The 1950 release of the Fender Telecaster may have changed the world, but Leo Fender and his partner, George Fullerton, were always looking for ways to improve. By day, they worked long hours in the shop, refining their designs, and at night, they'd haunt juke joints, dance halls and blues clubs to find out what guitarists wanted from their electric guitars -- from the guitarists themselves. Released in 1954, the Stratocaster introduced several new features to Fender guitars -- including a contoured body for more comfortable playing, a double-cutaway to make the higher frets easier to reach, a third pickup between the bridge and the neck to make even more tones available, and a tremolo bar to make notes easier than ever to bend. The large, 8-screw pickguard allowed almost all of the Stratocaster's electronic components to be mounted on one metal plate, making them especially easy to service.
The versatility and playability of the "Strat," combined with its sparkling sound, made it one of the most iconic guitars -- maybe the
most iconic guitar -- in the history of music. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton used them to take guitar artistry to heights no one had imagined before. After seeing what Hendrix could do with them, Ritchie Blackmore bought a Strat and used it to hammer out the immortal riff from "Smoke on the Water." Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pete Townshend, Ritchie Valens... the list of artists who have made history with a Strat could go on forever. Jeff Beck said that with other guitars "[I] just wind up sounding like someone else. With the Strat, I finally sound like me."
The Fender American Vintage '57 Stratocaster Sound
1957 was the height of Fender's acclaimed "maple neck" era, and is known as a benchmark year for the Strat -- three years after its release, minor upgrades from the already stellar original helped the Stratocaster really hit its stride. Over the decades, the revolutionary sound and feel of these iconic guitars matured into a vintage vibe so desirable that original '57 Strats now sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Fender has continued to make great advances with its instruments over the years, but there's nothing quite like the original.
The '57 Strat and the The American Vintage Series
Ronnie Wood has used a '57 Strat as one of his main onstage instruments for years--the allure of playing such a historic axe can be irresistible for serious guitarists. But not everyone makes as much money as the Rolling Stones, and the price tag for an original '57 Strat makes them unattainable for most. Even those who can afford to drop tens of thousands on a guitar will be hard pressed even to find
a true original. But with the American Vintage series, Fender makes that historic feel attainable once again, replicating the original design with painstaking attention to the smallest details. They're made in America, just like the originals, fitted with vintage hardware, and available in the classic '57 colors. They could have just followed the original blueprints, but instead Fender collected the very best originals they could get their hands on, examined them from every angle, and crafted these reissue axes to match. It's one thing to conform to the original spec and look good on paper. It's quite another thing to play and sound just like the real deal.
"This is the Tone"
Bring the timeless tone and feel of the '57 Stratocaster to your music -- and on into the future -- with the American Vintage '57. You get all the features you want from a vintage instrument without anything close to the vintage price tag. All original specs are there, including the neck and headstock shape, the classic neck profile and "comfort contoured" alder body, hand-beveled pickup magnets, and much more.
The American Standard '57 Strat is not just designed to replicate the striking look of the original; the tone is spot-on as well. The electronics and hardware are a faithful replication, featuring Original '57/62 Stratocaster Pickups that were reverse engineered from prized vintage pickups to reproduce the famous sound, with beveled-edge Alnico 5 magnets and Formvar magnet wire to produce the warm lows and gleaming highs you'd expect from a classic axe. Also present are the famous single-piece maple neck and fingerboard, the retro 3-way pickup selector switch, Fender/Gotoh vintage tuning machines, and an original-style synchronized tremolo bridge. It even comes with a gorgeous retro tweed case.
- Classic combination of alder body, maple neck, and maple fretboard
- Powerful American vintage single-coil pickups
- Vintage-style hardware with original synchronized tremolo bridge and Gotoh tuning machines
- Included hardshell case
A vintage model that came off the line yesterday may not have lived through the same history as an original '57 Strat, but it gives you the opportunity to make your own history. How will your story go?
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The American Vintage '57 Stratocaster re-creates one of Fender's most famous designs. All original specs are detailed including neck and headstock shapes, body radii and contours, 12th fret dot positioning, and hand-beveled pickup magnets.
American Vintage '57 Stratocaster Features
Body: Comfort Contoured Alder Body
Machine Heads: Fender/Gotoh Vintage tuning machines
Pickups: 3 "New" American Vintage Strat single coils
Pickup Switching: 3 position blade
Bridge: "Original" Vintage synchronized tremolo
Unique Features: Nitro-Cellulose Lacquer Finish, "V" Shape, 1-Piece, Tinted, Maple Neck