Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Review & Prices

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Review
Add to Compare
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoAmazon logoSweetwater logoFender logo
Set a price alert
  • From Fender's 2020 Artist series
  • Tom Morello Signature
  • Made in Mexico
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9.5" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose FRT-O2000 Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed) bridge
  • Modern C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking tuners
  • Weight between 8.95lbs (4.1kgs) and 9.1lbs (4.1kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 70
Sound 84
Build quality 70
Value for money 70
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Killswitch Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Retainer Bar
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Mexico
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1150, which means that the Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster costs around 48% 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 instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Double Locking bridge that are made in Mexico.

SET PRICE ALERT

These are affiliate links. We may earn a fee if you purchase after clicking. These prices 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. As an Amazon Associate site we earn from qualifying purchases.

Videos

Tom Morello | Fender Signature Sessions | Fender
Is It Worth Buying Tom's Guitar? | 2020 Fender Tom Morello Soul Power Signature Stratocaster Review
Tom Morello "Soul Power" Stratocaster Ft. Christian Paul Meadows | Artist Signature Series | Fender
Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster | Bring Some Soul Power to your Collection!
TONE CHECK: Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Demo | No Talking
More Videos

Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

Vote

Tuning stability

Vote

Neck speed (thickness)

Vote

Neck access to high frets

Vote

Neck profile shape

Vote

Fret edges

Vote

Pickups noise

Vote

Pickups power

Vote
View all user feedback

Explore All From Fender >

Is it Easy to Play?

The Fender Tom Morello 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.

New Player Friendliness

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster
  • Comfortable shape
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale
  • Easy-to-use bridge

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster's construction favors people with relatively small 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 Tom Morello Stratocaster weighs between 8.95lbs (4.1kgs) and 9.1lbs (4.1kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments 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 Tom Morello Stratocaster's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Scale Length Comparison
Fender Tom Morello 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 with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Neck Profile
Fender Tom Morello 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 Tom Morello Stratocaster's neck thickness is approximately 0.82'' (20.8mm) at the first fret, and 0.87'' (22.1mm) 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 C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

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.

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Fretboard Compound Radius
Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster has a compound fingerboard radius of 9.5" to 14".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

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

Nut Width

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Nut Width
Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Nut Width

The Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster has a nut width of 42.5mm (1.675''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. 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 more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster has 22 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 with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster Fret Size Comparison
Fender Tom Morello 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 Tom Morello Stratocaster's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 60
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 70

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. 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

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood 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: 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.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

More 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 rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster's configuration is HSS. If you play a lot with humbuckers in the bridge position, but would also love to have pristine cleans, this is a great configuration to have. The bridge humbucker will give you tons of output for playing distorted rhythm parts, while the single coils will give you a lot of tone options.

More with the same pickups

22 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B Bridge Pickup
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 Middle Pickup
Seymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 RWRP Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B Bridge Pickup
Seymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 Middle Pickup
Seymour Duncan Custom Flat Strat SSL-6 RWRP Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Bridge Pickup
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Twin Head Vintage Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Middle Pickup
Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup

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 Killswitch option. When engaged, it will disengage the pickups and turn them off instantly. This is useful when playing live, and it allows you to perform some cool sound effects with your pickups.

Diagram

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSS 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 particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 82
Tuning Stability 95
Sound 84

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument 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 instruments 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 Tom Morello 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.

Bridge

Floyd Rose FRT-O2000 Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed): With this type of tremolo bridge, you'll be able to perform dive bombs and pinch harmonics without getting out of tune. This type of bridge gives you the best versatility, but it also makes it harder to set up your guitar correctly, especially when changing your strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

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 it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster has a Locking nut. Instead of the typical nut, this nut locks the strings in place and will make them stay in tune even after heavy tremolo use. This type of nut provides the best tune stability, but they also make the guitar more expensive.

It also comes with a retainer bar for the locking nut, which is a helpful addition. Without it, the strings would change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'd have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

More 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 with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 90
Quality Control 80
Build Quality 70

All Specs

Fender Tom Morello Stratocaster
General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2020
Configuration: HSS
Strings: 6
Made in: Mexico
Series: Artist
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Floyd Rose FRT-O2000 Double-Locking Tremolo (Recessed)
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: White Pearloid Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Modern C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" to 14"
Nut: Locking
Nut Width: 42.5mm (1.675'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Killswitch
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Seymour Duncan Hot Rails Strat SHR-1B (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage Noiseless Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil / Passive)

More Popular Comparisons With This Guitar

User Reviews

Help others by sharing your opinion about this guitar. Note: to avoid spam, your review will be submitted for approval before appearing here.

You're reviewing as anonymous. to comment with your account.
Your Rating: