[This review is three years overdue!]

Not the latest acquisition but Daphne’s a gift from my brother for finally passing my professional exams in 2006.

My only other Strat is Xingxiao, a Squier Strat which sounds really thin (crap basswood, made in China etc. – making excuses here) until I had it set up prior to the 2006 GIG@Sheffield. Xingxiao plays beautifully now, but still sounds rather thin despite the Seymour Duncan upgrades.

Back to this Strat which is a Fender Classic Series 50’s Stratocaster, Mexico mali. I can’t recall the story but it was bought from a guy on Jamtank for less than a grand who actually bought the guitar from another Jamtank seller during which time my brother was a tad late in making the purchase. Confused yet? All was well as my brother managed to get the guitar in the end.

The MN7***** serial number indicates that it was built in 1997. Its Daphne blue finish now has a surf green-kinda tinge (just like Kirk’s – but, err… can’t play like Kirk). The guitar initially came with a 3-ply, 11-screw scratchplate (shock! horror!) and the knobs were just wrong. Thanks to eBay, found a proper 50’s styled single ply, 8-screw plate and vintage styled knobs – it now looks the part. The single-coil pups are stock with staggered Alnico pole pieces and the solid alder body has a lovely resonance to it when strummed unplugged (not found on the Xingxiao). The pickup selector is 5-way. The neck’s a full-on maple jobbie and is naturally worn in areas. All it needs is a cigarette burn mark on the headstock.

I do find Strats ‘difficult’ (unlike a Gibson) but Daphne is a pleasure to play. I don’t admit to be a Strat expert but the bright tones from the bridge pickup and the more dulcet tones from the neck sound right. Have a listen[1] (thanks to the neon – played through a Line 6 Spider half stack, I think) as this YouTube vid taken last year is a tad dark:

If it’s good enough for Aji (he did ask if we wanted to tolak), it’s good enough for me!

For this updated post, I recorded Daphne’s clean tone on the 4th pickup position using GarageBand on my MacBook Pro via BIAS AMP and BIAS FX on the iPad:

As for her more distorted tone, Daphne’s pretty nice. Here’s a rough cover of SCANDAL’s Flashback No. 5 with Daphne plugged just onto BIAS AMP on the iPad:

I would have loved to bring it back to Sheffield but it stays in KL keeping the Explorer company.

[Post updated August 2015]

[1]If you like, do check out this 2007 video which samples Daphne’s versatility – her clean and dirty tones. For the clean demo, Trabye is seen here playing Daphne through a 1982 Fender 22-watt Paul Riviera-designed, point-to-point wired Deluxe Reverb II.

Also, if you have more time to burn, there’s a 5-minute 12-bar blues thing going on here from 2008: