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.

Fender Standard HSS Strat Stratocaster Wiring Harness 5 Way 2T1V Pots

USD / 28.88 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-24 22:32:39

FENDER Strat Stratocaster American DELUXE USA HSS Rosewood FB !! MORE PICS !!

USD 800.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-19 00:46:22

Fender Strat Hss electric GUITAR PLANS - Full scale detailed

USD 14.98 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 12:04:10

Fender Deluxe Strat HSS Blizzard Pearl (208)

USD 799.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 20:11:00

Fender Deluxe Strat HSS Tungstun (346)

USD 824.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 20:10:58

Fender Deluxe Strat HSS Blizzard Pearl w/ IOS Connectivity (479)

USD 699.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 20:11:03

Fender American Deluxe Strat HSS Shawbucker Black (816)

USD 1549.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 20:19:32

Fender American Deluxe Strat HSS Shawbucker Olympic Pearl (441)

USD 1549.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 20:34:34

Fender 0147200309 Deluxe Strat HSS Candy Apple Red (920)

USD 824.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 20:11:06

Squier Vintage Modified HSS Strat

USD 299.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 02:02:04


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

USD 249.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-24 12:15:24

Squier Affinity Series Fat Strat Electric Guitar w/tremelo #6344

USD 169.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-18 05:44:33

Series 10 "Fat Strat" Left Handed Guitar with Floyd Rose

USD 319.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-23 14:07:41

2000 FENDER AMERICAN FAT STRAT TEXAS SPECIAL HOT RODDED SERIES 17 YEAR PRESERVED

USD 1275.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 17:21:17

2001 FENDER AMERICAN DELUXE FAT STRAT!!!! WITH FENDER HARD CASE!!! FREE SHIPPING

USD 1299.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-18 20:30:01

2008 Squier by Fender : Affinity Fat Strat : Rare Purple : Fully Set Up

USD 199.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-22 19:59:42

Fender Deluxe Fat Strat Guitar from Japan

USD 1890.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-23 10:35:05

Fender Deluxe Fat Strat E.Guitar Free Shipping Stratocaster Type Black

USD 1660.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-22 13:35:09

Fender Deluxe Fat Strat Used Guitar Free Shipping from Japan #mig46

USD 1772.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-24 03:12:34

Vintage Aria Pro II RS Straycat Guitar Black Made in Japan Fat Strat Style PUPS

USD 199.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-22 00:32:44

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 HM Heavy Metal Strat With Padded Gig Bag

USD 475.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 01:54:56

1989 Greg Howe High Gear Fender HM Series Strat Guitar Print Ad

USD 3.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-23 23:01:26


Fender HM Heavy Metal Strat With Padded Gig Bag

USD 475.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-20 01:54:56

3 VINTAGE GUITAR MAGS ZZ TOPP Billy Gibbons HEAVY METAL rock Stromberg STRAT

USD / 15.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-22 00:48:05

RUSH COVERS Vintage Guitar/BASS PLAYER Geddy Lee ALEX LIFESON HEAVY METAL STRAT

USD / 15.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-22 00:46:42

3 VINTAGE GUITAR/PLAYER JOE SATRIANI Heavy Metal ROCK Martin fender STRAT Beck

USD / 15.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2017-11-22 00:47:32

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