Fender Classic Series '70s Strat Electric Guitar Demo & Review
The Holy Grail guitar -- all guitarists have one. You know, that one axe that you've always wanted, but for some reason never managed to get your hands on?
For me, that search has ended in this, a MIM Fender Classic Series 70s Stratocaster. These Fender Classic 70s Stratocasters are sort of under-the-radar -- most brick and mortar guitar shops don't keep them in stock, so it isn't always easy getting your hands on one.
I managed to scoop this one up at a bargain price, and it has all the specs that I've always wanted in my dream Strat. But just because this Strat is the one I've been waiting for, don't expect a glowing review -- I'm here to deliver the good, the bad, and the ugly about Fender's top of the line made in Mexico Stratocaster.
Check out the articulate cleans you can get with this guitar's stock pickups, through a Blues Junior amplifier -- 1:00
The Fender Classic Series 70s Strat features a maple neck and fretboard, 70s F-style tuners, bullet truss rod, and a CBS-style big headstock. It has a vintage 7.25" round radius and smaller, vintage fretwire. Many folks feel that the vintage radius and small frets cause choking during heavy string bending; with a properly set up guitar, there should be no fretting out during bending. This guitar doesn't disappoint -- I've had no issues with fretting out at all.
Now, that being said, this guitar does require somewhat higher action for best playability, which will inevitably turn many modern players away. And this particular guitar does sport some fret buzz in a few places, but nothing that detracts from the stock sound or performance of the instrument.
The pickups that come in the Classic Series 70s Strat are vintage voiced, medium output Alnico single coils that are eerily akin to Fender's Custom Shop 69 pickups -- even the polepiece stagger is the same. They've got great trebles and good bass -- but the midrange is lacking. Many people don't like these pickups and remove them, but my personal favorite Strat tones come from vintage style pickups, so I'm really digging these and they're not going anywhere.
The guitar's U-shaped neck is just a bit thicker than Fender's popular modern C shape neck and is really comfortable if you're the type of player that uses their thumb for barring notes on the low E string.
The guitar also features a three-bolt neck joint and micro tilt adjuster, and a six-screw vintage style tremolo that stays in excellent tune.
This guitar currently sports an $849 price tag -- at that price, I'd strongly suggest buying a used American Special Strat as it will likely retain its value better. But because this is the only model that Fender makes in the working man's price range with these specs, you may be able to find one online at a third of that price if you search long enough...and it plays every bit as well as Fender's lower-end American offerings.
Check out this clip of the Fender Classic 70s Strat with a Bad Monkey overdrive pedal -- 7:03
AMP & PEDAL SETTINGS:
Fender Blues Junior III
Fat Switch: On
Digitech Bad Monkey:
Level: 12 o'clock
Low: 12 o'clock
High: 12 o'clock
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