There's a stratocaster with SSS pickups or HSS pickups on Fender web. But some other manufactures made some guitar that they called a Superstrat. What really it is? Is it have a relation with a strat? Or is it a strat that super?
A superstrat is any guitar that is basically like a strat but has upgrades and extra features. Typical upgrades that make a guitar a superstrat include:
- Upgraded tremolo (technically vibrato) unit - Floyd Rose is common
- Upgraded electronics/pickups - HSH with coil tap is popular
- Upgraded tonewoods - the body might be more of a Les Paul body made from mahogany with or without a maple cap and pickups mounted LP style
- Upgraded neck - usually with more frets (24 is common) and/or a more sophisticated truss rod, compound radius, and higher-end tone woods
When I hear "superstrat", my mind pictures something almost exactly like this.
In the 80s, guitarists started experimenting with electronics, pickups (e.g. active pickups) and bridges (think the Floyd Rose) or scalloped fretboards to allow for easier access to extended techniques.
The Stratocaster being often the starting base, the result was called a "Super Strat".
In a way, the evolution of Superstrats is symbiotic with the rise of "shredders", starting with Eddie Van Halen, whose signature instrument is called the "Frankenstrat" and could very well be considered the prototypical Superstrat.