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Product 511263

Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar  3-Color Sunburst 

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The Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar gives you a lot of guitar for the money. Custom Shop pickups special wound to Cray'...Click To Read More About This Product

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  • 3-Color Sunburst

    $924.99 Top Rated

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OVERVIEW

Built for the blues with one of the baddest bluesmen around.

The Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar gives you a lot of guitar for the money. Custom Shop pickups special wound to Cray's specs crank out hard-edged solos and gritty rhythm while a hardtail bridge allows bold multistring bends with solid intonation. Light polyurethane finish on the alder body ages gracefully, lets the wood "breathe," and helps get the price so low that now you don't have to suffer if you want to play the blues. C-shaped maple neck with 9-1/2"-radius rosewood fretboard and Cray's signature on the headstock. Fender includes a deluxe Fender gig bag with your Robert Cray Stratocaster.

Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

FEATURES
  • Alder body
  • Maple C-shaped neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • 21 medium-jumbo frets
  • 3 vintage Strat single-coil pickups
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderArtist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar
 
4.9

(based on 57 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (53)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (13)
  • Fun to play (12)
  • Good feel (11)
  • Good pick up (10)
  • Solid electronics (10)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (11)
  • Practicing (11)
  • Recording (6)
  • Small venues (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The Blues is more than a feeling. It is an experience.

More than just another MIM Stratocaster or an affordable version of the Custom Shop Robert Cray Stratocaster, my MIM Robert Cray sunburst Strat is like a time capsule sent from the 60s. Sure you...Read complete review

More than just another MIM Stratocaster or an affordable version of the Custom Shop Robert Cray Stratocaster, my MIM Robert Cray sunburst Strat is like a time capsule sent from the 60s. Sure you could have bought one just like this back in the day, but those days are long gone. Fender did a great job in creating an affordable, well made Strat that is as attractive and true to form as it is a pleasure to play and hear. The early 60s neck is period correct and a wonderful fit if you appreciate a larger C shape with broader shoulders than typical. The period correct minty green 3 ply pickguard is likely to be exactly what your genuine 1966 Strat's pickguard might look like if you had one. Whether or not this Strat is for you may be another matter. For me it is perfect. My advice is to play and listen to one first. I like the sound of a hardtail, you may or may not. I was amazed that this Strat arrived perfectly set up. I checked neck relief, string height and pickup height. All were dialed in, which is a good thing because I wasn't looking forward to adjusting the neck relief from the heel of the neck, even if it is period correct. Nostalgia comes with a price.

Improvements? A oil finish, rather than polyurethane, on the neck would have been perfect.

Biggest surprise - how nice the vintage style tuners work. Smooth and precise.

The included, somewhat cheesy, gig bag might have kept the cost down and certainly protected the perfect open box model during shipping that arrived promptly, but this Strat deserves better so buy her a nice hard case. She looks fabulous in tweed.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Fret Buzz!

I have many tools to set up a guitar...but I can not get rid of the fret buzz. I have set the neck relief at .026 and the action at 6/64...Read complete review

I have many tools to set up a guitar...but I can not get rid of the fret buzz. I have set the neck relief at .026 and the action at 6/64 at the 17th fret and I still get fret buzz. The nut on the low E is .018 and the A is .022, so it can not be fixed without shimming the nut and filing down the nut on all strings...I do not have the files to do this( it would cost $$ to own these tools to fix one guitar) After setting the guitar up to perfect intonation, I can not play an open G major chord,,,it is out of tune!!!!...I put the guitar in it's case and put it in my closest....I will never buy a guitar again without playing it first!

Reviewed by 57 customers

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(6 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Fret Buzz!

By TaRockula

from Biloxi,MS

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Fret Buzz
  • Nut Is Cut Wrong

Best Uses

  • Recording

Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

I have many tools to set up a guitar...but I can not get rid of the fret buzz. I have set the neck relief at .026 and the action at 6/64 at the 17th fret and I still get fret buzz. The nut on the low E is .018 and the A is .022, so it can not be fixed without shimming the nut and filing down the nut on all strings...I do not have the files to do this( it would cost $$ to own these tools to fix one guitar) After setting the guitar up to perfect intonation, I can not play an open G major chord,,,it is out of tune!!!!...I put the guitar in it's case and put it in my closest....I will never buy a guitar again without playing it first!

(5 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

A bit of a disappointment...

By Mike Marunchak

from Chicago

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

After reading laudatory reviews of this guitar on these pages and elsewhere, I am disappointed in the quality of the specimen I received. The violet finish is glossy, flawless, and very nice looking, and I like the effect of the vintage-style green tinged pickguard. However, guitars don't exist to look pretty, they exist to produce music (SRV and Rory Gallagher played guitars that looked like crap). Which brings me to the source of my displeasure: whoever "set up" this guitar at the factory and or signed-off didn't do his/her job. With the exception of the high E, every string produces fret buzz from the second fret on up, and has intonation problems from about the twelfth fret up. I get none of the ringing, chimey sound others have ascribed to this model--it sounds dull and muted. I will be returning it at my earliest opportunity. I'm not a luthier, know nothing about setting up a guitar, and will not pay additonal money to have a third party set up my guitar as it should have been at the factory. I can't imagine an instrument this poorly set-up would have been released from Corona. This is my second less-than-satisfactory experience with a Mexican Strat, and I'm not impressed. I will never again buy a "Strat" that says "Made in Mexico" (or Japan, or Korea, or Indonesia).

(5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best cash I ever spent

By Captainsquigglez

from Hell

Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

So my Ibanez died, literally. I went to a guitar shop in town to buy a cheap squier cause I didn't have much money and already have a gibson. Before even touching the squier that I wanted to get, I saw the Inca Silver Cray on the wall used for four hundred. I NEVER buy guitars without reading a ton of reviews but this one spoke to me. I swear, since buying this my playing has improved ten fold. I would suggest anyone get it if you like blues, or strats. If it was stolen I would torture the thief till they begged for death.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Robert Cray Strat

By Strat man

from Boston

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

I bought this Strat as part of a Fender Friday promotion that Musicians Friend was running. This guitar with the custom wound pickups is about as pure a strat tone as you can get. THe mint pickguard and tinted neck give a nice vintage feel. The neck is slightly thicker than standard but it work really well. I have smaller hands and have had not trouble with it. The setup from the factory was the best of any new guitar I've ever bought. You can't go wrong with this guitar.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Robert Cray Strat just kills for the cash...

By Bluesboy320

from Canada

Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

This is one great guitar, especially for the money it costs. Sounds just killer for blues and jazzy stuff and has none of the intonation problems some whammy-bar Strats have. May be MIM, but is the best I've played from that factory. Way, way better than the previous MIM I had (and got rid of in about a month!).Plays smooth as butter and build quality is outstanding for the money.Solid as heck and will get another in Silver as soon as financially feasible. Would buy online as I trust this guitar and then only lousy one I played was well-used and the previous owner couldn't be bothered to maintain it apparently.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Hardtail Strat

By Fender Bender

from Australia

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      To the best of my knowledge the Robert Cray model is the only SSS hardtail Strat that Fender currently make. My problem is I like maple fretboards and head adjustable truss rods - both of which the RC model does not have. So I bought a loaded Cray body and added a Clapton neck. I absolutely love the finished product. I have a violet Cray body and I was pleasantly surprised by the colour - very stylish, and flawless. More importantly I love the tone - particularly positions 2 and 3. The guitar also holds tune very well.

      The Clapton neck is my first experience with a "soft V", and I really like it. It also feels very smooth with its satin finish (back and fretboard). You could also go with a Buddy Guy or Jimmie Vaughan neck to get the V for a lower cost, but I couldn't find either when I was looking. I had to shim the neck. To do this I just cut a 1 cm strip off of a playing card and put it at the front of the heel - worked a treat and the guitar has a great action, and I didn't have to adjust the truss rod. It is great that you can mix and match with Fender instruments because you can make something that suits your needs. However, I still wish Fender made more hardtail strats!

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A Great Blues Strat!

      By Dr. DWR

      from Dayton, OH

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      I've owned several top of the line PRS's, two Eric Clapton strats (one from the 90s and one form 2009), and an American Strat from the late 80s. I've got to tell you that if you want a great blues sound, this guitar is perfect for you. I bought mine in Inca Silver. The finish is beautiful. No flaws whatsoever. And, for blues, this guitar out performs more expensive strats including the Clapton signature models. But, a couple of things to note. Outside of blues playing, you may not have much use for this guitar. Moreover, if you've small fingers or hands, the neck may be too big for you. I love the C-shaped neck, but it also happens to fit my hands. I could see someone with smaller hands and/or fingers not liking it. Finally, you'll need to either set the guitar up or have someone do it. Since the guitar comes straight out of the factory, no one has set it up. I had to adjust the truss road and the action. Just be aware of that before buying it. O... and the pickups rock! Don't worry about the MIM thing...

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Cray Strat Rocks

      By DD-cmVwc

      from Hampton, AR

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      I own the inca silver and it is beautiful! Smooth frets, cool tint on the neck, great body, and it plays fantastically. The pickups are the same as the Custom Shop model and they have the best Strat sound ever. Bright, clean, and they respond very well to overdrive. They will play any style of music, except for metal. When played clean, they sound almost like an acoustic guitar. When overdriven, they have a smooth bright tone that makes you cry. I get compliments everytime I play it at out. I only have one problem with the guitar: the noise from flourescent lights. I have solved it, though by star-grounding the guitar and adding a Fender '62 pickguard shield. The combination makes this a guiet, clean, and beautiful-sounding guitar. Go buy one today!

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Nice

      By bbenhull

      from Western NC

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      Bought mine in Violet and was pleasantly surprised at the actual color. It's more of a deep blue with red overtones...very complex color. As far as the features, the pickups are a perfect match to the hardtail bridge. Sustains for days, pick attack is precise and punchy with great clarity. Sounds like a million bucks on all five positions, but really nails that sound I was after in the middle position. In my opinion, this guitar sounds better than my last Strat which was an American Deluxe with Kinman pickups. Do yourself a favor and stop searching. Fender has created an instant classic with this one, and it's half the price of many of its direct competition.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      mim stratocaster

      By guitarhack

      from No. Cal.

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        bought a 60 year anniversary American standard strat. it needed a lot of work to set it up, fret polish, neck setup ect. this mim Robert cray strat is the best fender iv played in some time. set up, tone and feel are great. love it. better than American Standard. which is strange I thought it would be the other way. who ever set it up is a player and did a beautiful job. fit and finish are great also. cant beat the price. fender mim has a winner!

        (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        I own three of them

        By GTB

        from Twin Cities

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        The Robert Cray Hardtail comes in three colors. After owning a silver one and loving it I picked up the sunburst and violet ones.The pickups are a big factor. 100% vintage Strat tone. They are a perfect match for a tube amplifier and sound great both clean and overdriven.If they made a fourth color or a maple neck RC Strat I'd grab them too.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        An Ideal Addition to a Strat Collection

        By DMR Guitar

        from NW Chicago Suburbs

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Addictive To Play
        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone
        • Solid Electronics
        • Ultra Clean Pure Sound

        Cons

        • None
        • Not For Every Taste

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Not A Shredder
        • Practicing
        • Recording

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        Yipes, this one is scary good! If you have any Robert Cray recordings, this particular guitar really nails his sound. Although I really love all of these artists, this guitar is no Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, SRV signature guitar, and good luck with any Jimi Hendrix or Rory Gallagher imitations on this baby. Rather, this is almost like a vintage Strat, the sound is so clean and pure. In other words, it sounds better clean, with very little gain applied, so this is not for every player. Also, this is a "hard tail" guitar (no vibrato) so that may have a lot to do with this sound. Not a bad pick-up in the bunch, they are all great and add to the unique sound. Nice neck (back side), fingerboard and frets, as well. Why anyone would change-out anything on this guitar is beyond my understanding (and I change-out components on almost all of my guitars), it is perfect just as it is! BTW, I have the 2-tone color version, quite pretty. I'm glad to have this one in the family!

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great overall MIM guitar for the money

        By Bluesman5364

        from California

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Pick Up
        • Good Tone

        Cons

        • Doesnt Come With Hsc

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        I have always enjoyed going after an Fender Artist model guitar, owning an Eric Johnson, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, SRV, Eric Clapton, and recent a John Mayer. There are still more to come which included the RC Strat. I was reluctant at first as I couldn't find one anywhere to try out. In speaking with a friend who had, he told me it was similar in feel to my EJ Strat around the 5th/6th frets in radius and thickness. Loving the EJ I decided to buy the 3 tone burst. Reviews had been excellent for the MIM version. I was extremely pleased with the guitar on arrival at the overall appearance. Plugging in, I got excellent bluesy tones, no fret buzz, no adjusting needed. The weight and feel of the guitar is perfect for me. My hand glides along the neck. Tuners were and tone/vol knobs all seem fine to me. No paint or QC flaws found. I've played and owned MIM and to be honest, never had issues with any of them and I use all my 19 (and counting) guitars extensively which have never given me a concern. Next up is the Jimmie Vaughan Strat

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Sweet

        By geo

        from Virginia

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Fun To Play
        • Good Feel
        • Good Tone
        • Great feel

        Cons

        • None

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        I just picked up the Robert Cray Strat and let me tell you - all of the positive reviews are true. It is sweet and an absolute dream to play. I have a Gibson Les Paul 1959 reissue which is perfect and yet this Strat has great sustain, playability, tone and feel. I'm hooked. Thank you again Musician's Friend for delivering a great tool for a musician.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        best signature guitar for less cash

        By 13 year old SRV

        from woodbury, CT

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        Yhe robert cray strat is my favorite signature fender guitar and not just because it's a signature model. The custom shop pickups sound incredible for a strat this cheap. Great tones from such mim strat, that is something i would of never suspected from a guitar at this price. The c shape neck is comfortable for small and stubby fingers like myself. One great guitar for the blues and even better for a great holiday gift.

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        This is the real deal!

        By GTB

        from Twin Cities

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        I own 2 Robert Cray Stratocasters. I prefer hardtail Strats so I bought one in Inca Silver. It was just what I was looking for. It had that old Strat sound that is still clear when it is played loud through a tube amp. Because I felt that this sound was just what I wanted I bought a Lavender one for backup. They sound just the same.This guitar is for people who want a Stratocaster sound.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Classic Tone & Great Value!

        By Doc Bodine-FvRfO

        from Fredneck, MD

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        If you're looking for a fixed bridge Strat then look no further. This is it! I've had mine for a couple of years and love it! This guitar rocks! Awesome tone from the custom wound pups, the "C" shaped neck is so comfortable and it comes with vintage style tuners. Minor setup is sometimes required on these MIM Fenders but I find that true from many manufacturers. If you can't set it up, just take it to your tech and you'll be happy. Finish, fit & feel and overall quality is excellent. It's a steal so , get one while they're still available!

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Absolutely the best Strat for the money

        By Ed-Afnjo

        from Roanoke, VA

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        I've always liked Strats, but have had a hard time finding a neck that I really like. That was until I picked up the Robert Cray. I absolutely love the "C" neck and the glossy finish, it fits me like a glove. The tone from the pickups is incredible as well. The hardtail bridge was a selling point for me, too. That's the one think I dislike about most Strats. I've always blocked the tremolo (a la Eric Clapton), but this solves that problem. If you are looking for the versatility of a Strat, with a slightly more bluesy sound, and a hardtail bridge, then look no further.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Androide

        By Wattsman

        from El paso tx

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        This is a really good guitar. I just bought this one and I?m very pleased. The sound is really good, if you are looking for a powerful bluesy sound. The finish is also very nice, I bought mine inca silver and its flawless. Also the mint green pick guard gives it a cool vintage look. Now, make sure you are looking for a thick neck, cause this guitar has a very thick one. I have a 70s model that has a ?U? shape, and my RC model is close to that. Another issue is the factory settings. I had to do neck adjustments to get my neck straight, of a turn in the truss rod to get it right. So be prepared to do the adjustments or spend additional money to get it done. However, its definitely a good deal! The price is very good for such a nice looking and good sounding guitar.

        (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        tremlux

        By Tremlux

        from Maine

        Comments about Fender Artist Series Robert Cray Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

        Fender really hit the nail on the head with this guitar. It has vibe from day one. It has the looks, tone, and playability of a Stratocaster twice it's price. Worth every penny.

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