Strat copies which try to be their own thing, how the Non-Fender strat evolved over the years.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Blazer, Nov 6, 2019 at 9:55 PM.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well, there's no doubt about that the Czech made Futurama was the very first strat copy and yet it's its own thing.


    As this clip showcases, on account of its three rocker switches which could turn each pickup on or off, it actually could do those typical Strat "quack" tones before the strat itself could do those.

    Another early Analog for a real strat came from Hagstrom, which not only aped the specs of three single coils and a whammy bar but also copied the shape and the shape of the headstock.
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    And yet again, it so clearly is its own thing.

    Come the seventies and the copy era arrives with Japan supplying the west with Ibanez, Aria, Tokai and Fernandes which copy the strat to minute detail, using real vintage Strats as examples.
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    A 1978 Fernandes, this very clearly was NOT its own thing.

    So the boffins at Fender seeing somebody other than they themselves making strats, decided to take action and what we now know as the "Lawsuit" era came to be, in which the courts decided that those Japanese builders (and everybody else for that matter) couldn't built exact copies anymore.

    It resulted in companies being forced to start designing their own strat-style models, which were different enough not to be called a copy and yet were very obviously made to cater for that market of people who discovered how good those Japanese made strat copies were. After all: they still were made in the same factories and by the same people who made those copies in the first place.
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    Ibanez came up with the Roadster, which even now, offered quite a huge bang for the buck.

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    Yamaha gave us the "Super Combinator" series, which, much like the Ibanez got you a stellar guitar for not that much money.
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    An early eighties Westone Concord.

    But not just the Japanese were feeling the heat as Peavey offered the T-26 as an alternative for the strat.
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    And PRS was offering the EG series
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    All of them Strat alikes but clearly their own thing.

    But then as the eighties turned into the nineties something shifted. Apparently making a strat alike but having it be its own thing was no longer important, as the focus went to "Make a strat and make it as close to a Fender as possible."
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    THIS is a 1981 G&L S-500

    And THIS is a 1991 G&L S-500
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    The reason was simple, if people wanted to have a strat, they'd BUY a strat and not a guitar which aped the Strat's specs but otherwise was its own thing.

    But it does seem like the trend is moving back again to having strat-alikes which are their own thing.
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    The current model G&L Skyhawk.

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    The Current Music man Cutlass.
     
  2. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Neat.
    Kinda like...Most cars have 4 wheels. Once someone figured out what works every one else just followed along.
     
  3. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Nice rundown! As an FYI the EBMM Cutlass uses the shaped of the Leo-era MM Sabre guitar, but the Sabre was a 2-humbucker, fixed bridge guitar.

    Also with G&L - only the Skyhawk models are the original G&L/Leo shape (but there are 3 versions - the CLF Research version you linked to plus 2 "Fullerton Standard" versions - one with the 3 MFD single coils and one with 2 humbuckers) but all of their other double-cutaway models are the traditional Strat shape.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019 at 10:02 AM
  4. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Meister

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    cutlass is a great guitar. I regret selling mine.

    I'll add Ibanez Talman and Music Man Silhouette Special to this list.

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  5. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    Definitely - actually the EBMM Silhouette (the 24-fret) version goes back to 1986, and could be had in an SSS configuration until the 22-fret Silhouette Special came out in 1995/96.
     
  6. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice rundown on strat copy history. Thanks! My contribution, 80's Super Strat period---a Electra Westone Spectra.
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  7. knopflerfan

    knopflerfan Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice post - cool of you to find all those pics.
     
  8. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for reminding me of the Ibanez Talman, I wasn't quite sure that they were still making a Strat analog.

    But then I remembered a second one, the Andy Timmons signature model.
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  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Vox Spitfire
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    Music Man Albert Lee
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  10. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Peavey Raptor Plus I bought in late September fits in this category somewhere. Strat-ish, but its own thing in several respects. The headstock shape is not remotely Strat, the body shape may arguably be said to remotely Strat-like, but is its own thing in terms of siize of horn, asymmetrical shape, etc. It has to control knobs, not three.
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  11. cat dude

    cat dude TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for posting!
     
  12. Donny Osmond fan

    Donny Osmond fan Tele-Holic

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    Burns Of London.

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  13. tintag27

    tintag27 Tele-Afflicted

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    Good thread, Blazer - as always, thought-provoking informative and entertaining!
     
  14. Lacking Talent

    Lacking Talent Tele-Holic

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    My Peavey T-26 sounded just like a really good hardtail Strat, but I wanted a little more "oomph" from the bridge position so I sold it and then acquired a T-27 Limited. These models are quite undersung (and still, to a degree, undervalued) instruments that, contrary to a widely-held misperception, are literally pounds lighter than early production T-60 guitars, and weigh no more than the average S-style guitar.

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