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Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:48 pm

Sterling do a standard scale (25.5") SSS configuration Cutlass (that Andertons one is the short scale variant), so if you can find somewhere selling them nearby, it's definitely worth a try as the Sterlings I've tried are great value guitars.

https://intl.sterlingbymusicman.com/col ... 3456851016

https://www.pmtonline.co.uk/sterling-by ... coal-frost
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby w oxo cube » Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:21 pm

Hmmmmm interesting - right on budget as well.

Do you reckon these are in the same league as the higher end Yamaha Pacifica's?
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Macca_25387 » Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:28 pm

Squier Classic Vibe strats are excellent guitars for the money.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:25 pm

w oxo cube wrote:Hmmmmm interesting - right on budget as well.

Do you reckon these are in the same league as the higher end Yamaha Pacifica's?

Probably not, at least not without a pickup swap, but a pickup swap can be relatively cheap these days. But a new Pacifica 612VII is £700, as opposed to a new £380 Sterling, so you'd expect some difference! You have to move to a used guitar in order to realise a lower price and the better quality. But even then, I once sat down and played through the full range of Fender Strats in Guitar Village, from Mexican to custom shop, and both myself and my friend much preferred the Korean-Made Lite Ash Strat to any other apart from the Custom shop guitars. (I since bought a used Lite Ash Tele and it's really nice). That was priced at about the same as the higher-end Mexicans and well below the cheapest US model. So price isn't always a reliable guide as to how much you'll like a guitar.

Also remember that specs and detailing levels change all the time. Current upper-level Squiers are about as good as they've ever been, and will be almost certainly better than similar models from 10 years ago. Not to say that the old ones are bad , but that if you try a current model and then find an older version of it, it may well feel and sound like a quite different guitar in terms of neck specs and pickups fitted.

And what sounds like a good guitar on paper may simply not work for you because the neck's too wide or too thin or too fat or its the wrong profile. So you really need to get out there and try some guitars, which is certainly very hard to do at the moment.

What would be the guitar stores that are fairly local to you?
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Murray B » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:29 pm

Sorry I can't help with the comparison with Sterling and Yamaha Strat-a-likes

I've got a Pacifica 302 and it's a very well made guitar and has a nice sound but needs a proper set up to really come to life (I only acquired it recently and lockdowns have got in the way of getting this sorted.)

I've never played a Sterling, I have 3 Musicman's and these are simply stunning but not the same as the Sterlings perhaps - although the Sterlings get good reviews.

I've played a couple of the classic vibes and they were very good, well made, good hardware / pickups and play well out of the box - you've just got to work out if the fretboard radius works for you - some of the models are a bit too tight for me as they are vintage spec.

As Andy / Wonks said earlier there's no substitute for getting your hands round some guitars. I spent about 20 years searching for the perfect telecaster for me and it turns out it was actually a P90 equipped Musicman Axis Sport.

Given the current situation this isn't as easy as it would be in normal times. Perhaps if your local guitar shop / music shop does no quibble returns you can play one for a couple of days while you are working it out.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby ore_terra » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:59 pm

Squier Classic Vibe series. excellent value.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby w oxo cube » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:27 pm

Also remember that specs and detailing levels change all the time. Current upper-level Squiers are about as good as they've ever been, and will be almost certainly better than similar models from 10 years ago. Not to say that the old ones are bad , but that if you try a current model and then find an older version of it, it may well feel and sound like a quite different guitar in terms of neck specs and pickups fitted.

Cheers Folks

Yeah there is such variance in guitars from different eras, this is one of the reasons I asked the question as I'm not sufficiently in the know with this sort of thing. Too many years playing with drum machines and synths.

And what sounds like a good guitar on paper may simply not work for you because the neck's too wide or too thin or too fat or its the wrong profile. So you really need to get out there and try some guitars, which is certainly very hard to do at the moment.

Absolutely, I really need to play a few, and find out what works best for me. I have a Fender Esprit which I've had for nearly 30 years and the range of tones I can get from that is incredible. I don't really want to mess about with the action too much as I'm used to how it feels, but it's perhaps a little high for the disco rhythm stuff. That's the plan with the Strat to get the action right down specifically for rhythm playing.

What would be the guitar stores that are fairly local to you?

I'm in Edinburgh the biggest shop now is guitar guitar which appears to be very well stocked.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby w oxo cube » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:39 pm

Murray B wrote:Sorry I can't help with the comparison with Sterling and Yamaha Strat-a-likes

I've got a Pacifica 302 and it's a very well made guitar and has a nice sound but needs a proper set up to really come to life (I only acquired it recently and lockdowns have got in the way of getting this sorted.)

I've never played a Sterling, I have 3 Musicman's and these are simply stunning but not the same as the Sterlings perhaps - although the Sterlings get good reviews.

I've played a couple of the classic vibes and they were very good, well made, good hardware / pickups and play well out of the box - you've just got to work out if the fretboard radius works for you - some of the models are a bit too tight for me as they are vintage spec.

As Andy / Wonks said earlier there's no substitute for getting your hands round some guitars. I spent about 20 years searching for the perfect telecaster for me and it turns out it was actually a P90 equipped Musicman Axis Sport.

Given the current situation this isn't as easy as it would be in normal times. Perhaps if your local guitar shop / music shop does no quibble returns you can play one for a couple of days while you are working it out.

Oh man that Musicmann was the nicest guitar I've ever played, It pretty much played itself, so easy was it.

I've a good few idea's to be looking at and as Wonks said, price is not a reliable indicator of how well a guitar suits. But It's good to narrow things down a touch as there as so many. The Sterling would be a good place to start my investigations, if it feels nice then perhaps look at some different pick ups. The Yammy's as well sound interesting but that's the 2nd hand market which isn't ideal at present. Still, next year....
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Murray B » Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:41 am

Oh man that Musicmann was the nicest guitar I've ever played, It pretty much played itself, so easy was it.

They are something special - it's the neck I think.

But with a good set up nearly all the guitars in your price range can become very nice guitars to play. Especially of you follow Andy's advice a few posts back and pick one that has a nice acoustic sound and resonance.

PS I think a Strat is a good choice for playing funk - I use mine for a Jazz Funk thing I do. Of course you could probably do it on anything and there will be a million exceptions to the rule.

Somewhere on YouTube is a film about Nile Rogers trying to get another Strat made like his one from the early days of his playing and how much of a struggle it was, not all Strats are created equal it seems.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Funkyflash5 » Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:08 am

I'll throw in the G&L Tribute Legacy as an option in budget and available at guitar guitar. G&L is on my short list if/when another guitar comes home, and the Tribute models I've played have always impressed. And I'll also agree that the offerings from Sterling are worth pursuing.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Wonks » Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:58 am

Funkyflash5 wrote:I'll throw in the G&L Tribute Legacy as an option in budget and available at guitar guitar. G&L is on my short list if/when another guitar comes home, and the Tribute models I've played have always impressed.
Seems the Tributes may have upped their game then. Ten years ago, people with G+Ls who tried the Tributes said how poor they were in comparison and nothing like a real G+L.

But very little stays still for long in the guitar world.
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Dave B » Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:53 pm

Throwing more ideas into the pot ...

The Vintage V6 range are excellent vfm. And are under budget for most (but we'll come to that). Everyone has been raving about the Squire Classic Vive series for a while now so definitely worth checking out.

But I would be thinking of trying to keep it under budget and spending the rest on a good setup and tweak by an experienced tech / luthier. I am absurdly lucky to have have 2 such chaps as mates who have fiddled (or in Wonks' case, completely overhauled) most of my guitars and made some great (admittedly ridiculously lucky) vfm purchases into lovely instruments.

Hence my bringing up the V6 range - I had one which I gave to my brother which had been seen to and I both slightly regret giving it away AND have since discovered the my brother also keeps picking it up for a play over his other strats.

Just my 2c
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby JRC1 » Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:56 am

As a huge strat fan I always think for that price you need to be looking at a second hand Mexi from 20 years ago.
The pacificas have a much slimmer neck and unless you are used to a fast neck it can make your life difficult.
As someone said earlier revelation are very very surprising for the price. I want to try out one of their strats after buying a stupidly cheap les paul type.
G&L always great but as a mainly strat player the Squier bullets have been best bang, not much cash and if the pickups feel rubbish you have the rest of the budget to replace them.

If you cant get out to a shop at the moment like some of us just get one try it and more than likely in this climate you won't lose any money selling it on
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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby TheLegit » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:10 pm

I always found cheaper end Ibanez to be a of a consistent quality, I bought an Ibanez Jem Jr for practice purposes and was really impressed but it's a super strat (also available in white and pink if you're feeling really adventurous). This is £419

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Re: Best Strat type guitar £400 budget

Postby Agharta » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:41 pm

TheLegit wrote:I always found cheaper end Ibanez to be a of a consistent quality, I bought an Ibanez Jem Jr for practice purposes and was really impressed but it's a super strat (also available in white and pink if you're feeling really adventurous). This is £419
The guitar isn't that expensive but the weekly habit of having your hair permed, died and cut will set you back the same amount again every 3 months. :bouncy:
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