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Can anyone tell me about these 80's "STRATS"

Jesus freak

Member
Messages
2,644
I had one for a short while, a friend if mine found it in his Uncle's closet. Sold it to me on a "payment plan", but he took it back and traded it for a Epi bass (POS). This was in the mid 90's, when I had it. It looked like the one(s) in the pics below but was kind of THIS COLOR. Just curious about it, I have never saw another since.


 

TB72

Member
Messages
1,458
At the time, everyone was hacking up strats and putting humbuckers and Floyd Rose trems on them (thanks EVH). Fender saw the demand and got in on the action with a new model.

The necks were fairly wide, and really flat on the back (played some mid-80's Charvels that had similar necks). If I remember correctly, I believe the trem was made by Kahler (although it was different from their classic design...closer to a Floyd-style).

I don't remember many famous shredders of the day using these (Greg Howe being a notable exception).


Later...
 

slowerhand

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,328
Objectively that thing is as fugly as it looks cheap. Having gone through college in the eighties though, seeing that kind of retro-modern design brings back warm fuzzy feelings, and I can see the appeal. My point is that you probably have to have been there to appreciate it. Good times.
 

monsta

Member
Messages
497
I own 4 of these. Quite unfashionable but these are versatile guitars way beyond their glam metal look. The necks are outrageously good. For a cheap guitar, they are superb. Endorsed by Greg Howe back in the day.
 

Lukeling

Member
Messages
1,547
I still have one, I bought one new in 89 & sold it to help fund an overseas trip in 1994. Was very happy to find another one in 1997. Mine doesn't get much play these days but I won't let it go again. Love the neck, I have been seriously considering stripping the thick white poly finish on mine & going for a wood stain/ oil finish. I am sure I would be more inclined to play it except for the looks. Cool guitars.
 

guitararmy

Member
Messages
2,833
I had one in Blackstone with two DiMarzio humbuckers instead of the usual SSH configuration. Had a 3-way toggle and coil tap. Never should have got rid of it....
 

Earthwormjim

Member
Messages
144
I wouldn't call them cheap anymore. Good condition ones go for 600-800 on ebay.

I have an '89 Turqoise HM Strat. It was my first real guitar, bought it about 8 years ago. It's the most comfortable guitar I've played, it's pretty flexible too.

The only downside is the bridge, replacement parts are not cheap even with Khaler retooling up to make parts.
 

John C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,678
Yep, the HM Strat.

Interesting history on these - the very first year they were clearly marked as "Made in Japan" on the neck (right with the serial number on the neck heel) but they had a neck plate that said "Fender USA".

In their second year of production Fender started calling them "U.S. HM Strats" and the "Made in Japan" was removed from back of the neck. However, they still had all the earmarks of an MIJ Fender including the MIJ-style serial number. Finally in their last year or so of production Fender changed from that style headstock decal to a more "traditonal" style with a regular-looking "Fender" logo and the "Strat" in small letters (like most Fender headstock decals) but with a unique font for the "Strat". By this point they were also using OFRs on them since Fender had taken over distributing the Floyd Rose (after the demise of Kramer)
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
I've played a number of them and have often been tempted to buy one but the ones I've seen come up as good deals always have an over the top finish... some neon color or a crackle finish.
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,070
There was also a HM tele, it had the Mahler Floyd on it too, one of my old students had one about 20 yrs ago. Do remember the days that Greg Howe played them... Seems like yesterday!
 

monty

Member
Messages
23,534
I remember lusting so bad for these when I was a kid lol. For some reason they are starting to look good to me again.
 

mesa/kramer

Member
Messages
3,056
Fender HM Strat

I still have mine.

Earlier this year i replaced the crappy Kahler Spyder Trem with a real Floyd.
Pickups/electronics also upgraded along with new paint.

Awesome guitars. (Basswood body)
MIJ made / assesmbled USA


 
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TubeStack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,202
The other guitarist in my band had a fluorescent pink one, back in Gr 9. We booted him out because of it.
 






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