It is undeniable that the Stratocaster is one of, if not the most famous guitar designs the world has ever seen. The first Stratocaster was introduced in 1954, and since then the Stratocaster continues to grow and grow and has developed love from countless famous artists and millions of musicians from all over the globe.
Best Strat Style Guitar for the Money Reviewed
The Stratocaster has endless customization possibilities, and can be a great guitar for chasing your desired tone. The Fender’s slogan for the Stratocaster is “Often Imitated. Never Duplicated” which is true, we are going to list the best budget Stratocaster guitars made by Fender.
We’ll start this list with the Fender Player Series Stratocaster which is one of the cheapest and basic Stratocaster that’s made by Fender. Fender announced that they are going to start using Pau Ferro fretboards instead of Rosewood in new Guitars and Bass Guitars.
Pau Ferro is famously known for being the fretboard found in Stevie Ray Vaughn’s custom Strat, and Pau Ferro Fretboards are known to provide a warm and crisp tone, but still a bit brighter than Rosewood. In return, Pau Ferro tends to have a bit more presence while having almost the same tone as Rosewood.
Like the usual Stratocaster, this is made out of quality materials and made using quality ensured methods, that’ll make sure that this guitar will last through many years, and since it’s a Fender, it will get better as it age. The body of this guitar is made out of Alder Wood which is common with Fender since 1956.
The pickups are the usual single-coil pickups with Alnico 5 magnetic pieces. In the end, this is a pretty basic guitar, but since this is a genuine Fender guitar, this is an excellent backbone for your progress, this is one of the cheapest Fender guitars, and that’s why this is one of the best Strat-style guitar for the money.
Everyone who thinks of budget Stratocasters will think about the Squier Stratocasters. Squier is now a famous option since it is under Fender, but does it live up to the expectations from being a brand under Fender? Unlike its Fender counterparts, the Squier instruments are more or less made with mass-produced components, and with methods that are focused on mass production, so once in a while, a guitar with minor defects leads to being sold anyways.
This Stratocaster’s body is made out of poplar, a famous alternative for Alder, using poplar can give the guitar a decently resonant and clear tone, but poplar is relatively soft so the sustain here is not as good compared to harder wood types.
The fretboard on this guitar is made out of Maple, which is a very common option for Strats as maple can bring out bright and crisp tones from your guitar. To top it all off this guitar has the Squier Single coil pickups, which sound too bright and brittle for most people.
Is this a good guitar? And is it worth your money? Well, in terms of the quality of components and the overall build, yes, it is worth it. But then I still think it is worth getting despite the quality control issues, since the common problems can be easily solved. Overall, this should be the best beginner Strat-style guitar for the money.
Now, this guitar is the left-hand version of the previously mentioned Squier Guitar, although despite being the same, there are some major differences with this one. To start, as the name suggests, this one is a left-hand guitar, which believe me, is commonly hard to find and is expensive most of the time.
Another key difference is the Laurel Fretboard, which is one of Fender’s move with consuming less rare wood. Laurel is mainly used as a substitute for Rosewood, since Laurel is similar in look, feel, and tone with Rosewood.
This also has the left-handed tremolo bridge system, which is great also considering the rarity of such parts. Now the previous guitar had a problem of sounding too bright and brittle, but this guitar is a bit different, due to the fretboard, which gave off some warmth and depth back, but it’s not much of a dramatic change, but yes, this sounds a bit better.
Is this guitar worth it? Well yes, this is definitely worth it, especially if you are left-handed, as left-handed guitars are simply hard and expensive to find, but this one is well priced, and worth your money, it is also worth noting that this is even slightly better than the previously mentioned guitar, and the main factor in making this guitar better is the fretboard which is a good combination with the bright-sounding single-coil pickups, and so that is the main reasons why this is one of the best Strat Style guitar for the money.
There you have our top picks for the Best Strat Style guitar for the money, remember, in the world of guitars and audio equipment, you commonly get what you pay for, so remember to spend a little more if a guitar is going to be your investment, but if you are just looking for a good beginners guitar, then the Squiers mentioned on this list should be a good option. And also remember to asses your needs when getting a guitar. We hope this list helped, stay safe.
FAQ: Frequent questions
🏆 Which is the best?
Fender Player Stratocaster Pau Ferro Fingerboard Guitar
🔍 How did we test them?
We tested 10 products, researched 16 sources, evaluated 54 reviews and spent 11+ hours on our guide.
🤔 What should you look at before buying?
When choosing it's best to make a decision based on the price/quality, functionality and compatibility with other devices/technologies.