Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
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Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]

Stratocaster [1965-1984], STC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Stratocaster series.

All user reviews for the Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]

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Average Score:4.1( 4.1/5 based on 81 reviews )
 44 reviews54 %
 24 reviews30 %
 1 user review1 %
 12 reviews15 %
iamqman02/14/2012

iamqman's review"Vintage"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
The Fender Stratocaster guitar has to be one of the best instruments it is ever been created. It is where this guitars just has a great feel almost perfect balance. The guitar hasn't change too much as far as features go over the years but it has seen some great improvements along the way. Most of the original design is still intact with the Fender Stratocaster guitar. It still remains to be one of the most highly recognizable can I collect guitars throughout the music industry.


UTILIZATION

This is a three single coil operation. This vintage guitar carries such a huge weight in tone that it makes it hard to play anything else. if you have ever played a mid 70's Strat than you have no idea what you are missing. You are missing a great deal of tone and sound. The look alone on this guitar is fantastic and the sweet vintage white color is remarkable.

SOUNDS

The tone of this guitar is a nice vintage feel so they can go well and pretty much any style of music. Whether you are playing in a country band and all the way up to the hard rock you have seen a Fender Stratocaster featured. It has a tone that is easily recognizable especially on the neck pick up which gives you that soulful blues he cleaned tone that has a robust and bouncy percussive sound. One of my favorite settings with a fender Stratocaster guitar has to be plugged into a nice boss overdrive pedal going into the vintage Marshall amplifier. That tone really gives a great sound that is very reminiscent of the 60s and 70s music scene. It is one of those tones that is inviting and always sounds good and pretty much any musical setting that you put it in.


OVERALL OPINION

You can find a Fender Stratocaster for right around $1100 and pretty much any guitar up an online retailer that you find, but finding one of these for the right price may be a bit tougher. It is a guitar that is easily accessible but this mid 70's will have to go through a high end guitar shop Probably suggest going out and trying a few and getting a feel for what you like and what you don't like. Overall I suggest everyone and every guitar play a Fender Stratocaster at some point in their musical career.
Hatsubai01/28/2012

Hatsubai's review"Just oozes mojo"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
This is one of the infamous CBS era strats that just has an absolutely amazing vibe going on. The guitar has an alder body, a three bolt maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, the big CBS headstock, dot inlays, a vintage style tremolo, three single coils, one volume, two tones and a five way switch.

UTILIZATION

The guitar is beat to hell, but this thing has one of the most amazing necks I've ever laid my hands on. It's all dirty and grimy from years and years of touring abuse, but it just felt so perfect in my hand. It's been refretted with 6000 frets, so there are no issues with the thing being some fretless wonder style guitar, although the frets on these originally weren't super low. The guitar has the infamous three bolt configuration, and it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. There's no real need to convert it to a four bolt like a few guys try to do. The three bolts will hold the neck fine. The main issue was that the quality control was pretty poor on these, but man if this thing didn't resonate...

SOUNDS

The guitar had all orignal pickups in it, and they had the coolest "woody" kind of tone going on. If you've ever listened to SRV, you'll know what I'm referring to. I actually think the 60s are some of the best pickups out there, and these early 70s ones are very close to my coveted 60s style pickups. The five way switch in this thing allowed me to get some crazy good tones out of this thing. If you're looking for a blues machine, this is exactly the kind of guitar you'd want. If you want to rock like Jimi, this is the guitar. I was just blown away by everything...except the price.

OVERALL OPINION

If you're looking for a solid guitar, and can afford these guitars, I recommend checking them out. I don't recommend rushing out and buying these blind as they can be real iffy in terms of overall quality and tone. I've seen some real dogs around this era, but the ones that are good are simply amazing. This was one of the amazing ones.
Hatsubai10/25/2011

Hatsubai's review"CBS era strat"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
The CBS era is a very love or hate era of the famous Fender stratocaster. They went through some major changes, and not everybody liked these changes. On top of that, they were a bit inconsistent, not to mention CBS started to employ bean counters who were pinching on every little thing. The guitar features an alder body, a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, dot inlays, a vintage style 6 point trem, three single coils, one volume, two tones and a five way switch.

UTILIZATION

The first thing I noticed about this guitar was that the neck joint on this was pretty awful. It has the three bolt neck, and I'm just not a fan of these. It has shifted slightly off, and the high e is slipping off the fretboard. I worked on moving it towards a more centered position, and while it worked out for a bit, the neck joint is so sloppy that I'm afraid it'll happen again. The frets on this were fairly worn due to its age, and the nut needed to be replaced. The rest of the guitar was pretty good, especially weight wise. Some of these can be a bit heavy, so keep that in mind.

SOUNDS

The guitar had some pretty cool vintage style singles. Well, we call them vintage now, but they were standard pickups back in the day. In the bridge, you have your standard bright and medium output single coil that works great for everything from blues to hard rock. It struggles with metal, but it can pull it off. Just listen to old school Yngwie before he swapped his pickups for noiseless ones. The middle I never use alone, but it got some great funk tones when mixed with the neck and bridge position. The neck was a bit too underpowered for what I tend to play, and I was struggling a bit with how the guitar was setup in combination with this pickup. Great cleans, though.

OVERALL OPINION

These are very hit or miss guitars, and you need to be careful when buying these. Some of these are absolutely amazing and have tone for days. Others are pretty dead sounding or have other QC issues that might cause problems with heavy usage. Be sure to play a few if you can. Buying blind is a bit of a risk, but you can usually sell it for what you paid.
iamqman08/08/2011

iamqman's review"Back in the day back in the life"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
Fender had a knack for making the most superior instruments back in the day. These guitars have been played by almost every guitar player in the word at one time or another. Any guitar who has ever been playing the guitar longer than a few year most likely have picked up owned a Fender Stratocaster at some point. They have been feature on countless recordings and touring from every stage under the sun. They even have a tribute festival dedicated to the guitar it self for its 50th anniversary. So to say that these guitars has left an impression on the musical world would be an understatement.

UTILIZATION

Every thing about this guitar is stable and sturdy. The pickups were wound better in those days but I still would swap these out for some better modern wound single coil pickups. This guitar doesn't take too much to get a great sound out of it. It already sound amazing on its own. The older wood and the craftsmanship is immediately recognized when you first pick up the instrument.

SOUNDS

The tone from this guitar is absolute top notch. This guitar has such a deep soul that is just alluring. This fine instrument is so silky and smooth that is makes you amp sing like it was meant to be together. This guitar will connect with you like no other guitar can and probably ever will. There is a reason why these guitars have been copied the world over and still remain one of the most classic icon on music history. Any of you are into that kind of music you already know that. Other than that it will suit most players just fine. This is an extremely versatile guitar with the 5 way selector switch and three single coil pickups. Any old amp will do with this guitar. This guitar will also work for any style of music except most of the drop tuning stuff. You won't be able to get a deep thick fat metal tone from this guitar.

OVERALL OPINION

These guitars are no longer available new. They have the same guitar but just in different colors on many retailers websites. If I ever buy another Fender Strat I will have someone take off the lacquer on the back of the neck. I would recommend this guitar to any guitar player. Everyone needs a Fender Strat in their arsenal. A great everyday guitar and a players dream. So many tonal possibilities that will accompany anything musical genre from pop to modern rock.
iamqman08/04/2011

iamqman's review"Classic and refined"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
Fender is probably the biggest music company in the world when it comes to amp and guitars. They have been played all over the world from beginner learning guitar players to the best professionals in the world. Any guitar who has ever been playing the guitar longer than a few year most likely have picked up owned a Fender Stratocaster at some point.

The feel of the instrument has to be the very most important thing to me. Sure it does need to sound right but the feel will be the first determining factor in any future purchase of a guitar. When you first walk into a music store or shop, you pick up the guitar and take a quick strum of the strings without out being plugged into an amp. You can hear the resonance and craftsmanship when hearing it unplugged. These old Fender guitars has such age to them and the wood is also harder now so it resonates even more

UTILIZATION

This guitar doesn't take too much to get a great sound out of it. It already sound amazing on its own. The older wood and the craftsmanship is immediately recognized when you first pick up the instrument. Evey thing about this guitar is stable and sturdy. The pickup s were wound better in those days but I still would swap these out for some better modern wound single coil pickups.

SOUNDS

This guitar has such a deep soul that is just alluring. This fine instrument is so silky and smooth that is makes you amp sing like it was meant to be together. This guitar will connect with you like no other guitar can and probably ever will. There is a reason why these guitars have been copied the world over and still remain one of the most classic icon on music history. The tone from this guitar is absolute top notch.

This is an extremely versatile guitar with the 5 way selector switch and three single coil pickups. Any old amp will do with this guitar. This guitar will also work for any style of music except most of the drop tuning stuff. You won't be able to get a deep thick fat metal tone from this guitar. Any of you are into that kind of music you already know that. Other than that it will suit most players just fine.

OVERALL OPINION

You can still find these guitars in some specialty shops or dealers who specialize in vintage guitars. They do cost quite a little bit but less than ,nay custom shops that are sold new today. It is a great guitar and has a fantastic feel and touch tot he neck.
tjon90105/23/2011

tjon901's review"25th Anniversary Stratocaster"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
This guitar is the famous 1979 Fender 24th Anniversary Stratocaster. Because it was a 25th Anniversary Model it had a mix of classic strat parts and 70s strat parts. It has my favorite 70s feature which is the large headstock but the neck is attached with a traditional strat 4 bolt joint. All the other strats at the time had the 3 bolt micro tilt joint which wasnt as good but was accepted at the time. These guitars were painted silver from the factory and most by now have turned into a greenish color. It has a maple neck and fretboard with 21 frets. It has 3 single coils in a standard strat configuration these single coils have alnico magnets with flush poles. The pickups are black and are mounted on a black pickguard. It has a standard fender non-locking tremolo system and like all standard fender non locking tremolo systems it will go out of tune.

UTILIZATION

This guitar is amazingly heavy for a strat. It weighs more than my Les Paul. It will hurt your back after a while. Other than that it plays like a standard strat. The neck is the classic strat shape and the 5 way switch gets you the classic sounds and the inbetween sounds. The tremolo will go out of tune so I recommend you block it or dont use it since it is non locking.

SOUNDS

Because the wood used on this guitar is so heavy the tone is huge. The guitar is amazingly resonant acoustically. It sounds way larger than any strat they are putting out today. It has a really thick tone thats not super bright like on some new strats. Its almost like a Les Paul with single coils. The pickups and the heavy sound make the guitar a twang monster when played clean.

OVERALL OPINION

This is how a strat should sound. Single coil fenders dont have to always sound thin and tinny. This guitar sounds big and fat with single coils. The guitar sounds so good you forget how heavy it is. The fit and finish on this is a lot better than most 70s guitars. Fender doesnt make them like they use to.
King Loudness03/18/2011

King Loudness's review"It's groovy, man."

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
This was my first good USA made Stratocaster after owning only import models for several years. Next to a custom Strat that was put together by Rob DiStefano, I found that this '79 was the best feeling and sounding Strat type guitar that I'd owned. This particular guitar featured an alder body, a maple neck with 21 frets, a hardtail bridge, and 3 single coil pickups paired with the standard compliment of 1 volume and 2 tones, rounded off with a 5 way selector switch. It was built in the USA at Fender's CBS owned plant right around the time that the infamous CBS quality slip was at its height. There was a severe lack of contouring on what should have been a very sleek and sharp body... there was a fairly major gap in the neck to body joint, and the pickups hummed and buzzed more than your average single coils would. However that's the way things were back then, so I'm going to try to focus my review on the positive aspects of this guitar. All in all, there was nothing super out of the ordinary about this guitar... just a late seventies hardtail Strat with the typical CBS appointments.

As an interesting side note, compared to the tremolo equipped models that I've tried, the hardtail model had more sustain and tuning stability, even when compared to a late seventies Strat that was outfitted with all brass hardware (but had a tremolo unit.)

UTILIZATION

The guitar was not the most ergonomic that I've owned to be sure. The body, as stated above, displayed a serious lack of contouring and overall it was much heavier than other Strats that I've played or owned. In comparison to my old Mexican made seventies reissue Stratocaster, the 1979 looked and felt (to the touch) much cheaper overall. That being said, the neck on it was truly a work of art, and that's about half the reason I kept it as long as I did. It was refretted professionally at one point in time and the edges were perfectly worn in, giving the neck a wonderful vintage feel. Though it was on the thinner side width wise, it had a nice chunky "U" shaped profile and fit my hand like a glove. The action upon my receiving the guitar was as low as it gets... absolutely a lead player's dream! Fast runs ala Yngwie Malmsteen flew from the guitar effortlessly. That being said, the thicker neck profile allowed me to dig in a lot if I wanted to as well... so it was an excellent compromise. I find that the typical Strat doesn't have the greatest upper fret access in the world and this guitar was no exception. That being said, it wasn't HARD to get to the upper frets, just not as good as I would've liked.

On the topic of tones, I found it to be very easy to get a wide variety of different sounds from many genres without issue. Though the pickups were a tad on the thinner side, I found that they had a nice medium output, perfect for a huge range of different styles from country to blues to hard rock.

SOUNDS

The tones that this guitar produced at times made me realize why the pros love the classic SSS Fender Stratocaster so much. It produced crisp, clear clean tones and viscous, searing lead tones with a nice bite as a result of those nice snappy single coils. When I owned it, I was using an Orange Rockerverb 50 head with 6V6s, and I also had extensive time with a Peavey Delta Blues 1x15 combo combined with a few pedals (overdrive, wah, analog echo.) Through these rigs I was able to conjure up classic cleans that reminded me of that classic early sixties vibe. Play dry and you've got awesome funk tones... but then add some reverb and you're surfin'! Switching over to the overdrive sounds, I found that this is where the guitar really shined. The single coils were bright, so to compensate I would dial in a fairly dark overdriven tone... add some echo and then turn up the tone on the guitar. The result was an extremely balanced and very punchy blues and rock tone. If I added some more gain and reverb, I was heading straight into the neoclassical shred realm. The only issue was that the pickups did tend to squeal at higher volumes, so I often would only use the guitar for lower gain tones at most.

Obviously a big factor of these guitars and their tones is just the specific guitar. I've played many early to late seventies Strats that were total DOGS. Lack of sustain, punch and general tone. However, sometimes you wind up on a good one, and that was the case here. A truly great sounding Strat!

OVERALL OPINION

All in all, I thought this guitar was great. I initially came into it because it was a deal that I couldn't pass up. I figured I would sell it within the week and then move on. However I ended up keeping it a bit longer, and only ended up trading it when another great deal came along. It has been my first and only USA made Fender instrument, and it was definitely a great experience. Though the quality control and general look of the guitar left a bit to be desired, the feel and tone that it offered was extremely great. Everyone who tried it agreed with my sentiment, and it's definitely one of those guitars that will be harder to replace down the line. If I could've had my choice, I MIGHT have opted for a tremolo equipped model since the bar is a good part of my style, but I was more than content with the hardtail when I had it. It's definitely put a good taste in my mouth where it had been mostly sour before. Strats are a fickle beast... you either love 'em or hate 'em. I've had countless S type guitars... and this one is the most recent one that I've had. CBS' crank 'em out attitude meant that the guitars were fairly inconsistent... but I definitely wound up with a good one from one of my favourite eras in music.
mooseherman02/01/2011

mooseherman's review"An absolute classic!"

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
This is an American classic, basically another great year for Fender. This Strat has all the great characteristics of a Strat, and features the still-great American craftsmanship of the 70s. The guitar has a maple body and neck with a maple fingerboard. There's three single-coil pole pickups with a volume knob and two tone controls as well as a five-way pickup selector switch below the strings. It has a larger headstock than most newer Strats do. It has 20 frets. It has a non-tremolo tailpiece, which is unfortunate if you like your whammy bar but is not essential anyway.

UTILIZATION

This guitar was an absolute dream for me to play. The standard Strat cutaway makes playing leads really easy. Even with a slightly worn fingerboard it felt like butter in my hands. Getting a good sound was as easy as plugging it in, the electronics on it still worked fine. It's actually a really light guitar which was and still is typical of Stratocasters. It was just as easy for me to play rhythm or lead on this guy, and it went through a variety of different styles of playing with ease.

SOUNDS

This is a fantastic sounding guitar. I basically loved the tone of it from the getgo. It is mostly the classic strat tone, bright and sparkling, but this was a bit different than the last couple older Strats that I've tried in that the mid-range was more pronounced. I don't know exactly what Fender did differently but it was really cool. It made the Strat rock a little harder, which I guess they were trying to do as rock moved into heavier territory in the later part of the decade.
I absolutely loved this with the Twin or any tube amp really. The Fender amps are probably the best bet though, as they make it sound great for blues, country or even lighter folk rock. Add in the right pedals and you've got great classic rock tones, or even heavier indie rock sounds (with a ton of fuzz this thing can get a ridiculous buzz going). As the Stratocaster is my favorite guitar, and this one is as good as any I've played, I really can't find anything I don't like about it.

OVERALL OPINION

I wasn't surprised by how good this guitar was, any Stratocaster that has stuck around since the 70s has to be pretty darn good since they always made great instruments back then. It's a shame that their overall quality has diminished the bigger the company gets. Anybody who comes across one of these and can afford to get it should really consider it as they absolutely rule.
mooseherman04/10/2010

mooseherman's review

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
This is a classic American made guitar. This one has a black maple finish, mine was not black but it did have the maple woodwork. It has a standard Fender bridge with a tremolo bar, has a maple neck and fingerboard. It also has three classic single-coil pickups, with a volume knob and two tone knobs as well as a 5 way pickup selector switch below the strings. It also has the typical Stratocaster style input which can be a problem if you use certain cables, however that is a rare issue.

UTILIZATION

The feel of this guitar is phenomenal. It's an old one, but it plays way better than a newer guitar usually does, assuming it's been maintained well. I think that this is a great guitar for playing electric country and classic rock, it has that great twang that comes naturally to the Strat. It also works really well for some surf and lighter fusion stuff as well. Basically, this is a fantastic Strat from a great year.

SOUNDS

The sound of this guitar is phenomenal. Mine was refitted with newer single-coil pickups, but I received the impression that they were similar to the originals. Therefore, I can say that this guitar probably sounded then, and still does sound, remarkably clear, bright, and sharp. It's not the heaviest-hitting guitar out there, because of the single-coiled pickups, but it does make a great sound for other purposes. The bridge pickup is almost piercingly bright (in a good way), and the neck pickup is smooth and solid all the way through. The neck pickup actually sounds phenomenal for blues playing.

OVERALL OPINION

This is a great guitar in many ways, not the least of which being the sound. I'd say that finding one of these at a halfway decent price is going to be very difficult for most people. Therefore, I'd have to recommend buying it through a site like Craigslist or something, mainly because a store is going to make this way more expensive.
mooseherman04/28/2009

mooseherman's review

Fender Stratocaster [1965-1984]
My '68 strat was made in America. It has three single-coil pickups and 22 frets. It has the original Fender standard tremolo bridge. There is one volume knob, two tones knobs, and a pickup selector switch with five settings (bridge, bridge/middle, middle, middle/neck, neck). These are all located below the strings in the middle of the body, which is typical of Stratocasters. It has a rosewood neck (I don't know if all '68 strats have this neck, as I bought it used.) It was also painted candy apple red, which was not the original color.

UTILIZATION

The neck has a great feel, arguably the best I've played. It is easy to play everything from R&B style grooves, jazzy chord melodies, and rocking riffs with ease. It's also easy to play a really nice, bluesy solo with it. The last frets are actually somewhat difficult to play, given the shortness of the neck. The 22nd fret is almost impossible to fret, which makes it almost useless. This is rarely a problem for me, though, as I don't tend to need those notes often (I'm not sure whether or not that is because I've gotten used to the guitar, however). It's not too heavy, and easy to transport. The shape makes it easy to play standing up, sitting down, laying down, any way of playing it is really easy. It is also borderline indestructable, although this is no reason to be careless with it. This guitar might not be the best choice for shredders, because the strings tend to have a lot of bounce and the guitar just isn't suited to be played like that.

SOUNDS

These sounds suit the diverse array of music that I play rather well. The amps I use are generally Fender Deluxe Reverb '65 reissues, Marshalls, and Fender Hot Rods. I think that all three have their charms but the Fenders sound better, especially the '65. With clean settings, one can get a nice, thick R&B tone (neck pickup), or a bright, twangy Rolling Stones-esque rhythm sound (bridge pickup). Leads on clean channels can be incredibly smooth or incredibly pretty, depending on how loud the amp is and what pickup you are using. The natural distortion that occurs when an amp is cranked is usually the source of the best sound; when the amp is loud, it's got a bright, immediate sound that is striking and impressive. Many people have commented on the guitar, saying it's one of the best they've ever heard. When played with a distortion pedal or on a distorted channel, the guitar is a little more tricky. Feedback is an issue (unless feedback is what you're going for), and if you try to get a really heavy tone out of it (Metallica, Soundgarden) it will probably not work for you. If, however, what you are going for is more in the vein of The Stones, Pink Floyd, or classic rock bands of old, as well as newer acts like Wilco and Broken Social Scene, these sounds are definitely attainable. If the gain is cranked, feedback drenched rock like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. is also attainable and souds great. (Some of these acts use other Fender guitars like Jazzmasters, but similar sounds are definitely still attainable with the Strat. After all, Stratocasters are known for their versatility.) The bridge pickup will allow you to get a heavier, thicker tone that's still bright enough to cut through, while the neck pickup will give you a shrill, almost piercing lead tone that simply rules. If you are using a thick amount of distortion, and noise is too much, switching to the neck/middle of middle/bridge settings will eliminate most of it. The tone will change slightly but at that point the difference is minimal.

OVERALL OPINION

I've had this guitar for ten years and it's still my favorite of all time. I like the versatility of tones, and the brightness that it can achieve (I've yet to hear a guitar that sounds this bright without being painful to the ears). With a good amp, I feel like I let the guitar play itself! I tried a lot of other models but I didn't find one that came close to this. That I found it used at a reasonable price was only a bonus. I would definitely say, if you are more interested in sound that appearance, go for a model that is scratched or beat up, but not to the point of intense damage (just a few dings.) It'll be cheaper, and worth it. Otherwise it'll go for an insane amount of money. I would definitely buy another one of these if I had to.