I've bought a few strats over the years, and this cyclone ii with the 3 strat pickups plays a lot nicer than some of them. Instead of 5 sounds of a strat, this cyclone pulls off 7. 1, 2, 3, 1+2, 1+3, 2+3, 1+2+3 And 8 if you count all pickups off. It has the bell sound, the in-between sounds, and the bridge pickup is even hooked up to the tone knob. It has a hardtail bridge which a lot of strat players covet. The cyclone came intonated -- that's lucky in the squier world. lol. The pickups were pretty loud too. Like a strat, there is some hum when you play a single coil. But not all that bad. 24.75 inches is a great length. No sharp frets. The fingerboard looks like old school rosewood but of course its not. Sam Ash is where I buy new instruments with their great financing terms.