Up for sale, a 1980 Fender "The Strat" Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for a modern vibrato arm. A short-lived upscale iteration of the Stratocaster platform, this Strat was essentially a premium version of the Dan Smith Strat model, with features including a small Pre-CBS style headstock shape with a custom color Lake Placid Blue finish and hardware plated in 22k gold. An extremely expensive guitar for Fender to produce and a real stunner both visually and tonally, this guitar has its original pickup complement, with the storied higher output X-1 bridge position single coil, as well as Fender's first attempt at the S-1 feature (substituting the second tone knob for a two-way rotary tone switch that offers five additional pickup combinations). The result is a rich and textured take on the classic Strat tonal profile, with the clear, balanced sound of an alder body, and the articulation and note attack of a maple fretboard. The trio of single coils offer up plenty of snap and bite, with the X-1 bridge pickup offering a big, bold sound that has become a cult favorite among Fender aficionados. The guitar weighs 10lbs, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with low action, accurate intonation, and fresh 10-46 strings.
The maple neck has a U-shaped neck profile carve with deep shoulders and ideal substance, measuring .870" deep at the 1st fret and .960" at the 12th. The original slender frets are remarkably clean and retain their full factory height, showing just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3 and virtually no wear further up the fretboard. The guitar plays well in all registers, and notes ring out clearly with a sweet, singing quality. The brass nut measures 1 5/8" in width, and the tuners are original early Schaller-made and Fender-branded gears that turn very smoothly with clean chrome plating.
The electronics include the original trio of pickups, five-way blade pickup selector switch, and original CTS pots which date to the 34th week of '80. The body routes are original and untouched, and the guitar shows just a touch of greening in the clear coat when comparing the exposed finish and that which is protected beneath the pickguard. The original vibrato has a smooth and even response, with the unique high mass brass block used on this model, embossed with the Fender name and plated in gleaming 22k gold. The trio of F-embossed gold-plated metal knobs are intact too, and the original pickguard rounds out the cosmetic appointments.
The original custom color gloss Lake Placid Blue finish is an icy shade, 100% original with no touchup or overspray. Cosmetic wear is limited to pick wear extending above the pickguard on the bass side, with light buckle rash central to the back, a couple scuffs adjacent to the belly contour, and a few minor marks on the lower bout body edge. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and un-ambered.
A vintage black tolex hardshell case with blue plush interior is included.