Tag Archives: stratocaster

Fender Introducing American Special Series

Fender American Special Series
Fender American Special Series

The latest incarnations of Fender’s famous Telecaster and Stratocaster models comprise the new American Special series-built “by the people and for people” as value-conscious “guitars for the times.” They are designed specifically to bring the full Fender experience of a terrific-sounding, smooth-playing, rock-solid-built U.S.-made Fender guitar to the workingman without emptying his bank account.

The three instruments in the new series—the American Special Telecaster, American Special Stratocaster and American Special Stratocaster HSS—are highly affordable Fender electric guitars that are within the reach of an entire spectrum of players. As such, they share many features with their cousins in the acclaimed Highway One™ and American Standard series.

url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5WIwx4B46c

Fender Introducing Road Worn Series Of Guitars

So our affinity for worn guitars seems to continue and Fender knows it. They are introducing another price point for worn guitars with the new “Road Worn” series of guitars and basses.

A quick bullet list of the main features.

  • notably distressed nitrocellulose lacquer-finished bodies
  • worn chrome hardware (nickel/chrome for basses)
  • period-correct specifications
  • models: 50s Tele, 50s Strat, 60s Strat, 50s Precision Bass and 60s Jazz Bass guitars

Here a pic of the 50s Strat

Road Worn 50s Fender Stratocaster
Road Worn 50s Fender Stratocaster

 

So where’s the Road Worn Fender Jaguars and Jazzmasters! 🙂

What do you think about another lower cost relic or worn guitar from Fender?

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Fender Stratocaster

It really was inevitable that Kenny Wayne Shepherd would have a signature stratocaster one day.  And no surprise that it would be a 60s styled sunburst stratocaster with a 12″ radius neck, perfect for blues rock. It looks like the stratocaster will be available from Fender come this September.

Maybe one unexpected twist is a racing stripe style paint job version of the strat inspired by Shepherd’s love of hot rods. (see photo below)

Kenny Wanye Shepherd Signature Fender Stratocaster
Kenny Wanye Shepherd Signature Fender Stratocaster

Specifications:

  • Based on Shepherd’s 1961 Stratocaster
  • 3 custom voiced KWS pickups
  • alder body
  • maple neck with 12″ radius, rosewood fingerboard, 21 jumbo frets
  • bridge with Graph Tech saddles
  • 3 finishes – black (with racing stripe), 3 color sunburst, and arctic white

If you ever get a chance to see the KWS Band perform live you should check them out.  It really is a great rock show and you’ll see one of the best blues guitar players out there today.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd performing live
Kenny Wayne Shepherd performing live

Billy Corgan Fender Stratocaster now on Fender.com

The Billy Corgan Fender Stratocaster that we started talking about back in January is now on Fender.com as part of their Artist Series. [url]  We’re assuming this guitar will get the grand unveiling at the upcoming Summer NAMM that is coming up June 20-22 in Nashville.

Not a whole lot of surprises up to this point.  The most interesting specs are as follows:

  • colors: (805) Olympic White and (806) Flat Black (satin nitro)
  • jumbo frets on Modern “C” Shape neck with large ’70s style headstock (satin poly)
  • 1 Special Design Dimarzio® Billy Corgan Single-Spaced Humbucking Pickup (Neck)
  • 1 Dimarzio® Chopper™ Pickup (Middle)
  • 1 Special Design Dimarzio® Billy Corgan Single-Spaced Humbucking Pickup (Bridge)
  • original body shape (?? not sure how it differs from standard stratocaster)

The pickup switching has some non-standard settings that benefit from the single-spaced Dimarzio humbuckers.

  • Position 1. Full Humbucking Bridge Pickup
  • Position 2. Inside Coil of Bridge Pickup and Full Humbucking Middle Pickup
  • Position 3. Full Humbucking Middle Pickup
  • Position 4. Full Humbucking Middle Pickup and Outside Coil of Neck Pickup
  • Position 5. Full Humbucking Neck Pickup

Update: Interstate music is showing a list price of 1999.99 for this new strat.  Which would mean a retail price around 1449.99.  What are your opinions on this price point?

Update 2: Sam Ash is showing a list price of 1599.99 with a retail of 1199.99.

Strat-stang – combination Stratocaster and Mustang

[The following article was submitted by jag-stang.com visitor Lonnie. He was inspired to share the story of his strat-stang creation after reading about the Fender Mu-uar in a previous post. Please enjoy Lonnie’s great story below. ]

stratstang full

Back in 1981 a high school buddy loaned me 1966 Mustang and allowed me to string it left-handed to try it out. Even with that awkward setup that neck fit my hand perfectly. I could not find a lefty Mustang anywhere so I ended up buying a Strat instead, which had its own nice features, but I never forgot how much I liked the feel of that Mustang neck.

Then in 1994 I walked into a music store and saw a new lefty reissue Mustang. I wanted it badly but I was unemployed and broke so I had to pass it up, swearing that I would someday come back and buy it. A year later I had a good job and was on my feet again, but when I went back to that music store I found out the Mustang had already been discontinued.

I kept looking and in 1998 I bought a `96 Jag-Stang (image) new for an astonishing $330. The neck was fantastic–heavenly! It felt just like the neck on my friend’s old Mustang. The body, however, was a different story. Sitting or standing, I just couldn’t get comfortable with it. I wished I could put that Jag-Stang neck on a Strat body but I knew they would not be compatible.

strat-stang bodyThen I remembered Warmoth made a 7/8 scale Strat body and I contacted them and asked if it would work. The owner at the time, Ken Warmoth, explained that he had designed the 7/8 body back in the 70’s as a direct replacement for a Mustang body, so the project was a go. In 1999 I ordered an alder body with hardtail bridge (let’s face it, tremolo just does not work on a 24″ scale) and fire engine red gloss polyurethane. I also had to buy a pickguard and bridge that specifically fit this body. I sold all the extra Jag-Stang parts to finance the purchase.As any Fender tinkerer knows, American Fenders were built with S.A.E. measurements and Japanese Fenders are Metric so mixing those parts require a little bit of nudging.

I had to slightly widen the neck pocket to accept the JS neck. After a lot of sweat and prayer it came together nicely. My goal was to build a Strat-stang, a hybrid of the parts I liked from the Strat and Mustang. As you can see from the photos, I chose a Strat contoured body, pickguard, pickup setup, bridge and jack, but with a Mustang scale and knobs.

stratstang 3

The bridge pickup is from the Jag-stang and the other two are temporaries from a Squire Strat, and eventually they will have solid black Mustang covers. I always liked the flexibility of the Strat Elite pushbutton pickup selector and incorporated that as well. I don’t like having the volume knob so close to the bridge so I plugged that hole and used the Mustang’s 1 volume/1 tone setup. Strat knobs are numbered right-handed which makes them confusing in a lefty setup; I prefer Mustang knobs because they’re easier to grip. I chose red, white and black to mimic the color scheme of my beloved `73 Musicmaster bass.

stratstang 5

The guitar is a terrific success. It is a joy to play, lightweight,absolutely comfortable and sounds delicious with acres of surfy twang and slink. I coated the routings with NickelPrint, which is a conductive paint that acts as a reasonably good EMF shield, and covered the back of the pickguard with aluminum foil duct tape. The end result is a silent guitar with no crackle or hum. I use D’Addario Light Top/Heavy Bottom strings, which seem to work well with the short scale.

My boss’s band has a lefty guitarist who has played it on a few occasions and loves it, wishing he had one of his own. I had hoped to build another with humbuckers to act as a pseudo Les Paul, but that leads to the down side of the story:

Two years ago I called up Warmoth to order a 7/8 scale pickguard cut for humbuckers, with the intention that if it sounded good like that I would order another body and build a second guitar. To my dismay I found out that Warmoth had been sold and they were no longer making any 7/8 scale parts. Worse yet, they had even tossed out the old templates. So now my StratStang is literally a one-of-a-kind.

To add insult to injury, Warmoth now makes Mustang parts and Fender is producing Mustangs yet again–both right-handed only. Needless to say, my opinion of Warmoth is just as obscene as my opinion of Fender.

Additional photos below. Click thumbnails for larger images.

stratstang 3 stratstang 4 stratstang 6

stratstang 7 stratstang 8

[Authored by: Lonnie]