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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Professional HSS

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Feb 24th, 2018 07:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 1988 EC Strat, which is getting a bit rickety, and got the bug about getting a new Strat a few weeks ago. Checked GC and compare a MIM, American Std, and the Professional. The MIM was bright, shimmery but without enough depth to the tone for me. The Standard and Professional were close, but the HSS was what I decided would work best for me. GC didn't have the Olympic white color in stock, but I found a "blemished" model on Musicians Friend for about $300 less that brand new.

On arrival, the guitar looked amazing, and as for blemishes, I couldn't find a one. Plugged into a Quilter Aviator and dug in. I was prepared to be disappointed, but the V-mod pickups are great. The neck pickup was moderately bright, middle somewhat brighter and, surprisingly, the Shawbucker at the bridge was also bright and clear. It does not sound like a PAF HB, but more like a SC with twice the output. That's what I wanted!

Now, I don't have personal experience with all the various model Strats to compare, just my Clapton and a couple other MIM's I've had. This guitar has plenty of chime/shimmer for me. A little less than the Clapton, but more than the MIM's.

The deep C neck is very comfortable. Gloss on the fretboard and headstock, but satin on the back. With the narrow tall frets, I could bend as far as I physically could without fretting out all the way down the neck. High marks for playability.

I do occasionally use a whammy, and have always been annoyed with the screw in type. This guitar has a pop-in trem. Nice!!

In low gain amp settings, the tones were excellent. If the Shawbucker seems to bright, just roll down the tone knob. Upping the gain, it becomes a real rock-and-roll machine. The HB really produces some great, chunky sounds. The in-between settings are very nice as well. This guitar can handle any type of sound I need, for sure. There is some hum from the SC's V-mods at moderate gain settings, much less with the Shawbucker.

The guitar shipped in a very nice lightweight ABS hardshell case. Most of my heavy wooden hard cases sit in my closet, unused because of the weight, so the lighter case is definitely a plus.

I got my guitar from MF in two days, which gives them high marks for service. And I saved some money buying a "blem", which in this case was virtually new.

If you are looking for great Strat sounds with a lot of versatility, you might want to check this one out.

Fender Professional Strat HSS (stock photo)

(This message was last edited by greg1948 at 07:40 AM, Feb 25th, 2018)

Contributing Member


Feb 24th, 2018 08:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

Congrats on the score!

I'm a huge fan of HSS configured Strats which are the most versatile guitars on the planet.

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Feb 25th, 2018 06:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I didn't mention the staggered tuners. The 6th string tuner is the tallest, the 1st string the shortest. I'm not sure of the benefits of this scheme is. I'd rather have had locking tuners instead.

Contributing Member

Santee CA

I forgot my tagline
Feb 25th, 2018 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice review. I also prefer pop-in trem arms. IMO they should be standard on all American Strats except those specifically emulating 50's - 70's style Strats.

+1 5Strats

The narrow tall frets would be a deal killer for me, but that's just me.

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Feb 25th, 2018 07:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

One other feature I didn't mention is that the V-mod pickups do not lose the high end as you roll down the volume as traditional usually do.

Jake from PA
Contributing Member

Canonsburg, PA

They call me "Blind fingers"
Feb 26th, 2018 01:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Wouldn't the staggered tuners eliminate the need for any string trees?

Contributing Member

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Feb 27th, 2018 06:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Wouldn't the staggered tuners eliminate the need for any string trees?" Apparently not, since this guitar has the string trees for the E and B strings.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Professional HSS

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