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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 2012 American Vintage '70's Strat Reissue



A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever.
May 15th, 2016 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had been wondering about these ever since they came out ten or so years ago. Specifically, I wanted an economical way to scratch the itch I have had for a vintage white CS '69 Closet Classic. I am hoping that this AVRI, in alder with an "Olympic White" finish, will do it. Color is similar to the code 41 Vintage White of the CS, and identical to my 2013 oly American Standard. Neck is untinted maple as with the 2012 and newer AVs, like the newer AV '65 and nothing like the other 2011- and earlier AVRIs. Weight is in the high sevens-- any lighter and I would not associate it with a seventies strat. This is a crossover guitar in more ways than one.

I have developed the opinion that a strat is just a slab with whatever electronics and flavor of pickups one desires, as long as for the love of all things Holy they are single coils, and the only thing that sets a strat above anything else, and gives it its own hardwired personality, is its NECK. This one is spec'd as a "U" profile, but it is not the deep U that I remember from my formative years. Blindfolded, I would swear that it is a '66 profile. I bought this one for the beautifully figured flatsawn neck, and the three-bolt plate that I cannot get in a '69. With the 7.25" radius, the neck feels slick and fast; I can't tell what the final finish layer on this is, but it is not a plasticky as poly and is glossy like but not as sticky as nitro... It feels like a slightly fuller D than a current American Standard, with about the same level of fret-end dressing. The whole guitar makes me believe that this is exactly what an "American Standard" Stratocaster would have been in 1972 using current production methods. I need to pull the pickguard, because it actually feels like an American Standard body (contours are identical) with vintage hardware and wiring and a '66 neck. As such, and as I prefer a 7.25" radius, it is very close to what I would want in a new, standard strat...

"American Vintage Stratocaster Pickups" is about all one can get from the Fender spec. This ambiguity is appropriate-- Of my dozen strats, this one both has the least individual personality and the very best average stereotypical strat sound of all of them. The neck is full and soulful, the middle is honest and clear, and the bridge is more shrill and cutting. Supposedly, they are wound to about the same resistance, so the differences would be due to the position in the body relative to the strings. If I had to hand an alien a strat and tell him, "We come in peace, this is a Stratocaster," I think it would be this one-- It is simply totally stratty. He would have to discover the 2nd and 4th position in-between sounds the way mankind did after Leo handed us earthlings his masterpiece. Because each of the three positions has the stereotypical personality of that pickup, I will not convert it to five-way with the provided switch-- The RWRP on the American Standard covers that just fine.

I mentioned that this is a "crossover" guitar. It has the best features of a 1971 (single string tree and stamped saddles/steel trem block) and a '72 (three-bolt neck plate and bullet truss rod). It has the quality and finish of a current American Standard with the design features of an early-seventies strat and a neck that feels *to me* like an NOS '66. It represents the last of the less obsessively-correct but player-oriented AVRI series with an NOS finish much more like the current AV line-- If the finish is poly under a thin layer of nitro like the AVRIs, then it is that much more accurate to the seventies.

... and I am beginning to think the big headstock looks better than the pre-66 one...

(This message was last edited by Morgenholz at 02:56 PM, May 15th, 2016)

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / 2012 American Vintage '70's Strat Reissue

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