Need to know the facts about Fender Strats... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-19-2003, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Need to know the facts about Fender Strats...

I'd like to buy one, but there seems to be so many different models. Are the Japanese ones good? Don't know where to start in looking....
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-19-2003, 09:02 PM
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There's alot of variabilty in Fender Strats. The USA Strats are IMHO the best. I'd look at the American Series and the US Strat Deluxe models.
If you've got the extra cash - and I KNOW you do the best Strats I ever owned were a USA Custom Shop Classic and The USA Custom Shop Player. Check em out at

Now why didn't you have the strat itch when I still had them for trade!
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-19-2003, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Decided I would add a little variety to my lineup. So what do you think of the "70's strat" line that is out now? I know they're made in Mexico and all that, but I can't seem to find any bad reviews on them. Your thoughts sir?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-20-2003, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Also, what's the difference between a "C" shaped neck and a "V" shaped neck on the Custom Classic Player model?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 01:17 AM
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Here's a link from the neck back profile page at For those not familiar with them, they manufacture guitar bodies and necks that you can purchase directly from their catalog or online. They also manufacture parts for a few custom guitar companies. I'm not sure of the current list, but at one time they were making parts for Valley Arts Guitars and necks for the Yamaha Pacifica line.

Anyway, their standard classic neck is "C" shaped and the boatneck is "V" shaped.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks ScreamJem.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 03:57 PM
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I was looking to do the same thing and bought a mexican strat. You'll definitely want to upgrade the electronics on the Mexican ones for sure, not sure about the Japanese electronics or American for that matter. I'd stay away from anything "noiseless." That equals dead tone in my opinion. Real single coils make noise, period, but a noiseless set cannot compare to a quality set of coils like Fralins.

Despite my fears on build and finish quality, my strat was built very solidly and I love the classic looks. The neck is flamey as all get out too, nice bonus. I also upgraded the bridge to a Callaham bridge....definitely worth it, tons more sustain and a vast improvement in tone over the original stamped bridge.

Don't discount the mexican ones just because they cost less, at least mine is a great guitar that gives me that classic strat tone I was wanting...of course it sounds better now than it did out of the box, but I still spent way less than if I bought an american strat.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gresh.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 04:42 PM
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Well I would like to think I know a thing or two about Strats, owned tonnes over the last few years.

Currently I am down to a Yngwie Malmsteen sig Strat, and a Japanese 1972 re-issue, which has been scalloped and EMG SA's added (just bridge and neck, no middle pickup and no hole on scratchplate).

The Mexican strats are ok, nothing special, there is a good one in about 20 models. This also goes for US models too, a lot of good, a lot of crap and that goes for Custom Shop stuff too.

Japanese models are good, if possible try and go for the 50's or 60's reissues, these were generally very good. A friend (who has 12 strats) has a std Japanese model that is quite superb also.

The USA Std strats are a mixed bag, the newer models (of the last 2 years) are pretty good, the US Stds prior to that were hit and miss, some are darn heavy. Some have no sustain, some have terrible fretwork (not as bad as Gibson), also the older models had enough paint on that you would have thought they had painted the golden gate bridge - real thick heavy coats that just killed the tone dead.

Generally pickups and electrics are pretty crap in all Fender Strats, although the Custom and Artist series stuff does have much better stuff over their cheaper relations.

Try them all acoustically, that will tell you whether you have a good one. Then if the electrics are not to par, you can upgrade them knowing you have a good basis to start on. Great hum free pickups are out there. As stated above I have EMG's on 1 strat, which are a little clinical but are good for the application I use them for.

My Malmsteen has seen the DiMarzio's HS-3 in the bridge replaced with a DiMarzio VV54B which gives a superb pure Strat tone, still does the yngwie thing but it was actually designed for Eric Johnson (info from Steve Blucher, VP at DiMarzio)

If you are chasing that blues Strat sound dig in and play some pentatonic licks around the 12th fret. If you have a good one the G string 12th fret will give you that Strat sound that you know and love and will hit you - generally with Strats a good one stands out a mile. Don't be put off by dull 1 colour paintjobs over pretty sunbursts....remember a good one maybe Pink!!

I am happy to answer any more queries.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Wow...Thanks Strat110. I'm looking into a 70's strat then I guess, and will change the electronics accordingly.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 05:37 PM
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With the Mexican 70's RI Strats (and all 70s 3 neck bolt strats) look at the neck pocket area, what you don't want to see is a gap between the neck and the body in any area.

Quite a few I have seen have been horrific, I could fit my pick into some (I use a 1.5mm pick too!), but there are also very good ones out there.

Like I said in my previous post which is basically giving you the dangers to look out for, be smart, use your eyes and ears...if something feels wrong it probably is, vice versa if it feels good then it probably is. Try and play as many examples as you can....DO NOT BUY BLIND!!! You might pay less mail order but 9x outta 10 the duffers go out for mail from the store...ask for a free set up, try and get a free 6 month checkup thrown in too.

Good luck, the right Strat is out there waiting for you.

PM me when you have got one.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 10:09 PM
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I'd do a little snooping around the Fender site to get familiar with current models...and try what you can locally. You probably need to decide which breed of strat you want...classic style: 50s with a maple board?..or a 62 RI with rosewood? Or something more modern like a USA standard with an updated trem, flatter radius, satin finish neck. You get the idea...then you can begin to narrow down the choices.

As far as MIJ ("Made in Japan"), I've owned a recent CIJ ("Crafted in Japan") and 80s MIJ Fender '62 RI strats...both excellent quality. I also had a MIM 60's RI...also nice quality, but I like the Japanese a bit better. I currently have a Fernandes "Revival" 62 copy (with correct headstock)'s great! The later MIJ Fernandes strats with the modified headstocks are a great value as well.

Oops, just noticed you might want a 70s that case I'd say a great value would be MIM or MIJ. Like strat110 said, quality can vary esp. with MIM models, although I think the RIs are a bit more consistent.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Greg.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-21-2003, 10:43 PM
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Just to add my opinion, I think the Fender Showmaster in Frost Gold is one of the most beautiful guitars out there. If I bought a Strat, it would that one.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-22-2003, 04:52 PM
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I recently bought an old anniversary strat from 1979.
This is a guitar that has sound and feeling in it. It has a very solid feeling, more than newer strats I played. The neck of the standard strat is not good, comparing to my fender, maybe I just picked up a bad one.

Expecialy for a fender, I like it when it is old and has some marks and caracter. You can buy a 70 strat for under 1000$. I guess you can make a good deal. I know that the 70 strats are the least collectible, this is good for us who wants to play guitar, and not collect them.

I compared my strat with 3 other strats, one from '62 one from '61 and one 40th anniversary strat. conclusion: i never realized strats could sound that different!! The older onessounded more muddy and warm. My strat sounded brighter but with more punch.

If you want a strat I would go for a good old secondhand with a story in it!

I always prefer old and used guitars. the ones I bought brand new, are already sold. The ones I bougt used are the ones I love the most, maybe it is just a thought of the idea that the guitar has a story in it.
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beautiful guitar , classic strat , custom guitar , custom shop , eric johnson , fender strat , fender strats , malmsteen strat , mexican strat , strat sound , strat tone , usa custom shop , yamaha pacifica , yngwie malmsteen

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