A Superstrat is a variant of the Fender Stratocaster style of Guitar. The universal feature of Superstrat Guitars is the use either the of the HSH (Humbucker-Single-Humbucker) or HSS (Humbucker-Single-Single) configuration. This typically gives the guitar a higher output and noise cancelling thanks to the humbuckers, yet still maintaining the bell like tone and clarity of the single.
In recent years, the term "Superstrat" has started to apply exclusively to guitars featuring the HSH combination, with HSS guitars being referred to as "Fat Strats," a name that applied to an original variant on the Fender Stratocaster.
Well known models of Superstrat include:
- The Ibanez RG and S series.
- The Jackson Dinky and Soloist series.
- The B.C Rich Assassin and Gunslinger series.
Although the original intention of the inclusion of the Humbucker was to reduce noise and add warmth and depth to the tone, Superstrat guitars, especially the HSH configuration models, have become known as Heavy Metal Guitars. This has resulted in generally sharper, more aggressive body stylings than the original Fender design, especially in the Ibanez RG series. The relative light weight and compact shape, combined with the versatility of the HSH layout makes them excellent lead guitar choices, although they still can play in more mainstream and modern music styles, such as Punk, Hard Rock and Indie Rock.