HSS Strat Review

This is my “HSS Strat Review” – or “What I Hate Standard Strats!”

I never used to to think I was really either a “Gibson” or “Fender” kinda guy. The first guitar I became really partial to was my Ibanez Artcore semi-hollow body. Well, now that it’s rewired with “Pearly Gates” pickups in both the neck and bridge – maybe that’s why! I had quite a few before this that I got rid of for one reason or another. There are two things I look for in a guitar, and they are “tone” and “versatility”. A standard strat (to me) has NO tone whatsoever in the bridge position, the neck is great for jazz or blues, but all positions lack…..well for lack of a better term – “balls”.

I play a wide variety of music from pop, to rock, southern rock, country, blues, classic rock, dance, disco, a bit of everything. When you’re talking about versatility, I tend to think that humbuckers are the way to go because you can go “balls out” if you need to for say “Gimme 3 Steps”, but cut it down for a very bluesy “Fool For Your Stockings”. You’re good for either “Brickhouse” or “Free for All”.

On the other hand, I saw a guy in a bar not to long ago with a great rig playing the hell out of a standard strat on a Pink Floyd cover and he sounded great! Then the next song was “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC, and my jaw dropped when I heard the tinny, trebly, horrible fake-distorted sound of that strat! There’s just no way that guitar could EVER sound heavy enough for that (or any other) hard-rock based sound.

In addition – I even owned (and paid $900 for) an “official SRV signature” strat from Fender’s custom shop last year. I finally sold it (digusted) a week later, because (while very playable) it just wasn’t versatile enough (sound-wide) for me at the time. Now fast forward to last month, when I was in my local GC, and I checked out 2 or 3 of the HSS (humbucker, single coil, single coil) “fat” strats, both American and Mexican made. I plugged these into a Vox, 3 different Marshalls, a Peavey, a Fender, and a Line 6. I have to say – I wish I would have bought one of these a long time ago…

The HSS or “fat strat” gives you a humbucker in the bridge position, and then 2 single coils. So if you want to belt out Pink Floyd on the neck with chorus and bad-ass delay, great! But you can go “balls-out” in bridge with your AC/DC and Angus impressions no problem! Now, to be sure – I STILL wouldn’t recommend this for death metal or anything (check out the Ibanez ART300 for that), this type of strat is probably the only kind that can handle most types of hard rock. I had forgotten how many of these there were back in the 80’s, and that would probably explain why I hadn’t seen many of them in the store over the years (again) until now. Back in the 80’s in the land of hair metal – these were called “heavy metal strats”, and those are kind of rare to find today.

Here are some great deals on HSS Fat Strats on eBay right now, the retail for a mexican made strat is about $399, and American Made is $799+. You can get great deals both new and used on eBay for these guitars.

Strat Harness HSS DeathStar II Solderless Custom by KellingSound

USD / 89.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-28 00:36:33

Fender Standard Strat HSS w/ Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo Electric Guitar w/ HSC

USD 499.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-27 14:00:25

Fender Stratocaster Strat Electric Guitar Blue HSS VG

USD 329.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-26 01:30:01

Fender Squire II Strat HSS MIK

USD 129.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-27 05:17:28

Fender Statocaster HSS MIM Mexico Strat

USD 325.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-26 16:45:16

Squier Bullet Strat HSS HT - Arctic White

USD 149.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-07-01 12:55:00

Squier Bullet Strat HSS HT - Brown Sunburst

USD 149.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-07-01 12:54:57

Brand New Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Strat HSS Candy Apple Red Demo

USD 742.49 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 23:28:16

Fender Standard Strat HSS Plus Top - Aged Cherry Burst Seymour Duncan JB upgrade

USD 620.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 17:39:55

Fender American Professional Strat HSS Shaw RW E/Guitar Sonic Gray - 0113040748

USD 1175.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-28 20:11:20


EMG SPC Control Pot or Strat Presence Control Is Often Called The Fat Control

USD 79.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 01:37:38

2001 Fender American Deluxe HSS Stratocaster -w/ Case FAT Strat All Original USA

USD 799.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 06:14:37

Squier Fat Strat Black & Chrome Special Edition Stratocaster HSS Black-RW, New!

USD 249.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-27 12:15:24

2003 Fender USA American Deluxe Fat Strat Stratcaster Electric Guitar HSS + OHSC

USD 975.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 02:00:17

Fender Squier-Fat Strat-Affinity Model-Electric Guitar-Sunburst-NEW-w/Shop Setup

USD / 219.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 19:29:19

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster HSS "Fat Strat"

USD 500.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-07-01 20:59:16

Fender Squier Bullet Fat Strat HSS Black Stratocaster Strat Electric Guitar Blem

USD / 123.40 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 06:13:47

New Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat

USD / 150.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-07-02 10:56:47

Fender American Deluxe Series Guitar 1999 ad 8 x 11 Fat Strat advertisement

USD 4.45 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-26 17:49:22

Giannini G-101 MB/WH Fat Strat Electric guitar Metallic Blue

USD 127.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 00:23:58

Here’s the latest auctions on eBay for “HM” or “Heavy Metal” strats, there are usually under 6 or so for sale at any given time (there are getting rarer by the day).

Fender ‘USA’ MIJ HM Strat In Rare Blackstone W/HSC

USD 599.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-25 18:36:37

Fender HM Strat - EXCELLENT CONDITION !! Includes Hardshell Case

USD 1299.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-25 20:46:30

Squire HM Strat

USD 95.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 18:53:16

80's Japanese FENDER HEAVY METAL STRAT - Blue Vintage MIJ HM Stratocaster!!!

USD 789.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 22:49:24

20 X Gold Scratch plate Pickguard Screws For Fender Strat Tele Guitar HM

USD 0.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 01:54:33

1 to10 2014 New Black Slotted Plastic Nut Flat Bottom For Fender Strat 43*6*9 HM

USD 0.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 01:54:33

fender hm strat usa stratocaster

USD 99.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 11:05:09

1 to10 2014 New Black Slotted Plastic Nut Flat Bottom For Fender Strat 43*6*9 HM

USD 1.39 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 01:54:33

1 to10 2014 New Black Slotted Plastic Nut Flat Bottom For Fender Strat 43*6*9 HM

USD 0.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 01:54:33

1 to10 2014 New Black Slotted Plastic Nut Flat Bottom For Fender Strat 43*6*9 HM

USD 2.19 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-29 01:54:33


80's Japanese FENDER HEAVY METAL STRAT - Blue Vintage MIJ HM Stratocaster!!!

USD 789.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-06-30 22:49:24

HEAVY METAL A-Z book by Brain Harrigan w/ Fender Strat cardboard guitar

USD 35.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-07-01 16:10:02

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