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The Strat history and models

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Fretmeltkid, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    I have been trying to research the true timeline for The Strat model
    late 70s early 80s
    I know they came with two different headstock designs with the later version having the more vintage look post Dan Smiths arrival
    but what other differences did they have over the period of production?
    Is the hardware, pickups etc the same throughout?

    I there anyone on here with knowledge of the breed?
     
  2. Alan Crossley

    Alan Crossley Senior Stratmaster

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    There are numerous books available for you which should give you all the information you need. I recently bought a book which is marketed under the “Haynes” brand, who are better known for their automotive manuals. It’s called “Fender Stratocaster Manual”. It’s not the definitive story of the Stratocaster, but a reasonable start and quite a nice reference for many Stratocaster questions.
     
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  3. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

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    Haynes really makes a Strat Manual? That's pretty interesting.
    Does it show how to set the tone distributor for maximum rapid-firing picking efficiency? :D:D:D:D
     
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  4. Alan Crossley

    Alan Crossley Senior Stratmaster

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    On page 1 :eek:
     
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  5. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    Its the actual Strat model i am looking to find out about

    like this
     

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  6. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Do you mean "The STRAT" ?

    I was a Fender dealer during the time it was available.
    I only saw one headstock style.
    There may have been unusual variations, but that should be fairly rare.

    Hardware was the same throughout with X1 bridge pickup and S1 switch.
     
  7. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    Yes the "Strat" did revert to the old style smaller head around 82 as far as i was concerned
    but here is a video from Norms of a 1980 model with small head
    Im confused now and sat looking at one that doesn't add up!!! hence me trying to nail some firm history of the type
     
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  8. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

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  9. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm not an expert but I know a little. AFAIK they only ever came with an attempt (apparently it's a mile out) at a pre-cbs style headstock.

    They were made in '80 at first and as they handnt finished a full set of the gold (actual gold- madness) harware, early ones come with chrome / nickel tuners- something I had to double check on purchase!

    I'll try and find a video I used which I found very useful when reading up.
     
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  10. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Here you go, I found this very informative.

     
  11. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    they did come with a better head stock though see the norm video and check images online
    there is definitely a switch over to a more realistic head stock but when ???
     
  12. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    here is the headstock switch over
    does anyone know anymore?
     

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  13. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    same headstock, just one is colour matching.............
     
  14. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Ah I think I understand what you’re getting at now it’s just twigged. I assume you mean that during the dan smith era they “corrected” the shape, I assumed you thought they started with a CBS style one- do forgive me.
    No idea when that will have kicked in but I’d assume ‘82 ‘83 ish with it being a dan smith thing
     
  15. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Just remembered, the early ones came with a plastic blade switch too
     
  16. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    There was a slight headstock change - The STRAT originally had the small headstock Fender used on the Lead series in 1980-1981; when the Dan Smith revised Strats came out in 1982 The STRAT changed over to that headstock for the final year or so of production. It's a subtle change; you almost need to see them side-by-side but the 1982 models have a slight curve to the underside of the headstock while the 1980-81s have that edge perfectly straight like a Lead series guitar. Now as to when in 1982 that change happened I couldn't tell you - whether it was at the beginning of the year or as the year went along. I suspect it was as they used up the STRAT necks that with the Lead shape they switched them to the Smith Strat necks (i.e. instead of taking a batch of rough-cut Lead necks and finishing them with The STRAT decals and painted headstocks and taking a batch of rough-cut Smith Strat necks for The STRAT).

    I don't remember exactly when in 1980 that The STRAT was released; I first saw one in mid-late summer and it did have the same headstock as my '79 Lead II. I thought that The STRAT retained that headstock throughout it's life, but it was being on this site and seeing photos of 1982s that showed me that yes, Fender did change them to the Dan Smith 1982 headstock (although technically the Dan Smith models came out in late 1981; they overlapped the last of the big headstock models). The STRAT was discontinued in early 1983, clearing the way for the 1983 Standard and Elite models.
     
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  17. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    It certainly does seem to be a period of confusion and lack of information
    Its never cropped up before because I have had little to do with the type but now I am knee deep in the topic I realise i have very little to go on as little has been documented
    The Guitar at Norms is listed as a 1980 but with the smaller headstock!!
     
  18. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    here is the first "The Strat" headstock i can recall
     

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  19. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    here is the later one
    but I am now of the opinion these were around in 1980
    ef3r.jpg
     
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