7/31/2017

2009 Fender Mexican Stratocaster Electric Guitar





A friend of mine racked-up some repair bills and I told him I was on the hunt for a second Strat to pair with my '84 Strat that I've been using for shows (I like to keep a second guitar in open D). He begrudgingly mentioned that he had a recent red Mexican Strat and, several days later, this showed-up on my porch just in time to take it to a gig. It's even candy apple red rather than fiesta.

While I have no idea what was standard-issue on this Strat, it came with a "white pearl" pickguard and a set of active EMGs. These had a great sound but weren't in parity with vibe of the passive single coils on my '84, so the next day I set-about turning it into a "Jake machine." I had a spare "mint green" pickguard hanging-out in the parts-bin along with the neck pickup from my '84 (I'd since put a Strat-sized humbucker in the neck position for a chunky sound) and just the day before a friend of mine traded me a couple of '70s Tokai grey-bottom Strat pickups. Yes! 

I decided on a 3-way (individual-selection) switch like on a '50s Strat and nixed the third control socket as I always knock the volume control on a normal Strat pickguard while I'm playing. In its place is a blue "amp jewel." I used 500k pots and kept the controls to a straight-up master tone and volume. The sound is decidedly vintage and boasts a lot of classic Stratty mids and treble. The bridge pickup delivers a very Tele-style country bite when you want it and the thicker-sounding neck pickup off of my '84 Strat is round and bell-like. It's a good mix for a machine that'll mostly be delivering lead, fill, and barred-open-power-chord sounds.



Thankfully, this has the "small" headstock shape.


The neck is a little deeper and rounder than early-2000s Mexican Strats and, aside from the flatter fretboard radius and bigger frets, feels much like a '60s or '70s Strat. I like!



All of the pickup covers are slightly different colors and I used a set of '80s Fender knobs for the tone and volume controls.







The cover for the springs was on the guitar but it's one of the first things I remove on Strat-style guitars I have around for my own use. It's safely stowed, however.


The guitar itself is fairly clean but it does have some belt-buckle scratching on the rear and little scratches here and there overall. I swapped the strap buttons to Gibson-style ones as Fender-style buttons are harder to get tight strap holes over.

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