About Fender Stratocaster Guitars
First released in 1954 and in continuous production ever since, the Fender Stratocaster, or Fender Strat as it is commonly known, is one of the world's most iconic and popular electric guitar models. The graceful lines of the Fender Stratocaster have landed it in museums for industrial design and modern art, but there is also a functional side to those curves and contours, which help make the Fender Strat an exceptionally well balanced and comfortable instrument to play. The legendary Fender Stratocaster is one of the most popular (and most copied) electric guitar models in history. It is an icon of modern design, engineered to be reliable, affordable, versatile, eminently playable and, most of all, fantastic sounding. So successful was the initial design of the Fender Stratocaster that it has been in continuous production since it was first introduced over sixty years ago, along with an ever-evolving array of variations.
The Fender Strat was introduced just a few years after Fender debuted the Telecaster, which is widely considered to be the first commercially successful solidbody electric guitar. While the Tele was a solid and reliable workhorse, the Fender Stratocaster was a sleek and sexy, futuristic-looking instrument, with offset horns for better balance and enhanced playability. The Fender Stratocaster's Comfort Contour Body was shaped to better conform with the player's anatomy. The newly-designed Fender Strat whammy (vibrato) system offered a compelling alternative to the more massive Bigsby rigs that were gaining popularity at the time. Although it was initially designed with a great deal of input from country and swing guitarists, such was its versatility that the Strat soon caught on with rockers like Buddy Holly and English instrumental band The Shadows, as well as blues, surf, and jazz players of all stripes. Today, the Fender Stratocaster is identified as the guitar of choice for such giants as Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton, as well as legendary pickers like Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher and Jeff Beck, to name just a few.
While there have been many variations on the Fender Stratocaster over the years, the same basic design, with contoured body, bolt-on 25.5" scale length neck, three single-coil pickups and Fender vibrato system, has continuously remained at the heart of the Strat legacy. Today, however, Fender markets an unprecedented variety of Fender Stratocaster guitars available. Fender offers a dazzling array of Custom Shop beauties with never-before seen finishes and design flourishes. You'll also find Fender Artist Series signature guitars modified to the exact specs of Strat masters like Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, and Dick Dale. There's even a Fender Custom Shop replica of Stevie Ray Vaughn's treasured Lenny guitar for some truly authentic Scuttle Buttin'! The Fender Stratocaster has seen numerous Artist Series and signature guitars built or modified to the exact specs of Strat masters like Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, and Dick Dale. There’s even a Custom Shop Fender Strat replica of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s treasured Lenny guitar for some truly authentic Scuttle Buttin’. The iconic Fender Strat design is available in several versions, including various models in the Player Series (which replaced the Standard Series), American Original, American Professional and more. Fender mixes it up a bit with variants like the Road Worn Series, with vintage-vibe versions of classic Fender Strats from the 1950s and 1960s, but pre-broken in and aged, so they feel as comfortable as an old friend right out of the box. In 2018, the Parallel Universe Fender Strat-Tele hybrid guitar and the Whiteguard Stratocaster were released.
The Pawn Shop Series Fender Stratocaster guitars are mutated masterpieces, with hints of Telecaster or Jazz Bass appointments. For example, adorning the classic Fender Strat chassis, resulting in a collection of guitars that "never were but should have been," as Fender puts it. But, you'll be glad they're here now. And the Custom shop Heavy Relic guitars, like the 1961 Fender Stratocaster Burnt Heavy Relic, are radically pre-aged to look like they've been rode hard and hung up wet every night for years, but they play like a dream and sound even better, with state-of-the-art pickups, hardware and electronics. If you're the type who likes to hot-rod your own rides, however, or you're just looking to replace some sweat-pitted hardware, Fender offers everything you could need, from headstock to hardtail bridge, including replacement jack plates and pickup selector switches, extra-groovy pickguards and pickup covers, whammy bars or entire tremolo systems, and even replacement necks, bodies and vintage-style replacement pickups, as well as souped-up single coils and humbuckers from top-notch aftermarket winders like DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, and Joe Barden. You can even trick out your home or your practice space with Fender Stratocaster accessories like fridge magnets, mouse pads and a Strat-style cutting board, for when it's time to get down to some serious pentatonic vegetable shredding! And, of course, you can always flaunt your love for all things Strat with an authentic Fender Stratocaster T-shirt. However you play it, the Fender Stratocaster has been an integral part of the music scene for over sixty years, and it's more popular now than ever.
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