THE STRATOCASTER® GUITAR TURNS 50!
News from Winter NAMM 2004 – Fender Anniversary Stratocasters
The first of the breaking news from the 2004 Winter NAMM Show.
For Immediate Release – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
January 15, 2003.
Fender® Celebrates 50 Years of Musical Heritage with New Commemorative Model Guitars!
THE STRATOCASTER® GUITAR TURNS 50!
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The most popular and influential electric guitar of all time, the Fender® Stratocaster®, will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2004! To honor this musical icon, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is proud to announce that it will commemorate the Stratocaster guitar’s history with three new Limited Edition instruments that will debut at this winter’s NAMM show.
The Stratocaster guitar first hit the musical scene in 1954, when it was designed to be the ultimate solid body electric guitar. With its three single coil pickups and revolutionary tremolo bridge, the Stratocaster offered musicians new tones, features and versatility never before available in one single musical instrument.
Since that time, a Stratocaster in the hands of guitarists has helped pioneer literally every form of popular music as we know it today. From Bill Carson to Buddy Holly, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, or from Stevie Ray Vaughan to John Mayer — and everything in between! — the Stratocaster has been the guitar that started the rock revolution, and it has been the guitar that has helped to create musical legends.
Beginning in January of 2004, the Fender Custom Shop will make a limited number of 50th Anniversary 1954 Stratocaster guitars. These faithful replications will be made using many of the same machines and manufacturing methods used 50 years ago.
The Custom Shop will use all of the same materials that went into the first 1954 Stratocaster guitars, including a solid ash body, oversized Alnico 3 pole piece magnets, the styrene blend used for the pickup covers, knobs and switch cap, and the PVA pickguard material. Reproductions of the original pickups will be wound by Abigail Ybarra, who has been making Fender pickups since the 1950s. Additionally, all the plastic parts for the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1954 Stratocaster have been retooled to historically correct shapes and specifications.
The Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1954 Stratocaster is available only with a lightly aged, vintage correct 2-Tone Sunburst lacquer finish and a one piece maple neck and fretboard. Orders for these guitars will be taken from January 15th to December 31st, 2004. US MSRP is $5,400.
To pay homage to 50 years of Fender innovation, Fender will also introduce two new modern commemorative models: the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster and the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster.
As with the recent upgrades made to the entire American Deluxe Series, the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series model will be built with the highest standards in materials and craftsmanship, utilizing today’s most state-of-the-art manufacturing methods at Fender’s facility in Corona, California.
Only the most select solid alder will be used for the bodies on theseguitars, which are available in 2-Tone Sunburst with a modern “C” shaped maple neck. The 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster also features three single-coil Fender Samarium Cobalt Noiseless pickups and S-1 Switching, making this one of the most versatile guitar models Fender has ever made.
The 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster has a deluxe 2-point synchronized tremolo bridge with pop-in arm, 3-ply parchment pickguard with commemorative logo and aged plastic parts, abalone dot inlays, deluxe staggered tuning machines, a special engraved neck plate that celebrates the anniversary, and it comes with the new Meguiar’s Mist & Wipe Kit.
The 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster will be available only from January 15th thorough [sic] December 31st, 2004. US MSRP is $1,599.99.
From the flagship American Series line, Fender will offer a Limited Edition 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster. The solid ash bodies with polyurethane 2-Tone Sunburst finish, maple neck and parchment pickguard evoke the classic look of the original 1954 Stratocaster guitars, while the Fender American Series synchronized tremolo bridge, custom staggered tuning machines, 9.5” radius fretboard and medium jumbo frets add a modern touch.
To give this guitar even more of a vintage vibe, the 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster will feature the same 1954 replica pickups used on the Custom Shop model. It will also feature a special engraved neck plate that celebrates the anniversary. The 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster will be available only from January 15th thorough December 31st, 2004. US MSRP is $1,499.99.
The Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1954 Stratocaster will come with a replication of the original form fitting case, while both the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster and the 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster have a special tweed case with “crushed” gold plush. Both cases feature a 50th Anniversary logo embroidered on the inside lining. To see and hear both of these extraordinary commemorative guitars for the first time, visit Fender’s booth at this winter’s NAMM show in Anaheim, California.
Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1954 Stratocaster
50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster
News Desk Editor’s Note: It seems likely that there’s a mistake in the press release. The last paragraph that discusses the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster, immediately above the description of the 50th Anniverdary American Series Stratocaster, states the following: “The 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster will be available only from January 15th through December 31st, 2004. US MSRP is $1,599.99.” Emphasis added.
Two paragraphs later, the last sentence of the description of the 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster reads: “The 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster will be available only from January 15th through December 31st, 2004. US MSRP is $1,499.99.” Emphasis added.
Most likely, the last sentence describing the 50th Anniversary American Deluxe Series Stratocaster is missing the word “Deluxe” immediately before the word “Series”. Also interesting if the price difference between the two is only $100.