Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: A Mile High (USA)
I've been doing the whole "Strat-thing" for a good 10 years or so, and have been through everything from a pre-CBS '63 Sunburst to a Custom Shop set-neck Strat, and haven't seen more than maybe 1 or 2 pre-1980 Strats for under $500. And they've been beat to hell at that. That's cool if you've found a couple, but it's hardly the norm. Check out EBay this moment, and I'm sure you'll find that most ALL-ORIGINAL, USA-made 70's Strats in decent shape are bringing well into the $500+ range.
The 90's USA Standard Strats are mass-produced to a MUCH greater degree than any of the previous USA Made Strats. Production was moved to the Corona, CA factory from the much smaller, outdated Fullerton, CA facility. As a result, there are countless thousands more USA Standard Strats from the 90's. Best-case scenario is that a '90 Standard Strat would bring roughly the same as a decent, big-headstock 70's model in comparable condition. Generally though, if you take a 90's Strat in great shape and pit it against a '75 Strat in great shape, the '75 will bring an easy $300+ more than the newer model. Supply and demand: there is a far greater supply of recent models, thus driving their value down. There are somewhat fewer of the older models (especially in comparable condition), so the prices remain higher.
Just have to be sure your comparing apples to apples.