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Best model/age of used Strat to go for.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by scubadoo, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never had a strat. Would love an AVRI or one of the new American Originals but I'm probably looking to spend less as I'm also buying an American Originals JM.

    I have no idea what to look for, which models or years are considered a safe bet to getting a nice guitar.

    Nitro finish would be preferable but I guess that would limit the options somewhat. looking for all singlecoils and a rosewood neck.

    I've built plenty of guitars so very happy to mod anything as well.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated on this glorious, sunny, frost day in the UK!

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  2. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    2008-2012 American Standards are great. Good pickups with slightly more modern voicing so a beefier bridge sound, bent saddles, nice thin finish.

    If you want more of a 50s tone, the 2012s onwards changed to Fat 50s pickups. They also added aged white plastics and I think mint guards.

    All the American Standards are great, though. A definite step up from the Mexican models thanks to a lot of small features and details.

    For a vintage spec, see if you can find a Mexican classic 50s or 60s (they did lacquer versions too). Nice guitars and cheap.

    So many other models... Do you have a preference for radius and neck profile?
     
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  3. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Holic

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    Save some money. In my humble opinion the Roadhouse Strat is the best deal out there in Stratland.
    Noiseless pickups, a decibel boost and locking tuners. It's a Clapton and one better. $800 or so and you're set.
     
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  4. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Matthias. Probably prefer a 9.5" radius and a comfortable C-shape (but will happily play most necks) . Don't mind thick necks.

    I normally play my Tele's and Les Paul, but every time I watch That Pedal Show I keep drooling over Mick's sonic blue strat!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  5. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    I remember trying one of those years ago and liking it. Thanks.
     
  6. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Just get an American Standard ,any year will do.
     
  7. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    My first Strat was a Deluxe Roadhouse, with the 12" radius and pre-amp. Really nice guitar... But ultimately I wanted something with a rounder fretboard, and I ended up with a used '99 Am Std. In between I played every Strat I could put my hands on. When I plugged in the '99 and strummed an E chord that's all it took, I knew this was the one for me.

    So my advice is... Everyone will have advice, but ultimately when you find the one you love you'll know it. Start with models with the specs you know you want, but remain open to the idea that you may end up being surprised by a guitar that was off your radar to start.

    Good luck, and have fun! The hunt itself can be very rewarding.
     
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  8. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    For quality and value for money, an American Standard will get you one of the best non-CS Fender necks with that spec. Mine's ridiculously easy to play.

    Also check out the all-single-coil American Specials if you can find one. They have vintage-style trems and a satin neck, where the Standards have gloss fingerboards and Headstock face and two-point trems. The Specials came with Texas Special pickups, at least for some of the run - oh, and a big headstock!
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Get a used MIM. Very good guitar for reasonable money. If you need the MIA brand then you pay for the premium.
    The older MIM Standards with ceramic magnets work if pickups are lowered to the pickguard and not put at text book spec heights written for Alnico which are weaker magnets. Ceramic gives more rock drive ability.
    The recent Player Series has alnico magnet pickups and need to be higher from the pickguard to give the same output. Old country cleans if lower.

    As you plan, only classic SSS. Otherwise you miss some famous tones and it's redundant with HH guitars you have or may get.

    However, I do the Armstrong Blender mod on all mine. Wiring only change where the second tone pot is converted to a blender to go between classic SSS and HSH series humbucking. Quite useful to thicken up tones if needed from time to time. Or cover needs of a Les Paul.

    Look for a few pedals to enhance the Stratty-ness:
    Joyo American Sound $30
    Fuzz pedal type ... Azor Fuzz (max fuzz to clean amp and turn strat volume down to clean) $20
    Tube Screamer type overdrive ... Golden Horse mini $28


    .
     
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  10. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on the American Standard. My first Strat was a 1988 American Standard. I will never part with this guitar. To this day, it plays better than all of my other guitars.
     
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  11. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    The one you like.
     
  12. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

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    I never really bonded with Strats until I spent some money and went with an AO. I don’t love the idea of spending the asking price for US guitars with plastic finishes. Just my personal preference.
     
  13. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is money an object ???
    A buddy of mine in my college years had a real 1957 (a 20 year old guitar at the time)... 40 years later I haven't played anything approaching it ...
     
  14. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another vote for an American Standard of any year. I haven't ever played one that wasn't a wonderful guitar. I've got a '96, friend has a '93; both are great guitars. Lot of them out there for around $700.

    Cheaper you can go with a MIM Standard and then upgrade the pickups. Everything else is solid. I've got a '99 with Tex Mex pickups in it.
     
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  15. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    You said you’ve built plenty of guitars. That to me is the answer staring you in the face. Partscaster can be exactly what you want and probably just as cost efficient. Strat seems like the easiest too because usually you can just buy a loaded pick guard with whatever pickups you want.
     
  16. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Afflicted

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    image.jpg I never had a Strat either so I went with a used Player Strat for my first foray into Stratdom. Now I like Strats.

    I was thinking about putting Custom ‘69 Strat pickups in it but that can wait for later.

    My next Strat will probably by a used Eric Johnson model with the vintage maple neck and 12” radius fretboard in 2-color sunburst.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
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  17. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Best? What do you mean?
     
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  18. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Respectfully.....and NOT being "snarky".....I would never go out looking for a guitar based strictly on "series" name. If you want a Stratocaster, look at STRATOCASTERS. Unless you're building one yourself, you're already buying one that someone else picked the specifics.....and that's as random as you can get. If you don't already have specific requirements in mind, I suggest you play as many as you can, until you're hit by a thunderbolt. (or give up in sheer exhaustion) Asking other people what THEY prefer is pointless......who knows what my choices do for you? Go play a BUNCH of guitars, and good luck.....who knows WHAT you'll end up with? ;)
     
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  19. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a 2000 AmStd. It's been a great guitar
     
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  20. '51 geezer

    '51 geezer Tele-Meister

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    There are a couple on Reverb right now in the 600 (USD) range. About 820 new at Sweetwater.
     
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