One of the most remarkable things about Leo Fender's designs is how malleable they are based on who's interpreting them. Some builders explore the unrefined "two pieces of wood bolted together" idea, leaving the basic design to speak for itself. On the other end of the spectrum are builders like New Hampshire-based D'Pergo Guitars, who refine and perfect every square inch of the guitar - every screw, every fiber of wood, every wind of the pickup wire, etc...are by design, weighed and evaluated with one goal in mind - to build the finest, best sounding, best playing Strat-style guitar money can buy.
The devil is in the details, as the saying goes, and this gorgeous 2021 Signature Limited - in Lamborhini Arancio Borealis Pearl - is overflowing with details. The way the pickguard bevel is polished to a high gloss; the way the knobs are shaped; the way there are no sharp edges anywhere on this guitar - especially the neck/headstock; the feel of the V-C neck carve; the wood selection; etc...we could go on, but suffice it to say, there are an exceptional amount of man-hours put into these builds.
Before you jump the gun and think, "Okay, okay fancy pants...so what? It's got a lot of fancy details, who cares?!"
Normally, we might agree with you - but - all of these details are in the service of one goal - tone - and boy howdy does this guitar sound incredible. This is where the D'Pergo philosophy of "spare no expense" comes into focus and shows its merit.
This guitar is incredibly loud and resonant unplugged. Plugging into our fave Magnatone Panoramic amp, we were met with killer 3-dimensional, muscular, clear tones. The bridge pickup is very Tele-like, though not as spikey in the top end...the neck pickup is to die for....and the in-between positions are round, fat, clear, super touch sensitive....honestly, this is one of the best sounding new Strats we've encountered.
Condition: Like new.
We've got to admit, D'Pergo may just have achieved Strat nirvana. This is a remarkable instrument, period.