Top 10 best stratocaster guitars reviewed to add to your collection

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  September 14, 2022

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There is no question that the Stratocaster is one of the most popular electric guitars on the market. This versatile guitar model can be used for a variety of genres, from country to metal.

In fact, so many of these instruments are sold that the Strat is probably the most recognisable electric guitar these days.

Top 11 best stratocaster guitars reviewed to add to your collection

Fender designed this iconic electric guitar model, but other brands quickly followed suit because the Stratocaster is just that good.

The Strat has a timeless design, and its playability is second to none.

The Fender Player Stratocaster is one of the most popular models on the market. This guitar is perfect for those who want a classic Stratocaster with a Floyd Rose tremolo. You can rock out or play blues on this guitar which has a sleek body design and comes in a variety of colors.

If you’re in the market for a Stratocaster, you may be wondering which one is the best. Here’s a look at some of the top models.

I’ve included the classic Fender Stratocasters, the budget-friendly Squier range, and more!

Let’s explore the options first and then keep reading to find the full reviews.

Best stratocaster guitarsImages
Overall best stratocaster: Fender Player Electric HSS Guitar Floyd RoseOverall best stratocaster- Fender Player Electric HSS Guitar Floyd Rose
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Best budget stratocaster & best for beginners: Squier by Fender Affinity SeriesBest budget stratocaster & best for beginners- Squier by Fender Affinity Series
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Best premium stratocaster: Fender American UltraBest premium stratocaster- Fender American Ultra
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Best signature Fender ‘Strat’ & best for metal: Fender Tom Morello StratocasterBest signature Fender 'Strat'- Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster
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Best stratocaster for country: Sterling by Music Man 6 String Solid-BodyBest stratocaster for country- Sterling by Music Man 6 String Solid-Body
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Best stratocaster for blues: Fender Player HSH Pau Ferro FingerboardBest stratocaster for blues- Fender Player HSH Pau Ferro Fingerboard
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Best stratocaster for rock: Fender Jimi Hendrix Olympic WhiteBest stratocaster for rock- Fender Jimi Hendrix Olympic White
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Best stratocaster for jazz: Fender Vintera ’60s Pau Ferro FingerboardBest stratocaster for jazz- Fender Vintera '60s Pau Ferro Fingerboard
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Best left-handed stratocaster: Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL BLBest left-handed stratocaster- Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL BL
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Best gig stratocaster guitar: Ibanez AZES40 Standard BlackBest gig stratocaster guitar- Ibanez AZES40 Standard Black
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What makes Stratocasters special?

When you think Stratocaster solid body electric guitars, you should think about the iconic guitar players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Tom Morello, who even has a signature strat named after him.

These players are well-known for playing original Fender Stratocasters.

A good Stratocaster should have a few key features:

  • Three single-coil pickups or humbucking pickups
  • Five-way pickup selector switch
  • Alder or basswood body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood or maple fretboard
  • C-shaped neck profile (some Fender American models have D-shaped necks)

These are the essential Stratocaster features. Of course, each model might vary.

While cheaper models may have a maple fingerboard instead of rosewood frets, a pricier strat like the Fender American Ultra Stratocaster has a different D-shaped neck and better hardware.

Buying guide

Before you buy a Stratocaster, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Not all Strats are built the same. Of course, the traditional Strat is the most sought-after model because it has a unique sound.

I already have a full guitar buying guide, but I’ll go over the main features you need to look for when purchasing a Stratocaster electric guitar, regardless of brand.

Brand

Fender Stratocasters are the real deal and have a long-standing history in the music industry since Fender is one of the most iconic guitar brands in the world.

The company’s Strats have excellent build quality, tone, and playability.

Other companies, like Squier (a Fender subsidiary) and Yamaha, make great Stratocasters as well.

Squier Stratocasters are considered to be the best copies on the market.

That’s because they’re made by Fender and feature high-quality parts, just like some of the Fender models they’re based on.

Although the best Fender Stratocasters are already iconic, let’s not forget brands like PRS, Friedman, Tokai, Suhr, and Xotic California, just to name a few.

All Fender strat copies have vintage styling since this feature sets these electric guitars apart from many other solid bodies.

Body & tonewood

Tonewood has a direct influence on your guitar’s sound.

Many Strats have an alder body or maple body. Alder is a very versatile tonewood, and it’s often used on Fender guitars because it has a nice balance of highs and lows.

But different tonewoods can give your Strat a different tone. For example, a swamp ash body will make your guitar sound brighter and give it more snap.

Neck

The Stratocaster has a bolt-on neck, which is attached to the body with four bolts.

Best strings for electric guitar
Best strings for electric guitar

This design makes it easy to replace the neck if necessary. The neck can also be adjusted slightly to improve the action and playability of the guitar.

The original Fender Stratocaster has a modern “C” shape neck. This is the most common type of neck because it’s comfortable to play on.

When it comes to build, a maple neck is popular. Maple necks are great for those who have small hands or want to play fast lead licks.

Some cheaper Strats have an alder neck.

Pickups

Most Stratocasters have three single-coil pickups. These pickups are known for their signature “twangy” sound.

Some Strats also have the humbucker pickups that produce those classic strat tones.

The older Fender guitars are best known for their vintage noiseless pickups and vintage-style tuners.

Hardware & tuners

Strats have a tremolo bridge. This feature allows you to add vibrato to your sound by bending the strings.

Floyd Rose locking tremolos are also popular among Stratocaster players.

These bridges lock the strings in place so that they don’t go out of tune when you use the tremolo.

When it comes to hardware, you also need to pay attention to the tuners. The original Fender Strats had vintage-style tuners.

However, many modern Strats have locking tuners. This type of hardware is great for those who want to change the strings frequently or play with a lot of vibrato.

Some Strats also have a Bigsby tremolo. This type of tremolo is similar to the Floyd Rose, but it’s not as popular.

Fender also offers an American Professional Stratocaster with a hard-tail bridge. This model is perfect for those who want a vintage Strat tone without the hassle of a tremolo.

Fretboard & scale length

Some Fender Strats have a rosewood fingerboard, whereas some have maple frets.

The standard Strat has a 25.5-inch (650 mm) scale length, which is the distance between the nut and the saddle.

Some Strats have a 22-fret fingerboard, while others have 21 frets.

The number of frets doesn’t affect the sound of the guitar, but it does affect how easy it is to play certain lead licks and solos.

The size of the fretboard also varies from guitar to guitar.

A smaller fretboard is easier to play on, but a larger one gives you more space to add vibrato and bend the strings.

Some Strats have a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard, while others have a 12-inch radius.

Finish

The finish is the final layer of protection for your guitar. It also affects the look of the guitar.

The most common type of finish is nitrocellulose lacquer. This type of finish is thin and allows the guitar to “breathe.”

It also ages well and develops a beautiful patina over time.

Most finishes are shiny, but there are some mattes and even some sparkly finishes.

There are also transparent finishes that show off the wood grain of the guitar.

Best stratocaster guitars reviewed: top 10

Alright, let’s dive deeper into the reviews. What makes these Stratocaster guitars so amazing to earn them a spot in this top 10?

Overall best stratocaster: Fender Player Electric HSS Guitar Floyd Rose

If you’re looking for a high-quality Stratocaster that sounds amazing, the Fender Player Stratocaster is a great option.

This guitar has a Floyd Rose tremolo system, making it perfect for those who want to rock out!

Most Strats don’t have the Floyd Rose, so this is a great feature because it allows you to add vibrato to your sound.

Overall best stratocaster- Fender Player Electric HSS Guitar Floyd Rose full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: maple
  • pickups: One player Series humbucking Bridge pickup, 2 single-coils & neck pickup
  • neck profile: c-shape
  • has Floyd Rose tremolo system

Although it has a floating tremolo system that is decidedly un-Strat-like, the body shape is vintage Strat, and it feels identical to any other Strat you may have played.

The lead playing stands out while remaining warm and present because of the maple fretboard’s articulate assault.

In addition, the Alnico 5 humbucker, which is managed by a 5-way blade switch, contributes to this by producing a fuller tone than the typical angled single coil found in most Strats and providing chords that reverberate through the alder body.

The Player Stratocaster also has a humbucker pickup in the bridge position, giving it a beefier sound than other Strat models.

There are alnico single-coil pickups, too, so you can get that signature Strat tone.

The neck is maple, and the fretboard is maple, making it fast and easy the guitar also has a comfortable C-shaped neck profile.

The 22 medium jumbo frets have a modern 12″ radius, as do the neck shape and all other Player Series and Player Plus series guitars.

Additionally, the back of the neck has a satin finish, giving it the beautiful appearance of the gloss finish on the front and the pleasant feel of the satin touch on the back.

The body is alder, which is lightweight but still has a good tone. The guitar also has an HSS pickup configuration, so you can get a wide range of tones.

The Player Stratocaster also comes in a left-handed model, so if you’re a lefty, you can order one.

My main problem with this guitar is the tuners – they are not locking tuners, and that means they are more likely to slip and come out of tune.

You can always switch the tuners, and then you’ve got yourself an amazing electric guitar.

The Player Strat is a great all-around guitar that is perfect for any style of music.

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line Stratocaster, this is the one that delivers great sound for a fair price.

There’s no doubt it sounds better than the cheaper Squier models, but it’s not as expensive as the American Standard Stratocaster.

Check the latest prices here

Best budget stratocaster & best for beginners: Squier by Fender Affinity Series

The Squier by Fender Affinity Series Stratocaster is a great option for those on a budget.

This guitar has all the essential Stratocaster features, including three single-coil pickups and a vintage-style tremolo system.

Best budget stratocaster & best for beginners- Squier by Fender Affinity Series full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: poplar
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: maple
  • pickups: single-coil pickups
  • neck profile: c-shape
  • vintage-style tremolo

The Affinity Series Stratocaster is perfect for beginners or those who want a versatile guitar that won’t break the bank. That’s because this guitar is easy to play – and it sounds great, too!

You can play different music styles with this guitar, thanks to the three single-coil pickups. You can get a bright, twangy sound for country music or a thicker, distorted sound for rock and metal.

The vintage-style tremolo system is also a great feature, as it allows you to add vibrato to your sound. This is a great guitar for those who want to rock out!

Honestly, the design of the Squier Affinity Strat is virtually identical to that of the Fender Stratocaster. The only difference is that the Squier model is made with cheaper materials.

But don’t let that fool you – this guitar can still hold its own!

The body is made of poplar wood, and the fretboard is maple. That means the tones you’ll get from this guitar are nice and warm.

The Affinity Series Stratocaster also has a c-shape neck profile, making it comfortable to play.

However, you can expect the neck to feel a bit unfinished compared to a real Fender Stratocaster.

And, of course, it has three single-coil pickups – one in the bridge position and two in the middle and neck positions.

That gives you a wide range of tones to work with. Most players say the pickups are loud and maybe even a bit too hot, but excellent considering the pickups are ceramic.

The only downside to this guitar is that it doesn’t have locking tuners. That means it’s more likely to slip out of tune – but, again, that’s something you can upgrade if you want to.

Compared to the Squier’s Bullet Strat, this one just sounds better, and all the hardware is of better quality.

You won’t find nearly as many imperfections, unfinished edges, sharp frets, or other issues on the Affinity instruments.

Overall, this is a great practice guitar and a great learning guitar because it sounds good, it’s lightweight, and easy to play.

Check the latest prices here

Still not decided? Here are some more great electric (an acoustic) guitars for beginners to get you started

Fender Player Electric HSS Guitar Floyd Rose vs Squier by Fender Affinity Series

The main difference between these two guitars is the build quality and the price.

The Squier by Fender Affinity Series Stratocaster is a great guitar for beginners or those on a budget.

This guitar has all the essential Stratocaster features, including three single-coil pickups and a vintage-style tremolo system.

The Fender Player Stratocaster Electric HSS Guitar, on the other hand, is a top-of-the-line guitar that features a Floyd Rose tremolo system and two humbucker pickups.

This guitar is more expensive than the Squier, but it’s also built with better materials and features higher-quality hardware.

Having a Floyd Rose tremolo system is a huge advantage, as it allows you to do all sorts of cool tricks and techniques.

If you’re into heavier styles of music, then the humbucker pickups will also be a big plus.

Another difference is the body material: the Squier has a poplar body, while the Fender has an alder body.

Alder is a slightly better material, as it tends to produce a richer and fuller sound.

In terms of playability, both guitars are similar. They have the same c-shaped neck and body shape.

Overall, the Fender Player Stratocaster is the better guitar, but if you’re looking for a great beginner guitar, the Squier by Fender Affinity Series Stratocaster sounds pretty darn good!

Best premium stratocaster: Fender American Ultra

If you’re looking for the best of the best, one of the American Ultra Fender Stratocasters should be what you’re after.

The American Ultra is probably the Fender Stratocaster most pro players prefer because of its versatility.

It has all the classic Strat features, plus some modern upgrades that make it even better.

Best premium stratocaster- Fender American Ultra full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: maple
  • pickups: 3 Ultra Noiseless Single-coil Pickups with S-1 Switch 
  • neck profile: D-shape
  • tremolo

The American Ultra has a D-shaped neck, making it more comfortable to play.

Most Strats, Fender or not, have the modern C-shaped neck, but this guitar has the old-school D-shape. It makes the guitar feel more vintage, and some players prefer it.

It also has a contoured body and ergonomic forearm and belly cuts.

The guitar’s beautifully sleek and shiny finish makes it stand out from the rest. The Texas Tea design morphs from stylish black to a nice mocha brown color.

This guitar’s sound is incredible, thanks to its three Noiseless pickups. And if you want to rock out, the American Ultra has a Floyd Rose tremolo system.

There’s no unwanted buzz or any bad noise coming from this guitar, so you can play cleanly and confidently.

The maple neck is extremely well made and probably the most comfortable to play on.

Overall, this is a very playable guitar – it feels even comfier than Ibanez or a Gibson. Compared to other Fender Strats, it’s a definite upgrade.

It’s also one of the best-sounding Strats, thanks to its Noiseless pickups. These are basically silent when you’re not playing, so you won’t get any unwanted feedback.

The price might seem high, but this is one of the best deals when you consider the value, and it will last a lifetime.

My only minor complaint is that the neck scratches a bit too easily, so you may end up with tiny pockmarks if you’re not careful.

But other than that, this is an amazing guitar and definitely worth the investment.

Check the latest prices here

Best signature Fender ‘Strat’ & best for metal: Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster

The Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster is a signature model designed by the legendary Rage Against the Machine guitarist. This guitar is excellent for punk, metal, and alternative rock music.

Best signature Fender 'Strat'- Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: rosewood
  • pickups: 2 Single-coil Pickups & 1 humbucker 
  • neck profile: C-shape
  • Floyd Rose tremolo

The Tom Morello Stratocaster has a unique look, thanks to its black and white finish. It also has a maple neck and rosewood fretboard.

This guitar’s sound is huge, thanks to its three single-coil pickups. And if you want to add some sustain to your playing, the Tom Morello Stratocaster has a Floyd Rose tremolo system.

Most guitar players applaud the excellent sound of this electric guitar because the pickups are fantastic.

This guitar has 22-frets and a 9.5-14-inch compound radius which makes it super comfy to play.

Just a heads up, the toggle switches might need to be tightened slightly if they are used frequently, but other than that, there’s not much to complain about!

But the reason this guitar made the list is because it has some fun upgrades compared to other Strats.

The Floyd Rose bridge, as well as the high-quality locking tuners, are excellent.

You can keep your guitar in tune for a longer period of time when performing those crazy whammy dives and whinnies.

Next, I have to mention the killswitch. Tom Morello is known for the weird stuttering leads that distinguished him from other guitarists back in the day – he did it by pressing the killswitch to turn the sound off.

You can get the sound by passing the guitar through a nice distortion pedal and slamming the switch.

Like the other best Fender Stratocasters, this one has a master volume knob, the classic bridge tone knob, and the tone knobs for the other two pickups.

Wondering what the knobs and switches on a guitar are actually for?

With the help of a 5-position blade switch, you can operate any pickup alone or with its counterpart, and the best part is that a clear and sharp sound is produced in every situation.

As a result, the Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster is essentially noise-free, even when in high overdrive. This is much improved compared to a guitar like the cheap Squier Stratocaster.

For this reason, I recommend this guitar for metal-heads. It has all the features you need for metal playing, including a Floyd Rose tremolo system and humbuckers.

Overall, if you’re looking for a signature model from a popular guitarist, I highly recommend checking out the Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster.

It’s one of the best-sounding and playing modern Strats on the market these days!

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Fender American Ultra Stratocaster vs Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster

These are two premium Stratocasters that are made of the highest quality materials.

The American Ultra is the more expensive guitar, but both of these instruments offer professional quality.

The American Ultra is a very recognisable electric guitar because of its sleek design. The body is contoured and the neck has a modern “D” shape.

It’s also made with AAA Flame Maple for the fretboard and has higher-end appointments like Black Pearloid block inlays and chrome hardware.

In contrast, the Tom Morello Strat offers a classic, comfortable C neck shape and comes with a lot of fun upgrades compared to basic strats.

These include a Floyd Rose bridge and high-quality locking tuners.

It also has a killswitch, which is perfect if you want to recreate Tom Morello’s signature stuttery sound.

The American Ultra is equipped with three Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat pickups, while the Tom Morello has three standard single-coil pickups.

Both of these guitars are great for a variety of genres and perfect for experienced players and guitar lovers.

Best stratocaster for country: Sterling by Music Man 6 String Solid-Body

The Sterling by Music Man 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar is a great choice for country and rockabilly.

This guitar has a vintage-style tremolo system and two single-coil pickups, plus a humbucking pickup.

Best stratocaster for country- Sterling by Music Man 6 String Solid-Body full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: poplar
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: maple
  • pickups: 2 Single-coil Pickups & 1 humbucker 
  • neck profile: V-shape
  • vintage style tremolo

The Sterling by Music Man also has a unique neck profile – it’s shaped like a “V”, making it more comfortable to play.

Also, it has an oversized 4+2 headstock which makes it look a bit different from the Fender Stratocaster design.

And if you want to add some twang to your playing, this guitar has a built-in “Bigsby” vibrato tailpiece.

You get a whammy bar and an extra spring, so you can “bend” the strings and make them quiver.

If you’re into chicken pickin you’ll enjoy the low action and fast neck of the Sterling by Music Man.

Sterling actually has a historical link to Leo Fender since he was one of the partners in the original Music Man company.

The Sterling by Music Man guitars are made in the same factory as the higher-end Music Man instruments, so you’re getting a great guitar for a fraction of the price.

Although, I’m just warning you that the design isn’t quite like a Fender Stratocaster. But, it’s a good country guitar because of the pickups, neck, and headstock.

The body is made of poplar, but it has a maple fretboard. The fretboard makes a deep, full sound with a bit of zingyness.

Toto’s Steve Lukather plays a Sterling guitar, and although he’s not a country musician, the guitar sounds great.

This guitar is best known for its clean country tones, but it can also do rock and blues. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and accessible.

Check the latest prices here

Best stratocaster for blues: Fender Player HSH Pau Ferro Fingerboard

The Fender Player Stratocaster – HSH – Pau Ferro Fingerboard is a great choice for blues and rock because it has a bright and snappy sound.

Best stratocaster for blues- Fender Player HSH Pau Ferro Fingerboard full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • pickups: 2 humbuckers & single coil
  • neck profile: C-shape
  • vintage style tremolo

This guitar has a unique HSH pickup configuration – it has two humbucker pickups and a single-coil pickup in the middle.

The Player Strat is manufactured in Mexico, but it’s still a high-quality instrument. And, it’s very affordable compared to other Stratocasters.

It has an alder body, and the neck is maple. The Pau Ferro fingerboard gives this guitar a warm, rich sound.

You might not notice the difference between the Pau Ferro and the old-school rosewood frets.

This model has a two-point tremolo as well as bent steel saddles. This upgrade gives you more sustain and better intonation.

It has a wide tone palette that’s perfect for blues and rock.

The C-shaped neck is comfortable for both lead and rhythm players.

And if you want to add some grit to your playing, the Fender Player Stratocaster has a built-in distortion circuit.

For extended practice periods, this guitar’s reduced body weight and curved shape make it super comfortable to hold.

But the ease of play is the key factor in why blues players adore it. The sound is excellent, and the motion is quite nice.

One downside is that the tremolo may pop out sometimes, so you might have to retighten the screws.

Overall, I’m impressed by its bluesy sound and tones. If you’re looking for a guitar to play some electric blues, this is the one for you.

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Sterling by Music Man 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar vs Fender Player Stratocaster HSH Pau Ferro Fingerboard

Although I’ve picked the Sterling guitar for country players and the Player Fender Stratocaster for blues players, both of these guitars are versatile enough to play a range of genres.

The Sterling by Music Man has a fast neck and low action, which is great for chicken pickin’ and other country styles.

The maple fretboard gives it a deep, full sound with a bit of zing.

The Fender player, on the other hand, has a bright and snappy sound.

The HSH pickup configuration gives it a wide range of tones, perfect for blues and rock. Blues guitarists can play leads with ease on this guitar.

So, which one should you choose? If you’re a beginner, I recommend the Sterling by Music Man.

If you’re looking for better quality hardware and a great Pau Ferro neck tonewood, the Fender is a great choice.

The neck profiles are very different here. The Sterling by Music Man has a slim, fast neck that’s great for beginners.

The Fender has a C-shaped neck, which is standard on most Strats.

It mostly depends on what type of music you want to play more frequently.

Best stratocaster for rock: Fender Jimi Hendrix Olympic White

You can’t talk about rock music without mentioning Jimi Hendrix.

The Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster is a signature model designed by the legendary guitarist.

The Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster is a great choice for rock, and blues. It truly stands out from other Strats because it’s able to replicate Jimi’s iconic tone.

Best stratocaster for rock- Fender Jimi Hendrix Olympic White full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: maple
  • pickups: vintage bridge pickup
  • neck profile: C-shape
  • 6-saddle vintage tremolo

The ’65 American Vintage bridge pickup and the reverse-slanted headstock faithfully capture Jimi’s renowned distinctive tone.

As a result of this reversed headstock, the guitar’s string-to-string volume is slightly altered, and this creates the unique “Jimi sound.”

Overall, you’re getting better sustain, especially on the low end.

This guitar has three single-coil pickups and a maple neck. The maple tone wood gives the guitar a bright, full sound.

With 21 jumbo frets, this guitar is built for shredding. You can play those fast licks and solos with ease.

The Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster also has a vintage-style tremolo system. This allows you to add vibrato to your playing without affecting the guitar’s tuning.

Also, the C-shaped neck makes the guitar comfortable to hold and play with, so you can bend those strings as much as you want!

But what stands out is the pickups – they pack a punch yet are sensitive enough to produce those delicate sounds.

The pickups sound authentically vintage, which is something you can expect from a real Fender Stratocaster.

And the overall tone is well-balanced, making this guitar perfect for rock players.

When distorted, it has the perfect clean tone that doesn’t get muddy. This guitar can also handle different genres like blues and jazz.

As mentioned, it’s versatile enough, though, for all types of music and does well with funky rhythms too.

If you’re looking for a guitar that has a classic Strat sound, the Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster is a perfect choice.

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Best stratocaster for jazz: Fender Vintera ’60s Pau Ferro Fingerboard

The Fender Vintera ’60s Stratocaster is a great choice for jazz and blues.

Jazz players usually use the Finder Vintera Vintage bass guitar, but if you’re into Strats and love jazz, this 60’s inspired guitar is a top choice.

Best stratocaster for jazz- Fender Vintera '60s Pau Ferro Fingerboard full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • pickups: 3 vintage-style ‘60s Strat single-coil pickups
  • neck profile: C-shape
  • vintage-style tremolo

In terms of sound, this guitar is very well-balanced. The Pau Ferro fretboard gives the guitar a warm tone.

The body tonewood is alder, which is known for its clear and bright sound.

The neck is quite comfortable to play because it has a C-shape. The guitar also has a vintage-style tremolo.

This means you can add vibrato to your playing without affecting the tuning of the guitar. In fact, it’s perfect for creating those lush, vibrato-laden jazz tones.

This guitar has three single-coil pickups and a Pau Ferro fingerboard.

The amazing action makes it even better than some competitors like the Gretsch.

This guitar is consistent with the well-deserved reputation for cheap excellence that the Classics and Classic Players have established.

There is a consistency and excellent quality to this guitar, from the weight to the fretwork, which uses medium jumbo wire, which is the perfect combo between small vintage-style frets and the modern jumbo ones.

It has a properly toned neck finish and a silky smooth satin back. The finish and hardware sparkle and shine.

A three-ply mint green scratchplate and aged white pickup covers and knobs replace the brilliant white plastic components.

Of course, the Strat isn’t as deep as the Vintera bass, but it’s still a good choice for jazz.

My only complaint is that the screw-in arm feels cheap and not well made, but other than that, the build is quite nice.

If you’re looking for a guitar that has a classic Strat sound, the Fender Vintera ’60s Stratocaster is a perfect choice.

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Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster vs Fender Vintera ’60s Pau Ferro Fingerboard

The Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster is a great choice for rock players. This guitar has a vintage-style tremolo system, which allows you to add vibrato to your playing without affecting the guitar’s tuning.

Also, the C-shaped neck makes the guitar comfortable to hold and play with, so you can bend those strings as much as you want!

But what stands out is the reverse slanted headstock, which other Strats don’t have. This gives the guitar more string tension, which results in a brighter sound.

For Jazz, the Fender Vintera ’60s Stratocaster is a great choice. The Pau Ferro fretboard gives the guitar a warm tone. The guitar still has a similar vintage look, which is perfect for that classic Jazz feel.

Jazz guitars should have a mellower sound, and this guitar definitely delivers on that front. You can also create vibrato-laden jazz tones with vintage-style pickups.

Both of these guitars are known for excellent action and playability. If you’re looking for a guitar that’s comfortable to play and sounds great, either of these two choices would be a great option.

Best left-handed stratocaster: Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL BL

This budget-friendly Yamaha Strat-style guitar is perfect for those looking for a quality left-handed guitar.

The Pacifica PAC112JL has all the essential Stratocaster features, but it has 2 single-coil pickups, and a bridge humbucking pickup, a five-way selector switch, and a vintage-style tremolo system.

Best left-handed stratocaster- Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL BL full

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: alder
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: rosewood
  • pickups: Humbucker pickup in bridge with 2 single coils
  • neck profile: C-shape
  • tremolo

This guitar is known for good action and pretty good tuning keys.

The maple neck gives the guitar a bright sound. The bridge position humbucker adds some extra punch to the sound.

The overall construction and finish of the guitar is good for a budget guitar. The neck is bolt-on, and the body is alder.

Actually, players are claiming that this guitar is better constructed than some of the Fender models and the Ibanez Strats.

Compared to a Fender Stratocaster, this guitar is more suitable for beginners. Why? Because it has a flatter neck radius, which makes it easier to play.

The intonation is also better, so you won’t have to worry about that as much.

If you’re looking for nice clean tones to suit a variety of musical styles, this guitar will do the job nicely.

When it comes to sound, this one won’t let you down. But the main advantage is how playable the fretboard is.

It has a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets. The scale length is 25.5″, which is the standard Stratocaster.

This guitar is perfect for beginners or even intermediate and experienced players looking for a comfortable leftie guitar.

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Best gig stratocaster guitar: Ibanez AZES40 Standard Black

The Ibanez AZES40 Standard Blacktop Series Electric Guitar is a great choice for metal and hard rock.

This guitar has a fast, thin neck and two humbucker pickups.

But that’s not all – it’s an excellent gig guitar. The fit and finish of the guitar are superb, and the instrument is playable right out of the box.

Best gig stratocaster guitar- Ibanez AZES40 Standard Black fiull

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  • type: solidbody
  • body wood: poplar
  • neck: maple
  • fretboard: Jatoba
  • pickups: 2 single coil & 1 humbucker
  • neck profile: C-shape
  • tremolo

So, it’s the type of Strat copy that would work as a backup guitar or a simple busking and gig guitar. It’s a great choice for those who want a cheap guitar that can still take a beating.

The body is made of poplar, so it’s not the most amazing tone wood, but it sounds good no matter what you’re playing.

The Ibanez AZES40 also has a unique “floating” tremolo system. This allows you to add vibrato to your playing without affecting the guitar’s tuning.

If you’re looking for a guitar that can handle anything you throw at it, the Ibanez AZES40 is a perfect choice.

Known as a modern “shredding” guitar, this Ibanez model is the brand’s take on the Stratocaster.

It has 22 medium frets, which makes the guitar more accurate. The maple fretboard provides a great deal of sustain, and the guitar’s overall tone is pretty good.

The pickups are hot, which is great if you’re looking to do some serious shredding, and they’re quite noisy.

The guitar is equipped with the dyna-MIX 9 switch system. This gives you a wide range of tones to choose from.

You can go from clean single coil sounds to heavier, crunchy rhythms with the flick of a switch.

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Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL BL Left-Handed Electric Guitar vs Ibanez AZES40 Standard Black

These two guitars have a similar price tag, but they offer different features.

The Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL BL Left-Handed Electric Guitar is a great choice for beginners and left-handed players who struggle to find good-quality guitars.

The neck is bolt-on, and the body is made of alder. It has a rosewood fretboard with 21 frets. The Ibanez, on the other hand, is a rightie guitar with a maple fretboard and 22 frets.

Both of these guitars are beginner-friendly, but the Yamaha has a flatter neck radius, which makes it easier to play.

The Ibanez is the type of instrument you can easily travel with and not worry about damaging. It has an unusual Jatoba fretboard, which is very tough and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

FAQs

So there you have it! These are some of the best Stratocaster guitars on the market today, and one is sure to pique your interest!

Let’s finish off with some frequently asked questions that have been on my mind as well.

What is considered to be the best Fender Stratocaster?

There’s no real consensus about what the “best” Stratocaster is. It depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget is.

However, the American Ultra series is generally considered to be the best Stratocaster that Fender makes.

These guitars are top of the line, and they’re packed with features that make them perfect for any type of player.

That series is pricier than most of their other models, though!

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Standard Stratocaster is a great choice too.

Some Fender enthusiasts consider the Fender American Pro II Stratocaster to be the brand’s top success in terms of build and sound.

Who makes the best Strats?

Fender is the most popular Stratocaster manufacturer, but there are many other great options out there.

Some of the other top brands include Squier (which is also a Fender-owned brand) and PRS.

Don’t forget about Yamaha too, they make affordable nice-looking strat-style guitars.

What year Strats are the best?

The experts consider the 1962 and 1963 model years to be the best for Stratocasters. These guitars are known for their great tone and playability.

However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, the newer Fender American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster Reissue is a great choice.

This guitar is a copy of the original 1965 model, and it sounds just as good.

What is a Stratocaster best for?

The Stratocaster is a versatile guitar that can be used for any genre. It’s often used in rock, blues, and country music.

But don’t shy away from funk, pop rock, alternative rock, and even metal. The Strat can handle it all!

The pickup configuration (3 single coils) gives the Stratocaster its signature sound. But if you’re looking for a different tone, you can always change the pickups.

Are Mexican Strats any good?

Yes, Mexican Strats are definitely good guitars. In fact, they’re some of the best-selling Stratocasters out there.

The reason they’re so popular is that they offer great quality at an affordable price.

So if you’re looking for a Stratocaster but don’t want to spend a lot of money, a Mexican Strat is a great option.

What’s the difference between a Vintage and Standard Stratocaster?

The Vintage Stratocaster is based on the original 1954 model. It has a few upgrades, such as a maple neck and rosewood fretboard.

The Standard Stratocaster is a more modern version of the guitar. It has a few different features, such as a tremolo bar and larger headstock.

Both of these guitars are great choices, but it really depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget is.

Conclusion

There’s no one “best” Stratocaster out there. It depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget is.

Also, it depends on your musical and playing style – not all of us are looking for the same thing!

The important thing is to find the guitar that’s right for you.

But if you ask me, you can’t go wrong with a mid-range model like the Fender Player Stratocaster. This guitar is incredibly versatile and sounds great.

Next, let’s find out if it is actually possible to play guitar until your fingers bleed

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:

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