Up for sale, a 1981 Fender International Series Stratocaster, upgraded with a trio of Lollar Blackface pickups. A limited run custom color model, the International Series instruments lasted only from 1979-81 and were offered in a host of eye-catching custom colors including Monaco Yellow as seen here. With an ash body and one-piece maple neck with a deep U profile carve, this Strat delivers a clear, snappy acoustic tone that translates well through the upgraded boutique Lollar single coils. The "Blackface" set delivers an array of classic Strat tones with full body and punch. The overall tone has a prominent midrange, clear treble, and full bass with a well-defined, piano-like attack. Lollar uses scatterwound wax-potted coils with staggered Alnico 5 magnets degaussed to vintage '60s Strat pickup specs, and the middle pickup is RWRP for that delightful snappy quack in positions 2 and 4 on the five-way blade switch. The guitar weighs a hearty 9lbs 10oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-48 roundwound strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a deep U profile carve with ample shoulder in every register, measuring .885" deep at the 1st fret and .920" at the 12th. The gloss-finished maple fingerboard features a 7 1/4" radius, and the original frets retain their full factory height with well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4 and virtually no wear further up the fretboard. The guitar plays easily up the 25 1/2" scale, and the nut measures 1 5/8" in width. The headstock retains the original Schaller-made Fender F tuners that turn very smoothly and hold pitch well.
All of the electronics function as intended, with the upgraded Lollar Blackface pickup set wired to the original five-way switch and harness, with CTS pots that date to the 20th week of 1980. The neck pickup cavity also retains an original dated sticker from 01/22/81. The original bridge is intact with clean chrome hardware, and the vibrato actuates easily with the original arm and bridge cover (not pictured, but included). The original Monaco Yellow custom color finish is 100% original and very vibrant, with finish checking isolated to the lower bout body edge. Wear on the body is otherwise limited to very light buckle rash just south of the belly contour, and just a few additional minor marks on the body as a whole. On the gloss neck finish, there are dings into the maple on the treble side of the profile carve from frets 1-4 and additional shallow finish chipping adjacent to the skunk stripe.
The original molded rectangular Fender hardshell case is included.