As many of you are aware, The Blues Blogger site draws a lot of interest from guitar players and six string enthusiasts worldwide. So today I’m featuring a guest post from Steve Williams and his review of The Fender FSR American Standard Hand Stained Ash Stratocaster. Steve has rated it out of 10 on some of the main features… If you are interesting in guest posting on this blog, checkout the guidelines here.
So there’s no confusion, the video above is Steve Delach from N Stuff Music.
(And stay tuned because I’ ll be back soon with a CD review of an exciting artist that’s gonna knock you out!)
This is a very special guitar and one that I’ve been looking forward to for various reasons. Not only because its part of the very exclusive FSR (Factory Short Run) range with only 250 models to be produced worldwide, but c’mon it’s a new Strat! The reason I’ve only given it an 8 for features is because, although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is essentially a standard Strat. Its contrasting chrome hardware and vintage style bridge look very cool but nothing amazing. Unfortunately this new model won’t find its way into many people’s lives but it’s found its way into my hands so I’ll talk you through the some of the main features.
Sound Production: 9
I’ll come into the aesthetic value of the Ash wood later, but in terms of the tonal differentiations between that and a standard Alder construction is noticeably different. The dense wood gives you more firm, powerful lows but with really crisp, clear highs and greatly improved sustain. But lets not forget it is still a Strat and Fender have clearly aimed to get the perfect balance between originality and versatility. It features 3 classic American Standard Stratocaster single-coils wired through a 5-way selector switch so you get the infamous Strat sound with the option to adjust it to you’re specifications.
As you’d expect the FSR Standard Hand Stained Ash Start is an absolute dream to play. I gave it a thorough test drive through a variety of genres and styles and it handled them perfectly. Its larger scale fretboard means you have to fight the strings and it just puts a smile on you’re face when you play. What fretboard you prefer might decide what finish you go for. Wine Red has a Rosewood and Mahogany Satin has a maple fingerboard.
This is where the guitar really comes into its element and as you’ve probably noticed by the pictures, the Hand Stained Ash Stratocaster is a visually stunning guitar. I feel that the Ash construction was predominantly chosen because of its beautiful, distinctive wide grain, which is enhanced by the translucent lacquer finish that just shows off the raw beauty of the wood. Another thing that adds to the guitars exclusivity is that in terms of finishes; no 2 guitars are exactly the same, a very appealing feature.
Overall Score: 9
The only thing that stops this guitar from receiving a perfect 10 score is my impeccably high standards and its lack of availability. Although that comes with both positive and negative influences, it’s a real shame that this model isn’t being distributed to the masses as it’s a beautiful guitar. But on the other hand, Christmas wouldn’t be so special if it was every week. Now would it? Despite all this the FRS Hand Stained Ash Start is surprisingly cheap, in comparison of course. Given its exclusivity you better act fast if you’re interested.
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