1971 Fender Stratocaster, Sunburst

By Fender

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Featherweight, 1971 hardtail Fender Stratocaster in Sunburst with a beautiful dark Rosewood fingerboard, and one of the last of the four-bolt Strats before the start of the three bolt era. A cool looking natural relic, the guitar has been with the previous owner since mid-1974 but was retired from use in the 90’s. It was a working guitar and has had a couple of changes but for the most part remains original and looks all the better for it!

The guitar has a naturally worn three-tone-Sunburst finish that has aged and patinated yet retained its colour and vibrance. The original finish is thin and worn through in all the right places. The body is lightweight alder and being a hardtail Stratocaster has no tremolo route, instead adopting a string through body design with 6 Telecaster type string ferrules to the back. Under the pickguard the guitar is nice and tidy with no additional routes or modifications.

The neck has the Hendrix-Era’ large headstock and the thick black Fender Stratocaster logo used from ’68. The Fender logo is ’clipped’ without the ’Synchronised Tremolo’ or Patent numbers seen only on Tremolo guitars. There is only one string retainer and the four bolt neck has its truss rod adjustment at the neck butt. The rosewood fingerboard is pleasantly figured and punctuated with simple pearl dot inlays. The neck has had a partial refret and the headstock face has darkened and looks to have been possibly oversprayed.

The previous owner has fitted the guitar with a DiMarzio FS-1 pickup in the bridge (a favourite of Mark Knopfler and Rory Gallagher), both neck and middle pickups are the original grey back, staggered pole examples with 1971 date codes. The original bridge pickup has been retained and comes with the guitar. The volume pot and 3 way switch have been replaced with date and name of the luthier on the pickguard. The tone pots are original and date to the 52nd week of 1970.

The guitar has the original tuners that function well, the pickguard is correct but the pickguard screws have been replaced. Bridge saddles are ESP replacements but the original saddles are included.

Hardtail Strats are a great option for players that don’t use the tremolo, they are generally lighter than than their tremolo counterpart, the lack of cavity and springs gives the guitar a more immediate sound and they often feel more resonant, snappy and lively. The guitar weighs a featherweight 6.7lbs and had a nicely played in feel. The DiMarzio pickup balances well with the original pickups, it has more output and sounds fatter but is still unmistakably Strat in its tonality.

Included with guitar are the original bridge pickup and saddles and a non-original cased in fair condition. An excellent 4-bolt, large headstock Strat with loads of character!