#1
I'm in the market for an American Stratocaster, and am considering just getting a brand new American Deluxe Strat, but I've connected with a contact in southern California who owns a vintage guitar shop. He's a friend of a friend, and can get me a vintage guitar at half price.

I was planning on spending $1200 or less, so I was wondering about Strats that cost $2000 or less (half price puts me in budget).......

Basically, I want to know what changes occured in Strats over the years, and what years are generally regarded as good? (and what do you all think of the new American Deluxe?)

Thanks
#3
I can locate info on the history of the Strat but I can't speculate on current prices. I suggest you ask your people to ask their people what they have that your money can buy at their prices.

What exactly are you looking for in a Strat? The American Deluxe Strat you mentioned probably has a 2-post bridge while a vintage Strat probably has the old style 6-post pivot system. The more modern 2-post system is more flexible in that it's easier to set up for upward bends as well as downward.
#4
over the years. the neck tend to turn yellow and have that vintage yellowish look. hmm that's pretty much it from what you can tell at first glance. the pickup cover and the volume. tone pots might turn yellowish as well. value wise i would go with a pre 90's custom shop.
#6
2 post and 6 post bridge are the number of screws in the trem bridge that enclosed the trem to the body, that usually doesn't matter. reissue models like my 57 has the old fashion 6 screws. now many american standards have 2 screws in the trem
#8
it changes nothing. i personally prefer a humbucker strat. but i end up getting 3 single pickup configuration cause it just look so classy
#9
yeah...i want the single coils...is the bridge the only major change over the years, or did the quality of the guitars just vary?
#10
well i would go as old as possible. but not the cbs era or something. which is around the 70s-80s i believe. what are you looking for exactly. i would really recommend going reissued. they are just so much cooler
#11
Quote by kckyle
well i would go as old as possible. but not the cbs era or something. which is around the 70s-80s i believe. what are you looking for exactly. i would really recommend going reissued. they are just so much cooler

Leo Fender sold the company to CBS in 1965 so, if you're looking for a pre-CBS Strat, be prepaired to fork out a few thousand dollars.
#12
Few thousand? More like $20,000 + for a pre-CBS model. Do you know the year of the guitar you're thinking of buying? 20 years and older I would consider starts to become vintage but not before then. I have 2 vintage guitars as you can see in my gear and you just have to beware of what you're getting. It won't look new of course and will have wear on it. If you're just getting into guitar playing I wouldn't worry about buying something vintage but down the road definitely. Its like wearing a great pair of shoes you've had for a while, nicely worn in. Also to me vintage guitars got mojo, character whatever you want to call it. A story to tell of where they've been from the bumps and bruises. I pick up brand new guitars now and its like meh doesn't say much to me anymore.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#13
Quote by DSOTM80
I have 2 vintage guitars as you can see in my gear and you just have to beware of what you're getting. It won't look new of course and will have wear on it. If you're just getting into guitar playing I wouldn't worry about buying something vintage but down the road definitely. Its like wearing a great pair of shoes you've had for a while, nicely worn in. Also to me vintage guitars got mojo, character whatever you want to call it. A story to tell of where they've been from the bumps and bruises. I pick up brand new guitars now and its like meh doesn't say much to me anymore.

i feel the same. i find new guitars(unless its high end prs and gibson) lack characters.

really 80's guitar consider to be vintage now?
#14
Hard to believe huh, and bands like G 'n R are being played here on classic rock stations
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#15
From what I've read, the late 70s to late 80s Strats were not very good guitars. I think that's way so many people only want Japanese the made Stratocasters from that era. I have a '98 Sunburst that was made in Mexico, that I set up myself, and it plays great, although I will be replacing the bridge with the one from the American strat I have lying around in pieces.
#17
Forget mojo. The new Strats are nice and consistent. I teethed on a 72 Strat sunburst from the late 70s to early 80s and played and owned a slew of Strats. I have played vintage Strats selling for $ 20,000 + and rarely am excited about them except for the fact it is an old guitar in really nice shape. Just not for me. I have owned a guitar for approximately 25 years and it becomes a part of you, but that same guitar might not feel a part of you to someone else playing it. The absolute best Strat I have ever played is my 2005 American Deluxe and I got damn lucky here because I purchased the guitar for its color. This guitar plays better than any of the custom shops I have played lately, but I did pay nearly Custom Shop price for it.

Forget 80s Strats and late 70s Strats. The best deal I have seen is the mid to late 90s Custom Shop American Classic series. I have seen these for around $ 1,100 to $ 1,300. They are worth that price, but the newer Custom Shops are NOT worth anywhere near the $ 2,500 + prices when you can get lucky and get a mint used Deluxe for $ 1,000 that may play just as good, and if you are really lucky, even better than the Custom Shops.
2008 Gibson LP
1968 Gibson LP
2005 Am Strat Del

88 Marsh JCM 800 1/2 stack
05 Marsh AVT50
08 H & K Triamp Mk. II
07 Orange PPC 212
08 Dr. Z 212
#18
so, are you guys thinking i should buy a new american deluxe? it sounds like i either buy a bad year or spend enough to have afforded a decent car lol...
#19
I like the new Strat actually and yes I agree that the late 70's and most of the 80's stuff from Fender is sub-par in my opinion. They went back up to standard after CBS sold it. The current line is great, I especially like their American Vintage '57 Strat. Anyways, if you're looking at lets say 80's Kramers (everything except their Korean made imports), Charvel, Jackson, Ibanez for example the mojo as 99ttcab was so quick to brush off is awesome. If you want a safe bet and like Strat, then go for a current model.
2003 Music Man Axis Pacific Blue Burst
#20
Mojo don't make you play better unless it is you years of mojo invested in that particular guitar.
2008 Gibson LP
1968 Gibson LP
2005 Am Strat Del

88 Marsh JCM 800 1/2 stack
05 Marsh AVT50
08 H & K Triamp Mk. II
07 Orange PPC 212
08 Dr. Z 212