Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Review & Prices

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Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Review
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  • From Fender's 2018 Artist series
  • Ed O'Brien Signature
  • Made in Mexico
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Sustainer Driver (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo bridge
  • 10/56 V Back-Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Weight between 7.85lbs (3.6kgs) and 8lbs (3.6kgs)
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Fender's 2018 Artist series
  • Ed O'Brien Signature
  • Made in Mexico
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Sustainer Driver (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo bridge
  • 10/56 V Back-Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Weight between 7.85lbs (3.6kgs) and 8lbs (3.6kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 83
Build quality 62
Value for money 74
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Sustainer Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Mexico
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Demo
The Ed O'Brien Sustainer Stratocaster® | Artist Signature Series | Fender
The Radiohead Strat is so *Special* | 2019 Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster White | Review + Demo
Fender Ed O'Brien EOB Sustainer Stratocaster demo
Review Demo - Fender Ed O'Brien Stratocaster
More Videos

Price: is the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $1100, which means that the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster costs around 18% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in Mexico.

These are affiliate links. We'll earn a small fee if you purchase after clicking. We are not a store, we're not owned, nor are we related to these retailers in any way beyond receiving a fee from qualifying purchases. We'll always show you the best prices we find regardless of the compensation we receive. These prices are searched for automatically and are prone to error. Make sure you're buying the right product after clicking on a link from our site. We are not liable if you buy the wrong product after following these links.

Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

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Heavy
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Slightly heavy
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Lightweight
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Very lightweight
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Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
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Sightly unstable
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Not bad
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Holds tune well
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Won't get out of tune
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Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
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Slightly chunky
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Balanced
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Fast
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Herman Li fast
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Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
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Hard
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Normal
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Easy
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Very Easy
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Neck profile shape

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Baseball / U
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V
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Asymmetrical
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C
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D
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Fret edges

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Very sharp
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Slightly sharp
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Smooth
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Pickups noise

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Noiseless
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Slightly Noisy
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Noisy
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Pickups power

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Clean
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Slightly Hot
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Hot
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Is The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Easy to Play?

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's construction favors people with relatively big hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster weighs between 7.85lbs (3.6kgs) and 8lbs (3.6kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the guitars they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Scale Length Comparison
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Neck Profile
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's neck thickness is approximately 0.895'' (22.7mm) at the first fret, and 1'' (25.4mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Fender website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a Soft V to C type neck. This neck is also called boat neck because it resembles the shape of the bottom of a boat. It combines the Soft V many people like for playing chords for the first frets, and it transitions to a rounder shape as you get closer to the highest frets. It's a neck that takes a while to get used to, and it's not as popular as a simple C shape.

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster has a 9.5" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This is the most common radius for Stratocaster guitars. It's considered curved when compared to most other models. This allows you to play chords very easily without muting strings accidentally and gives you more space between strings for fingerpicking. However, this curve also gives the guitar less allowance for lower action. If you bend too hard at the high frets, some of your notes might get muted because the curve will make the string fret out.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
Soft V to C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
9.5'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.675'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Nut Width
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Nut Width

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

Frets

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster has 21 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Fret Size Comparison
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's frets are Narrow Tall size. These are similar to Jumbos, but they might be slightly shorter (or taller, depending on the maker), and they tend to have a narrower crown width. You'll be able to press the strings easily, but if you're not used to them, you might get the notes out of pitch if you press down too hard on the strings since their height won't let you feel the fretboard.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 70
Playability 77

Does the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck, Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Maple Neck and Fretboard: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

More guitars made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Seymour Duncan. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's configuration is HSH. Two humbuckers with one single-coil in the middle is a combination that people who love a warm neck Humbucker, but also a high output bridge pickup and cleanliness of a single-coil will appreciate. It gives a lot of versatility, but bear in mind that the middle pickup will have a lower volume, so you might want to adjust its height. The downside to this is that you might touch it with your pick sometimes if you increase its height too much.

More guitars with the same pickups

21 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1B Bridge Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup
Sustainer Driver Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Bridge Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Bridge Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup
More guitars with the same pickups:

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has a Sustainer option. When activated, the pickups with this feature will give you unlimited sustain. You can create interesting harmonics and make your notes last as long as you want.

Diagram

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster's switch options

What music genre is the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 100
Versatility 76
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 83

How well is the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Built?

Where is the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster is made in Mexico. This is the country that some American brands choose for building really good, but cheaper guitars. You can expect a guitar that offers a good price-quality relationship, although they don't get the same quality control as the ones built in Japan or the United States.

More guitars made in Mexico

Bridge

6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster has a Synthetic Bone nut. One of the best nuts you can have is a Bone nut thanks to their rich tonality and resistance. The problem is that they're a natural material, so different bone nuts will have inconsistent tonal properties. In other words, one bone nut might not sound as well as the other even when they're made from the same piece. Synthetic bone helps with this by giving you a high-quality, consistent nut that resembles the tone produced by bone.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 51
Features 60
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 62

Most Popular Comparisons With The Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster

Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster Specs

General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2018
Configuration: HSH
Strings: 6
Made in: Mexico
Series: Artist
Colors: White
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage-Style
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Black Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: 10/56 V Back-Shape
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.895'' (22.7mm) - 12th Fret: 1'' (25.4mm)
Frets: 21 Narrow Tall
Fretboard Radius: 9.5"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Bell
Pickup Mods: Sustainer
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan JB Jr. SJBJ-1B (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Sustainer Driver (Humbucker / Active)

User Reviews of the Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster

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