FDP Forum / California Series Strat/ 30 messages in thread.

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Contributing Member

St. Robert, MO

Gruveking is one of the sweetest fellows
Mar 13th, 2005 08:01 AM        

I've searched all over the Fender Product Reviews and haven't seen these guitars reviewed, so here's a short one.

These were made for about two years, 97-98 or so, and are easily identified with the AMXN..... serial number. Vintage tuners, Tex Mex pups, 21 frets, in a variety of colors, rosewood or maple neck, these are great guitars. Assembled mostly in the US (says made in USA and California Series on the headstock) and painted in Mexico, they are a very good breed, also available in 3 single coils or as the Fat model with one humbucker in the bridge.


Memphis, TN, USA

Mar 15th, 2005 01:25 PM        

These are one of the few Fender Strat models that combine American Vintage RI hardware (not Ping) with modern fingerboard radius (9.5") and medium-jumbo frets. I changed the pickups in mine (SD SSL-1's at n/m and Twangbanger b), but it's stock otherwise. Plus, it's one of the few Fenders available in Fiesta Red. What's not to like? The Teles are nice, too. I prefer them to the current HWY 1 models because the finish is nicer and the hardware is better.


Contributing Member

Of course you should

...everyone needs another guitar
Mar 15th, 2005 02:41 PM        

I've got one in Fiesta Red, it came as a Fat Strat, but now has a set of CS Fat 50's in there (I thought that appropo since it *was* originally a Fat Strat). One of the best guitars I've owned. Still gets played every week.

The only newer strat I might like more, if it came in more color options, would be the Vintage Player, which is very similar.




Muddy Waters Telecaster Club!!
Mar 26th, 2005 07:45 PM        

...hey where are all the California Strat owners??? Stand up and be counted ya all'.I believe these are the most understated guitar before the millenium arrived.Bringing these puppies back will only wreak havoc amongst purist.

Califonia Strat Rules !!!and you know it does !!!



Nicoma Park, OK.

May 15th, 2005 06:54 AM        

I found mine at Guitar Center over a year ago, the vintage hardware and Fiesta Red finish sold me and I bought it!

Great guitar with a vintage vibe. It's a hard choice between my Calif. Series & my Amer. Series Strat.



Jun 8th, 2005 02:07 PM        

Don't have the Strat but I do have the California Series Tele..very sweet instrument.
One of my favorites.


Contributing Member

Valparaiso, FL

Jun 8th, 2005 09:32 PM        

I bought one online, it will be here tomorrow. It's Fiesta Red with a maple neck, absolutely gorgeous!


B.C. ,*Canada*

Muddy Waters Telecaster Club!!
Sep 2nd, 2005 04:32 AM        

...say?? How much are these fetchin' for lately??
Are they still around to be had??..



Nicoma Park, OK.

Sep 15th, 2005 11:42 AM        

Vintage Guitar's book value has the Calif. Series listed top price as $550. Here's a link for some decent info. on them.



Sep 15th, 2005 01:53 PM        

Have a black tele and love it. Should probably be lookin for a matching strat but I just bought a "plus deluxe."


United Kingdom

Sep 17th, 2005 04:21 PM        

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        

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        

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        

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        

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        

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        

"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        

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        

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        


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