Classic '50s Stratocaster review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (69 votes)
Fender: Classic '50s Stratocaster

Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: Dawsons Warrington

Sound — 10
I play early 60's and Shadows/Hank Marvin instrumental stuff. Played through either a Yamaha Acoustic Magic Stomp or Zoom RFX2000 (both, programmed with Charlie Hall's Echoes From The Past patches), into either a Fender FM15R practice amp or a Fender FM65R (soon to be changed to a Vox AD50=VT. I was expecting noisy pick-ups, but what a surprise! they are as quiet as the proverbial church mouse, on all settings. The sound is both rich and mellow, yet full, all through the spectrum. The tremolo is well balanced and positive.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar off an on form about 50 years. I also have a Squier Affinity with '64 Greystagger pick-ups and a Yamaha Acoustic. I bought this model because I could afford it, If it were stolen I would hang the thief from the nearest lamp-post by his bo*****s, stuffed in his mouth and still attached. If it were lost, I would buy another. It is a comfortable guitar to play and hold, and the thing I love about it, is that it feels so right for what I want to play. Obviously the colour was deliberately chosen, but the guitar is still quality. It is an excellent product and superb value for money. Fender have definitely got this one right. It would have been nice to have had locking tuners - but then this is something quite easily remedied.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have replaced the strap buttons with locking ones as a personal preference. I would most definitely gig this guitar as it is built to work and last. The only reason I would have a back up, (preferably another Classic 50) is in case a string broke. Most definitely reliable and durable.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The set-up was low and perfect for me. The pick-ups appear fine, and I have not noticed any hum or buzz what'soever. A pleasant surprise. The only fault I can find is the warped pick-guard. I may replace this with a 3-ply later. This guitar appears to have been very well made, and on a par with an American made Strat.

Features — 9
Made 2001 in Mexico. 21 Jumbo frets. One piece Maple neck and fretboard, Vintage lacquered. Alder body, Polyurethane paint, Fiesta Red. String thru body bridge with Vintage tremolo. Passive electronics. Master volume, two tone controls (neck and middle) 5 way selector Switch, all with aged tip and knobs. Fender Vintage Alnico pick-ups. Fender/Ping non-locking tuners. Came with Fender DeLuxe gig bag and one allen key for bridgework. I have marked down because the single ply pick-guard was warped in a couple of places.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Please note, this is NOT the Classic 50's Player Strat, which is a Custom Shop job.
    These are Fender original vintage pick-ups, and I have to say the tonal quality is outstanding. Since I wrote the original review, I have been more and more impressed with this guitar. Incidentally, the strings are STILL in tune from the original tune-up. If it could cook, and F*** I would marry it.
    Just bought one, then realised every electric I have bought has been in red, or 2 in the fiesta red (jag-stang and this) I don't even like red guitars! wtf? lol
    My two main guitars are USA '57 Reissue Strats. I, absolutely love them! Absolutely no improvements could be made to the playability of these guitars. I got my first one in '98. I love it more than ever, today (both of them, actually)! I recently saw one of these Mexi versions and was fooled at first. It's very hard to tell the difference between the two. Once you turn it over and see, "made in Mexico", your first reaction is, "wow! This is a nice looking guitar!" I played it for a few minutes and it felt very similar to my US '57s. Great feel. Top of the line out of Mexico (along with the custom shop mexi version).
    i got this guitar, its beautiful and has a good sound through a nice tube amp... but i wish it would be more versatile, it sucks at distortion...well, i guess its not what this guitar is made for. its for vintage sounds, and for that its perfect. the action on mine was in my opinion lower than on most strats, the pickups have a low output but sound nice
    Scum-bag Carrol wrote: if only it was classic white and 19 years older it may of featured in waynes world....still awesomely cool!
    I have a MIJ Waynes World Strat!
    Scum-bag Carrol
    if only it was classic white and 19 years older it may of featured in waynes world....still awesomely cool!
    I really love the vibe and style of this one - One of the most visually arresting Strats I've ever seen... Sorely tempted, and will most likely own such a creature one day
    If it were stolen I would hang the thief from the nearest lamp-post by his bo*****s, stuffed in his mouth and still attached.
    enough said