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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

1989 American Standard Strat, near mint, should I?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by expat701, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. expat701

    expat701 Tele-Meister

    Mar 9, 2009
    San Francisco
    Hi, I've stumbled across a left handed 1989 Am Std Strat in near mint condition. I can get it for $1,000 with the original hard case. It's got a maple fret board with minimal fret wear. The guitar appears to have lived it's life in the hard case. I'm thinking about it.... Your thoughts? Was the late 80's a good era for Strats? How does the price sound?

    -- Wayne

  2. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 2, 2006
    I don't know what your prices are in Australia. In the US you can get a new Am Std for $1000 or less, my local Sam Ash has a used late 80s Am Std on the wall for $800.
    I would think used lefties would be a little rare by you, they aren't all too common up here.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012

  3. expat701

    expat701 Tele-Meister

    Mar 9, 2009
    San Francisco
    Over here a new Am Std is about $1,500. Lefties are rare in the used market. I am also considering a brand new 2012 Strat or even a Deluxe Strat.

    I used to own a 1988 Am Std, I sold it onto a friend and always regretted it... I suppose I'm considering this one as a replacement to the one I sold.

  4. Rod Parsons

    Rod Parsons Friend of Leo's

    Sep 26, 2009
    Winchester, Va.
    That is a very early year for the "new" Fender Co., after CBS. I think they are very good guitars. I have a 1995 and I like it a lot. I bought it new. I think that if you want a nice Strat, then try it and see. And it's left handed, too! About a third off the price for a new one over there.... that's good... Your lucky day?? better hurry! Good luck to you..

  5. twangplank

    twangplank Tele-Afflicted

    May 29, 2010
    Valliant Okla
    I have an 88 USA standard tele. Had it for years and its a good playing guitar. Not wild about the pups in it but a replacement set fixes that. If you like it I'd say jump. There are few draw backs if any to that era.

  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    Things I like about that era of MIA strat- Almost everything.

    Thing I don't like- The body is wrong. Around '95/'96 they went back to the much deeper contours, more reminiscent of the 50's models. I like this a LOT. The earlier American Standards have much more shallow contours, meaning the bodies are thicker in the tummy contour and at the arm bevel. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not my preference.

    FWIW, I didn't realize I preferred the more contoured bodies until I got a '57 RI, and a '96 Am. Std., which both had much deeper contours. Until I tired those, I was very happy with early American Std. guitars. I still like them a lot, I just prefer the deeper contours.

    I also happen to really like those early Am. Std. pickups. Low output, extremely "stratty" in a classic sense to my ears. I also really like the TBX tone control on the bridge pickup on those models. Very cool feature.

    For $1K? I was gonna tell you to pass, but then saw you're in Australia. If a new one is around $1500, and this one is clean, I think that's a fair deal. Don't know about over there, but here in the good ol' USA Fender upcharges for lefties. So even here, I don't think $1K for a mint lefty would be a terrible price. Not good, but not terrible. I think in your neck of the woods, it's probably worth grabbing if you like the guitar.

  7. expat701

    expat701 Tele-Meister

    Mar 9, 2009
    San Francisco
    Thanks guys, you've given me much food for thought.

  8. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 19, 2007
    Houston, Tx.
    I have an 87 Am Stndrd Strat that I bought new. It was one of the first ones I ever saw and has an "E4" serial number--a left over decal from when U.S. standard strat production stopped in 84. I still have it and it still sounds good. I have never done anything to it other than change the strings. I like the pickups. Flat poles, not hot, clear and snappy, with lots of quack in 2 & 4. Sounds like early Dire Straights. The TBX is nice because it gives the bridge pup almost a tele type bite when full up, or you can roll back the tone on the bridge pup. Nice comfortable neck w/ a satin finish. On the down side, the tremolo has a thin block, and I believe it has a swimming pool route, but I have never taken the pickguard off. The tremolo works well and the guitar stays in tune well. I have heard that some strats from that era, especially the sunburst finishes, have veneered bodys, but mine doesn't. It is black and you can clearly see a center seam in the light and it appears to be only two pieces. Mine seems to have pretty deep contours, much more so than 70's strats. Perhaps the body was originally destined for a 50s or 60's re-issue, as it was the first run of the Am Stndrds. Anyway, $1000 for a lefty in Austrailia sounds like a good price on a good guitar. As noted, they are a bit cheaper here.

  9. tazzboy

    tazzboy Former Member

    May 5, 2005
    Have you try the guitar out to see how it sounds and how it plays?

  10. DonMI6

    DonMI6 Tele-Holic

    Jan 5, 2012
    Maitland, Australia
    Just got a new Am Std Strat a few weeks ago, it was around $1500 as Expat says. I'd seriously look at any American Strat for $1000, there would have to be something seriously wrong with it (like being left handed) to put me off at that price.

  11. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Tele-Holic

    Mar 23, 2012
    Perth, Australia
    There's something about strats from this period for mine (late 80s/early 90s). I've owned a 1989 Am Std Strat since new - it's best playing/sounding strat i've ever owned bar none. Nothing wrong with the quality at all.

    I saw a 1990 Am Std maple neck/sunburst listed on Ebay just last week and spent all night amping myself to buy it... by the time I had the credit card ready it was gone :(

    FWIW - you can import a brand new Am Std Strat for around $1000 - $1100... considering exchange rates $900-ish for the guitar and $150-ish for shipping.

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