Fender Classic Series 70's Stratocaster

Price Paid: 
$849.99 CAN
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
Other
Body wood(s): 
Ash
Neck wood: 
Maple
Fretboard: 
Maple
Fretboard Scale: 
25.5
Number of frets: 
21
Pros: 

 

 

This guitar plays great, and sounds really nice, given that it has just stock Vintage style pickups, I am pleasantly surprised. The cleans are great, although I don't play with a super clean sound very often, I would imagine that if you did this would be a fine sound for you. The distorted tones are smooth and pleasant, the guitar sustains really well.

Action is good, and given that this Stratocaster has a 7.25" radius neck I was still able to get it to a nice height, 1/16" at 17th fret treble and 5/64" bass side without a buzz.

The tremolo is what you would expect from a stock Fender, fine for classic rock, will not stay in tune if you go crazy with divebombs and the like.  Tremolo block is a big piece of cast zinc, so this probably doesn't resonate much, and that may contribute to the sound in a negative way, but as I said, it sounds good, so I don't worry about it.

The guitar looks great, the natural finish looks very nice in person, even more so than it did in the pictures. I love the large 70s headstock and decal style, most of my favorite Stratocaster players used this style guitar. The tuning keys are replicas of the 70s style ones, and have the safety post style common on older Fenders. Personally I like that, more than the conventional post with an eyelet in it.

The neck shape is a thin 'U' shape. By that I mean it has a lot of shoulder, but it is not nearly as thick front to back as you would find on a 50s telecaster which is more like a boat. Very easy to get around on.

No idea what the long term issues may or may not be for the 3 bolt neck, I see nothing wrong at this point. 

Guitar sounds fantastic for 70s style material, such as Deep Purple, Robin Trower, etc. Would probably suit any classic rock application, even some early Judas Priest and or Iron Maiden. Not suitable for really modern metal sounds, but neither am I. 

Cons: 

Some fret sprout, likely due to the interminable Canadian winters and the forced air heating, which is a lot different than what it would have seen in Mexico when built. I addressed this with a file, and this is all good now. If you are not comfortable working on the frets, a few dollars with a luthier will see you right. With modern wood supply (i.e. all green wood) and my country's climate, this is just a fact of life. The most serious con was the following, the guitar had clearly been used and returned, it was missing the Fender literature, Allen/Hex keys, the tremolo sticker had been removed (the one that holds in the little spring), and the strings were changed to a different brand (I would have done that anyway). I bought it online at lamusic.ca, and I contacted them via their customer service email about this, still no reply back, so I am assuming I am being ignored despite the several thousand dollars worth of gear I have bought from them over the years. The guitar is actually fine, that is not the point though, I paid for a new one, and they are supposed to have their guitars in a warehouse, i.e. you are not supposed to get one off the floor. Anyhow I wrote them a rather nasty review given their lack of customer response, we will see if that gets me anywhere. All I really want is an admission of guilt and the set of Allen Keys (purely because I keep a set with each guitar, so I don't want to have to pillage my other Stratocasters). We will see what transpires.

Summary: 

Overall I am happy with the guitar, very happy in fact, and I would recommend it to others, but the buying experience was a bit of downer for reasons detailed above. I will have to find a different place to shop I suppose, which is a disappointment. (Update, spoke to their customer service, and they offered to take the guitar back, but since I wanted to keep it, they have sent me the Allen Keys and other case paraphernalia).

Overall Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)