Category: stratocaster

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster Purple…

1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster Purple Metallic

[Source: The Music Zoo. Price: £945/$1,299]

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Fender American Professional Stratocaster Antique Olive[Source:…

Fender American Professional Stratocaster Antique Olive

[Source: Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear]

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Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Sapphire Blue Transparent [Source:…

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Sapphire Blue Transparent 

[Source: Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear. Price: £600/$800]

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Fender Custom Shop Founders Design J.W. Black…

Fender Custom Shop Founders Design J.W. Black Stratocaster

[Source: Willcutt Guitars. Price: £5,156/$6,950]

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Fender Classic Series ‘70s Stratocaster Natural [Source:…

Fender Classic Series ‘70s Stratocaster Natural 

[Source: Willcutt Guitars. Price: £661/$874]

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Fender 2017 Limited Edition American Vintage ‘59 Pine…

Fender 2017 Limited Edition American Vintage ‘59 Pine Stratocaster 

[Source: Willcutt Guitars. Price: £1,440/$1,900]

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Classic Guitar Origins Part 1 – Fender Stratocaster  Out of the…

Classic Guitar Origins

Part 1 – Fender Stratocaster

 Out of the number of models in the Fender catalogue, the Fender Stratocaster is by a far one of the most iconic. Many musicians with an integral part in music history have played the Stratocaster or “Strat”, including Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Nile Rogers, Eric Johnson, David Gilmour, and John Frusciante to name just a few.

  In this instalment of Classic Guitar Origins, the timeline of the Stratocaster from the 50s till the 80s will be mapped out and explained. 

 The Stratocaster was first fully designed in 1954 by Leo Fender and Freddie Tavares (the name ‘Stratocaster’ was suggested by Fender sales chief Don Randall in 1953), however ideas for a successor to follow Fender’s Telecaster started to surface as early as 1951, and work on the new pickups and bridge were in full swing by late 1952. Prior to the Stratocaster being conceived, the two flagship models for Fender were the Telecaster and the Precision Bass. Tavares drew up the idea for the Stratocaster by combining the features of the Telecaster and P Bass.

 The features of the first Strat are as follows:

  • A single piece ash body
  • Two tone sunburst finish
  • Single piece “D” profile maple neck
  • 7.25” radius fingerboard
  • 3 hand wound single coil pickups with a 3 way pickup selector switch
  • (Unbranded) Kluson Deluxe tuners
  • Contoured body shape
  • Tremolo system (which had issues)
  • Original RRP was $249.50 (with tremolo) and $229.50 (without tremolo)

The Stratocaster’s iconic contoured body was first suggested by guitarist Rex Gallion, as the Telecaster had a more square body that was uncomfortable for the guitarist to play.
 Originally the sunburst finish on the Stratocaster only consisted of two colours; ‘Salem’ (black) on the outside and ‘Canary Yellow’ on the inside. This gave the guitar a more high end look.

 After initial release the Stratocaster wasn’t received very well by guitarists. Most musicians in the Rock N Roll scene at the time played flat top acoustics or hollow body electrics by big companies such as Gibson or Gretsch. The tremolo also didn’t work very well at first, and took some trial and error in order to get it to the point where it was useful.
 The Stratocaster was worked and re-worked until perfected in 1957. Between initial release and 1957, the ash body was replaced by an alder body, the neck profile was briefly changed to a V and medium V shape, and hardware elements such as the string trees and knobs continued evolving.

 1958 saw the introduction of the three tone sunburst finish, which featured more red hues along with the yellow and black seen in the two tone sunburst. A U shape profile also replaced the V profile for the neck.
 In 1959 the neck changed from maple to rosewood on many of the models. The pickguard was also changed from white single ply to a 3 ply celluloid nitrate pickguard.

 By 1965 Fender was sold to CBS for $13 million, which to many marked the end if an era and the beginning of more mass produced products. This can be seen in the Stratocaster by the fact that by late 1964 the headstock logo changed, and pearloid inlay dots replaced clay. The headstock size and shape also changed dramatically from the mid 60s to mid 70s.

 In 1968 the tuners changed from Kluson Deluxe to F-style, and a thicker polyurethane finish started to replace the original nitrocellulose.

  The 70s brought along more change for the Stratocaster. A three-bolt neck plate and a “bullet” truss rod adjustment system were introduced in 1971, in 1977 the 5-way pickup selector switch was introduced, and during the 70s the overall contouring was made to be less dramatic.

  In the 80s however, Fender marketing director Dan Smith aimed to bring the Stratocaster back to pre-CBS historic standard, featuring a smaller headstock and 4 bolt neck plate.

 The Stratocaster endured much change throughout its history, however it still remains one of the most iconic and classic guitars in the world.

Fender Custom Shop Beatle Spec 1961 Relic Stratocaster[Source:…

Fender Custom Shop Beatle Spec 1961 Relic Stratocaster

[Source: Andy Babiuk’s Fab Gear. Price: £2,980/$3,950]

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Dreamer ST Pro ##17001 #celsofreire #luthier #holygrailer…

Dreamer ST Pro ##17001
#celsofreire #luthier #holygrailer #custom #guitar #dreamer #dreamerguitars #guitarporn #handmade #handbuilt #handcrafted #madeinbrazil #stratocaster #emgpickups #graphtech #luminlay #ghostsystem #christianbove #customhardware #midi #piezo #guitarsofinstagram (at Dreamer Guitarworks)

Dreamer ST Pro ##17001 #celsofreire #luthier #holygrailer…

Dreamer ST Pro ##17001
#celsofreire #luthier #holygrailer #custom #guitar #dreamer #dreamerguitars #guitarporn #handmade #handbuilt #handcrafted #madeinbrazil #stratocaster #emgpickups #graphtech #luminlay #ghostsystem #christianbove #customhardware #midi #piezo #guitarsofinstagram (at Dreamer Guitarworks)