"The guitar of your dreams has come to life!"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
The Texas Specials are everything I wanted in a single-coil pickup. They are very responsive to how you're playing, and you really don't even need to mess with the volume to go from delicate fingerpicking to windmill power chords. The middle pickup's tone can't be adjusted, but it falls into a middle tone which is neither too trebly or too bass-y.
It's a good, solid, well-built traditional strat with no frills (no locking tuners or MIDI inputs or anything like that). The gig bag is decent, but I'm a bit reluctant to keep an instrument I paid that much for in anything other than a hardshell case. Also, many music stores have the habit of storing the trem bar in a drawer somewhere, so make sure you get the correct one for this model if you buy one in a store or you may walk out with an awkwardly mounted trem bar from a $99 Squier in your new $850 Strat.
Ease of Use:
Very close to flawless playability and sound. Yes, the unrestrained use of the tremolo bar may knock a string or two (usually G or B) slightly out of tune, but if you've ever played a strat for any length of time you expect that and you go easy on it unless you're near the end of a song and can retune. The "greasebucket" tone circuit is a nice addition and allows you to take away treble without the muffled "pillow-over-the-speaker" sound that most other strats get when you turn the tone to anything below "10," so this allows the pickups to maintain clarity. The action is good, and I love the look & feel of the Maple neck (the heavily urethaned necks of some other strats look to me as though they've been smeared with ear wax).
Top notch quality you'd expect from an American made instrument. Mine is the Candy Apple red, which is an incredibly, irresistably alluring color you can't get on any other Strat unless you paint it yourself. About the only flaw I have found anywhere was a tiny, tiny bubble in the paint right where the neck joins the body that's about the size of the head of a pin, and it's practically invisible. I think the only possible quality concern might be that the trem arm hole has a spring which could potentially come out if the arm isn't mounted - that's why when you see them they have a silver sticker over the trem arm hole; however, that's a design issue and has nothing to do with the fit & finish.
Haven't needed to contact anyone.
It took me a year to save up for, but in the end I was satisfied and would do it again without hesitation. True, you could almost buy two Mexican strats for this kind of dough, but you wouldn't get the same playability or sound out of them, and (speaking of the candy apple red version) you can't find one that looks like this for love or money unless you built & painted one yourself.
The Wow Factor:
This guitar (to paraphrase Austin Powers) definitely has "mo-jo." It's a classic!
I'm planning on keeping it long enough to leave it to my children when I die! There's no other strat on the market, with the possible exception of some $6000 custom shop model, that I would trade this in for.