Classic '50s Stratocaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 07/28/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Classic '50s Stratocaster
The Classic '50s Strat epitomize the vibe of the '50s! The color selection alone takes you back to the era of diners and cars with fins.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.8
 Features: 8.5
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reviews (4) pictures (2) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Classic '50s Stratocaster Reviewed by: Shannock, on november 09, 2012
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 350

Purchased from: Dawsons Warrington

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.6
Classic '50s Stratocaster Reviewed by: SpanishYanez, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: What I have is a Black Strat, I originally wanted the 2 tone sunburst but I'm planning to paint over the black with white paint. It has 21 frets, Made In Mexico, Alder body, One Piece Maple neck, and I don't know about the rest. When I walked into Sweetwater I told the guy that I wanted a Standard Strat but then when he was showing me the Standard Strats I saw the black 50s model and I feel in love with the look. It came with a gigbag. // 10

Sound: I swapped out the stock pickups for Lace Sensors because this guitar is going to be my workhorse(since my other Strat is a cheap copy and sounds like shit) and the Lace Sensors are quietier than the stock pickups (the stock ones are awesome though but noisy). So far it suits my sound, it's bright but when I Switch to the Blue Lace Sensor it sounds nice and mellowish. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The Sweetwater guys set up my guitar for free and man did they set it up, no buzzing (except when I strum hard), pickups adjusted very good, and the tremolo system is blocked (requested it for tuning stability). The neck finish is just beautiful, looks better than those bleach blonde necks of the Standard strats. The black paint looks good too but like I said I'm going to paint it white later and have a black pickguard installed. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It withstands my live playing when I'm at church and my Gorilla punch strumming so it's good. I installed straplocks because they add a certain flair to it but that's just me. I would depend on it but the old saying goes: if you take of your guitars it will take care of you. // 10

Overall Impression: LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT it's the best guitar for what I paid for and if it were lost or stolen I'll probably be beyond "P.O"ed. I also own an Epiphone Les Paul Custom and I think I like the neck on the Strat better. I wished it came with Lace Sensors to begin with but hey not a problem. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Classic '50s Stratocaster Reviewed by: OwenFrusciante, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 460

Purchased from: Electro Music

Features: Its a 2010 model, made in mexico. It has 21 Jumbo frets on a One piece Maple neck and fretboard, Vintage lacquered but not too heavy so still kinda course. It has an Alder body with a decent thickness of Polyurethane paint in a light Fiesta Red. Suits my style of playing down to the ground. // 9

Sound: I play rock, blues and stuff of that kind, and at first I was a bit worried that the pickups wouldn't be good quality enough to deal out a nice clean sound through my line6 spider IV 30 as it is only a practice amp, and as I bought them at the same time I took a risk and didn't try them out as a combination, but I neednt have worried. Between the two, I can get any sound I need or want out of them, gives particularly good clean twangy and Frusciante-like sounds. Bit of background hum, but is cancelled out with the Spiders noise gate. Played through my friends Orange Tiny Terror it sounds ok, but it realy excels through the Marshall stacks at my local music shop. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: It came with a decent enough action and perfect pickup height, but I got a free professional setup with it and as a result the action has been changed to fit my style perfectly, the strings were okay but after about 6 months I changed them to super slinkys, which made it even better to play, from all my friends who have played it I have recieved only positive comments about the action and pickup heights. The finish was flawless and having owned it for about 6 months has only one small chip in it through my carelessness, but it did have a small blemish on the back where the neck meets the body, it had worn slightly. Everything else, pretty much perfect. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Haven't gigged on it yet, but has been extensively played, about 2 hours a day for 6-7 months and hasent broke at all, the pickguard has warped a bit, but that is down to my aggressive strumming style. I play standing up at band practices and jams, and the strap buttons haven't let me down, yet. But they seem solid enough, and I will only put strap locks on when I have spare cash and nothing else to buy for my setup. // 9

Overall Impression: Fits my style perfectly, can make passable es335-like sounds, but not suited to heavy gain or distortion particularly well, which I only usually use when soloing. Sounds great for the price, I have owned three cheaper guitars and this is comfortably better than any of them. My only problem is the colour, at first I ordered the colour because I loved the fiesta red, but over time I liked it less and less, and now wish I'd have got the sunburst one. Great guitar! // 9

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overall: 7.6
Classic '50s Stratocaster Reviewed by: jonathan.hardy., on july 28, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 410

Purchased from: ebay

Features: This review is of late '90s Classic Series Stratocaster. '50s Classic. 21 fret. I believe these guitars are Alder bodies with a Poly finish. Typical SSS pickup configuration. Volume knob, tone knobs x2. Maple neck, maple fretboard. Mine was purchased with padded gig bag. Seafoam Green MIM of course. I bought the guitar used so there was no case candy but a new one would get you tools, polish cloth, and cable I think. For the price, Fender does give you a nice set of goodies though. The Alder body is really an upgrade from the typical Poplar MIM bodies. Also, a much nicer finish on the Maple neck and fretboard than the Standard MIM pieces. I would say these guitars sit right in between a Mexican Standard and an American Standard. // 6

Sound: I am using this with a Fender Blues Jr Tweed Limited Edition with "Fat" switch. Also a Mesa Studio +22. My effects are fairly sparse. Typically just a Tube Screamer, TC Gravy Chorus Pedal, Boss DS1 or a Guitar Fetish Brownie. I would say that the guitar does a nice job for what I paid. I am not sure I would buy one new as they are about 700 USD. I think you could hold out for a decent American Standard on the used market for those dollars. Not that the guitar is not cool. I love the vintage feel of the think but for those that have said it is on par with the American line, it simply is not true. The difference between the MIM and MIA lines are immediately apparent as soon as you pick it up. Although the Classic series is Alder, it is 3 piece where the Americans are two piece. In terms of tone, that goes along way. I do however, like it for its vintage tone and feel. Thin and bright in the bridge position and throaty and howling in the neck position. Very nice. Make sure you are pushing a quality amp though. This guitar into a cheap amp unit will be lacking for sure. However, any nice tube amp will due to make this guitar sing. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Nice set up out of the box. Pain looks great. Aged looking plastics and the aged neck finish look great. One ply pickguard gets a bit warpy in quick fashion though. Vintage tuners feel good and hold tune. Tremolo is loose and easy to handle and stays in tune as good as any other Strat I have played. Frets are dressed nicely and the neck feels fast enough for me.  All the controls operate smoothly and without any noise. Of course the usual single coil hum if you get up close to the amp but that is what makes a Classic what it is. I good reproduction of the early days of the Strat. Frets are nicely done with adequate attention to fit and finish. It's ready to go out of the box for the most part. Maybe a treble bleed circuit on the volume knob would be cool as the highs roll of pretty quick when you trim the volume. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Fender reliability? They are bomb proof. No issue here at all. Everything is solid and ready to be put to work. Don't be timid with these guitars. Sling them like a the rock star you are! They are built like a tank. I hit some dive bomb trem hits and it kept tune nicely. The vintage tuners are fast to re-string. The body has a solid feel, With the exception of limited tones for multi genre gigs, I would for sure take this guitar to a show without a backup. I would have no reservations about its reliability and outright toughness. // 9

Overall Impression: I play in a multi genre cover band so I do not use this guitar as my first choice. I feel like I need a humbucker in the line up for sure. I have an American HSS that does the trick there. However, when we drop into some country/rock or get crazy with an old Surf tune, I do reach for this baby. It also handles the Chili Peppers stuff pretty well. Nice ringing bell tones when I crank the Blues Jr. up a bit. I would buy another at the price I paid but would not go much more than $500 at all. Save up another $100 and look for a road weary American Strat, I think you will be much happier. With that disclaimer made, If you want cool colors and a vintage feel at a non-custom shop price, the Classic '50 holds its own quite well indeed. // 8

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