c.2012 Archer (Chinese?) Hardtail Strat Copy Electric Guitar

No branding on this guy, now, as it rubbed right off the headstock while polishing it up! How about that? Anyhow, this was branded "Archer" and I imagine it's the same as the $100 hardtail Strats (Chinese-made, presumably?) selling on eBay right now. For that sort of money, though, it's a pretty cool Strat copy after the work (light fret level/dress, cleaning, good setup). This one was traded in for some work and I think I'll either just hold onto it as an extra sound or sell it to a local student. It's hardly worth shipping at its used price.

Amazingly, this has a solid basswood body. This makes an extremely lightweight instrument... kinda fun and different when I'm used to the heavy Fender bodies. It means it'll knick and ding a bit more easily, though.

I can't say I'm a fan of black and white all that much, but ya know, I'm sure it's practical when turning these out by the 100s. Is mint green for the pickguard too much to ask?

The neck is actually made from some pretty maple with bits of flame and curl in it. How about that headstock? When cleaning this up I lightly 0000 steel wooled it and then buffed it up to remove surface grit and shine it up a little.

The maple neck isn't one-piece -- it has a maple board glued to it, too... but again, with some cool curl in it.

I like hardtail Strats... though one of the set-screws had to be replaced.

While this guitar has that typical "chimey" or "bell like" Strat sound (especially in 2 & 4 positions on the 5-way switch) and is extremely clean-sounding, there's a curious thing going on because it uses pickups with level polepieces. I'm almost certain these are the same pups that import (read: Squier) Duo Sonic reissues and similar used. On their own these sound so much like Duo Sonic import pups I've used in other projects and I like that... they give this thing its own slightly drier voice compared to the zillions of Squier Strats in service.

What else is there to say? It's a Strat copy.

Enclosed tuners are still sort of a shock to me on instruments in this price range... yet it's sort of the norm, now. I'm so much surrounded by older guitars that the new import stuff really isn't on my radar unless it catches my eye.

The heel shape and neck cut is more 50s "Danelectro" than Fender... but maybe that's a good thing?

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