Here are a few of what I like to call my "semi-vintage" Stratocasters... While I'd love to own an original slab board '62,or a '56 maple necked Mary Kaye blonde...the harsh reality is that they are a little (ok, a LOT) out of my price range... The Strats on this page are not of 50's or 60's vintage, but are still over 30 years old, and to me they represent an era of Fender that often gets a bad wrap, when in reality there were some very good instruments made during this time. Here are a few I consider "good ones" from my personal collection
1979 Fender Stratocaster "Hardtail"
1979 Black Stratocaster "Hardtail"
Although I have several mid-60's Jaguars, Musicmasters, and other shortscale Fenders, this is currently the oldest Stratocaster in my collection. I'm not sure if it's safe to call a 1979 "vintage", but since it IS well over 30 years old at this point, it'sheaded in the right direction! I have always liked black strats, and my first electric guitar was actually a black '83 featured on the "More Stratocasters" page of this website. I've never owned a 3 bolt neck, or a "big headstock" Stratocaster prior to this one. I saw this listed for sale for what I believed was a fair price, and in a moment of weakness I bought it essentially sight unseen, and without asking too many questions. The main thing was that it was 100% original, with the exception of the white plastic pieces. The good news is, the original black hardware was kept sealed in a bag inside the case, and was included. I sort of dig the David Gilmour look of the white trim, so for now I am leaving it as-is. I'm a big fan of hardtail Strats, and find that they have a unique feel and tone to them that is pleasing to my ears. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this one was no exception. We've all heard the stories of the poor quality control, and ill constructed, poorly playing guitars of the 70's, but I can honestly say I do not believe this myth. While I can believe there may have been more "duds" slip out the factory doors than in the previous 2 decades of Fender, overall I have found that quality was as good as any other era. This guitar has a nice chunky neck, 3 great sounding pickups, a nice tight neck pocket, and an overall feel that is very secure and solid. I'm not sure if the body is ash or alder, but I know that at just over 9 pounds it's a bit heavier than most of my later Strats. I have no regrets about picking this one up, and hope you enjoy the photos. $2100
1979/80 Fender Stratocaster
1979 Olympic White Stratocaster-original finish has severely yellowed
While a guitar in this condition might not appeal to everyone, I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Believe it or not, this one started life in Olympic White, and many years of hard gigging, smoke-filled bars and honky tonks "transformed" the finish into what you see here. The guitar itself is very original, and was one of the last "big headstock" strats of the era. Unlike the black on black hardtail '79 below, this one has the full tremolo, and original cast zinc tremolo block. It also has the title of "heaviest" guitar I own, tipping the scales at a whopping 10 pounds, 4 ounces! The tone of this one is worth the weight though, as the solid ash body resonates and rings notes forever! This one was formerly owned by the rhythm player for the Bill Perry Blues Band, and has definitely seen its share of use. $2200
79/80 Olympic White/Rosewood Stratocaster
Original Olympic White finish with Rosewood Veneer fretboard
This one is the newest of my 3 bolt Stratocasters. It's a very clean example, with a somewhat rarer or at least less common rosewood veneer fretboard. It's got a thinner overall neck profile than either of my other 2 Strats from this era, and also weighs considerably less. While I wouldn't call it a lightweight, it's a good pound lighter than the black hardtail above. Another interesting thing to note about this guitar is how deeply contoured the body cuts are. Quite the opposite of what is generally associated with this era... in fact, the "belly cut" on this guitar is the deepest of any Strat I own. I love the color of this one, the Olympic White has turned to the perfect shade of "banana pudding" and the dark rosewood fretboard compliments it nicely! The pickups and pots have been changed, but it is otherwise original, and one of my favorite Strats. $2000.00