I consider myself an »advanced beginner« and I've been hanging around with this beauty for a couple of months now, enjoying every moment. True, it's my first Strat and I have no previous experience with Fenders whatsoever, so my opinions may be biased. Anyway, here are the pros and, if I can think of any, cons worth mentioning.
The instrument itself is a very decent piece of work, the craftsmanship, the looks, the feel … they all live up to the maker's name. Might be, that US made pieces are considerably better, but I find it hard to believe they are 100% so, when this MIM one comes at approximately half their price or less. I believe, however, that in time I may be tempted to afford one and check this out by myself.
The guitar played well right out of the box, however, I took it to the luthier for the initial expert check-up and restringing. Except for a minor action adjustment, no other interventions were needed.
The »modern C« shaped, satin finish neck is very comfortable and the varnished, nicely curved maple fretboard feels great when playing chords, while soloing (bending, sliding, pulling-off …) comes natural as well.
I was a bit worried about the »non-locking« tuners, however, standard tuning machines do their job well. The tuning rarely needs more than normal, slight adjustments, even with extensive tremolo use. Some say that tuning stability is a matter of (tremolo) setup and that 2 point tremolos prove better in this respect. Well, I wouldn't know …
Finally, the 3-tone sunburst finish is a classic and (in my opinion) just the one that doesn't get boring to look at with time.
If there is a »con« as mentioned above, I really can't think of it at the moment. I would agree with some of the guys whose observations I had read though, that the little spring which helps holding the whammy bar in place, would probably present no significant cost for the manufacturer while it might broaden the smile of a grateful customer even more 😊.
Last but not least, thanks to Thomann, all the service, packaging and delivery were first rate! Thank you and keep up the excellent work, guys!