57 Stratocaster Reissue Review


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57 Stratocaster Reissue Review

from Fender
(Thanks to TheEdgeVox at Harmony Central)

Review of Fender Stratocaster 1957 Reissue
My guitar was made in 1999. The neck is stamped October and body November. The guitar still has 3 way switch and came with G&G tweed case. Out from the case, the body is a two-piece (just visible up close) of alder with lovely raised grain and deep profile. The neck is maple with walnut skunk stripe and what looks like bone nut, but could be cyclovac, a dense bone imitation. I must also point out that this guitar is left-handed and although we have a harder time attaining such guitars, at least they are pre-dominantly hand-made with a little bit more care & attention! The tuners are Kluson split barrel and the tuning of the guitar is absolutley solid! The tuning keys haven't been touched in over six months of endless bends and blues licks. The frets have been put in beautifully and all the sides still have the coating of varnish covering them, which has a slight crimson sheen. They've been filed with great care, making the guitar very comfortable to play; in fact, I can't put it down!

Action, Fit, & Finish:

The action from the shop could be described as '50's' so I lowered the saddles and tweeked the neck a nat's balls, to straighten it up. The nut was decent/good enough, but I filed the edges down and got the strings sitting a little lower to be more comfortable in the F & Bflat positions. Now it's like playing on warm butter; you can't put the thing down! Inside, all wired up beautifully, with period acurate detail. Cloth covered wires, perfect routing and everything as you would expect from a $1500 guitar. Nothing was out of line and you can tell a lot of attention has been put into making these vintage reissues. (quite rightly so!)

Sound Quality:

The sound of these authentic pickups is gorgeous - real sweet and juicy. Not as loud as my 2000 American Series (about 2db quieter) but each pickup has more than it's own sound quality - they definitely have a 'mojo' that will see the player endlessly switching between them, trying to decide which is your favourite tone! The bridge is kind of thin, well defined in the treble, but not piercing. The middle has a cheeky tone of it's own (beautiful through a Vox Ac30) and the neck PuP has a full tone, without too much bass response. 'Another Brick in The Wall' never sounded so nice! Pick ups have a little hum in certain settings, but why are we buying a 57 replica? Certainley not to sound like an 80's model! The sounds from this guitar are unmistakably 'Country' and 'Rock n Roll'. If I want hard rock or Jazz, I'll pick up something else that suits.


The hardware is great, fully authentic and it's built for years of gigging. (that's if you don't mind taking the thing out and risking it getting scratched!:) The g&g case is also surprisingly solid and made the trip from the US to UK without a dent.

Customer Support:

I have dealt with Fender in the past and for a busy company, they are pretty good in getting back to you. I can't say anything about their repair facilities because quite frankly, I've never had or heard about a guitar having such a fault as to warrant it being sent back! (there must be some cases though...no one's perfect)

Overall Rating:

Well, I've been playing over 20 years now as a professional and gigging away week in, week out. This 57 strat is a great addition to what I need on stage and I do feel that Fender have got it just right. (and with the 62 model) Strangely enough, after all the praise I've given it, I wish the pickups matched the American series in volume, as I have to use a boost when switching between guitars - but - that's the nature of the beast, I guess it would alter the tone slightly? To say all my strats are all US Fender, they certainley all have their own sounds and quirks and I guess there are very few things ever made that were pretty much 'perfect' to start with! Well done Fender.
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