The Magna ST20M guitar is a stylish electric guitar that is manufactured by the Strydom/Magna Guitar Company. Although the guitar is made in China, the quality of the guitar is surprisingly good!
So much so that it influenced me to write a full-fledged review about it.
In this Review, we are going to cover all aspects of the guitar starting from its build quality and sound quality to playability and affordability.
I’ll end the blog with a final verdict that will help you decide whether this guitar is the right choice for you.
Before we proceed with the review, Let me clear one thing up.
“New is always better” is NOT always the norm when it comes to guitar. It doesn’t matter how old a guitar model is. The design, Build Quality and Electronics ultimately enounce the sound quality of the Guitar.
For example, The Gibson Les Paul Guitars have an iconic shape and design that hasn’t changed since decades. The sound quality is considered to be the best by many guitarists in the world.
What features to Look for in A Stratocaster-shaped Guitar?
When looking for a Stratocaster-shaped guitar, here are some important features to consider:
- Body Material:
The guitar’s body material affects the instrument’s sound and overall feel. Common body materials include alder, ash, and basswood.
Alder and ash produce a bright and clear tone, while basswood provides a warmer and softer tone.
- Pickups: The pickups are the most important component of an electric guitar, as they convert the strings’ vibrations into an amplified electrical signal.
Stratocaster-shaped guitars usually come with three single-coil pickups (S-S-S Configuration), but some models also include a humbucker pickup in the bridge position (H-S-S Configuration) for a heavier sound.
Look for guitars with pickups that suit your preferred style of music.
- Neck Profile:
The neck profile refers to the shape and contour of the guitar neck. Stratocaster-shaped guitars usually have a C-shaped neck profile, which is comfortable for most players.
Some guitars also have a V-shaped neck profile, which can provide a different feel and may be preferred by some players.
- Fretboard Material:
The fretboard material affects the playability and tone of the guitar. Rosewood and maple are common fretboard materials for Stratocaster-shaped guitars.
Rosewood tends to provide a warmer and smoother tone, while maple provides a brighter and more articulate tone.
The bridge affects the tuning stability and sustain of the guitar. There are different types of bridges, including the traditional tremolo and hardtail bridges.
Tremolo bridges allow for more expressive playing but can also affect tuning stability.
- Brand and Price:
Stratocaster-shaped guitars are made by various manufacturers, including Fender, Squier, Fernandez, Yamaha, Cort, PRS, Vault, and many other brands.
Fender Stratocasters are known for their high quality but also have a hefty price tag. Squier offers more affordable options that are still of good quality. Consider your budget and preferred brand when making a purchase.
Considering these features, you can find a Stratocaster-shaped guitar that suits your playing style and preferences.
If you want to read a more detailed guitar buying guide, check out our article here. It covers all types of guitars and will give you a much clearer picture.
MAGNA ST20M Review
Now, that we know what to look for in an Electric Guitar, we are in a position to review the Magna ST20M Electric Guitar.
Let’s start with the Design and Build Quality.
Design and Build Quality
The Magna ST20M has a classic Stratocaster-inspired design, with a double-cutaway body. The guitar has a familiar shape and style that will appeal to players who appreciate the iconic look of a Stratocaster.
The guitar’s headstock also features a distinctive shape, with a slanted design and six inline tuners. The slanted headstock is a nod to the classic Fender Stratocaster design, while the inline tuners provide a sleek and minimalist look.
The guitar’s body and sides are made of basswood, while the neck is a bolt-on maple neck with a modern C profile.
The fingerboard is made of maple and has a 350mm radius, with dot inlays and 22 frets.
The pickguard is available in a range of colors, including black, white, and tortoise shell, allowing players to customize the guitar’s appearance to their liking.
The hardware is chrome, including the die-cast tuning keys.
The scale length is 648mm and the nut width is 42mm, with a double-action truss rod for adjustable neck relief.
The Magna ST20M comes with a H-S-S Pick up configuration and a 5 way Pick up Selector Switch. It has One Volume knob and Two Tone knobs.
There is also a synchronized Tremolo System.
The guitar has a beautiful glossy finish. You have the options of Black, White, Sunburst, and Lake Placid Blue, which is my favorite of all the finishes.
You can also watch an unboxing video of the guitar below.
Overall, the guitar has a Good Build Quality and is made from durable materials. I’ve not seen such a good attention to detail on a guitar at this price range.
The electronics and wood of a guitar greatly affect its Sound Quality.
The guitar’s H-S-S pickups are wired in a classic Stratocaster configuration, with a five-way switch for various pickup combinations.
Here are some of the different tones and sounds that the Magna ST20M can produce:
- Bright and Clear: When played through the bridge pickup, the Magna ST20M produces a bright, clear tone perfect for playing lead lines and solos. This tone is especially pronounced when the guitar is played through a clean amplifier setting.
- Warm and Mellow: When played through the neck pickup, the Magna ST20M produces a warm and mellow tone perfect for playing rhythm guitar and chords. This tone is especially effective when played through a slightly overdriven or distorted amplifier setting.
- Middle Position: When played in the middle pickup position, the Magna ST20M produces a balanced tone that is great for playing funk, blues, and other styles of music that require a clean and punchy sound.
- Distorted Tones: When played through a high-gain amplifier setting, the Magna ST20M can produce a range of distorted tones perfect for heavy rock and metal music. The guitar’s pickups have enough output to drive the amplifier hard while retaining clarity and definition.
Overall, the Magna ST20M is a versatile guitar that can produce a wide range of tones and sounds, making it a great choice for players who need a guitar that can handle a variety of musical styles.
Whether you are playing clean or distorted rhythm or lead, the Magna ST20M has the ability to produce the tone that you need.
I personally own this guitar and I can say that the Guitar tones are really good.
The Bridge pick-up is decent and can handle distorted tones quite well.
The neck and middle pickups are sub-par. The quality is not as good as some of the international brands out there. But for the price you are paying, they are acceptable.
Well, you can always swap the stock pickups with a high-quality one.
For the bridge pickup, I recommend the Seymour Duncan JB SH4.
For the Neck and middle, I recommend the Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups.
These are some of the best pickups you can put on a Stratocaster guitar to improve its sound quality.
To get a first-hand experience of the sound of the guitar, you can even watch a video I posted on my Instagram. I’ve used the Magna ST20M to record a cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak.
The playability of the Magna ST20M is quite good and results from several design and construction features. I’ve listed some of the factors that contribute to the guitar’s playability:
- The neck of the Magna ST20M has a smooth satin finish, which allows the player’s hand to move easily up and down the fretboard.
- The guitar’s fretboard has a 350mm radius, which is relatively flat and makes it easier to play fast and accurate lead lines.
- The Frets are decent quality and I did not find any unfinished or sharp fret ends.
- The Magna ST20M’s pickups are sub-par but good for the price. Better than other guitars at this price range. The good thing is that you can always replace them later.
- The guitar’s tremolo bridge is a little stiff as it is closely bound to the body of the guitar. Using the tremolo requires some effort from the player’s side. It’s a good thing for beginners as the bridge remains stable and causes less de-tuning of the strings. For intermediate players, you can adjust the springs at the back of the guitar to loosen up the bridge.
- Right out of the box, the action was low. It is very comfortable, and beginner guitar players won’t have any problems.
Value For Money
The guitar is priced affordably when compared to other similar models on the market.
Despite its lower price point, the Magna ST20M is packed with features that you would typically find on more expensive guitars.
The guitar comes with a lot of accessories including a high-quality cable, a Tuner, Strings, a gig bag, a polishing cloth, An Accessory bag, picks, and Allen wrenches.
The bag is decently padded (12 mm) and of high quality.
There is plenty of neatly written documentation and a Welcome Note. You also get a Beginners Guitar Book which contains basic chords and scales charts and lessons.
The value of these accessories alone can be around 2000 to 3000 rupees.
MAGNA ST20M VS THE COMPETITION
Speaking of similar models, there are a few guitars that come to mind when comparing the Magna ST20M.
However, these guitars are priced higher than the Magna ST20M and the difference is enough to even allow you to get a good 10W amplifier such as the Fender Frontman 10G along with the Magna guitar.
However, the Magna ST20M stands out with its Build Quality, Looks, affordability, and Accessories it provides.
|Features||Magna ST20M||Squier Bullet Strat||Yamaha Pacifica 012|
|No. of Frets||22||21||22|
|Bridge||Synchronized Tremolo||Tremolo||Vintage Tremolo|
|Nut Width||42 mm||42 mm||41 mm|
|Neck Profile||Modern “C”||“C”||“C”|
|Accessories||Tuner, Cable, Bag, Cloth, |
Picks, Strings, Allen keys,
The Magna ST20M looks feels, and sounds better than the Squier Bullet Stratocaster Guitar and is even comparable to the Yamaha Pacifica 012. However, the Yamaha Pacifica is still a better option because it can produce better-quality sounds straight out of the box.
If you have the budget, I’d recommend to go with the Yamaha Pacifica for two reasons – Brand Name and Great Quality.
However, if you are on a tight budget, then Magna ST20M is the best option. It offers excellent value for money.
Not only does it have a sleek and modern design that is comparable to higher-end guitars, but it also has a wide range of features that make it a joy to play.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Magna ST20M to anyone looking for a high-quality guitar at an affordable price.
PROS AND CONS
Below are the Pros and Cons of the Magna ST20M Guitar:
|✅ Excellent Finish and Overall Build Quality||❌Basswood body not as durable as other tonewoods|
|✅ Affordably Priced||❌ Pickups are not the best|
|✅ Very Comfortable, Low Action||❌Basswood body is not as durable as other tonewoods|
|✅ A Lot of Accessories||❌ Brand is less-known|
Overall, the Magna ST20M is a solid electric guitar that offers a lot of value for its price point.
With its attractive modern design, versatile sound, and comfortable neck profile, it is a great choice for beginner and intermediate players looking for an affordable instrument with a lot of features.
If you’re in the market looking for an electric guitar under 10000 rupees, the Magna ST20M is definitely the best option.
It offers a great balance of quality and affordability, with features that you would typically find on more expensive guitars.
However, keep in mind that the guitar may require some setup adjustments out of the box, and the basswood body may not be as durable as other tonewoods.
Overall, I would recommend the Magna ST20M to anyone looking for a versatile and affordable electric guitar that is easy and comfortable to play.
I hope you enjoyed reading our Magna ST20M review.
Is Magna ST20M a good guitar?
Yes, the Magna ST20M is a good guitar for its price range and offers a lot of features that make it suitable for both beginners and intermediate players. It has a modern and attractive design, versatile sound with three single-coil pickups, and a comfortable neck profile that makes it easy to play.
Can you play metal on it?
As for playing metal on the Magna ST20M, it can certainly handle the genre to some extent, but keep in mind that it is primarily designed for playing pop, rock, and clean stuff. If you are looking to play more aggressive metal subgenres, you may want to consider a guitar with high-quality humbucker pickups and a thicker tonewood body. One good recommendation is the Ibanez Gio Series guitars such as the the GRGR22.
Where Are Magna Guitars Made?
Magna Guitars are manufactured in China, which is a common practice for many guitar brands these days. However, the company is based in the United States and is known for producing affordable yet high-quality guitars.
Can the Magna ST20M be played acoustically or does it require an amplifier?
It requires an amplifier.
Does the Magna ST20M come with any accessories or a case?
It comes with a lot of accessories such as a gig bag, Strings, Tuner, Cloth, Allen Key, Picks and a cable.
What is the weight and overall size of the Magna ST20M?
The weight is around 3-4 Kilograms, and the size is typical for a Stratocaster-style guitar.
Can the Magna ST20M be customized with different pickups or hardware?
Yes, it can be customized.
How long is the warranty for the Magna ST20M?
The warranty period is 1 year.
What are some common modifications or upgrades that players make to the Magna ST20M?
Swapping out the pickups, changing the tuning machines, and upgrading the bridge are common modifications.
Is the Magna ST20M easy to maintain and keep in good playing condition?
Yes, it’s relatively easy to maintain.
How does the Magna ST20M compare to other similarly-priced guitars on the market?
It offers good value for money compared to other guitars in its price range.
Does the Magna ST20M come with a whammy bar or tremolo system?
It comes with a tremolo system.