Fender AVRI ’57 Strat, two-tone sunburst, made in USA 1990. The American Vintage series launched to wide acclaim in 1982: after a turbulent couple of decades, Fender were finally making instruments like they did in the 50s again. This one dates to 1990, so it’s a pretty early example in the scheme of things and has certainly had the time and playing hours to feel like a played-in guitar. The neck on the early-mid 80s examples of the model were often super skinny, but this one has a comfy moderate vintage D shape profile, fairly similar to the MIJ ST57 models we know and love around here. The neck is a superb piece of maple, it’s still arrow-straight after all these decades and features some gorgeous detail in the grain. The body is two-piece centre-joined alder, again with some attractive grain on show. I suspect you wouldn’t get classy cuts of alder like this on a new production model guitar, Fender save all the good stuff like this for their Custom Shop guitars these days. It’s very resonant in the hands, you can hear the natural volume and body even before you plug it in. When you do plug it in, joy awaits: this sounds gorgeous. There’s a sweet shimmering top end and plenty of harmonic complexity and warmth in the mids, all punctuated by a self-assured, weighty low end. A good Strat has a balance between jangly spank and a certain rounded fatness, and this absolutely delivers that satisfying fullness that only the best Stratocasters offer. The anodised gold guard adds a little bling to the classic two tone burst, it walks the line between understated and flashy perfectly. I’m a huge fan of this one, it’s very convincing indeed.
Model: Fender American Vintage ’57 Stratocaster
Made: Corona USA, neck date 1990 (serial V047166)
Finish: 2-tone sunburst (2TS), 1-ply white guard
Neck: maple with maple board, 25.5″ scale, 7.25″ radius, vintage C profile, 43mm nut
Mods: pickguard replaced, factory supplied 5-way switch installed
Pickups: Fender American Vintage 57/62 single coil x3
Case: non-original tweed hard case, 3-way switch and some docs included
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some minor marks on the end and bottom edge. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples and rub wear on the back and edges only. The back has a couple of dimples on the bottom corner edge and the elbow area and some light scuffs on the top horn and around the cavity cover, no major marks. The sides have light scuffs all the way around the body but no major marks. The front has some dimples in the elbow area and near the jack and some standard play wear on the guard and top horn. Overall: very good condition (8/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. The frets have some minor wear, they’re pretty even with no major buzz issues, 7/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 10/46 Moonshiners strings.