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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 1994 American Std Strat vs 1997 Californication Strat... ?



Mar 21st, 2018 12:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi Everyone , new on forum but have browed it loads in the past.

I'm looking got some advice on buying another strat.
2 have popped up within my budget.
a 1994 AM std (40th anniversary badges) and a 1997 Califirnication Strat. Both 2 tone TB sunburst with rosewood necks and all original in very good condition.

Currently I have a Classic player 60s (sonic blue) and its good, amazing build quality but not gelling with it 100% . Feel 12" radius neck is too big for my small hands and a 9.5 is more comfortable.

Also the CS69 pickups are too mid and harsh to my ears.
I previously had a Classic series 60s MIM (7.5 vintage neck) and it had nicer more open sounding PUPS but the neck was off and not well finished, so i let it go.

I like a Frusciante type sound , to more funk based blues .
Read the Californication has Tex mex PUPS , how do they compare to CS69s?
I think I prefer 62 type vintage ones, like I had in my previous start - A Classic 60s series
I love a vintage tone, but an open chimey open not a hot spanky one!

Could it be that a Sunburst finish opens up the sound compared to a thick poly finish? As i had TB sunburst on my classic series 60s.

The 1994 Am Std will have standard PUPs won't it ?
Recently I tried a modern AM professional back to back with a classic player and the AM sounded much more smoother and warmer and bell like.

Any thoughts would be great guys :)

Contributing Member


Mar 21st, 2018 01:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Tex Mex pickups are a bit hotter than the Am Std units.

It is hard to say what is the better guitar for you, because how it feels in your hands directly affects how you address the guitar and ultimately how you play it.

Both models are 100% pro-level instruments and will do what you need them to do. Whichever one you decide upon will be a rock-solid addition to your arsenal.

Best advice is to play each one (if possible), take many notes, and then compare the pros and cons of each one. If you make a list of the data points that are important to you (e.g., weight, neck carve, tone, playability, responsiveness, fit and finish, etc.), and then score each item on a scale of 1 to 5, making the decision is simple addition.

Keep in mind that playability can be adjusted (unlike color and neck carve), and the gauge of strings on the guitars you test can vary. Take a caliper or micrometer with you to measure the string gauges because that has a lot to do with how a guitar feels in your hands.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Mar 21st, 2018 04:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

Solid advice from Mr. Goo.

I'd just add not to weigh *too* much on fretboard radius. IMO it's more about the shape (or carve) of the back and the taper than radius. Radius *is* relevant, but shouldn't be the sole criterion.

There was a recent discussion in another thread about our sometimes "preconceived notions" on fb radius, and it made me realise how myopic I'd become on the subject.

I too have small(ish) hands and have found width, taper and thickness are profoundly bigger considerations.

Welcome to the FDP too!

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 07:13 PM, Mar 21st, 2018)



Mar 26th, 2018 01:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for replies .
I tried out several strats at shop recently and found the following .
Am pro 9.5 , nice but quite thick round back , nice radius , big frets tho. C modern I think
Another 60s clsssic player, same as mine .
Thinner more oval flatter c shape , flatter radius 12, large frets.

Then a squire , .. best neck for me! Slightly thinner rounded but not as round as am standard / pro , 9.5 but sure it had thinner fret wire, not vintage thin but probably cheaper slightly thinner wire, and this works best fit me .
Weirdly amazing finish for a £300 guitar! Cpnisered buying it just for the neck !
But it had 70s headstock, beige yellow paint , but looked quite thin as was a stressed uneven finish , pickups ok but but dull compared to the/ my cs69s

Also tried a compound radius , not bad but bigger c shape.

Thinking slimmer fretwire could help mine, and see if it’s possible to add some radius back into the neck .

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 1994 American Std Strat vs 1997 Californication Strat... ?

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