From its classy satin finish to its beautiful C-shaped neck, the Fender Highway One Stratocaster is a guitar that we highly recommend to Strat lovers who want something just a little bit different.
The USA-made Fender Highway One Stratocaster is situated between Fender’s American Standard and the Made-in-Mexico Standard series. Rather than just being a “budget” American-made guitar, the Highway One Stratocaster has a vibe all its own. It’s also a ready-made guitar for those interested in customization. Let’s see what makes it unique.
The Highway One Stratocaster features an alder body and C-shaped maple neck with choice of rosewood or maple fretboard. Jumbo frets are standard as are Alnico III single-coil pickups. The instruments sports a very thin nitro satin finish, vintage-styled 2-point tremolo, “Greasebucket” tone circuit, and deluxe gig bag.
Upon playing the Highway One Stratocaster, it becomes immediately clear that the guitar is a quality, USA-made instrument, even if it’s got some major differences that set it apart from the American Standard series. As we’ve already stated, we dug the nitro finish and appreciate the effect it has on the guitar’s tone (yes, finish does affect tone). Individual notes and chords just seemed to resonate better than with glossy finishes. The pickups were hot and punchy, and the Greasebucket circuit (which allows you to turn down the highs without increasing the bass) is a nice addition. We could get tones from classic rock crunch to Texas blues with ease.
The neck might not be for everyone, but we really liked it. The 70’s headstock is purely an aesthetic choice, but the large frets and satin finished C-shape neck just felt right in our hands. Strings bent like “buttah” and the neck really facilitated sweep arpeggios and fast runs. It requires the right touch, but we felt like the neck was very well done (we opted for the maple fretboard, by the way). If you’re not a fan of large frets, you probably won’t dig the feel, but we thought it was very comfortable and gives the Highway One Stratocaster a feeling all its own.
With a list price of around $700, the Fender Highway One Stratocaster is a quality USA-made instrument at a price that won’t break your piggy-bank. From its classy satin finish to its beautiful C-shaped neck, the Highway One Stratocaster is a guitar that we highly recommend to Strat lovers who want something just a little bit different.
Name of Gear: Fender Highway One Stratocaster
List Price: $999.99
Manufacturer Info: Fender Musical Instruments; fender.com
Pros: Incredible deal; comfortable neck; versatile tones
Cons: Included gig bag is a bit cheap