Vintage Guitar Chapter 1
FENDER STRATOCASTER

FENDER STRATOCASTER

 

Five representative models

FENDER STRATOCASTER

The Stratocaster was introduced in 1954. Over its half-century history, the Stratocaster has undergone numerous minor changes and has supported many famous performances up to the present day, producing an unmistakable standard with its one and only sound! The supreme Strat sound, symbolized by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Bourne, and others, continues to fascinate many guitarists today and has an impact that will never fade away.

The sound quality is of course unique depending on the year and specifications of the instrument, but the most appealing thing about a Strat is that you can experience the "live" sound that only wood can provide. Even if it changes its shape and is reborn as a musical instrument, wood continues to live and breathe. The wood has been moistened and dried out repeatedly over the past several decades, and the fact that it has been played for a long time makes it sound surprisingly good. The whole wood resonates in unison, and the tone is deep, lustrous, and deep... This is the wonderful thing about vintage. Stratocaster appeared in 1954. In its history of over half a century, the Stratocaster has undergone many minor changes and has supported many great performances up to the present day, making it a steadfast standard with a unique sound! The supreme Strat sound, symbolized by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Bourne, and others, continues to fascinate many guitarists today and has an impact that will never fade away.

The sound quality is of course unique depending on the year and specifications of the instrument, but the most appealing thing about a Strat is that you can experience the "live" sound that only wood can provide. Even if it changes its shape and is reborn as a musical instrument, wood continues to live and breathe. The wood has been moistened and dried out repeatedly over the past several decades, and the fact that it has been played for a long time makes it sound surprisingly good. The whole instrument resonates in unison, and the tone is deep, lustrous, and deep... This is the wonderful thing about vintage.

History of Leo Fender
 

In 1938, Leo Fender, the founder of Fender, opened his own radio repair store, FENDER'S RADIO SERVICE, in Fullerton, California. In 1945, Leo and Clayton "Doc" Kauffman, a musician and engineer, established K&F (Kauffman & Fender) Manufacturing, a company that produced original steel guitars and amplifiers. After Kauffman's departure, the company changed its name to "Fender Electric Instrument Company" and began full-fledged operations as a guitar manufacturer.

In 1950, the world's first Spanish guitar, the "Broadcaster," was introduced to the world, followed by the Stratocaster, which was filled with revolutionary ideas, and many other ideas that were embodied in Fender's golden era. In 1965, due to Leo's health reasons, Fender sold the company to "CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System)". After that, he returned to CBS as a consultant and engaged in product development, and in 1970, the contract with CBS was terminated, and Leo took on a new challenge. (*Officially, Esquire -> Broadcaster)

In 1972, Leo joined Forrest White, then vice president of Fender, and Tom Walker, then in charge of sales, to form Music Man, Inc. In 1975, Leo established his own consulting company, CLF Research, to develop and manufacture the first Musicman amplifiers, which were used by E. Clapton and others, creating a boom. The following year, in 1976, the company introduced the "Stingray" guitar and bass with active preamps. The Stingray bass in particular was highly acclaimed and is still synonymous with active bass.

In 1980, Leo dissolved his relationship with Music Man and founded G&L Musical Products with George Fullerton, an early Fender craftsman who had been Leo's right-hand man in the development of the Broadcaster and Precision basses. In order to realize new and innovative ideas that are not bound by the past, Leo immersed himself in research and development based on the technology and experience he had cultivated up to that point. G&L was Leo's last brand, and his private workshop is still preserved in the same condition in which he worked in those days, and his will is still there. G&L was Leo's last brand, and his private workshop has been preserved exactly as he worked on it, and his intentions are still alive today.

Finally, Leo Fender's legacy is immeasurable. He has been equally influential on electric guitars and basses, as well as amplifiers, and has left an incredible legacy on the modern music scene. Leo Fender is truly a great innovator who revolutionized the electric world.

Fender Electric Guitars

1950Year ~.

The Esquire, the world's first mass-produced solid body electric guitar, is introduced at the NAMM show. The 2P.U. version is named "Broadcaster" when it goes on the market, but the name soon has to be changed due to trademark registration. After the "No Caster" version, which was shipped with only the brand logo while the model name could not be used, it was officially launched as "Telecaster" in the following year of '51.

From 1954


Fender introduces the "Stratocaster", a more advanced model than the Telecaster. The Stratocaster was equipped with a revolutionary synchronized tremolo unit that overturned the conventional wisdom of tremolo units and was realized based on a new idea. Through trial and error, minor changes were made, and today the Stratocaster is an unshakable standard that is loved by countless guitarists.

1956Year

The "Music Master," positioned as a student model, and the "Duo Sonic" were introduced a little later. Both models adopt a short scale of 22 1/2 inches. Both models shared most of the same body, neck, and other parts to streamline production. The Duo Sonic has a front P.U. + rear P.U. in series, so the idea of mixing the two P.U. outputs for humbucking effect is realized.

1958Year


Fender introduces the "Jazzmaster," the first rosewood fingerboard, asymmetrical body, "offset waist design," "preset tones," "floating tremolo," and other new ideas. The early pickguards were commonly known as "gold anodized" pickguards, which were only used for less than a year.

1962Year


The "Jaguar" was developed as an upgraded version of the Jazzmaster and inherited the body shape and tremolo unit. The Jazzmaster's neck scale is 25 1/2" with 21 frets like the Strat, while the Jaguar uses 24" with 22 frets.

1964Year


The "Mustang" with a wide range of dynamic vibrato is introduced. The neck scale was selectable between 22 2/1" 21 frets and 24" 22 frets. A 3-way slide switch was used to switch the P.U., which could be combined to produce a halftone or phase sound. In the same year, the "Music Master II" and "Duo-Sonic II" were also introduced, both of which underwent a model change.

1965Year


Fender introduces its first 12-string model, the Electric XII. The unique long head shape, known as the "field hockey stick," is a distinctive feature of the Electric XII. The bridge, designed specifically for 12 strings, has independent saddles that allow for individual octave adjustment.

1966Year


The hollowbody "Coronado" lineup is introduced to compete with the Gibson lineup, including the 1P.U "Coronado I", 2P.U "Coronado II", and 12-string "Coronado XII" models, many of which are equipped with tremolos. In the same year, the "Bronco," a student model with tremolo, was introduced. Unlike the synchronized tremolo, this model featured a newly developed tremolo unit with two movable fulcrums.

1968From 1949 to 1985


The "Telecaster Thinline", a variation of the Telecaster, is introduced. In late 1971, the pickups were changed to humbucking pickups designed by "Seth Lover". The 1st version of the single pickup was available with either ash or mahogany body, depending on the sound preference.