strat would be (medium jumbo frets, great sounds/feel/construction & more than enough sustain)
If you are thinking of getting a strat, give this one a try. Forget for a moment the origin of manufacture and play it. You will see what I am getting at. I am selling my Robert Cray strat this weekend and another friend is going to buy my deluxe (he says) when he gets paid.
If my clapton strat did not get me the few extra sounds that it does it wopuld probably go, too. That and the fact I probably won't get near as much as I payed for it. I ordered it thinking it would be flawless because of the model it is, but I was dissappointed. I kept it because it does sound great, but it was not finished with much care at all - if any. I would have sent it back but with the sorry construction I was afraid I might actually recieve one that didnt sound/play as well - as opposed to what I had - one that did not look well. This lite ash strat had no imperfections at all, not in the frets, birdseye neck, wiring inside, abalone dots, solid tuners, pickups that scream blues with no effort, joints and all around construction.
The best guitar purchase I have made in a long time.
This is a new Korean made Strat, right on par with alot of American made models, and better than quite a few American models as well.
I have had it 3 months, so I figure I know it well enough for a review.
It has a beautiful birdseye maple neck with alot of swirley patterns, and abalone inlays that "change color" depending on the angle you view it from.
22 medium jumbo frets
1 volume, 2 tone controls
3 single coils
Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II
Natural finish on the swamp ash body
classic strat shape
2 point floating tremelo
The only thing I wish it had were a tone knob for just the bridge pickup added with the other 2 tone controls....but I wish every strat had that. It would make a very versatile guitar even more versatile.
I have 3 other strats. A MIA deluxe, Clapton signature, and MIM Robert Cray signature.
This lite ash strat is a real treat to play. The neck is so smooth it feels like butter. The frets were well dressed and smooth, the floating trem actually held the tune very well (before I blocked it, Im not a trem guy), and the pickups sound great.
It is not a super-fast speed metal neck, it has a little contour and beefiness to it. But since it is so smooth, you can rip it up pretty fast if you have it in you. You do not have to fight it to play it like you sometimes do with strats, it is very smooth & playable. And with the great sounds produced, that just makes me want to play it longer every time i consider putting it down.
The pickups are hotter than stock fender single coils. They definately have a bark & bite that standard single coils won't do. Don't get me wrong, I love strats thats why i have 4, but its nice to have something a little hotter than normal, without being humbuckers.
I knew from the moment I plugged this guitar in it was going to be special to me. Its just a combination of sounds, feel, and playability combined with flawless construction and well-worked craftsmanship.
Through my hotrod deluxe i get the spanky cleans that Strats are loved for. pushing the gain I get what you'd expect with Seymour Duncan alnico pickups - but with a little more bark which i love.
Swamp ash is sort of a "nutrual" wood, so its very transparent which is a great thing if you are using good pickups. If I had to describe the flavor of the wood, I would say its glassy and bell-like, that combined with the fact that it does not really color your sound - it just lets the sustain producing wood work its magic with the pickups & amp, very nice if like letting every nuance shine through. So its best described as glassy, snappy and full of sustain. The 2 pickups together (bridge & middle or neck & middle) have more of the glassy quality than my other 3 strats.