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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.

Yamaha Pacifica Strat HSS

USD 102.50 (6 Bids) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-27 07:28:51

Fender Deluxe Strat HSS Blizzard Pearl -IOS - (Fender Locking Tuners) * New *

USD 590.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-26 02:26:25

Fender Squier Strat HSS Standard Series

USD 89.00 (1 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-27 06:26:17

Squier Fender ~ Standard Fat Strat ~ Stratocaster HSS ~ Candy Apple Red Guitar

USD 199.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-28 23:37:50

VTG. 2010 FENDER HSS SQUIRE BULLET STRAT ELECTRIC GUITAR CREAM/WHITE ~ NEAR MINT

USD / 10.49 (2 Bids) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-02 02:19:31

Yamaha EG 112C Strat HSS

USD 39.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-27 06:11:30

JBE aka Joe Barden HSS STRAT SET 3: HB Two/Tone Humbucker + 2 S-Deluxe USA-made

USD 429.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-04 16:29:38

Squier by Fender Bullet Strat HSS HT Stratocaster Electric Guitar - BSB NEW

USD 100.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-01 23:56:21

EMG S / S / 81 IVORY HSS STRAT HUMBUCKER & SINGLE COILS SET ( 6 STRING SETS )

USD 259.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-04 08:14:49

FENDER SQUIER STRAT/RARE 80S KOREA/W FLOYD ROSE HSS/ with fender hardcase

USD 199.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-04 18:23:40


Squier Fender ~ Standard Fat Strat ~ Stratocaster HSS ~ Candy Apple Red Guitar

USD 199.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-28 23:37:50

Fender Strat loaded pickgaurd Fat 50's

USD / 200.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-28 23:47:54

2002 Fender American Texas Special Fat Strat - Sienna Sunburst w/ Case

USD 899.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-02 20:12:11

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster HSS "Fat Strat"

USD 500.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-26 20:59:16

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

USD / 199.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-04 20:17:42

EMG SPC Control Pot or Strat Presence Control Or Fat Control ( 3 STRING SETS )

USD 79.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-04 23:23:31

EMG SPC Control LONG SHAFT POT Strat Presence Control Known As The Fat Control

USD 79.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-27 07:04:16

Squier by Fender Standard Fat Strat HSS Satin Walnut El. Guitar #IC040545394

USD 209.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-28 21:05:28

#1638 Squier Strat Bullet 6pc Inline Tuning Peg Key Tuner Head Set Guitar Part

USD 24.64 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-28 00:46:57

#1528 Squier Strat AFN 6pc Inline Tuning Peg Set OEM Electric Guitar Repair Part

USD 24.64 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-01 19:39:45

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).

Vintage Fender HM Strat - White - Nice condition

USD 475.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-26 19:40:24

1990 Fender HM Strat 24 Fret 17" Radius rosewoo Fretboard Kahler Spyder relic

USD 417.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-26 20:48:18

1991 Fender HM Strat Body Original Floyd!

USD 175.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-03 05:44:50

1992 Fender HM Strat Black

USD 525.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-03 20:07:10

Fender hm heavy metal Strat guitar razz-berry hot pink 1988 1989 razzberry

USD 850.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-26 03:00:45

1989 Fender HM Strat (Model 25-8102) Parts - Volume - TBX - DPDT Switch

USD 35.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-03-03 02:30:01


Fender hm heavy metal Strat guitar razz-berry hot pink 1988 1989 razzberry

USD 850.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-26 03:00:45

9 VINTAGE GUITAR MAGS 2007 Les Paul HEAVY METAL Fender GIBSON STRAT

USD 30.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-02-28 20:24:29