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April 22, 2007

So you want a good, cheap electric guitar?

Well, you probably know by now that I like buying cheap guitars and upgrading them bit to be decent guitars. I have had success doing this with my Squiers, and my SX guitars. Recently I ran into a crazy deal on Music123.com - a Fullerton strat copy for $44.99 with free shipping! Talk about insane deal. That exact deal is now gone, but do check what is available at Music 123.

I don't really know much about the background of these guitars, but I do know they are a sweet deal! I took it to a gig the same day I got it - I set the intonation and lowered the action a bit - it rocks!

It is a typical Frankenstrat - doesn't look exactly like a Fender Stratocaster, instead it's a bit more pointy looking.

Mayb you are thinking, "I can imagine what kind of crap guitar that must be". Well, I can tell you right away that I had those thoughts too, but I was blown away with the quality for this price. Good electronics, tuners and the neck is wonderful. It is easy to play, it stays in tune and it looks really cool. The obvious drawbacks would be the pickups and the cheap plastic nut. Replace those and you have an excellent backup guitar to your expensive Fenders, or what have you.

Fender Stratocasters

Talking about Fenders - I went to the music store to try out some Fenders. Cheap guitars in all their glory aside - I really want to get a high quality Stratocaster some day. The cheap guitars I have are all good and sweet, but they are of course not of the same quality as a guitar that cost 7 or 8 times as much - simple logic.

So I tried out a few Fender Strats, and I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't so many models to try out. I tried an Am Standard, a VG Strat, a Highway 1 and a MIM Standard. The ones that felt the best to play were the Highway 1 and the VG Strat - nice, big jumbo frets, just how I like frets to be. The MIM Standard had a horrible set up, but it was also very nice. It was the only one of these that I actually played through an amp (a Traynor 100 watt head), and it did sound quite good. With a good set up, I would be happy to strut around with one of these MIM Strats. The Am Standard did actually not excite me as much. The one I tried just didn't feel very interesting or fun to play.

So, the conclusion is I will keep eyes and fingers out for Fender MIM Strats, or maybe the Highway 1. There are other models I would like to try as well, the the Deluxe Players Stratocaster, or the 60th Anniversary MIM Strat. I don't really feel like spending the bucks on a American-made strat, since I felt the MIM strat sounded and felt just as good, if not better, than the American.

I do realize that I need to try quite a few guitars of the same model to be able to have a chance of making some sort of fair judgement. There is always the case that one guitar might sound and/or feel much better than the other 6 guitars of the same model. Try a lot of guitars of the model you like, and pick the one that feels the best - that's my advice!

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on April 22, 2007

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