The Obey Dissent looks every inch the product of a difficult upbringing: its hardware is ‘rustic and worn’, giving it a Detroit, circa RoboCop vibe. You have 20 seconds to comply…
Leo Fender was a good sort. His vision to produce a guitar for every man, woman or child (regardless of their income) is more prescient than ever. Crafted in Indonesia, this Strat has the hardware to back its lairy appearance: a basswood body, a super-smooth Synchronous Twin-Pivot Tremolo and that Duncan Designed humbucker backing up the singlecoils in the middle and neck.
The 9.5” fingerboard radius is quintessentially Fender Stratocaster, and is reassuringly familiar on the fingertips. With the larger ‘60s style headstock and a comfortable 25.5” scale length completing a guitar that just feels like, well, a proper Fender guitar.
The vibrato might look rough with its moody finish, but there is both a stability and a liquidity that make it a joy to throb, wobble and wangle. But while the neck and middle pickups offer a classic Strat tone, snappy and bright, it is the Duncan Designed bridge humbucker that starts the riot.
The choice of basswood for the body calls to mind Ibanez guitars of the early '90s, but it’s a suitable partner in crime with a top humbucker that hoists this guitar high over the barbed wire fence of mediocrity and escapes to kill again.
Pros: Stable vibrato, tough ’bucker.
Cons: Graphic not for everyone.