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The visual guide to the stratocaster years

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by hendrixfan, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    and now the year i was born 1972
    1972 STRATOCASTER CHARACTERISTICS
    from Fender Stratocaster, Buy, Sell, Learn, Vintage, Collectible, Used Strats
    Specs: A second "butterfly" string tree added in late 1972. Read all...
    This year also saw the introduction of the natural finish.



    Type: 1972 Stratocaster
    Serial #: Unknown
    Remarks: This is Yngwie Malmsteen's most popular instrument, a.k.a. the "Play Loud Strat" or "The Duck". It's often been used on his albums and on stage, and was the subject of an August 1994 "Guitar World" special.
     

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  2. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    another 72

    Type: 1972 Stratocaster
    Serial #: Unknown
    Remarks: A standard 1972 Stratocaster. The staggered pole pickups have grey bottoms (not visible, obviously). Serial number on the neckplate.
     

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  3. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    i,m gonna leave it a 1972,i,ll carry on tommorow.i,m going to bed,hope ya enjoying it so far lol
     
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  5. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    i can do some more, im not goin to bed for another six hours
     
  6. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Type: 1973 Mocha Brown Stratocaster
    Remarks: This is colored Mocha Brown, which was a new custom color released in '73

    Specs: Sees the first use of a black pickguard from the factory, but only in the new-for-1973 Custom Color, "Mocha Brown".
     

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  7. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Type: 1974 Stratocaster

    Specs: Around mid-year, the pickup poles become level (flush), replacing the uneven or"staggered" poles. However, staggered pole pickups have been found in Strats with pots dating as late as the 39th week of 1974.
     

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  8. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Type: 1975 Blonde Stratocaster

    Specs: Black plastic begins to replace white: pickguard (three layered), knobs and pickup covers. Transition to black is slow and not uniform, so some Strats from this period may, for example, have a black pickguard and white pickup covers and knobs. The occassional "mix and match" transition will continue through 1977.
     

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  9. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Type: 1976 Natural Stratocaster

    Specs: Headstock logo decal now includes serial number, the letter representing the decade ("S" for 1970s) and the first number representing the year ("S6"=1976).
     

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  10. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Type: 1977 Black Stratocaster

    Specs: No substantial changes from 1976 except the 5-way pickup selection swtich becomes standard. Transition to black plastic continues. Some Strats still leave the factory with variations, such as shown below.
     

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  11. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Type: 1978 White Stratocaster

    Specs: No substantial changes since 1976. Model below with unusual factory ordered tortoise-style pickguard.
     

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  12. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Now to 1979, 25 years after the release of the first Stratocaster!

    Type: 1979 Stratocaster

    Specs: While the basic model bears no substantial changes from 1976, 1979 is the 25th Anniversary of the Stratocaster and Fender produces its first "Anniversary Strat" (second image below in Porshe Silver). The 1979 Anniversary Strat has a four bolt neck and locking tuners. Third image: Antigua finish.
     

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  13. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 4, 2009
    Central Ohio
    This will be the last year i do, i will let hendrixfan finish up tomorrow

    Type: 1980 'Strat', Hendrix Prototype

    Specs: Although the standard model still has the features of the 1976 Stratocaster, Fender adds two new models to the lineup: the "Strat" (image number one below) and the Hendrix. The "Strat" has a smaller, though inaccurate, headstock; a four-bolt neck attachment (and no bullet); and a somewhat hotter bridge pickup called the X-1. It also features a new pickup selection system that allows for nine different combinations. The Hendrix model was a very limited run. Some say 25 were made, and others claim it never got past the building of prototypes. Featured a reversed headstock and four bolt neck. Second image is of a Hendrix Prototype
     

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  14. Bruster

    Bruster Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    39
    533
    Jul 4, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Really great thread guys, thank you.
     
  15. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    And so we arrive in what is considered the worst period in fender history




    1981-1984




    This period is generally regarded as the worst. Even CBS already knew things were not going like they ought to, and in the latter half of this period, they were unambiguously looking to sell Fender. It is a period of cost cutting 'improvements' on guitars...





    Bridge detail
    Headstock detail Type: 1980/1981 "The Strat"
    Serial #: E024846
    Remarks: Guitar with brass hardware (apparently 22k gold-plated). Rosewood fretboard. The bottom tone knob enables a second tier of pickup selections on the 5 way selector lever, thus allowing for 9 pickup configuration selections. It has a five-way selector switch, too. It's hard to see here, but the headstock of "The Strat" is different from all previous Stratocaster models - they didn't look at the original when they designed this. Some call it 'mutated'. Check out the detail.
    The Strat was originally released in two finishes: Candy Apple Red and Lake Placid Blue. Later it also became available in Lake Placid White.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  16. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    1981 stratocaster
    Type: 1981 'International Color' Stratocaster
    Serial #: S954958
    Remarks: In 1981, Fender released a number of new Stratocaster finishes, categorized as 'international colours'. This is the Monaco Yellow version. The serial number seems to indicate a 1979 date. This is incorrect and shows that serial number dating is not always entirely accurate.:twisted:
    Type: 1981 'International Color' Stratocaster
    Serial #: Unknown
    Remarks: In 1981, Fender released a number of new Stratocaster finishes, categorized as 'international colours'. This is the Sahara Taupe version.
     

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  17. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    1982 STRATOCASTER CHARACTERISTICS
    from Fender Stratocaster, Buy, Sell, Learn, Vintage, Collectible, Used Strats
    Specs: The Standard Stratocaster is introduced at the January, 1982, Winter NAMM Show. Also known as the "Dan Smith Stratocaster", it features a look back to the pre-CBS period: four bolt neck attachment, body end truss rod adjustment (no headstock bullet), and a smaller, pre-CBS headstock (though the large, black, CBS-style logo is retained until 1983). The Standard Stratocaster also features the X-1 bridge pickup first introduced in the 1980 "Strat" (which accounts for the yellow wire leading from the bridge pickup in the sixth image below). Also introduced this year are two "reissue" models: the 1957 and 1962 American Vintage Reissues. Read all...



    1982 Type: 1982 'Gold Edition' Stratocaster
    Serial #: Unknown
    Remarks: Notice the small headstock with the large logo.
     

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  18. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    so here we are 1983 my era
    1983 STRATOCASTER CHARACTERISTICS
    from Fender Stratocaster, Buy, Sell, Learn, Vintage, Collectible, Used Strats
    Specs: The 1981-82 Standard Stratocaster ("Dan Smith") is phased out in favor of a revised Standard Stratocaster featuring only one volume knob and one tone knob. Most of the Smiths built in 1983 before this transition have a new headstock logo decal style. This new logo decal will be be used in the 1987 American Standard. Also introduced in 1983 is the Elite Stratocaster with a "Freeflyte" tremolo system and Alnico pickups with solid covers (they are not Lace Sensor pickups). Read all...
    Type: 1983 '57 Reissue Stratocaster
    Serial #: V005487
    Remarks: The cleanest example of a vintage 1983 Fullerton plant 1957 RI Stratocaster you ever saw - a lightweight, collector quality museum piece. Still has every piece of case candy including the case keys, Allen wrenchs, polishing cloth, extra switch, strap, owner's manual, warranty card, chrome ashtray, etc. These are some of the finest hand built Stratocasters ever produced by Fender, bar none. This one is owned by the Strat Central webmaster.
    You can easily distinguish the '57 from the '62 Vintage Reissue on account of their maple or rosewood fretboards respectively. They both have their serial numbers engraved on the neck plate.
     

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  19. aidB

    aidB Strat-Talker

    222
    Jan 29, 2009
    Northants UK
    Fascinating reading. Keep up the good work. :D

    Maybe keep it sticky?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  20. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    ok were in the 80,s now 83 to be precise lets take a detour into Fender Japan




    A lot has been said about the quality of Japanese Fender guitars. The bottom line, however, seems to be that often they're as good as or better than US models (in particular the 90's reissue models). US model superiority is largely a myth, though in general Japanese guitars are made of basswood, which is considered inferior to the regular ash or alder.
    Be that as it may, the Japanese Fender factory started life as a copycat and didn't get on the 'official' side of things until somewhere in the early 80's. They have been producing fine guitars ever since.



    Type: 1977 Super Sound '68 Reissue Natural Ash Stratocaster
    Serial #: H772967
    Remarks: Greco was one of Japan's famous (or infamous) Gibson lawsuit copy makers in the 70’s and 80’s. Greco actually was pre-Fender Japan. In 1981 Greco stopped making Fender replicas (due to the impending lawsuit) and were bought out by Fender Japan in 1982. At that time those same guys switched and basically just changed the stamping and the headstock sticker to "Fender Japan JV-Series Guitars" a.k.a. the Japanese Vintage series.
    It has a stock '68 style maple neck. The woods chosen were of the highest quality. It has the classic ’68 4-bolt neck. The wood is old-growth wood with tight grain.
     

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  21. hendrixfan

    hendrixfan Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Jan 17, 2009
    England
    Type: 1982 Squier JV (Japanese Vintage) Stratocaster
    Serial #: JV021xx
    Remarks: Neck date is 19 May 1982.
     

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