Drive your sound with raw humbucking power. Fender's innovative Blacktop™ guitar series expands the sonic horizon of classic Fender Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Jazzmaster® and Jaguar® guitars by powering them with high-gain humbucking pickups. The Blacktop series delivers on modern player demands for a thick and heavy sound with guitars that drive a wide array of deep, rich and aggressive tones that match the intensity of any playing style.
Sleek and supercharged, the Blacktop Stratocaster HH has dual over-wound alnico humbucking pickups, with other distinctive touches including skirted black amp knobs and a synchronized tremolo bridge. Other features include an alder body, maple neck with 9.5"-radius rosewood or maple fingerboard, 22 medium jumbo frets, gloss polyester finish and chrome hardware.
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I have owned an American Stratocaster and currently have two MIM Deluxe Strats as well as a Gibson Les Paul and an SG Standard.
I thought this guitar might make a nice and unique addition to my collection but considering the low price point I didn't have terribly high expectations.
All I can say is "WOW"...the tone and playability of this guitar far exceeded my expectations.
I would say that the overall tone is somewhere between a typical Strat tone and that of a Gibson SG.
I might also add that the guitar looks MUCH nicer in person than you would expect based on the photographs seen online.
So if you are looking for a real bargain in terms of quality, tone and finish this is one guitar you should seriously consider.
pdxtom owns this item
OK I picked up a sonic blue w/ rosewood fingerboard Blacktop last month in a trade. The guitar is flawless in worksmanship....VERY beautiful, nice weight, nice EVERYTHING....except those humbuckers! The guitar has a 5-way switch. Positions #2 and #4 are a "split coil" kinda thing. Those tones sounded very nice. BUT....the regular humbucker tones, positions #1, #3, and #5 were UNUSABLE. The tone was muffled, dull, lifeless and devoid of ANY high end. It seems after reading reviews all over the web, some of these guitars have decent humbuckers and some have really lousy ones. I got the lousy ones. But all is not lost! I installed a set of GFS "Surf 90" P90's and WOW! This Blacktop sounds like a million bucks now. I wanted to try a solid body Fender Strat-type guitar with humbuckers just for something different. But I am not a fan of humbuckers anyway and I kind of knew I'd be replacing the pickups anyway. I had the tech re wire the guitar as a 3-way configuration. P90's sound way better than humbuckers, which are too thick and dark and don't record well. It's just a shame that there are random problems with the pickups on this model guitar. Other than that I love the guitar. I would prefer a maple fingerboard, but I couldn't pass up this deal at the time. The guitar was modded a little too...I removed the volume pot and knob and moved it down the the first tone position and now I have 1 master volume and 1 master tone. I do this on all my Strats.....volume knob is always in the way and way too close to the bridge and back pickup. lus you can't palm mute with it in the way. So now my blacktop is customized the way I like and I am enjoying this guitar.
w1av owns this item
I play Blues and Hard rock as a session musician and in my own band. I have favored fender guitars for years, and have been a major fan of the Stratocasters. No surprise when this caught my eye, I had to give it a try.
Fender has a history for odd colored guitars, so going with the sonic blue, and a Maple neck and two humbuckers with those vintage tone controls was a must. The whole guitar just looks the part, and feels the part too. The neck felt like the neck on my American Standard, plays beautifully, and you can just glide up and down and across it with ease. Even though it sports humbuckers, the bridge and neck positions both still have that classic fender sound, with a slightly dark, moodier tone.
After playing I ordered the one I wanted into the store. After I picked it up, I noticed only two things I didn't like about the Blacktop Stratocaster. The two Humbuckers have a five way selector as they can both be split on position two and four for a single coil sound. The issue there was a very large difference in volume and tone on those two points than on the positions 1,2 and 3. It appears to be the same on all models I have tried.
The second part was in the factory process it appeared my pickguard was not aligned correctly and as a result part of it did not sit flush with the body of my guitar, and the volume knob was loose (that is something common with Strats I have bought from Fender), it has not been problematic.
Overall I find it has a unique appeal and definitely has a voice of it's own. Something for collectors or those looking to stand out, though if you're big on tone like myself, you my consider looking at alternatives to the stock humbuckers at some point.
Shayne Manic owns this item
I bought a blacktop HH black/rosewood last year and liked it so much i bought a black/ maple fret version also. The blacktops are the best value going. The pick ups are awesome. I own 13 guitars and these 2 are truly amazing. They are just like my Gibsons which i also didn't need to modify. They have great hardware. The only things i changed were the saddles and string trees. Went with stainless saddles and roller string trees, and new diaddario 9-42 strings. I also changed the pickguards to white mother of pearl and the knobs to tele chrome domes.
I also own 4 epiphones but i had to spend alot of money and change all the hard ware and wiring to get them up to gibsons. The humbuckers on the blacktops are hot enough for metal and split they can do jazz, funk, or blues. With a pedal you can do nu metal also. I have many pick ups from duncan alnico 2's to gibson 57's to jb and jazz duncans and these are the same quality. They sound as good on a marshall as they do on my Fender 65 drri. For under 500 dollars you can't go wrong and it says Fender on the head stock. They are the best value by far in the Fender line. Much, much better than Squiers, and if you get a good blacktop, as good as the american strats. my only negative is they are hit and miss on the fretwork. So make sure you buy one at a dealer. I am a wood worker so doesn't matter to me.
jacobbrown9 owns this item
I have had this guitar for over two years and I absolutely love it. I go to stores to play others, but still haven't found one that sounds and feels as great as the Blacktop. I have the Sonic Blue with Maple fretboard and after changing strings to .10 and having a little minor setup done this guitar sings. The pickups in my opinion are great, I have no desire to change them. Secondly, I have always loved Strats but also love the humbucker sound. This was a perfect match. Plus, with the five way switching I can get some useful single coil sounds as well. I play mostly classic rock, blues and a little jazz, but I'm sure you can play metal with this one with the right amp. I would buy another one in a second. When I first saw that Fender came out with this guitar I pretty much knew this was the one I wanted. I probably would like to see Fender come out with more color options but that is no big deal. For the price of this guitar, beginner or pro, you can't go wrong.
Coachc55 owns this item
This is my cheapest Strat, and it is noticeably. I bought it for the fun of the Humbucker sound on a Strat.
One thing I just love it is the neck. It is by far the easiest Strat I have, playing with 011.
It needs a bit of work to have the right setup. The frets need some leveling, and as with all of my guitars it has a bone nut.
For me the pickups have more gain that I would like, so I replace them with a pair of SD Vintage Blues.
The pots and the wiring should also be replace with some proper CTS pots. I change them to 2 Vols and 1Tone.
For me the coil-split doesn't make any sense.
It is also much lighter them my other Strats.
Also doesn't like the mint Green pickguard with the Sonic Blue color.
But dispite all of this, now is my go Strat for those 70's Classic rock riffs.
rpsimao owns this item
this guitar is amazing!, you can play a lot of music styles, my preference is rock, so the hummbuckers are perfect for this kind of music, but for blues or jazz sound amazing too, you can do everything with this guitar. The pickups sound fantastic and is very comfortable for playing. I use an Orange amp and I get a unique sound for this guitar that I never heard before.
ivr_blacktop owns this item
I've owned this guitar since it's debut in 2010. I have the sonic blue with maple fretboard, what an awesome color with exception of the mint green pickguard. That had to go, went with a black pearl by Warmoth and it made all the difference.
Tonally this guitar has it all, the humbuckers sound way better than my Gibson Standard SG, so much so in fact I sold that guitar since I didn't play it that much anymore. In the two and four positions you get that single coil split off the humbuckers, some good strat tones lurking in those two positions. The downside, in those two positions the volume cuts down quite a bit, although not really being a true single coil I can dig that and just turn the volume up a little. Mine has a full sized trem block and you can feel the sonic vibrations all the way up the neck and the sustain is excellent.
This guitar is rock solid and built like a tank (durable that is not as in heavy as one). My dog came chasing into the room and knocked if off it's stand and it hit the wood floor. Not one scratch and nothing broke, not even a string. Just awesome! The frets are smooth on the ends and the craftsmanship is very good.
Overall an excellent playing instrument and I highly recommend it!
jackt923 owns this item
Overall, I absolutely love this guitar. I love the feel of my Squier Stratocasters but the power of my Les Paul, and this is an amazing blend of both. It's a little brighter than a Les Paul (which I love) but if that's not your thing then the tone can be rolled down to get that lower end. The coil tapping positions (2 and 4) give amazing clean sounds too! They're super clear! Normally if I could get it loud enough to hear single notes then the guitar would OD the amp on the chords, but this one is amazing!
Now, the bad news. The guitar's setup was atrocious! (For playability it was a 2 before the repairs, a 5 after) The frets needed filing (which if it were Rosewood I'd understand but on Maple it shouldn't be as extreme as it was - I cut my hand on the frets), the intonation was off, and the bridge came floating. That I can understand (I like mine flush with the bridge since I go from drop D to C standard to Eb to E in a day, so floating sucks for me) but the back cover's hole doesn't line up with the bridge when it's flush to the point that I have to take it off to change strings! I like my cover on to protect the trem system from the world, and I personally think it looks better that way. It's a major inconvenience and I have to either replace it (and matching the colour is hard) or file the hole bigger.
Overall I absolutely love this guitar! I took it from my dealer's wall to a gig in the span of 4 days and it held up well. However, with the condition it came in, if I wasn't specifically looking for this particular guitar (CAR with maple) then I'd have returned it. The warranty at my dealer is amazing, and the fret dressing was free but if I had to pay then I couldn't have afforded the guitar. Once it was given a few days of setup and a week of treatment, it's a dream
jbot owns this item
A real good deal, every tone you need is there! Take a good body, put inside a realy versatile switch with two realy good pickups and you got the stratocaster blacktop! The only point I'm not a fan is the green pickguard but I can change that easily so just grab one and try different music style, she's just THAT versatile!
Nicolas Taussac owns this item
I bought this guitar after reading a review in total guitar magazine as I don't like heavy guitars and wanted a tremolo equiped guitar which was comfortable to play but with humbuckers. This guitar has brought my playing on leaps and bounds simply because it is so comfortable to play and sounds so good. It can be used from anything from blues to rock and sounds great through my mustang amp. Go out and buy one you won't be dissapointed.
derekt owns this item
Great bang for the buck. Love those Humbucker PU's! I have turned a few eyes and ears of semi-professional musicians who always thought that all Fenders had a "twangy" sound. Really? This is not the first Fender with a Humbucker but that notion seems to be out there. Those Humbuckers give the Blacktops more dimension with respect to the sounds it is capable of WITHOUT enhancements from stomp boxes. The 5 way switch is part of that extra dimension since there are many PU combinations of front/back/single/double coil ...
Very playable within the first 15 frets. Getting great sound from the 1st and 2nd strings - gets more challenging from the 13th onward but suspect a little more work on the bridge will get me what I need. This is not the best made guitar in the world (the edges of the frets were a little rough) but that does not mean that this is not a quality instrument because it is. Certainly within this price range, it has no equal (I paid $450 CDN from a local music store).
It took very few adjustments to get proper octave notes at the 12th fret but overall the Blacktop worked great right out of the box. I have used this guitar on a daily basis for over a year now and never tire of either the sound or the feel. Great axe!
Hawkwood8 owns this item
I love humbuckers but I get a little tired of hefting the weight of my Les Pauls. This Blacktop Strat is a great compromise. I get the feel of a Strat and the crunch of an overdriven humbucker. Sweet guitar, especially since I got it brand new for only $500.
Jscott owns this item
OK, this is not my dream guitar but considering I paid less than $500 for it new it is a great guitar for the music I play. I will probably eventually tweak it with different pickups but all in all it is fairly versatile for the blues and rock I play in a band setting. I play it thru a Mesa Mark V so there is a lot more versatility via the amp. It's got all the comfortable ergonomics of a Strat, a cool look in black with chrome hardware and a contrasting maple neck/fret board. I half wish the HSH model was out when I bought mine but then it is nice to have that vacant picking area.... I love being able to play clean solos in the 1 or 5 switch position and then move one notch to 2 or 4 to get a more "acoustic" Fender sound with a bit of a volume reduction for rhythm. In strictly solo mode switching from HB to single coil combo pickup mode it can be a tad annoying to lose a bit of gain/volume but you can't have it both ways. In the 4 position (neck/mid) I find I can get a fairly convincing Fender "quack" like one might get with a traditional Strat. I've been told by friends that the 2 position sounds a bit like a Tele in dual pickup mode. I have no real frame of reference since I never owned a standard Tele. This guitar is a great value and quite versatile for those who want some HB action but don't like playing short scale or ergonomically awkward guitars that can cost 4 times what this guitar costs.
otis77 owns this item
I love my blacktop strat! best guitar i've ever owned! I love the way it plays and the way it looks! The humbuckers give this guitar a very unique sound! This guitar is perfect for what i play and feels so great to play! When i got it i walked into guitar center saw the guitar, picked it up and right then i knew i needed it! I've never been so attached to an instrument!
dghertz owns this item
I am usually not a fan of humbuckers on a Strat, and almost exclusively prefer single-coils, but this one looks awesome in black with a maple neck, amp-style knobs, chrome pup covers and hardware, so I thought that I would try it. I was surprised that it sounds, and feels as good as it looks, so I bought it. The stock pickups are nice, but were just a little bit dark sounding for my taste when using my favorite amp, and I thought about changing them for something else. However, I first changed the bridge block to a nice steel block and that made the sound excellent, no need to change pickups. I added locking tuners and decked the bridge for tuning stabilty (filed the fret ends), and now it's bordering on perfection, a great player with lasting sustain. The guitar is very versatile, with a nice variety of sounds, and the setup out of the box was terrific. In position 1 (bridge hum-bucker), I can get a great, clean, Strat-like single coil sound that is full, yet sparkly and bright, like a hot single-coil pup, and switching the amp to the drive channel gives an excellent, crisp and crunchy rock sound, also good for blues (probably my favorite position for clean and drive). Position 2 gives a cool chirpy sound that is very much Tele-like, using one coil of each pup (inner coils), splitting both hum-buckers. Position 3 (both pups, hum-bucker) yields a LP-like sound, very full and beefy. Position 4 is a single coil neck pup (splits the neck hum-bucker), which is a traditional, warm, single-coil Strat neck pup sound. Position 5 is the neck hum-bucker and is excellent for Jazz-type sounds/chords and warm, full single notes. Whether it's the taper on the volume pot, or the style of the knob, this guitar is wonderful for doing volume swells. This has quickly become one of my favorite guitars that I have ever owned, and I've owned many. The only crticism that I have is that it developed fret-sprout and I had to file the fret ends, which seems common for the MIM guitars, especially if you are in an area with low humidity, and that is why I gave it a 4 on playability, but after the fret edge filing, it's a 5. Otherwise, 5 stars in all other categories. Fender has another winner here! :)
shimmilou owns this item
I've had my Blacktop Stratocaster HH for a little over a year now and its been a great find. I wanted a guitar that had great clean tones but had the muscle to still give me a smooth, singing, hum bucker style overdriven tone too. I expected a reasonable clean tone from the Fender tone woods and the longer scale length, but the out of phase 2nd and fourth positions are so much more than the usual weedy, uninspiring tone of a tapped hum bucker, they sound a 100% right. If I could change one thing I'd add a coil tap to the hum buckers so that I could get the usual single coil (in phase) Strat/Tele tones from the bridge and the neck too. The instrument is beautifully built despite it's Mexican origins, looks amazing in sonic blue and has been a great buy at a really good price...
MullBride owns this item
I never really liked Stratocasters due to their single coils, but as soon as i saw this guitar with Humbuckers i wanted to try it out. As a surprise i got it for Christmas -Maple Fret board, Sonic Blue- and i had to play it! The pickup configurations is what made me really love this guitar since it's been wired to both a Stratocaster and Telecaster style pickup wiring. The fret ends still had a bit of filing left to do but i fixed it up and its just flawless now. It could have been a perfect guitar for me if it had the Bullet-Truss Rod adjustment but i doubt any guitars will come stock with that anymore.
Good job Fender can't wait to buy another Blacktop!!
jchavez661 owns this item
|Model Name:||Blacktop™ Stratocaster® HH Rosewood Fingerboard, Candy Apple Red|
|Color:||Candy Apple Red|
|Neck Finish:||Gloss Urethane|
|Neck Shape:||Modern "C"|
|Scale Length:||25.5" (648 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||9.5" (241 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||22|
|Fret Size:||Medium Jumbo|
|String Nut:||Synthetic Bone|
|Nut Width:||1.650" (42 mm)|
|Position Inlays:||Black or White Dot|
|Truss Rod Nut:||3/16" Hex Adjustment|
|Neck Plate:||4-Bolt Vintage-Style|
|Bridge Pickup:||Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking|
|Neck Pickup:||Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking|
|Controls:||Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)|
|Pickup Switching:||5-Position Blade: Position 1. Full Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Two Inside Single Coils, Position 3. Both Full Humbucking Pickups, Position 4. Outer Neck Single Coil, Position 5. Full Neck Pickup|
|Bridge:||6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo|
|Tremolo Arm Handle:||Vintage-Style Tremolo Arm|
|Tuning Machines:||Standard Cast/Sealed|
|Pickguard:||3-Ply Mint Green|
|Control Knobs:||Skirted Amp Knobs|
|Switch Tips:||Black or Aged White|
|Strings:||Fender® USA 250L, NPS (.009-.042 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||HH Pickup Configuration, Custom Switching, Black Skirted Amp Knobs|
|Included Accessories:||Truss Rod Adjustment Wrench, Saddle Height Adjustment Wrench|
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