Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
"Strat copy" refers to a class of electric guitars that closely emulate the design of the Fender Stratocaster, arguably the most popular and widely imitated electric guitar in the world. They are made by a multitude of manufacturers under many different brand names, mostly in Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, and more recently, China and Indonesia. Strat copies are most often sold as "budget-priced" guitars aimed at beginning or casual guitar players, and can often be found sold by non-music establishments such as department stores and mail-order catalogs. Several other popular name-brand guitars are widely copied, but the sheer quantity of strat copies by comparison puts them in a class of their own.
Strat copies differ from the genuine, professional-grade Fender Stratocaster in their use of cheaper wood (the cheapest models have bodies made of "laminated wood", ie plywood) and lower grade hardware (tuners, bridges) and electronic components (especially pickups). They are also made in a more automated, assembly-line manner; the lack of human attention to detail often results in instruments with noticeable cosmetic flaws, "rough edges," and less than ideal setup. The result is a guitar that usually "feels cheap" but can be sold at very low prices and is usually adequate for their intended market. Some semi-pro and pro guitarists, however, like to use strat copies because they often have their own unique tone, and because they can be abused and replaced with less cost and guilt than an expensive professional-quality guitar.
Sample brands of strat copies include Harmony, Cort, Lotus, Indiana, Hondo II, Bently, SX, Jay Turser, and Johnson. Fender itself has long marketed its own line of inexpensive, albeit "authorized," strat copies, as well as low-priced versions of its other classic instruments, under the Squier brand.
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