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1988 American Standard

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by LegacyCore, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. LegacyCore

    LegacyCore New Member!

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    Just picked up this '88 American Standard that the music store had labeled as an '84. All original, very good condition came with original hard case, strap, tools ect. Paid $700 for it so knowing it was a post CBS guitar at that price I felt it was a good deal. Anyways, I took the neck off to confirm it was a post CBS guitar and found the neck date on it. So the neck is at least a very early '88 neck, I know that does not mean the body is an '88...

    And that leads me to why I'm making this post. So I'm guessing on the neck is the builder's initials? RCPA is what I'm able to make out. Is this right? Or do these letters mean something else?

    Also... Can anybody make out anything on the neck pocket of the body?? I sure can't, what do you all think? 67404252_1321026818052202_319959322496860160_n.jpg 67220907_2377334575909971_118597915491958784_n.jpg 67633233_2648993461777334_2052698362636926976_n.jpg 67734740_1917004865065966_7081216312965332992_n.jpg 67892054_2145885402376516_2470948531393789952_n.jpg 67614028_654145238401033_5662281932956762112_n.jpg 67696888_2277360372579367_5207361243232337920_n.jpg 67943258_469227710577908_8353148634040107008_n.jpg 67535551_361526964523101_5077803765201895424_n.jpg
     
  2. rocketscientist

    rocketscientist Strat-Talk Member

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    great looking strat, congratulations!
    that gizmo is for neck the angle (neck tilt) adjustment...through the hole on the neck plate...
     
  3. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    It looks great! Nice case too.
    I think you got yourself a very good deal, congrats!
     
  4. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Looks a nice one.

    Not the original case though.

    A Standard from '88 would have the black ABS case with large impressed Fender on it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Is the serial number an E4 or E8?

    Looks beautiful. This is my favorite era of Stratocaster.
     
  6. 79olympicwhite

    79olympicwhite Strat-O-Master

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    Yeah you run across that a lot with the E4 serial numbers...most are 87’s as there was limited USA production in 84. Everything looks legit to me (from these pics anyway).
     
  7. macoshark

    macoshark Strat-Talker

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    You did good. Hang onto that baby.
     
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  8. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    HNGD !

    It's a beauty for sure and in great shape for a 31 yo Strat . Congrats !

    Got a pic of the back of the neck ?
     
  9. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yep - it's an American Standard from 1988. Pre American Standard bodies were made differently (different bridge, which had a corresponding different routing that didn't have the spring cavity routed into the back; they used smaller springs mounted under the pickguard).

    Here's the serial number deal:

    In 1983 CBS/Fender introduced new Standard and Elite series instruments - those Standards were the 2-knob Strats and top-loader Teles, the Elites had the active electronics, etc. Neither series sold all that well, their production run was essentially April 1983 until the end of 1984 so Fender never really ran out of the "E3" headstock decals - only a few used the "E4" decals (predominantly the "bowling ball"/swirled finish Standards that were a limited run deal).

    CBS stopped production at the end of 1984 as they prepared to sell the company - which was purchased by the management team in early February 1985 (forming the current company Fender Musical Instrument Company or FMIC); FMIC did not buy the factory in Fullerton, just the intellectual property. They later went back and bought some tools, parts and a few other odds and ends for their new factory in Corona (also during most of 1985 there were only MIJ Fenders during this transition). Among the parts they purchased were stacks of unused headstock decals - a few remaining E3 decals and the mostly unused E4 decals.

    Fender opens up the Corona factory in July 1985, but are doing set-up and training until say October 1985 when limited production of AVRIs restarts. Fender designs the American Standards during 1986, and puts them into production (at least the Strats) circa November/December 1986 as a run-up to their official introduction in January 1987. Fender decides to use the left-over headstock decals on the American Standards.

    They were still using the E4 decals until about the middle of 1988 - I've seen photos of E4 necks with dates as late as June/July 1988 - and move to E8 decals when the E4s are used up. This date run is for Strats; Teles probably took longer as they didn't go into full production until about mid-1987.
     
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  10. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

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    Off topic, but related to John C.'s post above, my '88 Am Std Tele has an E3 decal.

    Meanwhile, that is one beautiful Strat! Always heard good things about those early Am Stds. Apparently, FMIC was still retooling their operations at that point, so the early ones were a lot more "hand tooled" than in later years. I know my Tele is rock solid 31 years later...
     
  11. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Just from what I've seen in photos it seems like there were even more of the E3 decals left over for Teles than for Strats - from what I recall from that era the top-loader Standard and the Elite Teles were even less popular than their Strat cousins. Plus starting production later it took them even longer to use up the old decals.
     
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  12. LegacyCore

    LegacyCore New Member!

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    E4!
     

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  13. LegacyCore

    LegacyCore New Member!

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    Thanks for all the responses! It’s a great guitar for sure, plays and sounds amazing and it really is in great shape.

    Can anybody read any of the markings in the neck pocket?

    Also, am I right to assume the initials on the neck belong to the builder??
     
  14. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I collect 80's and 90's Am Std and Plus parts and assembled a bunch of period-correct partscasters. I like this era of Strats the best. I have an E4, E8, N9, and an N1. They're all vastly different in size and feel but the E4 feels like someone put even more love into it.
     
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  15. Lance071

    Lance071 Strat-Talk Member

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    My first Strat was an '89 American Standard ordered at the time though I don't remember the price. I don't have it any more but I remember the neck being fairly thin and not chunky at all like a vintage model. Maybe to give it a more modern edge for the 80's players? Plus when it did get a chip in the body there was an undercoat of a red, almost candy apple. Can't complain about it at all. I stared at the Fender catalog daily. The Clapton guitars of the time intrigued me, especially in 7-up Green.
     
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