Favorite FENDER Non-CS Strat

sixty2strat

Member
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12,561
So:
1. A late 80's 62 Vintage Reissue, rosewood board, I suppose 'sonic blue.' I don't know ex. when the early Fullerton reissue came forth, but this was a killer that reminded me of my early years with actual vintage strats (you know, before us old farts even knew they were 'vintage']



What are your thoughts?
Got one from the Mid 80's Fullerton or Corona. Previous owner played it and refreted it for jumbos. So it has a lot of honest ware and looked old when I got it in 97 and has just gotten better. Not sure of the year as I never had the neck off or opened the thing up nor had a tech tell me.

I have a S9 Sienna sunburst, heavy but lacks the issues like shifting neck or poor contours. I have owned it 40 years. Frets are getting low so it is semi retired.

2009 Road Worn in Black. loud aggressive and has the classic strat sound. Swaped the pickguard for a black one and now have a Gilmour clone.
 

sixty2strat

Member
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12,561
American Standards almost always feel about right to me. As well as most of the others Ive owned, but slightly moreso.
That said, my favorite Strat is a 62 style japanese copy.
Interesting I have always loathed the AM standards. Give me a good 70's or Ri or a Mex. Honestly Fender has so many models I don't know the rest of the ever changing line up.
 

ggwwbb

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,011
I had an EJ Strat that was excellent. IMO it's probably one of the best non-CS, off the shelf Strats out there. The Robert Cray Strat is a close second to me. I would have loved to have kept both, but surprisingly, my MIM 60s Classic (in LPB) got played more. I swapped the neck and pickguard/pickup assemby from the Robert Cray to the 60s Classic, so now I basically have a LPB Robert Cray with a trem (that is decked with no bar.....so basically disabled). Best sounding and playing Strat I've ever had.
 

Rhythm Rocker

Member
Messages
2,499
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My '20 Fender American Showcase Stratocaster is my favorite non-CS Fender Strat. Humbucker is voiced to the hot single coils and you can tap it for single coil only. Back of the neck is C to D compound with 12" radius fretboard, locking tuners. She feels awesome and sounds killer clean or with a Fuzz!
 

Whitecat

Member
Messages
1,889
The best sounding non-CS Fender Strat I’ve ever had was the Exotic Pine limited from a couple years ago. It’s one of the few regrets I have in selling too - the neck finish was incredible - the shape wasn’t my ideal neck shape/depth but it was livable. The guitar itself was surprisingly dark for a Strat, but in a great way. Very cool tone.
 

bonga

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
562
I know you haven't mentioned in your post, but in my opinion, the only production line Fender that comes close to Suhr, Anderson, LSL, Sadowsky, etc., is the Eric Johnson model.
 

direneed

Member
Messages
756
Those late 80s/early 90s Strat Ultras were really nice guitars IMO. I'm a lefty and bought a righty Ultra in Tangerine thinking I would string it lefty and not realizing there was no such thing as a lefty Wilkinson but back then, so I traded it off instead of hacking it up. Those new American Ultra Strats would be right up my alley if I didn't already have a Suhr that is the finest lefty S-style guitar I have ever played in my 35+ years of playing.

Edit: I also like the EJ signature models a lot.
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
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6,973
My humble Deluxe Roadhouse Strat: MIM, Vol Pot S1 switch engages a 6-position mid-boost in the first tone pot position, the second tone pot is a master tone control. I got this used with my very first ever GC guitar purchase since GC has been in existence, used for $364.00, and it came with its gig bag (I've got pedals that cost that much). They opened the shipping box in front of me, the "Fender" sticker was still on the pickguard, if it was used it was imperceptibly used; maybe the kid gave it up on the first day when his fingers got sore. The fit&finish is flawless. The Med-Jumbo frets on the Med-C neck's uniformly dark Rosewood fretboard are dressed dead-even. I put the 4th spring on it for my usual 10-46's; it set up like a dream. I put a set of Lace Holy Grail pickups I had in a drawer in it, they have always sounded great in a late 50's kind of way for noiseless pickups - in the live band mix from our PA it sounds just like a strat should (I took the picture below before I changed out the pickups, those were the stock Fender VN set that came with). And best of all, it holds tune like my Tele. I was blown away by how nice this guitar is. For the money it shouldn't be this nice, pretty much perfect actually. I've got a Suhr S-Classic to A/B it with (my avatar photo), and aside from the pickups, it gives up very little. I've lusted after and played CS Fenders in my local indi shop that were as nice to play as this little guitar is - it's all in the luck of the draw I suppose. I got this for some of the sketchier bars we play in but it's earned its way onto the country club stages at our private parties as well. It's just a real nice, workhorse kind of guitar, money aside.
RTYqOFE.jpg
 

jazzwannabe

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
988
American Pro II does it for me. I had a Classic Player 60s Strat that was great after a lot of fretwork.

That said, you won’t have to look far to find G&L guys who are convinced that their Legacies are superior to any factory Fender.
 

TheGuy

Member
Messages
129
I love my 2014 60th Anniversary American Series Strat. Custom shop 54 pickups, 10-14” radius, contoured heel, 2 colour burst over ash, maple fretboard.

It actually plays easier than my Time Machine ‘60 Strat, but that’s mostly the fretboard radius I think.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
7,335
A cherry picked 83/84 Elite or 86-87 American Standard. I was lucky enough to play a lot of these and end up the ones I did.
The Elite does everything I need, that era Am Std is the perfect platform for what I like.
 

H. Mac

Member
Messages
2,231
The AVRI Hot Rod ‘62 Stratocaster. Beefy neck with a 9.5” radius; big frets; 57/62 PUs with the middle reverse-wound; thick slab rosewood; 5-way switch; thin lacquer; 2nd tone knob controls the bridge and middle PUs; and deep body contours.

Amazing guitars. Exactly what a Strat should be. Even better than the pre-CBS Strats that I’ve owned.
 

Alister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,683
The AVRI Hot Rod ‘62 Stratocaster. Beefy neck with a 9.5” radius; big frets; 57/62 PUs with the middle reverse-wound; thick slab rosewood; 5-way switch; thin lacquer; 2nd tone knob controls the bridge and middle PUs; and deep body contours.

Amazing guitars. Exactly what a Strat should be. Even better than the pre-CBS Strats that I’ve owned.
I really feel like I let this model pass by me at the time when I should've taken a hard look at them. I have wondered why Fender stopped, other than this incessant need for so many 'new' models.
 

freedomspec

Member
Messages
156
I’m boring; I love my 2012 AM standard strat.

I’ve tried them all and the closest second to the standard line have all been strats with soft v shaped necks. I just can’t feel comfortable and inspired on d shaped necks on strats, baseball bat necks, etc.
 




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