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Guitar of the week #66 - Fender Special Edition '50s and '60s Stratocasters

Fender Special Edition '60s Stratocaster

Oh, wow, did Fender absolutely nail it with these guitars. And I'm going to show them all to you.

Never in my life have I seen a run of Fender Stratocaster guitars where every color is absolutely spot-on awesome...

...until now.

Someone at Fender should be given a raise for the guitars I'm about to show you. But before I do, some quick specs.

These are Mexico-made Strats with vintage appointments. This means 21-fret necks, 6-screw bridges, "aged" plastics, slotted tuners, tinted necks, and truss rod adjustment at the heel. This is nothing you haven't seen before.

A guitar labeled as a '50s model means it has a maple fretboard. A '60s model means a rosewood fretboard. This is also nothing you haven't seen before.

As for the fretboard radius, that I don't know.

As for the electronics, that I don't know either - but - if it follows the specs I think it does, the '50s models have AlNiCo III magnet pickups and the '60s models have AlNiCo V magnet pickups. Switching is typical S/S/S style with no tone control wired to the rear pickup, which is period-correct wiring.

What makes these special?

The colors. These are the automobile-inspired colors that made the old Fender Strats so unbelievably cool looking. Every single color here is a winner.

I'd honestly love to own every one of these and I'm not joking. They all look good.

Here they are:

Fender '50s Stratocaster in Rangoon Red
Fender '50s Stratocaster in Rangoon Red

Fender '50s Stratocaster in Jetstream Blue
Fender '50s Stratocaster in Jetstream Blue

Fender '50s Stratocaster in Apple Green
Fender '50s Stratocaster in Apple Green

Fender '60s Stratocaster in Canary Diamond
Fender '60s Stratocaster in Canary Diamond

Fender '60s Stratocaster in Lilac
Fender '60s Stratocaster in Lilac

How come only 3 maple board and 2 rosewood board?

There is another rosewood board finish option, but the price is almost doubled if you want this one:

Fender '60 Stratocaster in Daphne Blue with matching headcap
Fender '60 Stratocaster in Daphne Blue with matching headcap

Why is this one so expensive? It's not just because of the headstock matching color. There's a nitrocellulose finish on both the body and neck. Not cheap.

Who cares about signature models and fancy electronics crapola when you can get cool Strats in cool colors?

Fender has had its missteps, but someone over in Scottsdale actually grew a brain and said, "Why don't we release some colors that made our guitars cool to begin with?"

And so they did.

Yes, I know they're not USA models, but who cares. I know some of you out there have been waiting a really, really long time for Fender to release some Strats in the some badass colors without having to pay a Fender Custom Shop price tag to get it.

They finally did. Go buy one.

What's my favorite? The '60s model in Canary Diamond. Love that yellow, love the vintage look. Works with the dark fretboard perfectly. My second favorite is the '50s Apple Green. Also a killer axe.

If anyone at Fender happens to read this, email me and send over a '60s Canary Diamond. I would happily play the bejeezus out of that thing. 🙂

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