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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / California Series Strat

Previous 20 Messages  

United Kingdom

Sep 17th, 2005 04:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a black California series fat Strat here in the UK.

It's got a few battle scars, but it is one of the nicest Strats I have ever played.

I got it for a great price, and it has totally satisfied my US Strat cravings, so much so that I recently wenrt out and bought a US Tele instead of another Strat.


united states

Dec 16th, 2005 08:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have had alot of strats, I love mine. Black, rosewood,cs 54's in it. I wish I could buy another. I got a JV last week figured thats about as close, but with the slight v still like my Ca better. I was searching for a new #1 after a customized 70's strat had big neck problems, this is it. I sold an american deluxe, strat plus, american standards etc. Why don't they make this guitar again. I hear the vintage player is like it but not into the noisless thing. They have been getting tough to find used.

Contributing Member

The Left Coast, USA

Dec 26th, 2005 08:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Bought a NOS sunburst Cal Strat in '00. Replaced the pups with Kinman AVn-Blues, changed the plastics to relic matte. It's my treasure, simple as that.


United States

Jan 2nd, 2006 11:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I bought mine new in 1998; sunburst with rosewood fretboard. Replaced the tex-mex pickups with texas specials. Quite simply, it's the best guitar I've owned (I sold my 1988 American Standard shortly thereafter).


Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Feb 1st, 2006 10:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

I changed the Tex-Mex pick-ups on mine the the Hot Noiseless & moved the middle tone control to the bridge.



Muddy Waters Telecaster Club!!
Feb 9th, 2006 08:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

Saw one on E-Bay for $900 USD C.A.R.

Wow !!! The price just seemed to skyrocket all of a sudden within a year.Collector??? I dont know...Not just yet..

Cheers !!

Contributing Member


Mar 28th, 2006 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I bought mine new in 1998; sunburst with rosewood fretboard. Replaced the tex-mex pickups with texas specials. Quite simply, it's the best guitar I've owned (I sold my 1988 American Standard shortly thereafter)."

Same same except my is Fiesta Red and my MIA was '89.
Also have a Fat Cali Tele in CAR.


Second Line


Apr 17th, 2006 02:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recently bought a sunburst edition of the Cali. Fat Strat Series. Love it thus far, though I'm planning on swapping out the neck and middle pick ups. I'm currently shopping around for the right pick ups.



Jun 3rd, 2006 08:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

What's the fretboard radius on a California series strat ?

Contributing Member

Valparaiso, FL

Care for a mouse pie?
Jun 3rd, 2006 08:07 PM   Edit   Profile  




Jun 3rd, 2006 08:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

I read somewhere online that it's a 62 reissue clone so I thought the radius would be 7.25...

(This message was last edited by armann at 08:17 PM, Jun 3rd, 2006)

Contributing Member

Valparaiso, FL

When I get fit and grow bionic arms...
Jun 4th, 2006 01:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's 9.5". It has some vintage features, but the radius isn't one of them.

Second Line
Contributing Member

Philadelphia, PA

Dec 18th, 2007 08:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I bought a Cali "Fat" Strat off ebay two years ago. Typical sunburst finish. I hated the Tex-Mex pups, though, and so I replaced them with a set of Vintage Vibe pups. And I replaced the bridge 'bucker with one of VV's P90s. That P90 is the "Secret weapon." It still has a Strat sound, but it's a Strat sound that's been soaked in bacon grease. What I mean is the P90 gets me a tone that sounds like it belongs in a dirt floor juke joint off highway whatever in Tunica.

The feel of the Cali Strat is solid. Nice neck profile, great for slide. It's a workman's guitar. Great value for $500.

Contributing Member

Southern FL, USA

Are you having Fun yet :))
Feb 17th, 2008 11:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a Cali Fiesta Red w/rosewood neck and a Cali Red Fat/Tele. Would like to find a maple neck Fiesta Red Cali Strat ;)

Big F
Contributing Member

New Hampshire

Big F
Nov 19th, 2008 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

I picked up my Fiesta Red Cali Strat at a music store in NH that was going out of business back in 98. Even then the price was really low. Great strat, ended up pulling the pups and replacing with Harmonic design vintage in neck/mid, and a P90 version in the bridge. Really nice sounding and great finish on this guitar. Several years ago I walked into a shop where they had a SB Cali Tele hanging there. Didn't sell for well over a year (actually the owner said no one even looked or tried it out) so I again picked this up at a really low price. The Tele has the strat neck pup, and sounds excellent stock. Another great find.
Big F

Contributing Member


LESS THAN 2 months to go
Dec 1st, 2008 08:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

My guitar is still going strong, even after a year of playing gigs in Iraq, including various helicopter flights and some outdoor shows when it was over 100 degrees. Probably like any Strat or Tele, the California series is one tough guitar.



Apr 4th, 2010 06:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

I still marvel at the beautiful dark rosewood on the neck of my black California Stratocaster every time I open the deluxe, red-lined case I purchased for it.
Love the vintage hardware and hum canceling at 2 and 4 makes it great for playing in front of the computer. It's dead quiet.
People keep parting these out on e-bay, so original complete examples may be few and far between in the future.
I'm keeping mine.


Columbia, SC

You don't have to be a brain, surgeon.
Jun 28th, 2014 09:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

For what it's worth, I found a California Strat for sale in a Guitar Center in Charlotte today. It was in great shape, sunburst, just hanging on the wall with a price of $699.

That seems kind of high to me, and I still own mine!


Hamilton, Canada

Music is your only friend....
Apr 22nd, 2015 05:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Instant BTO.

Contributing Member

Austin TX

Dec 3rd, 2015 06:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

I never posted in this thread - I have one of these. I did read up about it here before I bought mine about four years ago. It's a great guitar, I'm very pleased with it. I keep it in my home office (tuned to open E currently) and play it almost daily. Mine is black and came with the OEM black Fender ABS case. It was NOS when I bought it - it still had the plastic on the pick-guard. I paid $500 for it, which I think was a bargain.

It has answered that itch for a 62 RI Strat as I hoped it would - at a far lower cost. I'm guessing this is why they don't make a similar model today.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / California Series Strat

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