Fender Stratocaster (Deluxe Power Stratocaster, 2006) $550

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This cool hybrid guitar, finished in Honey Blonde (it looks more like “coffee with an abundance of cream” to us), is a veritable fount of versatility. It sports a bridge humbucker and two single coils, as well as a Fishman piezo bridge pickup (more on the latter in a minute). The three Tex-Mex pickups are controlled by a standard five-way selector switch and no-load tone control; the Fishman sports its own dedicated tone control. The Fishman piezo works surprisingly well (Pete Townshend is one well-known stalwart who uses it to good effect, conjuring up a lively faux-acoustic tone on numbers like “Pinball Wizard.”). However, the guitar also produces classic frequency-induced envelope tones (otherwise known as “quack”) in the two and four pickup selector positions that will have you practicing Strat classics like “Lay Down Sally” and Dire Straits’ underappreciated follow-up to “Sultans of Swing,” “Lady Writer.” If you’re the sole guitarist in a band or only want to lug one instrument to gigs but also need to summon up electric, acoustic and blended tones on the fly, the pickup configuration here will be a godsend. Modern “C” shaped neck and medium fretwire make bending and other fretboard aerobics a breeze. In all, a cool guitar that can do many things very well. Very good-plus condition, with minor pick swirl on the pickguard, but no other notable signs of wear and very little fretwear. Comes with a quality molded Road Runner case. 9/10.

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This cool hybrid guitar, finished in Honey Blonde (it looks more like “coffee with an abundance of cream” to us), is a veritable fount of versatility. It sports a bridge humbucker and two single coils, as well as a Fishman piezo bridge pickup (more on the latter in a minute). The three Tex-Mex pickups are controlled by a standard five-way selector switch and no-load tone control; the Fishman sports its own dedicated tone control. The Fishman piezo works surprisingly well (Pete Townshend is one well-known stalwart who uses it to good effect, conjuring up a lively faux-acoustic tone on numbers like “Pinball Wizard.”). However, the guitar also produces classic frequency-induced envelope tones (otherwise known as “quack”) in the two and four pickup selector positions that will have you practicing Strat classics like “Lay Down Sally” and Dire Straits’ underappreciated follow-up to “Sultans of Swing,” “Lady Writer.” If you’re the sole guitarist in a band or only want to lug one instrument to gigs but also need to summon up electric, acoustic and blended tones on the fly, the pickup configuration here will be a godsend. Modern “C” shaped neck and medium fretwire make bending and other fretboard aerobics a breeze. In all, a cool guitar that can do many things very well. Very good-plus condition, with minor pick swirl on the pickguard, but no other notable signs of wear and very little fretwear. Comes with a quality molded Road Runner case. 9/10.