- May 9, 2019
I could have written this exact post about my old Strat as I look around at prices these days. I even think most modern “relic” or “custom shop” models are in off the charts ridiculous territory price wise. It’s insane that a solid body bolt on neck guitar should cost this much in the age of fantastic precision machine tools that are everywhere in the world.I’ve heard both that vintage Fenders are the Holy Grail, and that they pale in comparison to modern instruments. As the owner of a ‘61 slab board in Olympic White for almost 50 years, IMHO the truth lies somewhere between the two. I can honestly say I prefer my ‘61 to any other Strat I’ve ever played, especially the neck. I love the sound. Value aside, I still wouldn’t trade it for any new Strat.
However, if I didn’t already own it, there is no way I’d spend the kind of money these things sell for to get one. The prices are driven more by collectibility and demand than by the actual quality of the guitar. And each guitar must be judged individually. There were clunkers built in the old days, just as there are clunkers built today.
To put it more succinctly, are they better than current Strats? Generally, yes. Are they worth the current prices? IMHO, no.