Stunning 1988 Stratocaster - Legit?

Benrob91

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Hey guys,

Seeking the expert knowledge of this forum and thanking you all in advance!

I’ve come across this 1988 USA Strat in my area, which is stunning. Giving me Gilmour vibes and all seems to check out… Which is why I can’t work out why is hasn’t been snapped up!

It’s up for £750, which I think is a bargain?

Wondering if anyone can spot any warning signs and also if anyone knows what finish was used on these in ‘88 - Urethane?

I know the pickguard has been changed, and comes with the original white one.

As ever, any help is much appreciated and huge thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Ben
 

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Cadillac_Mike

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That seems fishy to me at that price.... Also I've never seen a late 80's USA Standard with the "Gilmour Look" stock. In 1988 I don't think Fender did the "all black with black pickguard and white pup covers" but correct me if I'm wrong...
 

Benrob91

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In that case visually everything else checks out; bridge, tuners, etc. all appear correct for an '88 USA Standard... Price just seems too low which concerns me.
Thanks Mike. Totally agree, it’s either a steal or something is off… that’s why I’ve come here to try and out my concerns to bed and buy it! Thanks for your comments 👍
 

Benrob91

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Appart from the changed pickguard it looks fine and everything checks out.
Yes it's urethane.
The flatpole pickups of this era are my favorite strat pickups ever,especially the bridge one.
Awesome, thanks for the info Nick. Never had an 80’s Strat, super excited to hear the flatpoles. Cheers 👍
 

trev333

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could be 87 or 88, I've got an E4, the burst one is def 87 , the Red one has an E3 # and is '87 as well.. and the modern set up...haven't had the neck off for a while..

yours looks good... :)

87 H'stock1.jpg



87 neck heel.JPG
DSCN4375.JPG
Torino Red 87.JPG
red dates.jpg



E3 red strat.jpg
 

John C

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Looks good to me also; from what I've seen through photos the E4 serial numbers run through to about the middle of 1988. The price is decent - coverts to about $950 - so as long as the condition is good it's reasonable.
 

rdjones

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Examine the area of the body around the bridge posts very carefully for damage, cracks and loose bridge support posts.

There are two types of bridge support hardware on the '80s Standards.
The earliest models from late 1986 to about mid 1987 used a wood screw thread style post that screwed directly into the wood of the body. Beginning sometime in mid-1987 they changed to a machine screw thread with brass inserts.
The early version without the inserts can be prone to cracking, elongation and loosening of the screw in the wood with heavy trem use (depending on the hardness of the wood).
IIRC, the wood screw style have a rounded top, the machine screws are flat-topped.
From the photos it appears that the bridge post screws have rounded tops but are not clear enough to be certain.
In any case the integrity of the bridge mounting should be determined before purchase.

Best regards
 

TeleBackelaer

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That looks like a great find!

Very familiar dent btw. Exactly what happens when you're not using straplocks and are standing in front of one of those three-legged mic stands. Don't ask..
 

Bruxist

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Had one for 30 years and this looks legit.

Should be a slim neck with a satin finish and the body should have pretty shallow contours if you get to lay hands on it.
 

Jakedog

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Looks good to me. Like @Nick Fanis I absolutely love those pickups from the late 80’s and into the 90’s. Just killer. And coupled with the TBX tone control on the bridge pickup, it’s probably my favorite strat electronics package ever.

These are really good guitars. My beef with these early American Standard guitars is the shallow contouring. They’re just thick and clunky feeling in the body. My favorites are the 95-96 Strats. They went back to the correct contours, still had those pickups, and used the TBX tone control on the bridge. In 97 the delta tone electronics hit and they weren’t as cool anymore, to me.
 

Killing Floor

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I think it looks good. Price is low but it’s not a rare collectible so it is not out of line to find one that price range. Lots of people buy guitars and stop playing them. Good get.
 

Bruxist

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Looks good to me. Like @Nick Fanis I absolutely love those pickups from the late 80’s and into the 90’s. Just killer. And coupled with the TBX tone control on the bridge pickup, it’s probably my favorite strat electronics package ever.

These are really good guitars. My beef with these early American Standard guitars is the shallow contouring. They’re just thick and clunky feeling in the body. My favorites are the 95-96 Strats. They went back to the correct contours, still had those pickups, and used the TBX tone control on the bridge. In 97 the delta tone electronics hit and they weren’t as cool anymore, to me.

Truth.

Did they change the neck profile on those mid-90's strats?
 

Jakedog

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Truth.

Did they change the neck profile on those mid-90's strats?
Not that I’ve ever noticed. ‘95 just brought back the original (or damned close) body contours, the original spaghetti style “Fender” logo, moved the serial numbers to the back of the headstock, and brought back the “Original Contour Body” decal on the front.
 

Bruxist

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Not that I’ve ever noticed. ‘95 just brought back the original (or damned close) body contours, the original spaghetti style “Fender” logo, moved the serial numbers to the back of the headstock, and brought back the “Original Contour Body” decal on the front.

Thanks! My 88 had a pretty thin neck and that was about my only gripe about it once I got the pickups adjusted right (which took me years in the pre-internet days). But the stain finish was lovely and it has the most beautiful rosewood board. It is the only piece of it I still have.

But you are def correct on the body contours, they are surprisingly shallow. If you are used to playing a tele, you might like it!
 




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