What Kind of Stratocaster Should I Buy?

A Short Guide to Finding the Perfect Strat for You

As one of the most popular guitar models of all time, Stratocasters come in many varieties, even just within Fender's own lineup. If you're in the market for a Fender Strat, but don't know quite how to navigate the varying product lines, we've got you covered. The video above delves into five models at five different price points, demonstrating their most important differences. Scroll below to check out the guitars featured in the video and more listed on Reverb right now.

Squier Stratocasters

Affordable Choices for Beginners and the Budget-Conscious

The Best for Beginners on a Budget

If you're just starting out with electric guitar, you can't go wrong with one of the many Squier Stratocaster lines if you're look for a good instrument at a reasonable price. While the wood, hardware, and electronics will not be of the same quality found in a Fender, a Squier Strat will be a dependable instrument and a great starting point for classic Fender tones.

Reverb's Squier Picks

Snag a Deal on a Great Squier

Classic Fender Stratocasters

Made in Mexico, Made in America, and Vintage Abound

Fender MIM Stratocaster

The next step up from Squier is a Fender Stratocaster made in the company's factory in Mexico (as opposed to the company's U.S. facilities). With these entry-level Fenders, you'll be able to find bodies made out of the tonewoods most associated with the iconic guitar, like ash and alder. The bridge, tuners, and pickups will likewise be a bit better and more dependable than those found on Squier. Until 2018, Fender referred to its MIM Strats as Standard Stratocasters, before rechristening the line as the Player Series.

Reverb's MIM Strat Picks

Snag a Deal on an MIM Strat

Fender American Stratocasters

Like Fender's MIM guitars, American-made Stratocasters are available in many different models. Since 1987, the Fender American Standard Stratocaster had been the company's most affordable U.S.-built model. As of late 2018, that distinction now goes to the American Performer Stratocaster. Built at the company's Corona, California factory, you can expect to find in these or any other American-made Strat the durability, craftsmanship, and consistency that have made Fender's reputation.

If looking for deals on a used Strat, you'll be able to find plenty from the American Standard Series or American Deluxe Series on Reverb, as well as new models from the American Performer and American Professional Series, the next step up in Fender's product line. (In 2016, the American Deluxe line became the new American Elite Series.)

American Standard Stratocasters

The American Deluxe Series

American Performer Strats

The American Professional Series

The American Elite Series

Artist Signature Stratocasters

Fender has partnered with lots of musicians over the years known for playing Stratocasters to design signature models that feature all of that artist's favorite Stratocaster accouterments. If you love a specific artist's tone and you know that they have a signature model, that might just be the right guitar for you.

Artist Signature Strats

Vintage Fender Stratocasters

The Stratocasters and other innovative guitars that Fender built in the '50s and '60s are why the brand became famous to begin with and continue to be the basis for the rest of the company's offerings. If you can afford a vintage Stratocaster, you'll be able to get the tone and feel of the real thing—and, because of the continued collectability of such instruments, it can also be a wise investment. In the video above, Andy plays a sunburst 1963 Stratocaster.

Vintage Stratocasters on Reverb Right Now

Specialty Fender Stratocasters

High-Quality Creations from the Custom Shop

Custom Shop Fender Stratocasters

In addition to Fender's production models, the company creates a number of Custom Shop Stratocasters every year, built by a small team of dedicated luthiers. Sometimes they take the shape of artist signature models, relic'd vintage-style clones, and other masterbuilt guitars. In the video above, Andy is playing a Custom Shop 1955 Stratocaster with a Journeyman Relic Desert Tan finish.

Stratocasters from the Custom Shop

Custom Shop Artist Signature Models

In addition to the masterbuilt guitars, relic'd vintage-style clones and the numerous creative and limited-edition Strats, the talented luthiers at Fender's Custom Shop also produce excellent signature models for artists of all stripes—the likes of which include Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Dick Dale, and more.

Custom Shop Signature Strats

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