my name is Francesco. I'm Italian and I'm visiting Chicago for a vacation. I would like to buy a stratocaster here and bring it back home since prices and availability are better here. I went to a nice shop in chicago and tried many guitars. I found one that, to me, sounds quite well. It is a standard stratocaster from 1983, in very good condition, and the price is $895. It has three knobs (one for volume and two for tone) and the input jack in the "standard" strat position. Is this called a Dan Smith stratocaster?

I tried some more expensive ones (up to $1100) but I don't like them as much.

Is $895 a good price? Is there something specific I need to know about stratocasters produced in 1983? Any downpoints or disadvantages of guitars produced during that year?

Thank you very much

Welcome to UG

This thread actually belongs in the Electric Guitar forum. You might find more people over there that can help. I'll try to get this moved for you.

But, seems a bit steep to me but I do not know anything about Dan Smith.

I think the general concensus is that the best Strats made in the 80s were made in Japan (MIJ)

You can look up the Serial Number on Fender's site as well as guitardaterproject.org

You can email Fender customer service and see what info they might have.

You can use the link in my sig to find similar gear. Like this:

As 311 said you need to know a little more, most specifically where the guitar was made. Either way I'd say that price is a bit high, but that's just a shot in the dark at this point.

Edit: Quick google found this: http://www.stratcollector.com/scn/models/smith.html
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To me that seems overpriced. Maybe being the Dan Smith model means more to Strat collectors. But when a new American Special Stratocaster is only $799 new at Guitar Center I can’t understand why a Strat from 1983 would be $895. I would try to bargain with the store for a lower price. But if you really do like the guitar and it plays well, $895 isn’t a bad amount of money to spend.
Thanks for the replies.

I know the guitar is made in USA and not Japan. I've been taking new ones in consideration too, it's just that I like how this one feels and plays compared to other ones priced at around $900-1000. Could it gain value selling it in some years?
Last edited by Foxtrot82 at Jul 9, 2010,
Could it gain value selling it in some years?

You should probably ask that question on a Fender collector site, but personally I doubt it. The Strat really wasn’t a high-profile guitar in the early 1980s (at least not stock), so it’s not like there are people waiting to buy an early 80s strat to get that tone.
Hi there. I can't tell you much about that specific guitar. But, be aware that when you bring an instrument into the EU, you have to pay the import tax for it, which is 27%, if I am not mistaken. I am not sure if you have to pay VAT for it, but probably not, seeing as it's a used instrument (and I don't know how high the VAT is in Italy anyway). Anyway, you should have a closer look at the legal situation before running into unexpected costs, is all I'm saying.
^Just disguise it as your own. I fly instruments across the Atlantic all the time, it's not a huge deal. Just don't be an idiot and leave tags on.

No, it probably won't rise in value at all. You can probably get a better deal for $900...Have you checked other local stores/craigslist? On the other hand, if you like it, you like it...