Added another one to the stable

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Man, I love craigslist. Well, I love it and my wallet hates it... I was browsing their site the other day when I stumbled across a rather innocuous looking post. The title read, "Vintage Stratocaster mint condition all black" - nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, but for some reason I clicked on it to learn more.

What I found was equivalent to a white whale: a 1986 Fender Stratocaster Contemporary Series, Made in Japan, single pick-up, completely blacked out, with a Series 1 tremolo, and all of the original paperwork and case. And it was $400.

The reasons this particular Stratocaster is so rare are many, and perhaps best illustrated by a photo comparison. On the left is a traditional Stratocaster. On the right is the one I bought.

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All-black Strats (as they're usually called) are super rare. Even more rare is the single pick-up configuration. If you look closely at the two guitars, the one on the left has three "lipstick" (coil) pick-ups in the body. Mine has a single humbucking pickup (rectangular). The instrument jack is located in the body on classic Strat; mine is in the base of the body. The headstock on nearly every single Strat is always wood grain; mine is black. Even the tuning knobs are black.

Anyway, you get the idea. It's sort of unique and cool. And the price was ridiculous; the cheapest I've found these anywhere else online was easily twice the price that I got it for, and none were in nearly as nice of condition as this one.

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The guy who sold it was the original owner... he's had it for nearly 30-years, and he took incredible care of it. Kudos to him, and sorry that he didn't really realize what he had, in terms of value. But I'm not complaining. :-)

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I'm not normally a fan of tremolos (aka "Whammy Bars") because I don't really use them, and they require extra know-how in terms of set-up and maintenance, but this one is a bit special as it's a Series 1 tremolo that was licensed to Fender by a company called Kahler. According to my friend Jeremy from the Guitar Center, it's a pretty awesome tremolo.

So, there you have it. The thing is gorgeous, it's in like new condition, it's pretty rare, and most importantly, it plays like a dream. I'm still quite stinky at the guitar, but getting better every day. :-) I'd say I practice 4-5 times a week for around an hour or so each time. YouTube has been a big help with finding drills and songs to practice.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on January 22, 2015 12:24 PM.

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