Fender Standard Stratocaster Black 1983
Fender Dan Smith era Standard Stratocaster, black, made in USA 1983. The early 80s was a hectic time at Fender: they had been losing market share and public favour for many years in the the after-effects of the CBS takeover in the mid 1960s. There was a couple of major issues: certain design changes to core models like the Strat had players off side, and increasingly hit-and-miss quality control and loose adherence to proper processes at the Fullerton factory. Fender brought in Dan Smith, a former Yamaha exec, to re-invent their whole manufacturing process. This ‘Standard Stratocaster’ is a cool little time capsule from that era. First, the small 50s style headstock and four bolt neck are back… and the players rejoiced. From there it gets a little groovier: the back-access trem cavity is gone, with the springs now located in a clever little pocket under the guard. The jack is moved from the usual spot to the guard, which means you get one less knob: one volume, one tone only. It’s also got a cool top-loader-ish bridge, which works nicely and has a certain steampunk swagger, The two-knob design is the instantly recognisable thing about these models, but the real magic is in the build quality: this is a really nicely made thing. The neck is a slim soft V shape, carved from some beautiful tightly grained maple and aged to a golden glow, and it feels like a million bucks. The body resonates enthusiastically and the hardware all works nicely, so it’s a responsive and reliable player. The pickups are great too: thick and full, glassy top end, plenty of shimmer on the neck, plenty of midrange kick on the bridge, and those in-between positions are extra quacky. The black finish has a few marks, but at four decades deep, this is in pretty remarkable shape. This is about the same dollars as a new Am Pro II Strat locally, but this is a much surer investment, both for it’s quality and historical significance. High five Mr Smith, you Dan good.
Model: Fender Standard Stratocaster
Made: USA, Fullerton factory, 1983
Finish: black, gloss poly
Neck: maple, maple fretboard, 25.5″ scale, 12″ radius, soft V shape
Mods: pots, capacitor and switch replaced. Original switch included
Pickups: Fender Standard single coil x3
Accessories: vintage padded Fender gig bag
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. The headstock has some minor dimples on the bottom edge. The neck is clean and smooth in the hands, minor dimples on the back only. The back has some surface scratches along the belly carve, in the middle of the body and near the back edge, as well as some scuffs on the bottom edge and bottom horn. The sides have light scuffs on both horns and dimples in the elbow area and jack area. The front has surface scratches in the elbow area and around the bridge and jack, as well as some scuffs in the elbow area and some play wear on the guard and horns.
Overall: very good condition (8/10)
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electronics tested and working properly. Wearing fresh 10/46 Moonshiners strings.
Fret life: 8/10, minor wear only