The best high-end Strat-style guitars 2023: top-end takes on the classic electric outline

The Strat design has long been imitated - and then some – with multiple options available at all manner of price points.

Here, we've gathered six high quality Strat-alikes from the upper echelons of guitar-making.

Prices too high? Be sure to check out the best Strat-style guitars under $/£2,000 and the best Strat-style guitars under $/£1,000.

Anderson Guitarworks Guardian Angel


This purpose-built 24-fretter is a musical wolf in sheep's clothing, courtesy of an Add Bridge pull-switch and VA Boost 4dB volume lift.

With a superlative built featuring a flamed maple cap drop top, spectacular neck join and effortless playability, we’d defy anyone not to find a guitar for life, no matter what your playing style or sensibilities.

Read our full Anderson Guitarworks Guardian Angel review

LSL Saticoy One

$1,999/£2,099 (approx)

Founded in 2008 by husband and wife Lance S and Lisa S Lerman, LSL from Santa Clarita follow a strong vintage vibe that started with the T-Bone.

The Saticoy was originally based on the first year of the Stratocaster and typical specs include a nitro ‘cracked’ finish (in plenty of colours), LSL handwound pickups, Wilkinson steel-block vintage-style vibrato, a choice of body woods (swamp ash, sugar pine, alder or korina) and either maple or rosewood fingerboards with 7.25- or 9.5-inch cambers.

Vigier Expert Classic Rock

$3,599/£2,275 (inc case)

Known for numerous out-there designs, Vigier’s Expert offers exceptional build and innovation such as the 10/90 graphite-reinforced neck design, paired with hugely modern style.

It employs German-made Amber single-coils, a Schaller/Vigier 2011 vibrato with ball-bearing pivot, stainless-steel frets, rear-lock tuners, good finish choice while the Schaller Mega switch offers, in centre position, neck and bridge pickups in parallel, not the usual solo middle pickup. It’s up there with the best.

Read our full Vigier Expert Classic Rock review

Music Man Cutlass


Originally introduced as a sub-£2k ‘Modern Classic’, the Cutlass has increased in price and specification to include, for this year, a roasted maple neck.

It’s a typically considered build with both an active buffered output and MM’s hum-cancelling Silent Circuit, not to mention stainless-steel frets. There’s a good colour choice and options include an HSS pickup configuration and a Stealth Black version.

Certainly a modern-voiced Strat-alike, there’s a lot to like here for the non-vintage obsessed among us.

Read our full Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass review

PRS Silver Sky

$2,299/£2,549 (inc gigbag)

This is the most talked-about electric guitar this year, and PRS’s alliance with John Mayer has produced a superbly detailed Strat-alike that’s hard not to like.

Yes, birds and a reversed/offset headstock aside it lacks PRS vibe, but it’s present in the obsessive detailing. The vintage-inspired voice is married with, by design, more modern finishes and it comes in a new do-it-all gigbag.

It’s only the lack of options that separates it from the spec of quite a few other high-line makers.

Read our full PRS John Mayer Silver Sky review

Schecter USA Custom Shop Traditional Wembley


Marketing neck, bodies and parts back in the '70s, Schecter booked its place in Strat-alike history.

Numerous builds (by Schecter and others such as Chandler Guitars in the UK) graced the hands of many a big pro and from the Custom Shop models we’ve seen, the quality is excellent.

This Wembley was a limited run from 2017; check out the Dream Machine III for classic Schecter-style and, of course, you can ‘build your own’.

Xotic California Classic XSC-1


Yes, it’s the same company that makes the pedals and they are extremely transparent about where their parts are made and where they are assembled, using locations in Taiwan and Japan to keep costs of these hand-built products “affordable yet sturdy and roadworthy".

The results are superb with up-to-the-minute must-haves - nitro-finished bodies, oil-finished roasted maple necks, boutique Raw Vintage pickups balanced by old-school neck shapes and, no, you can’t have stainless steel frets!


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