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American Fender Stratocaster – a Guide to the Fender by Stratocaster


It is said the Leo Fender could not play the guitar … and he was tone deaf.

Regardless of whether the above statements are true or not, the company he created managed to produce one of the true icons of popular music – the American Fender Stratocaster. It's been reportedly reported that these classics were close to being dumped as, apparently, Fender had planned to stop production of the Stratocaster before Jimi Hendrix popularized the guitar in the late 60s.

Made In The USA

The American Series Stratocasters are, as the name suggests actually made in America where the standard strats are made in Mexico. American Series versions are considered to be overwhelmingly better than the Standard versions and their price reflects that gap too.

These days, list prices for American Fender Stratocasters are around $ 1,400 but there are some distributors out there, if you know where to look, who will cut you a great deal with free shipping, lowest price guarantees etc.

Technical Stuff

Introduced in 2000, the guitar body is fashioned from Alder, the neck is made in the Modern "C" shape from Maple. You have a choice of seven colors from 3-color Sunburst to Charcoal Frost Metallic. As standard, it comes with 3 American Strat Single-Coil Pickups but, of course, you could customize these to your own taste.

The maple neck is 25.5 inches in length with a 9.5 radius and the fingerboard (made from either rosewood or maple) has 22 medium jumbo frets.

There's a 5-setting pickup selector switch which allows you to select any of the following combo's:

  • Setting 1: bridge
  • Setting 2: bridge & middle
  • Setting 3: middle
  • Setting 4: middle & neck
  • Setting 5: neck

Expensive Strats

The most expensive strat ever sold went for US $ 2.6 million to a sheihk at an auction in Qatar. It had been signed by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Brian May, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Mark Knopfler, Angus and Malcolm Young , Paul McCartney, Sting, and Bryan Adams. The proceedings went to helping the victims of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. The previous record was held by Eric Clapton's "Blackie" which fetched US $ 959,500 at a charity auction in 2004.

Source by Mark Byrne

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