NGD: Fender Stratocaster (Mary Kaye American Vintage 1957 Commemorative Stratocaster)

ItWillDo

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Finish: "White Blonde"
Body Wood: Alder
Neck Wood: Maple
Fretboard Wood: Maple
Hardware Type: Gold (with matching stock ashtray cover!)
Pickup: American Vintage Single-Coil Strat
Controls: 5-way Position Blade



I'm getting old and I needed something to reflect this. I could've gotten a motorcycle, but then my wife would've killed me. So I just got an American strat instead and only got a beating. 👍


Jokes aside, for some reason (maturity) I really got into Chris Rea's stuff a while back and none of the gear I had was really giving me the sound I was looking to replicate. So this was of course a perfect excuse and opportunity to buy something new. Considering Rea plays Strats pretty much exclusively, this was an obvious choice. The problem is that I really don't like how strats usually look, so I started digging into all options and models available. And then one day my eyes fell on this particular model and everything about it just felt and look exquisite. The coloring, the gold hardware and the ashtray that really adds some extra elegance to the strat which it usually misses.


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This particular model was dedicated to Mary Kaye, who was nicknamed "the first lady of rock 'n roll", and was released shortly after her passing in 2007.


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It's not my first Fender strat, but it is my first American one. Feeling-wise it's not a huge difference with a MIM in my opinion, but it's remarkable how f.e. the pots on this guitar are still the original ones from 15 years ago, and they sound better/crackle less than the pots on my MIM did after 2-3 years. The guitar itself also feels great to the touch, and I absolutely love the (albeit minor) natural relicing/decay that the guitar has endured during its lifetime. It adds a whole bunch of character to it as well imo.

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The ashtray cover is a pretty big help in terms of aesthetics, but it can be a bit of a bother during playing as it makes palm muting a lot harder. The cover itself can be removed if wanted though, but I prefer to be shallow/lazy about it and just relearn my technique so I can apply it here properly as well without always having to remove & place the cover back.


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The pickups are "okay" in every sense, but I've been thinking about maybe replacing them with something a little bit more exciting. But, considering I'm afraid that that will just make them lose the iconic "strat" sound, I'm holding it off for now.


Conclusion
It's a good looking, good feeling strat 👍.



Bonus picture of the squad considering lighting was pretty good at that time:

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ItWillDo

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These Strats grew on me. So much so that I'd like to pick one up.
Do it, they're fun little playthings and definitely have a completely different feel & vibe compared to superstrats or traditional singlecuts.
 


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