'80s Stratocaster Copy review by Columbus

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (23 votes)
Columbus: '80s Stratocaster Copy
0

Sound — 9
This guitar is very old. Coming up to it's 30th I believe and it is very, very nice. The only thing is, the bridge has lost nearly all of it's output, but, as a project, me and my dad are going to swap out the pickups on it, for some GFS boutique alnico premium texas pickups. This guitar features a little bit of hum, but not too bad. I play through a Peavey rage trans tube 158 and, on the middle pickup I can get a lovely, glassy, shimering Mark Knopfler tone. On the neck it's really soulful, and if I throw a little bit of distorion onto that I get a lovely Jimi Hendrix tone. Perfect for Sunshine of your love, crossroads, purple haze, etc.

Overall Impression — 10
This is an old, battered, worn Strat copy. It does what it says on the tin. Be kind to it and it will reward you back. I don't care if it's not technically as good as a Fender, or it doesn't sound as good as one, or whatever. When you pick it up, it just feels like "Hello, old friend, what do you want to play today?" I can't describe it. It's not just an old, battered Strat copy, it's my old, battered Strat copy and somehow, I think it knows it. If it got knicked, I would be gutted, because not only that, this is very, very rare, too. Oh well. If I found Who it was, I would literally smash his face in with it.

Reliability & Durability — 7
It has never broken down on me, but my dad went mental with the whammy bar on it, the bar snapped and became lodged in the little hole. He managed to unscrew it using a drill, but this is very old, and it is s hard getting a whammy bar for such an old bridge. Speaking of which, is very matt grey, I think it has oxidised, oh well, I might just swap it out. If this can stand 30 years of playing in a band, getting digs on it, getting abused, it can withstand a live show. The strap buttons, I do believe, are held in with some kind of magic force field which prevents them from coming out.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I wouldn't know about this, as it's old and my dad has had a fiddle with the string height, but the action is relatively low, the tuners are schaller copies, and he bridge is ok. I will swap put the tuners, not that theirs anything wrong with them, it's just that there are better ones out there, if you know what I mean.

Features — 8
This is what you'd expect really, just a staight up, no frills Strat copy, abeit one with a retro 3-way selector! If I am going to get a guitar, I look at the body wood. I didn't really have that luxury, but I'm told it's plywood; however, even though it's plywood, don't be a snob. It sounds very nice acoustically, and through an amp.

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Maggot4eva
    i had an old columbus strat copy wit pointed headstock and that was THE BOMB!!! serious. even Squier cant compete on these 30 yr old guitars. but then i went and found my Columbus telecaster with pointed headstock, humbuckers and Schaller FR and tbh i wont be looking at another guitar for a while (and that was 2 yrs ago!!!!!) seriously, they went out of business, but if you find a columbus BUY IT!!!! Especially the les pauls, they're nearly on par with Orville Les Pauls, and anyone who knows the Orvilles know that they are quality pieces of workmanship
    vajdov
    I've just purchased one of the same kind exactly on ebay for my son(and for myself, of course), i can't stand waiting for it. (getting here to Budapest takes a while). are they really plywood? I've only tried a jazz bass from columbus, it was really steady and solid, though my '69 fender jazz bass has more mass,(heavier too), more body, more bass.
    whitesnake7
    Columbus are vintage and sound unbelieveble. My friend has a Columbus Les Paul and it sounds great.
    killsPEACHES
    XSider wrote: A copy cannot be good. The impression is kinda lol man...
    Do you realize how retarded you sound? I have an Agile Tele copy and its awesome.
    pearldrums11
    XSider wrote: A copy cannot be good. The impression is kinda lol man...
    dude, i prefer my jay turser and s101 almost as much as my fender. the copies are great
    azagthoth_lvr
    Hey! Don't smash their face in with that vse a hammre that works a lot bettre and saves yovr gvitar.
    jxljxl
    My local music store has a Columbus Strat in sunburst for 100. I might snap it up.
    cj10schmelzer
    the impression is so corny lol i have a strat copy and its pretty amazing. well it is a squier, which is the epiphone of fender, so i guess thats why its a good copy
    peever
    killsPEACHES wrote: XSider wrote: A copy cannot be good. The impression is kinda lol man... Do you realize how retarded you sound? I have an Agile Tele copy and its awesome.
    haha i dont think he has heard of suhr or anderson before haha
    RattnRolla
    I've got a Columbus series 3 superstrat..bought it circa '88 with my first 2 weeks wages in my first real job..really would have liked a charvel 4 or 6 or a soloist but anyways, that's kids. It took a bang to the Schaller type trem circa 2000 and I brought it to a guitar maker who was tolerant enough and didn't laught to much..he gave her a FR trem an filed down two poorly installed frets. The guitar plays nicely enough, but is nowhere near as quick as my newer grown up guitars. She is in the domaine of a lower end dinky or Ibanez. The pickups were (and still are) a dimarzzio bucker and two coils of indeterminate origin. The 3 way mini switchfor the bucker broke a few years ago and was replace by a 2 way..so now ther are 3 2 way mini switches fulfilling on/off duty for the pickups. What the 3 way actually did, I'm unsure (possible it was a coil) tap as the bucker has always ben in "on " position. The original sticker was "Japan". Guessing it came from the Matsumoto factory. An interesting recent development is that one day the light caught the neck in a certain way..and barely readable beneath the black gloss of the pointy head was etching "Winchester" in curly italics..obviously a rebadging in the factory. These machines seem to have been made of a mix of quality and muck, and as long as it playes enough for me to use in recording (sometimes the passive pickups are more distinctive thatn the uniform attack of active, I will use it..but a soloist its not..edit..tht wasn't really a comment, more of a review ;(
    joshgiesbrecht
    cj10schmelzer wrote: the impression is so corny lol i have a strat copy and its pretty amazing. well it is a squier, which is the epiphone of fender, so i guess thats why its a good copy
    Squires are NOT the epiphone of Fender.. Squires suck WAYYY more than Epiphones
    LordArbiter
    joshgiesbrecht wrote: cj10schmelzer wrote: the impression is so corny lol i have a strat copy and its pretty amazing. well it is a squier, which is the epiphone of fender, so i guess thats why its a good copy Squires are NOT the epiphone of Fender.. Squires suck WAYYY more than Epiphones
    Try a Squier in the higher price range like the vintage modified or classic vibe series and you may not judge them so harshly. I've got three Squier instruments from the vintage modified line and I prefer them to their Fender equivelants. Everyone judges Squier on the craptastic Affinity series.