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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book out there on Strat maintenance
I wanted to give a more in-depth review of this book than what's currently on here now.

First, about myself. As of the writing of this review I'm 38 and have been playing for over 20 years. I have been setting up, modifying and tinkering with guitars all along. So trust me when I say that this book is a must-have if you want to work on your Fender Strat...
Published on April 14, 2007 by Glen Murley

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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Do Justice To The Usual Haynes Manuals Quality
First, if you just bought a Strat (any type from the far, far East to the current American Standard)you might enjoy this book but if you have owned Strats before and are familiar with them you should save your money. If you are looking for real usable information to really set up your Strat to perfection, you might look at Dan Erlewine's books instead either the one on...
Published on October 7, 2007 by You are going WHERE?


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book out there on Strat maintenance, April 14, 2007
By 
Glen Murley (Sagamore Beach, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
I wanted to give a more in-depth review of this book than what's currently on here now.

First, about myself. As of the writing of this review I'm 38 and have been playing for over 20 years. I have been setting up, modifying and tinkering with guitars all along. So trust me when I say that this book is a must-have if you want to work on your Fender Strat. Or, if you just want to know more about what makes a strat sound and play the way it does, this book serves that purpose as well. If you are already familair with setting up your strat then this book won't tell you anything new, but it's still an enjoyable read.

The book is 176 glossy pages with rich, beautiful professional photos throughout the entire book. The text is very easy to read even for those that aren't entirely familiar with the intricate working and electronics of guitars in general and therefore provides for an enjoyable read even for the casual reader.

What the book is not: Althought it touches on repair, t's not a repair manual. The information on repair is not comprehensive enough to actually do it yourself. It's not a compendium of Strats from year to year giving comprehensive differences and when things changed. This information is already available from other sources. It's not simply a picture book or coffee table book even though the size and Hard Cover format might suggest.

What it is: A comprehensive breakdown of how to set-up your Fender Stratocaster. And it does this in a fashion that allows the new tinkerer to get in there and do the work themselves. Very much in the same vein as Dan Earlwine's books.

The book goes over specific bridge designs and how to adjust string height, trem settings, etc. It explains how to adjust the truss rod on the various styles (bullet, vintage at the heel, at the peghead, etc.). It shows you how to set up the pickup heights, string heights, etc. Also explains some weaknesses inherent in specific designs such as vintage tuners, saddles, etc.

The book also has a great set of appendices that explains Fender neck profiles, body woods, what specific screws are used where (great for knowing what to order if you lost one), and a few other tidbits.

Of note there is a good part of the book dedicated to examining a few specific models of guitars and their specs. They are: 54' Custom Shop, US 57 RI, Chinese Squier, Mexican Fat Strat, Indonesian 'Standard' Squier, Custom Shop Clapton, US 74' reissue, Japanese 50th Anniversary, US Am Series 2005, Chinese Standard Squier. These "case studies" examine the actual guitar in the author's hands, not just the model in generic terms. This information isn't terribly useful, but it is fun to read an offers some insight to the variances of some models.

Lastly, there is a small section devoted to some of the Strat's most famous players and it examine's a famous strat that they used. Again, the information contained is not "defining" to me, but it's fun to read.

In conclusion, the reason to buy the book is for the clearly-written step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Stratocaster. The rest of the information can be found in other places, and probably in better detail, but it's nice to have it all contained in one book.

I think a book like this is long overdue. Without this book the tinkerer would have to spend a few weeks asking Q&A at various guitar forums. And even then you have to figure out who's right and who's wrong. I can say from my own experiences over the years in setting guitars up that this book is an excellent resource for the would-be do-it-yourselfer that wants to learn basic maintenance on his/her Fender Stratocaster.

The book is a joy to read too. If you don't have a Strat and are thinking of buying one...this book will put you over the edge and send you running off to buy one.

Cheers!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made easy, March 1, 2008
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
Bought a Squire strat. It had rough unfinished frets, loose whammy, misc rough spots and I had new pickups to put in. I bought this book and did all the work myself- the first guitar work I ever did. It was easy because he gave the specs in various places and explained how things worked. I smoothed the frets, evened the neck, tuned the bridge and put Seymour Duncans in from another strat I had, Adjusted and st the wang bar and now it smokes better than any other strat Ive had. Saved me an extra 250 - 700$ buying a Mex strat, or an american standard. If nothing else- this will teach a newbie like myself how to tear a strat apart and put it back together again making improvements along the way. A good investment.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Do Justice To The Usual Haynes Manuals Quality, October 7, 2007
This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
First, if you just bought a Strat (any type from the far, far East to the current American Standard)you might enjoy this book but if you have owned Strats before and are familiar with them you should save your money. If you are looking for real usable information to really set up your Strat to perfection, you might look at Dan Erlewine's books instead either the one on repairs or the one on how to make your electric guitar play great.
My copy of this book was one of the first editions ordered through Amazon.uk in England and arrived months ahead of the US release of this book. I was disappointed that the book was not up to the usual Haynes manual quality (like the ones for cars and motorcycles). Who needs to see a picture of Squier Strat pickups to know they are junk? Or a close up of a cracked pickguard from an overtightened screw? History wise it gives some data, but not nearly as much as the Duchossoir book and the Wheeler book. Both of which are excellent. Or even the Minnihinnet and Young book.
Don't expect too much from this book. It tries to cover many areas of the Strat but offers no real depth for any area. It might be worth it at about half the price it's offered at. More and better information is available elsewhere.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Manual, September 13, 2011
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
I am a novice guitar player and I ordered a Squire Strat from a large music store and picked it up at the store. There was no instruction manual of any kind with the guitar. The Fender on-line had very little informatin (maybe user error?) This book is very valuable: it breaks down information on different models of Strats. There have been some changes since the 2007 publishing, but not that much. With all of this information in this book, it takes pretty much all of the mystery out of setting up and maintaining a Strat. This is a hard back quality book with great photos. From my perspective, especially if you are new to Fender and Stratocaster, this is an excellent manual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short on specifics, April 29, 2012
By 
james mccaffrey (Richmond, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
This book is really a compilation of short reviews of the numerous Strats that Fender has produced over the years. A photo of each Strat with with some general info. However, it is very short, non-existant, on how to repair, modify and technical data. Regardless of what the publisher says in their cover presentation.

If you want a cursory overview, and I mean cursory, of the Strat, than this book is for you. But, I would suggest saving your money and applying it to some, or one, of the numerous "how to" repair and modify your Strat and/or electric axe volumes that are in publication. I was really disappointed. Big on pictures and short on info.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, January 14, 2012
This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
This book is discussed a lot on stratocaster forum so I got myself a copy. It is a nice book that shows how to do a few things and shows some history of Fender. If you are looking for a book on how to wire there are better books out there for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's worth the effort, February 11, 2010
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
It's a good book, The author describes some different Strats, and that was interesting,there is some valueable information on setting up your strat, especially for someone not familar with the procedure,theres more moving parts on a strat rather than a les paul or similar guitar with a set neck and a tuneomatic bridge. It's a definate "muts have" if you want to be introduced to setting up your strat, it's worth the 20 bucks, and it came in hardcover, I didn't realize that when I purchased it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a great handbook but not awful, February 26, 2008
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
This book has a lot of good things, stories about players, beautiful pictures of strats, tech data and in general good manteinance advise for your axe!!
But.. it is redondant in so many aspects, for ex., when the author analyze different kinds of Strats(MIM, Japanesse, Korean etc.) it is obvious he did copy- pasted most of the paragraphs and at some point you stop and wonder, Am I reading the same thing once again, why?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest???, May 4, 2011
By 
djinx (Central U.S.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
There was some good coverage on some models and other models were not mentioned (Standard MIM for example). If space was a problem he could have eliminated the chapter of "players". There were redundant sections, history and filler. Maybe it's just me but I'm wondering where the other half of the book is. The book was supposed to be about buying, maintaining etc. not about all the fluff. Where's the specs, and info on different pickups? How bout the fact that there were different tremolos and most are not interchangeable & have different setups? I was duped by all the 5 star reviews. Wished I could get half of my $ back for the half of this book that is missing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all Strat players, August 31, 2009
This review is from: The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat (Hardcover)
When I saw this book on Amazon I immediately went to look through the information and said to myself "this is something I have been looking for". I am not a srious guitar player but was in a garage band in the 60's and still will make some noise from time to time and being able to keep my strat in shape, without having to take it to a guitar shop is very apealing. I ordered 2 copies, one for myself and one for my son who is alo a strat player.
Highly reccommended.
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The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat
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