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Stratocaster Hierarchy

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by michaelinokc, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. michaelinokc

    michaelinokc Strat-Talk Member

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    My apologies if this subject has been brought up before, but being new to the world of the Stratocaster, I'm very confused. Gibson models are branded differently and less confusing than Fender models.

    You've got Affinity, Bullet, Squire, Starcaster, MIM, American, American Deluxe, and no telling what other models. Starting at the bottom and working your way up, can you tell me which models are low end and work your way up to the top end?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Going from low-end to high-end (low end first)

    Made in Asia / South Asia / China:

    Starcaster
    Squier Affinity Stratocaster
    Squier Bullet Stratocaster
    Squier Standard Stratocaster
    Squier "Classic Vibe" Stratocaster

    Made in Mexico

    Fender Standard Stratocaster
    (and a bunch of other models)

    Made in U.S.A.

    Fender American Special Stratocaster
    Fender American Standard Stratocaster
    (and anything else that has "American" in the title)
    Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster

    Fender "Select" Series Stratocaster



    I'm sure others can fill in other model names. Those are the ones I'm most familiar with.
     
  3. michaelinokc

    michaelinokc Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks so much. That will truly help me when I start looking for another Strat. I guess I started out on the wrong end. Found a nice American Deluxe with an ash body on craigslist. :)
     
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  5. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    No, that's the right end to start if you have the cash to start there. I have an ash Sienna Sunburst American Standard as my #1 strat, and a really great Fender Standard (MIM) as a backup. I started at the low end with Squiers and worked my way up -- trying lots of different electrics along the way. Once I picked up my MIM and my American Standard, there was no more desire for me to meddle with the lower-end any further. :)
     
  6. VentilatorBlues

    VentilatorBlues Senior Stratmaster

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    You forgot the MIJ Strats:cry:
     
  7. tecladista

    tecladista Strat-Talker

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    Made in China Strats? :D
     
  8. wiryawan

    wiryawan Senior Stratmaster

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    MIJ Strats are somewhere between Mexico and America, MIJ have great quality of body, neck and hardware but they lack of good pickups sometimes.
     
  9. Stratifier

    Stratifier Senior Stratmaster

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    Modern player Fender Strat is chinese.
     
  10. xoso

    xoso Senior Stratmaster

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    think you might have forgotten Custom Shop as well :D

    oh, and signature strats........
     
  11. xoso

    xoso Senior Stratmaster

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    There is a relevant point that comes out of this discussion though and that is that Fender are pretty rubbish at branding their models. OK some will say Squier by Fender and some will say Fender, some will say made in America and orthers will say made in Mexico but beyond that there is no consistent method applied to differentiating the models. OK occasionally if it is a special model it might have something on the neck plate or maybe a custom shop badge on the back of the headstock but more often than not the only way you can tell one model from another is by looking at the swing tags. Gibson at least differentiate les pauls by putting 'studio', 'standard' or 'traditional' on the truss rod covers
     
  12. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Really? I don't think so! There are plenty of Japanese guitars that show up their American competitors, so blanket rules like that are misleading.
     
  13. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yep, it's a good job they mark the model number on a part that can't be easily swapped, isn't it?

    :rolleyes:
     
  14. xoso

    xoso Senior Stratmaster

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    well, you have a point of course. Not saying that is the perfect solution but at least it's something :D
     
  15. michaelinokc

    michaelinokc Strat-Talk Member

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    Wow. That's a lot of different Strats - even more than I thought. :eek: Fortunately I'm pretty happy with the deal I got on my American Deluxe and am going to stand pat for awhile until I can afford another American Strat. I guess anyway.
     
  16. orcslayer

    orcslayer Senior Stratmaster

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    Then there are the Korean models made in the 90's between The Japanese & Chinese periods.

    Especially noteworthy were the Korean "Protone" Strats & Teles which some feel are as good as the MIJ models.
     
  17. gtram

    gtram Strat-Talker

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    Theres also Indonesia
     
  18. Johnny V

    Johnny V Senior Stratmaster

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    How about we stick with defining hierarchy here in terms of price and marketing, like every other response? Seems obvious that's what the OP's question was intended to ask about.
     
  19. vjf62

    vjf62 Strat-Talk Member

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    Philadelphia, PA
    From Fender's website: Fender® Products

    Brands
    Fender (59)
    Squier® (25)

    Price Range
    $100 To $499 ( 18 )
    $500 To $999 ( 22 )
    $1000 To $1499 ( 17 )
    $1500 To $1999 ( 5 )
    $2000 To $2500 ( 18 )
    $2500 and up ( 4 )

    Fender (Roughly in order of most expensive to least)

    Fender® Select (2)
    Artist (16)
    Vintage Hot Rod (2)
    American Vintage (3)
    American Deluxe (6)
    American Standard (3)
    American Special (2)
    Deluxe (4)
    Road Worn® (4)
    Pawn Shop™ (2)
    Classic Player (2)
    Classic (3)
    Highway One™ (1)
    Blacktop™ (3)
    Standard (4)
    Roland® V-Guitar (2)
    Modern Player (1)
    Factory Special Run (1)

    Squier (In order of most expensive to least)
    Classic Vibe (5)
    Artist Models (1)
    Vintage Modified (4)
    Deluxe Models (2)
    Standard (5)
    Affinity (3)
    Bullet (2)
     

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