When Fender created the “Strat” they coined the common term everybody had been calling the Stratocaster for years and then added upgraded touches to set it apart from the regular herd. Fender’s Greg Wilson intended this model to be a revised upscale Stratocaster with modern features, including a brass bridge, gold hardware, hotter pickups and updated circuitry. The economics were against and high production costs of “The STRAT” led to it being discontinued in 1983.
Consequently, the small numbers produced now makes it a rare beast. Fender R&D gave the Strat a lift in the output of the instrument with a hotter bridge pickup. The X-1 two-way rotary switch which replaced the lower tone control gives four more sounds. Neck and middle pickups in series, middle and bridge pickups in series, neck and bridge pickups in parallel and neck and bridge pickups in parallel with middle pickup in series. The X-1 is a passive circuit, no 9 volt batteries to replace, ever!
The Lake Placid Blue finish, despite its worn state, still retains its original luster and there are no bad nicks, or dings on the body or neck other than normal play wear. The beautiful rosewood neck has pearl fret markers and black side markers. The frets still retain 75% of use. The neck shape is a little bit beefier than the newer Fender “C” shape but not as pronounced as a “U” shape. The polyurethane finish on the back of the maple neck is as smooth as glass. There are a few fine finish stress lines, one on the body near the neck and one on the back of the head-stock. Along with the standard five-way switch, it comes with original strap buttons, chrome Fender logo tuners, brass high-mass vibrato bridge, whammy bar with gold tip, gold finish volume, tone and X-1 circuit select knobs and a gold input jack cover. Comes with the “Strat” Owner’s Manual. The weight is about 9lbs, heavy!