70's Reissue Stratocaster (Made in Mexico).

 

Pro

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I had been eyeing this Stratocaster with the big headstock for a year hanging on the wall of my local Fender dealer store.

It has a beautiful natural ash body, maple neck and all white cosmetics with a 3-ply white-black-white pick guard. Vintage saddles and vintage slotted tuners (Fender/Schaller Vintage "F" Style Tuning Machines) with a 5-screw vintage tremolo system (Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo).

But enough of the gear talk. What kept attracting me to it was the big juicy 70s style headstock and the natural finish ash body.

The wood grain was matched up so well that it is almost impossible to notice either of the two seams in the body. The graining in the maple neck is very attractive and on the headstock, the brush script logo (as opposed to the "spaghetti" logo) has a nice gold border around it also, the word "Stratocaster" is in big black letters contoured around the shape of the headstock.

Text Box:  The neck is a nice "U" shaped profile, with a dark skunk stripe and a "Bullet" style truss rod it is very comfortable even for someone with small fingers and wide hands like me. With a 7.25" radius, 21 fret fingerboard. Also appealing was the 3 bolt neck with a "shield" shaped neck plate that features a brush script "F" and also incorporates the Patented "Micro-Tilt" neck adjustment system.

I liked the look of it so much that I knew I was going to buy it when I walked into the store BEFORE I even plugged it into an amp.

Which leads me to my next topic: The tone. The vintage style single-coil Strat pickups with alnico magnets are true to their originals with their staggered poles. Very clean and warm, with very distinctive Strat tones.

Text Box:  A wide range of tones are attainable from the standard 5 position switch including the usual 2 and 4 out-of-phase positions. I ran mine into an all tube Twin Reverb and the combination was spectacular. It sounded great clean, with a little chorus and a little warm over-drive.

The highlights for me were the middle, middle and neck, and neck positions.

 


Cons

Well, I wouldn't say "cons" because it should be "What didn't work for me right off the bat". First of all, I use heavy strings. Very Heavy. This guitar came set up with 9's.

After installing the heavy strings, I noticed that the extra tension on the bridge caused the bridge to rise off the body. I had to add two extra springs (a total of 5) and screw the spring claw all the way flush with the body to get the bridge to come back down.

Also I had to adjust the truss rod to remove the extra action height caused by the extra string tension. Another thing was that because of the heavy strings I use, the "A" and "E" strings would not fit in the tuners. I had to "unwind" 2 inches of the strings to get the strings to fit. (not a problem if you don't use really heavy strings).

The other thing I noticed was that the pickup/maple-neck combination is not conducive if you like a lot of distortion. The cleanness of the pickups and the brightness of the maple neck made for a very bright shrill high tone. My American Standard Stratocaster with a rosewood fretboard has a warmer darker tone in heavy overdrive.

Also, if you are used to an American Standard Stratocaster, you will notice that the tremolo bar becomes firm and stay put right above the volume knob as opposed to the American Standard Stratocaster the bar falls down and out of the way till needed.

Final Comments:

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While this is a Made in Mexico guitar, it still has a lot of the original characteristics of its historic predecessors. The guitar has a lot of vibe to it and the looks great.

It's tempting to affix the "Bang for the buck" cliché to it, but I wouldn't want anyone to think that this is a lesser guitar because of it origin of manufacture. This guitar is a real player and is very worthy of sitting next to any of its American counterparts. It has been in my guitar rack at every gig since I bought it.

By Hugh Ochoa


Specs from the Fender website:

MODEL NAME ‘70s Stratocaster
MODEL NUMBER 013-7000-(Color#) and 013-7002-(Color#)
SERIES Classic Series

COLORS
(300) 3-Color Sunburst, (305) Olympic White, (306) Black, (321) Natural, (Polyester Finish)

BODY Ash
NECK Maple, "U" Shape,
(Gloss Polyurethane Finish)

MACHINE HEADS Fender/Schaller Vintage "F" Style Tuning Machines

FINGERBOARD Rosewood (p/n 013-7000) or Maple (p/n 013-7002), 7.25" Radius (184 mm)
NO. OF FRETS 21 Vintage Style Frets

PICKUPS 3 Vintage Style Single-Coil Strat Pickups with Alnico Magnets
CONTROLS Master Volume,

Tone 1. (Neck Pickup),
Tone 2. (Middle Pickup)

PICKUP SWITCHING 5-Position Blade:

Position 1. Bridge Pickup
Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup
Position 3. Middle Pickup
Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup
Position 5. Neck Pickup

HARDWARE Chrome
STRINGS Fender Super Bullet 3250L, Nickel Plated Steel, (.009 to .042), p/n 073-3250-003

CASE Deluxe Gig Bag

PICKGUARD 3-Ply White

SCALE LENGTH 25.5" (648 mm)

WIDTH AT NUT 1.650" (42 mm)

UNIQUE FEATURES "U" Shape Maple Neck, Large Headstock, ‘70s Style Decal, Bullet Truss Rod Adjustment Nut, 3-Bolt Neck Plate with Micro Tilt Neck Adjustment

 ACCESSORIES Deluxe Gig Bag

INTRODUCED 1/1999