The feel of this guitar is closer to an American Deluxe Strat than the American Standard model. It feels more refined and generally has a higher end feel than the typical USA Strat. The weight is usually on the slightly heavier side from my experience, and it does have a beefy neck profile. However it does feature ample contouring that tends to streamline out the whole package quite well. Upper fret access is great considering that the neck heel is contoured as well a-la the American Deluxes.
Getting a good tone out of this guitar is fairly easy overall and I’m generally quite impressed by it’s thick and Stratty quality all round. Jeff is known for a very distinct and individual tone that comes across very well in this guitar. Harmonics are just waiting to leap out from hidden places, and once you apply some gain, a dash of reverb and grab the ol’ trem bar… look out!
I’ve tried this guitar through various Fender and Mesa Boogie amplifiers. Something I find about a lot of signature models is that they do a core tone very well, but usually aren’t the most versatile. However the JB Strat bucks this tradition, providing a sound that’s a killer facsimile of an early ’60s Strat but with modern appointments that contribute to a thicker and overall raunchier tone.
The cleans are pretty typical Strat.. if you’re picturing a killer overwound delight. Not your grandfather’s guitar… this thing has TONE in spades. The pickups are hotter than most Strat pickups, and as a result, you lose a bit of the shimmery top end of old and in its place gain a really nice and pure sounding breakup when the pickups are hit hard. This approach and tone works really well for some pseudo-blues and some cool garage rock textures, because a CLEAN clean tone is going to be a bit harder to attain.
The overdrive tones are a delight to behold. I absolutely love how the JB Strat responds to gain! The pickups take on a whole other character that is part Gibson, part Strat. Chords gain some SERIOUS hair and the lead lines are just… perfection. It goes from classic blues to the most modern of shred with ease as far as the tones, and you can count on the guitar to deliver a great response all the way through.
The Fender Jeff Beck Strat is a great buy for someone looking for a killer hot rodded type Strat that really takes well to gain and other such devilish fun. It’s got a high output core, but the sound is real and decidedly Strat all the same. For $1,600 new these guitars are a great bargain. The neck may be too thick for some players, but it’s something that you’d have to play and see if it works for your hand.