1 Parabar 1 year ago I've never seemed to get on well with Stratocasters, although many of my favorite guitar players get great sounds out of them --- Hendrix, Trower, SRV, Gilmour, Junior Marvin, Nile Rodgers, the Beatles (Nowhere Man, etc.) et al. For many years, I've relied on my Peavey T-60 to get those spanky single coil tones on the rare occasions when I want them.Recently, though, I acquired a MXR Uni-Vibe to get those psychedelic pswirly tones, and it behaves much differently than a phase shifter, which I've used for years. Most of my guitars are equipped with either P-90's or humbuckers, and they all seemed too dark and muddy in tone with the distorted Uni-Vibe sound. I tried the Gretsch 5420 with blacktop filters, and it was closer, but something was missing tonally. The Peavey got the tone I was after, but alas --- no vibrato arm. Sooooo … I decided I needed to get a Strat, but being as how I don't expect to use it all that much, I didn't want to spend much on it. Besides, there just isn't that much to the Strat design, so spending many hundreds (or even more --- yikes!) on it didn't seem warranted.After scouring the local music shops and doing some online research, I found a Stagg SES50M on eBay from a store in Kansas City, for $175.00 brand new including shipping, and the online reviews were highly favorable. So I pulled the trigger, and it arrived today, and it is every bit as good in tone, looks and playability as any Fender I've played --- and not just Squiers, either. It was supposed to come with a soft case, too, but didn't, so I'm working that out with the seller. Oh yeah, and D'Addario strings too.The pickups are surprisingly quiet and very even in volume. The body is solid alder, and the neck is a chunky C shape with a satin finish and feels very comfy in my hands. The volume and tone controls work very smoothly, and the tuners are smooth and solid. Clean it's as twangy as anyone could want, and overdriven it sounds just like it's s'posed to. I do need to tweak the bridge saddle adjustments a little, but that ain't no thang. Here 'tis:There's also a feature that to me is an improvement over the Fender design. (No offense, Leo!) The neck pocket on the body is curved rather than squared off like the Fender, which makes playing the high notes much easier and more comfortable. Take a gander: So, for a guy who isn't usually all that excited about Strats generally, I'm very, very happy with this one, and will no doubt end up using it for funk and reggae rhythm playing too. Since it's here and everything. It's all the Stratocaster I can imagine ever needing, and at the price I paid, I'm glad to have it in my collection.