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SX '57 Strat Review

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RoyQBiv, Jan 1, 2005.


  1. RoyQBiv

    RoyQBiv

    Nov 8, 2002
    Bellingam, WA
    There's certainly no lack of information on the SX basses around here, but I know some TBers have been thinking about (or have already) picking up SX guitars to tinker around with. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to present a review of my new Vintage White 57 Strat.

    Finish/Aesthetics:
    The finish Vintage White finish is very yellow (almost greenish under bluish artificial lights...but yellow under natural light)--very classy, but definitely not "white." No finish flaws, slightly matte. Pickup covers and knobs are "aged" and match the finish almost perfectly. 3-ply B/W/B pickguard; the cut near the bridge is visibly rough on close inspection. Maple fretboard and neck with a skunk stripe. The neck and fretboard are stained a deep amber color. Once again, the finish is flawless. The neck wood really suprised me; there's a decent amount of flame on the neck and headstock. Very nice. Overall, the finish and looks of this guitar are quite impressive. I'm going to replace the stock pickguard with a tortoise shell guard, per my personal preference.

    Construction/Playability:
    The hardware seems solid. The tuners are very good, and shouldn't need replacing. The nut is plastic, but all the slots are the correct heights; switching to a graphic nut might help tuning stability, but again, that hasn't been an issue as of yet. The pots feel a bit cheap, as does the pickup selector switch, but they all work as expected. The input jack and tremolo feel solid.

    The guitar came with medium-low action right out of the box and not a single dead-spot or buzz anywhere on the fretboard. I haven't done a setup yet, although it will probably need one after I switch to a heavier gauge string. The neck is D-shaped and medium-thin. Fast, but substantial enough to be comfortable enough in my big hands. The fretwork is great--no sharp ends, nice polishing. Some of the fret ends have visible glue. Overall, very playable right out of the box, although any guitar should be set up to the player's preferences.

    Sound:
    Sounds like a Strat. The pickups lean towards more of a vintage sound. The neck pickup is open and vocal, the middle position is punchy with good bell-like tones, and the bridge yields the classic Strat "quack." All the classic Strat tones are available. In positions 1, 3 and 5 the guitar seems noisy, even for a Strat-style, so the shielding/grounding may be suspect; when I swap pickguards, I'll do a complete shielding job.

    Conclusion:
    For $99, this guitar is AMAZING. It easily compares to any MIM Fender I've played. There are a few minor issues (glue on fret ends, rough pickguard cut at bridge, poor shielding/grounding), but this instrument is visually and sonically impressive, and a great player.

    I'll try to get pics once my roommate gets back with his digital camera.
     
  2. Good review!

    BTW, what color is Q? :D