For 2014 only, Fender celebrates the diamond jubilee of the world’s greatest electric guitar with the limited-edition 60th Anniversary American Vintage 1954 Stratocaster. This special guitar honors the Stratocaster’s very first model year as an “exciting new instrument” with a tone “as new and different as tomorrow,” and is reverently crafted with a rich selection of features, appointments and accessories.
The two-piece ash body features a side seam and a flash-coat lacquer finish in the guitar’s original 2-Color Sunburst. The one-piece maple neck has a comfortable 1954 profile and date stamp just below the truss rod adjustment nut, topped by a 7.25”-radius fingerboard with rolled edges and 21 vintage frets. Three new 1954 single-coil Stratocaster pickups deliver a singing original-era voice, with five-way switching complemented by an included optional three-way switch for original wiring. The guitar also features a single-ply white pickguard and white polystyrene control knobs, bone nut and round string tree, American Vintage synchronized tremolo bridge with six “patent pending” saddles, vintage tuners and nickel-chrome hardware.
Special extras and accessories include a vintage-design center-pocket tweed case; replica polishing cloth, cable, black leather strap and bridge cover; extra tremolo springs (two), and reproduction 1954 paperwork. Each guitar will come with a 1954 Anniversary Strat® Certificate and the first 54 of the run will feature a special 60th anniversary “1st 54” engraved neck plate. Available only during 2014 in a limited edition of 1,954 guitars.
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Don't get me wrong .. I would have really liked to have been able to buy one if these.
I had the money burning a hole in my pocket, and was ready to go .. Until I found out there was no lefty option.
I refuse to believe in this century if CNC computer controlled manufacturing (which , let's face it.. This guitar is as is most solid body guitars ) that it's not possible to at least order one. And no, before you ask I don't want the '56, because it's not the same guitar and I also don't want to drop £3500 on a custom shop either.
Pro's: One of the best sounding Fenders I have ever played, its a winner. I couldn't help but initially test drive it to some Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Surf tunes and it delivered! The tonal pallet is impressive, fit and finish was remarkable and didn't need a setup out of the box which is unheard of. I couldn't imagine not having this guitar in my collection and would replace it in a heartbeat (provided I could still find one) if anything were to happen to it
Cons: The first one I purchased had to be returned, it had a large knot in the neck at the nut that you could actually feel. I was surprised that made it past Fenders QC process and looks like a future neck break waiting to happen. Second is solid, however, I am surprised at the lack quality control for the grades of wood used. I would expect better quality for this being a 1954 American Vintage Anniversary Model.
onemeanstrat owns this item
Previously I had an Eric Johnson signature in two tone sunburst, I did like it and play it but ran into financial difficulties and decided it had to go. Even while I was cleaning and packing the guitar to send off I 'almost' stopped and called the sale off.
Since then I have got other guitars LP, Tele etc. and a Gibson 339. The 339 was a and is a dream to play, but I missed the sound of a strat. I had always found the LP the most hard work playability wise but I guess it's what you are used to.
I went and tried several strats in a sound room. They all sounded so different to each other. I came very close to getting the one I liked, the the guy threw in another for me to try... The '54!... I plugged in and WOW! It stole the show. I tried them all over and over again but for me the '54 came out tops. She was ex demo and had a couple hundred £s knocked off. But she was mint to my eye. I play her every day and find it hard to put her down. Only one thing I might do is get a mod done to the vol pot as any adjustment drastically affects tone.
I just had the two guitars now, the 339 and the Strat, for now the Strat is getting all the attention. If you can lay your hands on one get it and play it don't leave it as something to look at and show off as a collectors item. Only 1,954 made!
StratmanUK owns this item
Back in the 90's I paid a small fortune for a real '54, and sold it back because I did not appreciate it (duh). It did not have a Floyd Rose or Hot Pick Ups to do the VH, Judas Priest, Scorpions, etc... style we were playing back then. As I got more into Blues, I wish I had kept it. I remember the "ear piercing" highs of the neck pick up (I mean it in a nice way), it cut through the mix. This new one I got feels "right-on". Same Fat Neck, and Ash Wood, Same Color, same design. Am I going to tell you that is sounds the same? No. Obviously, is missing the resonance of the aged/dried wood, but I would not buy a "Relic" re-issue. I have a red '69 Camaro and I would not like it all beat up. That's just my opinion though, and I respect others.
Oh BTW, these pick ups sound a little darker, but their overtones are crystal clear and beautiful!
I guess having this guitar is kind of like traveling in a "time machine", going back to the year 1954 and getting it brand new from a music store! Back to 2014.
It truly has that vibe.
Razorbill owns this item
This guitar is beyond my expectations. Tone wise, looks and playability. The sounds these PU are putting out is beyond amazing. From guitar to amp and nothing in between you get the sweetest sounds you ever heard from a Stratocaster and I played some Stratocasters. I never played a Stratocaster from the 1954 era so I cannot compare the two but this ting screams. I have to compare with the vintage Strats I own and man this guitar gives them a run for the money. I would like to compare this guitar with a 1954 series from the Custom Shop just to hear the difference. I don’t think CS can exceed more tone wise. Playability is also amazing. The neck of this guitar is the most comfortable neck I ever played on a Strat. Sustain is to die for. Finish of this guitar is flawless. People of Fender you nailed everything with this guitar. IMHO this will become a very sought after guitar once they hear them on a stage.
taucher owns this item
Ten years ago, in 2004, I ordered one of the Fender Custom Shop's 50th Anniversary 1954 Stratocasters through my dealer in Cedar Falls, Iowa (Bob's Guitars). The one I received was a beauty, built by the late great John English. (RIP)
While I was very happy with that guitar (and ended up giving it to one of my sons), I have to say that the “60th Anniversary ‘American Vintage’ 1954 Stratocaster” that I bought last week (also from Bob's Guitars in Cedar Falls, Iowa) is the more historically-accurate re-creation of Leo's best guitar idea ever.
It has a beautifully-figured Ash body, a very comfortable 1954 neck profile (with softly-rounded edges and the correct 7.25" radius), and this guitar just really looks and feels "right". Its correctly-shaped polystyrene knobs and pickup covers do a lot to enhance the authenticity of its appearance, too. The sound produced by the re-designed pickups is "right on" and I appreciate the factory-installed 5-way switching. From top to bottom, the "vibe" of this Stratocaster is as close to "perfect" as it gets.
With enhanced historical accuracy based upon Fender's most detailed scrutiny ever of "vintage" 1954 Strats, this 60th Anniversary Model, especially with an MSRP which is $2,300 less than that of the 50th Anniversary Custom Shop offering from a decade earlier, to me, is a terrific bargain. Thanks, Fender. Well done!
Like the 50th, this is a Limited Edition model that will become a future collector's item, no doubt. With its re-designed pickups and thin flash-coat lacquer finish, for my money, this is the best guitar in Fender's 2014 catalog. Play one while you can. It's a very genuine offering of the all-time classic "Leo got it right the first time" design: “The original Fender Stratocaster”.
nicholekarl owns this item
The specifications come very close to what I know about the original 54's, with only a few very sensible changes (5-way switch and bridge pickup connected to tone pot) which are still changeable to the original wiring if desired (3-way pickup selector included). The pickups have been re-designed to come as close as possible to the original. They give a very clear and sweet sound and perform exceptionally well for playing chords and hybrid styles (in addition to playing single note leads, where every Strat is great for). The difference between the 5 pickup positions is very noticeable and all producing beautiful variations that shine when playing clean/crunch. With fuzz or distortion the guitar performs also brilliantly in particular on the bridge and middle positions. I love really love how you can get volume swell and tone swell to mimic pedal steel and wah type effects convincingly.
A very important part of any guitar is the neck shape and feel, and this is very dependent on the player. I love the neck on this guitar, its chunkiness, 7.25 inch radius, vintage-style frets, and rounded edges all complement each other as to make playing a great experience. For me, this is the perfect neck that I have been waiting for a long time.
The body shape contour is deep and the finish shows a beautiful ash underneath; very comfortable to play. The weight is great at around 7.2 lbs in total. The pickup selector was a bit loose and I have fixed it securely with some plumbing tape. I installed the 5 springs as to bring the bridge flush to the body, which suits the styles I currently like to play. The stratocaster is such an incredible flexible guitar, however, and it would be easy for me to experiment with e.g. 3 spring set-ups for more twangy tremolo style playing. I know this instrument will carry me through many years of happy playing and follow me along my path of musical experimentation.
Really love this instrument and look forward to many years of companionship.
PB7001 owns this item
As a pedantic detail nut for vintage strats, I can say that I am very well pleased. So many details that they nailed- the headstock shape, walnut tear drop shape, body contours, the pickups, the knob shapes/materials, trem plate string holes, trem block itself, pat. pend. saddles, and I even found a red pencil body date in the trem cavity. The only "updates" are a five way switch (a three position is in the case), a neck plate serial #, and modern wiring (tone control for bridge pup). I'm sure there might be some details that are non-original, but I can't find anything that sticks out! And I'm glad they put the serial on the neck plate and did modern wiring- I don't need to change a thing!
Whoever was in charge of this product nailed it in every possible way!
Now, how does it play/sound? I'm blown away again! Plays very smooth- the attention to detail is amazing! Frets are perfectly formed, no sharp edges, and well polished. Action is quite low, and no buzzing. The neck on this strat is awesome - Chunky, but not overwhelming, easy to play but not fatiguing.
As for sound, wow!. The pups have a very soft attack, with dare I say haunting mids, soft uppers, and full low end. This thing crushes the blues, and begs you to play jazzy complex chords, and sounds great with OD or fuzz. Resonates very loud and clear, with excellent sustain. Certainly a keeper!
ajbergren owns this item
Rating this guitar is a challenge. I've already got an American Deluxe Fat Strat (2001). When the question asks "Rate the features of this item" the Fat Strat wins in loads of different places (locking tuners, noiseless pickups, roller nut etc) but that misses the point of a 1954 reissue. I love the feel and vibe of this guitar. Played through my Blues Junior amp with a bit of reverb I'm treated to the classic sound of the 50's. Moving the volume (gain) clockwise is like a trip through rock and roll history. I've rated this guitar 5 in every area because in 1954 that's exactly what it was and it makes no sense to compare it with modern versions of the Strat which have had 60 years of evolution. Buy one if you don't mind the odd "feature" which is not quite on a par with today's offerings (although there's not many) but you'll love the chunky maple neck, the stunning 2 colour sunburst finish and the classic Fender tones. Fender have made a real effort with this guitar and included all sorts things in the package which enhance the 50's feel. I'm tempted to actually fit the 3-way switch just to "discover" the in between sound that 50's players found. 1954 was a milestone year for electric guitar, also just happens to be the year I was born!
0 owns this item
Original spec tweed case & enclosed "candy" aside, this is a DAMN fine playing, handling & looking axe. I *liked* the playability out of the box; after minor tweakage - I *love* it. VERY hard to put down. The case & candy are great bonuses. Seems like 1954 of these beauties won't last long. Oh, and if it were lost/stolen/abducted/vaporized/etc., I'd *try* to replace it.
SmoothHead owns this item
|Model Name:||60th Anniversary 1954 American Vintage Stratocaster®, Maple Fingerboard, 2-Color Sunburst|
|Body Finish:||Fender Flash Coat Lacquer|
|Neck Material:||1-Piece Maple|
|Neck Finish:||Fender Flash Coat Lacquer|
|Neck Shape:||Vintage "C"|
|Scale Length:||25.5" (648 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||7.25" (184.1 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||21|
|Nut Width:||1.625" (41.3 mm)|
|Position Inlays:||Black Dot|
|Truss Rods:||Vintage-Style Heel Adjust|
|Truss Rod Nut:||Vintage-Style Slotted|
|Controls:||Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck/Middle Pickups), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)|
|Pickup Switching:||5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup|
|Bridge:||6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo|
|Bridge Cover:||Includes Chrome Bridge Cover|
|Tremolo Arm Handle:||American Vintage|
|Strings:||Fender® USA 250R NPS, (.010-.046 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||2-Piece Ash Body with Side Seam, 1954 Neck Shape with Rolled Edge Radii, Neck Date Below Truss Rod Nut, Round "Button" String Tree, "Pat. Pending" Bridge Saddles|
|Included Accessories:||Vintage Replica Polishing Cloth, Cable, Black Leather Strap, Bridge Cover, Reproduction 1954 Paperwork, Extra Tremolo Springs (2), 3-Position Pickup Switch, Center-Pocket Tweed Case, 1954 Anniversary Strat® Certificate|
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