All of the Stratocasters I used in over 13 years playing with Chris Isaak.
I started with the black one, it’s a 1966 I purchased in Missouri for $200. When we got a record out and started to tour, I got the sunburst 50s made in Fullerton. They never quite matched very well sound wise, the sunburst was always darker sounding.
In 1987 I decided to retire those and go with a matching pair of reissues. I talked to my friends at Fender and had them hold the next two white 62 reissues. I got them to be less concerned about wear and tear (and potential loss) I’d be facing on the road again. And I wanted two that matched better sound wise, and might as well match the color too.
I went down to Fullerton and picked them up in the warehouse, it was a fun day. The guitars were really nice and sounded great. I could not tell them apart. In the studio, I did a A/B test of the new guitars against the old ones. The new ones sounded better by unanimous vote.
I recorded the next album with the new white guitars, “Wicked Game” used one of them, not sure which.
Fender makes some awesome affordable instruments, but if you want to go custom with them, the things can get expensive quickly! Luckily, there are a ton of options out there, and many may be more affordable than you think. Like this custom Strat from the guys at Fall Rock Shop. Prices for their custom guitars start around $500. This Blue Burst Strat was about $900, but has a top of the line Wilkenson tremolo bridge, $150 worth of pickups and a flame maple neck. Check out the specs and another pic after the jump!
Danny Hines just sent me these pics of my new custom two-color sunburst hardtail Strat body! He does the nitro finish himself and has been slowed down a bit by the crazy cold winter we are having this year, but I should have it soon. He said he still has a bit of touch up before applying the final clears. Can’t wait and will keep you posted!
My “new” 2001 MIM Strat came to me with a 1/8th inch drill hole in the front (it was drilled by the previous owner for a midi pickup). I wanted to fix it without a ton of effort, spending a bunch of money or making it worse. I posted over on Strat Talk and got some good advice. Then I got some wood glue, a toothpick and some nail polish and had at it. Came out pretty good for $2. More pics after the jump!
Picked this up two weeks ago off Craigslist for $200. The seller bought it new at Guitar Center in 2001, drilled two small holes in the pickguard and one in the body for a midi, then never played it. It’s in great shape and I love the neck (doesn’t seem as glossy as the newer ones). I had been debating new MIM vs new American Standard but this was too good of a deal to pass up. My first Strat.
Looks like I’m going to be traveling more for work now, so I’ve been geeking out on travel electric guitars. There is an excellent post at The Unique Guitar Blog. Surfing around a bit, I was able to find a found a few more options. So this post will just focus on my favorites.
So the first question you should ask is, why not just bring your regular guitar? You can take it in a hard case. Or even a gig bag. If you need it to be smaller, you can remove the neck. And if you remove the neck a lot, you can add threaded neck inserts like this guy on Strat Talk.