Early 90s American Strats - thoughts/experiences?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by cravenmonket, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    I've been looking at a number of these online and wondering if anyone has any direct experience with them? Build quality, finish, stock pickups for this period, etc. Were they making good stuff in the early 90s?

    I started playing guitar seriously around 92-93 so I thought it would be fun to get the sort of instrument that would've been out of my league when I was 14...

    Thanks for your help guys!
     
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  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I’ve had a TON of those. Many dozens. They are good guitars, and crazy consistent. I like the pickups a lot, but they aren’t for everybody. One super cool feature is the TBX tone control wired to the bridge pickup.

    They do not have the correct body contours. They’re contoured like the old MIM Standards. Makes em feel kinda thick and clunky if you’re used to vintage contours. They went back to correct body contours in 1995, and started putting the “contour body” decals on the headstocks again. In 97 they went to the no-load tone control, which I’m not a fan of. In 99 they went to calling it “American Series” instead of American Standard. These got rolled fingerboard edges and staggered tuners and stuff. Just minor upgrades.

    There are some very cool colors available in the early-mid 90’s on American Standards. Midnite Wine, Caribbean Mist, Pewter, Gunmetal Blue, CAR, and some others that aren’t the run of the mill black and sunburst. I prefer off the wall colors so those are the ones I’d be looking for.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  3. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Friend of Leo's

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    I own 3 -'90 Fender Plus guitars with the Lace Sensor pickups and the TBX tone control.

    They're definitely different than a regular standard,but they're considered the testing ground Strats before the introduction of the Fender Custom Shop.

    Some guys don't like or can't get along with the Lace Sensor pickups, but I have no problem with them at all.

    I think they bring a different Strat flavor to the table and since I have 9 Strats, that's fine with me.

    Here's some pics of my Strat Plus guitars:

    [​IMG]

    I don't own the sunburst Plus on the right anymore.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My first electric guitar was a used '91.... hell guitar.... still got it ...:)

    I just thought the tone pot had a pothole mid sweep.... hey, it was used...:rolleyes::lol:

    now I use TBX tone pots with my 2xP90 teles.... no mud on those guitars.. :)

    black strat.jpg


    black strat 2.jpg
     
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  5. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve been very happy with my ‘94.
    They are well regarded, but I understand the 2000’s are really good too.

    Paint, electronics, fretwork are good. The trem has been great.
    Swimming pool routes make them pretty flexible.

    I like the stock pickups, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking of swapping pickups occasionally. For me the neck and middle have been keepers. I swapped the bridge single for a bridge HB. I think of going back to a straight single- fat 50s or something.
     
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  6. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve been very happy with my ‘94.
    They are well regarded, but I understand the 2000’s are really good too.

    Paint, electronics, fretwork are good. The trem has been great.
    Swimming pool routes make them pretty flexible.

    I like the stock pickups, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking of swapping pickups occasionally.

    For me the neck and middle have been keepers. I swapped the bridge single for a bridge HB. I think of going back to a straight single- fat50s or something.
     
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  7. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    Ultra-sweet!

    I’d really like to get one of these, it would be a perfect “birth year guitar”

    The headstock shape bugs me more than the contours, they are what they are though
     
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  8. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    This is fantastic - so helpful! Thank you!

    Thanks to everyone who offered info, too. I've actually had an Indo Squier which had the heavier, chunkier body, and I wasn't keen on it - I much prefer the vintage contours. Didn't realise the American Standards of this era weren't contour body. Thanks!

    They seem to hold their price quite well, so someone is still buying them - $800-$1200 for an early 90s Strat!
     
  9. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Meister

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    I dont even know what year it was. I had one that was grey/silverish. It was a workhorse. Only guitar I had at the time and I played the doo doo out of it. One I wish I had back. Kept it stock until I decided to put a strat sized humbucker in the bridge. Then decided I needed something else...
     
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  10. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    My '94 sunburst American Strandard Strat( my first real Fender, after owning a few Strat copies) was IMO, generic sounding, heavy, re-engineered, and covered in thick poly. It felt 'perfect,' but not tuneful or warm.

    None of these items really hit me, until a few years later it was stolen, and I could not afford to replace this guitar with another Am.Standard.

    So I bought ( '97) a yellow Tex-Mex Strat, which just blew my previous guitar away- it was (is!) lightweight, resonant, much thinner finish, alive, and funky!
    ( parts have been replaced due to 23 years of gigs)
    20200420_151903.jpg
     
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  11. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a '95 American Standard that I bought new in '97, it's a great guitar and will never part with it.

    Some people complain about the "Bath-tub route" under the pick-guard, myself I like it. It makes changing pick-ups to something larger than a single coil easy without having to carve out any wood in the body.

    It had a TBX pot on it, but I swapped it out for a standard tone control and wired the tone pots to where the top pot controls the tone on the neck & middle pick-ups and the lower one controls the bridge pick-up.
     
  12. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    These are definitely the best strats EVER made , here's mine 20200619_105300.jpg
     
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