Own a Piece of Guitar History
One of the most popular instruments in history, the FENDER® Stratocaster® - first introduced in 1954 - is certainly the most imitated electric guitar ever. 1957 was a benchmark year for the instrument, evolving from its early incarnations into an archetype and the high point of the era of the maple neck Strat®. Original detailing includes the new American Vintage '57/'62 pickups with three-way switching (five-way switch kit included), beveled pickup magnets, ashtray bridge cover and single-ply pickguard.American Vintage '57 Stratocaster At a Glance:
- Two-color sunburst lacquer finish over a "custom contoured" alder body
- Three new American Vintage Strat® single coil pickups with beveled magnets
- One-piece maple neck and fingerboard with soft "V" shape and lacquer finish
While the Telecaster® (and the single pickup version, the Esquire) was a success, Leo Fender listened to players who were looking for an instrument that was a step up from the "plain vanilla" Tele®. The company had moved into a new factory and now had the ability to build an upscale solidbody electric. In 1954, the Fender Stratocaster made its debut and a true American icon was born. By 1957, some would say the maple neck Strat had been perfected with features like the "custom contoured" body.
Fender employees Dan Smith and John Page flew all over the country and looked at every vintage Strat®, eventually deciding that the 1957 model, as well as the 1962 model with rosewood fingerboard, were the quintessential Strats. Recreated using measurements taken from over 200 Stratocasters, the '57 Strat truly looks like it came straight from the Time Machine™. Its sleek, stylish lines in some ways seem to owe more to the automobile designs of the 1950s than traditional guitar building. This recreation features a two color sunburst with a nitro-cellulose lacquer finish over a solid alder body, along with all the other features that made the original instrument such an overwhelming success. These include a single-ply white pickguard and an American Vintage synchronized tremolo.That Trademark Strat Sound
Good looks are just part of the story. The '57 Strat also sounds faithful to the original thanks to three newly designed '57/'62 American Vintage single coil pickups with accurate beveled pole pieces. This delivers all the "spank and sparkle" you'd expect, and just like the original, the '57 Strat comes with the three-position blade selector switch (back then, players had to carefully place their switches in the "in between" positions to access pickup combinations). Not to worry, as Fender has thoughtfully included a five-position switch kit, should you wish to access those classy, classic tones with less hassle. Either way, the '57 sounds just like the best Strat off the assembly line during that historic year!Historically Accurate Natural Maple Neck
Leo Fender wasn't afraid to "think outside the box" when it came to guitar designs. In the 1950s and well into the 1960s, the blond natural maple neck turned more than a few heads and became almost synonymous with Fender guitars. The '57 Strat comes with a one-piece maple neck and fingerboard with a soft "V" shape and, true to its vintage, a nito-cellulose lacquer finish. To complete the picture, the neck has been lightly tinted to duplicate the effect of a naturally aged vintage guitar that was played in smoky clubs and dance halls.American Vintage '57 Stratocaster Features:
- Color: Two-color sunburst
- Body Type: Solidbody electric
- Finish: Nitro-Cellulose Lacquer
- Neck Wood: Maple
- Neck Shape: Soft "V" shape with 7.25-inch radius
- Body Wood: Select alder
- Machine Heads: Fender / Gotoh vintage style tuning machines
- Fingerboard: Maple
- No. of Frets: 21 vintage style
- Position Markers: Black dot inlays
- Pickups: Three American Vintage single coil Strat pickups
- Controls: Master volume and two tone control (neck and middle pickups)
- Bridge/Tailpiece: American Vintage synchronized tremolo with "ash tray" bridge cover
- Pickup Switching: Three-position blade switch (five-position kit included)
- Hardware: Chrome
- Scale Length: 25.5 inches
- Case: Vintage tweed case included
You could easily make the case that Fender electric guitars were responsible - at least in great part - for the birth of modern rock 'n' roll. Originally designed to be easier to build, and thus more affordable, Leo Fender's masterpieces, which include classics like the Stratocaster (is there a more distinctive guitar shape in the world?), the Telecaster and the original Precision Bass®, were at the core of a musical revolution that spawned everything from surf to country to punk!
In the 1960s, when Fender guitars first hit bandstands and stages all around the country, it was astonishing to see that trademark Fender maple neck and fingerboard. Though the company eventually offered rosewood fingerboards as standard or optional on its entire line of instruments, those first"blond" necks really shook things up. Others have picked up on the maple neck theme, but it's clearly yet another of Leo Fender's "firsts."
Today, no other manufacturer can match Fender for the sheer number of options available throughout its entire line. While vintage Fenders can command astronomic prices, the company now has the widest range of quality instruments in the world, along with the highest profile players like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, all of whom are legendary.