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Suhr Classic Review

The best Stratocaster I've ever played. Yes, it is that good. A new world has opened up for me. The Suhr Classic is the Strat that Fender should be building. I have played many Fender Strats, and never or rarely do I see any of them approaching the quality of a Suhr.

Let's back up a bit. I saved up some money and went looking for a Suhr Classic. The reason? Scott Henderson and Mike Landau uses them, and I am a big fan of the tones these guys get. So, I found an ad on a forum for a Suhr Classic and it was 4 years old. It was also Olympic White, and I love white guitars. I started communicating with the guy and I saw a good deal was in reach. I admin I was worried about buying a guitar unseen, and also privately over the Internet like this. At least with eBay you have some buyer protection. Oh well, GAS had a firm grip on me and I shelled out the money and waited nervously. Within 7 days, the guitar was here!

My first impression was Wow, what a feel this guitar has. The action was crazy low for my playing and it would buzz a bit as a result. No biggie, the Allen key was included so I just fixed it right away. I could of course not wait to plug it in. I set up my video camera, plugged the Suhr into my lovely 18 watt Heatseeker. Holy Mackarel! I felt weak when I realized how good this guitar is! This is the video I recorded that day. I could have played non-stop for 10 hours, but I had to feed the kids... needless to say, the IS the guitar of my dreams.

Features * * * * *
This Suhr Classic has the features of a typical Stratocaster, but there are some "extras". Mine has the following:

  • Maple neck with Indian Rosewood fretboard
  • Body wood: alder
  • Neck back shape: 60's C Vintage Medium .830 - .950
  • Neck radius: 10" - 13" compound
  • Nut: Tusq
  • Frets: 6105 Stainless Steel
  • Bridge: Gotoh 1088 (Stainless Steel saddles, screw arm, steel block
  • Nut width: 1.650
  • Hardware color: Chrome
  • Gears: Sperzel Locking Tuners
  • Pickguard: Parchment 3ply
  • Electronics: Stock 3 control Volume Tone Blend
  • Input Jack: Face Jack
  • Knobs: Plastic Parchment
  • Neck, Middle and Bridge pickups: Suhr V60's Single Coil LP (parchment colour)
  • Finish: Olympic White
  • Case: Custom Hardshell Form-Fit CaseĀ

Sound * * * * *
As soon as I picked up the guitar, I knew it would sound good. Why? Because it sounds good even unplugged. It has solid response when you hit the strings, you can kind of feel it throughout the guitar. It's built with perfection to sound good, and it does. The Suhr V60LP pickups are the best I've ever had. They are a fair bit vintage sounding, but they are more modern in the way that they sound great even with lots of distortion. My CS '54 pickups are nice for clean, clucky sound, but they would not fair so well with plenty of gain.

The V60LP pickups however, they sound nice and clear with a clean OR a dirty amp. The definition of the notes all over neck are superb and you can get a fat, distorted tone with these single-coils, something I'm not at all used. I am of course excited over this. Fantastic pickups, and I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone looking for some Strat replacement pickups.

Suhr now has a noise-canceling system called SSC, and it is indeed fabulous. At the time my guitar was built, this was not an option so my guitar doesn't have it. However, this is not a big problem unless you regularly gig on stages with lots of lights and grounding issues. You can get that 60 cycle hum with single coils in such instances, and if you are painfully familiar with this, the SSC system is for you. However, these pickups don't hum as much as my other single-guitars, so I can live without the SSC system. If I ever play on a stage where hum becomes a problem, I have a Fender Strat with noiseless pickups that could save my bacon, but overall I don't get much noise problems with my Suhr.

Quality * * * * *
When you take a closer look at a Suhr and compare it with any of my other guitars, well the words Night and Day come to mind. I am still impressed by the quality of this guitar every time I pick it up. The neck pocket is as tight as it gets. The frets are so smoooth. The neck is perfectly straight and very solid. The pickups have the pole pieces perfectly raised for each string. The angle from the nut to the tuners is perfect, and string trees are not needed. It stays in tune perfectly. Well, I could go on, but I hope I am making my point. Finding any kind of flaw is very difficult. I sure failed...

Overall Rating * * * * *
Well, if you made it this far reading this review, you know what I'm going to say. It's one incredible guitar and it is worth every penny. Quality like this doesn't happen by chance. There's no fluke that this guitar sounds in-freaking-credible. It has been made by highly skilled guitar makers who know how to build a great guitar. The only bad thing is that all my other guitars are now collecting dust.

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All contents © Copyright Robert Renman.
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New Course - Comping with Triads -

Learn 6 common chord progressions.
"You are simply the best teacher on the internet. Always cool, explain things well, and relevant stuff for beginners to advanced players. Even my kids are into your lessons now!"

I was chosen as the 2013 Next Top Guitar Instructor at Truefire!