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1980 "The Strat" Olympic White and Introduction.

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  • 1980 "The Strat" Olympic White and Introduction.

    Hey guys/gals;


       As of last weekend I am brand new to Hamrony Central and mostly just wanted to introduce myself, say hello, etc.  I am a early 30-something professional in Colorado Springs and after having gone through half of a Sound Engineer Degree when I was fresh out of high school, and proceeded to take a 10-year break from college, I've decided to go back.  That said I've been rejuvinated on the idea of getting all my old full-time gigging equipment out and start setting up a studio space in our new house.

    I found harmonycentral looking for some information on getting my electronic drums set up properly (or built/rebuilt properly rather) for recording purposes but thought I'd wander over here and introduce you all to my pride and joy....the 1980 Fender "The STRAT."  This was the Olympic White model, but being that I used this semi-professionally for years, I ended up taking out the original X1 pickups (first year they made them) that had worn pretty thin and replaced all the wiring and such with a configuration I could actually use.  Anyhow, here it is...not sure if there are any other THE STRAT owners on the site or not...if so; I'd love to see them!  Super rare guitar these days, especially in playable condition (still, in my opinion, the coolest guitar Fender ever made.


    1980 Fender 'The Strat' -  A Fullerton, Cali Stratocaster with a number of "firsts"

    IMG\_2189.JPG

    The smaller headstock returns (though they used an improper jig, so it is a truly unique headstock from all others)
    4-bolt vintage C-neck (with slim scale so it's a bit tricky to get used to).
    Weighs in at 10 1/2 pounds as it was a Northern Ash body construction
    First guitar to feature the X1 pickups that would become the signature pickup of the next decade.  It also featured a 2-point Pot Switch where the secondary tone knob is normally located. This serves almost as a "reverse polarity" switch to flip the output of the Neck/Mid/Bridge to Bridge/Mid/Neck. It's the strangest thing to get used to.
    Hardware is all 22k Gold plated (this was cool, but it also ran Fender completely out of money and was the number one reason cited for CBS having to sell the rights over in '84, lol, Woops! )
    First "custom" model that was not an Anniversary Edition and was the precursor to the idea of a "Fender Custom Shop" (to make sure they didn't make a cool guitar in the future that put them out of business again).

    Only Stratocaster Made in America (or otherwise) to feature the headstock print with just simply: "STRAT" followed by the serial number (no 'ocaster' after the Strat.....which is my favorite part).

    Played by John Lennon (Candy apple red) and one of the Isley brothers.  Not sure of anyone else that really got their paws on this thing.  It wasn't real popular as it came with a shelf price of $999.00 in 1981...a pretty hefty tag for a "weird" looking Stratocaster.


    Mine has been made over a bit.  I had a clear protective layer put over the gold hardware that has pitted, chipped, and even has a few tarnish spots as a) I didn't want it to get any worse and b) I didn't want to replate it because of the cost and the aestetic of the 'vintage' gold.  I threw in a Tortoise shell pickguard, and the original X1 pups had been burned up and sounded aweful, so they got put in a box in the garage and replaced three or four times until I was happy with my current NMB configuration of Seymour Duncans: Cool Rail, Lil '59, Hot Rail.  This is going to be swapped pretty soon - The white cool rail replaced with a black cool rail (for aestetics) and is going to get swapped with the '59 so it'll run '59 neck, cool mid, hot bridge.  Let me know what you think!  I will get a video up sooner or later and tag that.  Let me see your STRAT's if we have any out there! 

    IMG\_2185.JPGIMG\_2186.JPGIMG\_2187.JPGIMG\_2188.JPGIMG\_2190.JPGIMG\_2191.JPG

    [Edit: Switched out the old pictures that were real yellow-tinted for some photos this morning in natural light...the body color over the years has definitly aged from the "Olympic White" into more of "Cleanish Piss Yellow" but this is a much cleaner presentation of the axe.]

    Attached Files
    Jesse LeikerThe John Daniels Band"With talons wrought of steel we tore the heart of doom."

  • #2

    And I currently run all of this through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe that I got wrapped in the matching Tweed that this guitar's case came in.  If you can't play real good, you may as well look it!

    Jesse LeikerThe John Daniels Band"With talons wrought of steel we tore the heart of doom."

    Comment


    • wankdeplank
      wankdeplank commented
      Editing a comment

      Man that's a super sweet looker, JDB.  Aside from the cool pics that was a very interesting read on a unique  and cool Strat.  I like the sound of a good piece of Northern Ash.  Thx for the introduction and welcome to HCEG.


  • #3

    Nice reading about your Strat! Welcome!

    Comment


    • #4

      Nice guitar, nice read, and I thought I was the only one out there with a 10+ pound strat.

      Comment


      • johndanielsband
        johndanielsband commented
        Editing a comment

        PurpleTrails wrote:

        Nice guitar, nice read, and I thought I was the only one there with a 10+ pound strat.




        That extra poundage is more to weild than a guy would think.  I've never spent a whole show playing a Les Paul or any heavier guitar...but after 3 hours this Strat does start to lean on you.  I like to prepare by keeping myself on a diet of rare steak and budweiser.  Thanks for all the kind words.  When I was a younger fellow, I had a heck of a time finding out the story on it because of the odd serial number.  My dad bought this new just about 3 months prior to me being born and he was never much of a player so it sort of just sat around.  After the internet caught up and you could start researching things it was only a matter of time until I was able to find a few other people that had some info and took advantage of calling Fender to have them send me a transcript of their press release for it.  Phew!


    • #5
      Cool guitar! I've only seen pictures of that model.

      I'd like to hear clips of your pickups - sounds lole it would be a good combo.
      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

      Comment


      • DeepEnd
        DeepEnd commented
        Editing a comment

        Welcome aboard.


      • johndanielsband
        johndanielsband commented
        Editing a comment

        kayd_mon wrote:
        I'd like to hear clips of your pickups - sounds lole it would be a good combo.

        I had a hell of a time picking an amp this last time around.  I had a Blues Deluxe and I loved it, but with the new band I've been trying to patch together (any good drummers in Colorado Springs looking for a job, by the way?) I am playing a lot of southern-rock-ish, red dirt stuff and I just couldn't get the grit out of the Blues Deluxe I needed.  It sounded great with the Cool rail and 'Lil 59...but the Hot Rail on the back just sounded dead and boring.  When I went through the gambet of amps (always being partisan to Fender _____ Deluxes) I worked and worked until I found JUST the right Hot Rod that fit what I was looking for.  Coincidentally enough, I almost never use the Hot Rail now because the Hot Rod amp and that Lil '59 in the center position sound so damn good together.   I will try to get some things posted up soon.  I've had a mega-ton on my plate and haven't had any time for video stuff.  I may wait until I flip the Cool and '59 as well.  I am still not quite happy with the configuration.  I tried something quite different with the Cool / 59 / Hot and although it has some quirky and odd value...I think the cool would serve better in the center with the 59 up top (plus I don't like the looks of the white / black / black for some reason.  Bothers me, haha).

         


    • #6

      ^^vSwitched out the old pictures that were real yellow-tinted for some photos this morning in natural light...the body color over the years has definitly aged from the "Olympic White" into more of "Cleanish Piss Yellow" but this is a much cleaner presentation of the axe.

      Jesse LeikerThe John Daniels Band"With talons wrought of steel we tore the heart of doom."

      Comment


      • #7

        Welcome!  Great introduction and what a great Strat!  An oddball that is way cooler than most other Strats.  I am digging that hardware too.  Can't wait to hear clips. 

        Gear1996 Strat deluxe, Schecter TSH-1, Squire standard Strat, Dearmond M65-C, Blues JR, Crate VC20, Bugera V5. Vox Time Machine, Keeley mod DS1, Wampler Euphoria, Vox wah.

        Comment


        • johndanielsband
          johndanielsband commented
          Editing a comment

          Sailorofdarknes wrote:
           I am digging that hardware too.

          I have never been able to stand gold hardware on any instrument of any kind....almost makes me not even want to look at Saxaphones.  For one reason or another; I don't think this guitar (in any of the color codes they chose) could have been produced with anything other than that gold flake finish.  It's so weird (and must have been just unbelievably timely and expensive....compared to the standard knobs being produced in 1980).  It was both one of the coolest and one of the worst ideas I've ever heard of, haha. !

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