Details on the Very First Strat!
One year -- 1954 -- marks the beginning of a major change in the electric guitar world.
The very first strat For sale, the 1954, came out in that big year, marking the beginning of the decades-long reign of the Fender Stratocaster as America’s favorite guitar.
To really understand how important 1954 was, though, you have to step back four of five more years.
Television was in its early days, and it was tailor-made for a louder and more in-your-face way of conveying guitar sound.
The Fender Broadcaster became available in 1949, and by 1950, it was renamed the Telecaster.
It was the first modern electric guitar for sale to the public, and it’s also no overstatement to say it revolutionized the music industry.
But the Telecaster was slab-like, heavy and without much aesthetic appeal -- at least in some people’s eyes.
While plenty of players will step forward to defend the simplicity of a Telecaster, the Stratocaster was -- and still is -- sleeker, lighter, more contoured and designed with points and flares that the Telecaster didn’t have.
This re-imagining of the electric guitar looked futuristic to some who saw it then.
The 1954 Fender Stratocaster was the first Strat made -- and it’s styling would look great in just about any band today.
Available in Fender’s iconic two-color sunburst finish, the body was contoured deep and made of ash.
It wasn’t until mid-1956 that Stratocasters began being made of alder, the wood of which they are still made today.
The 1954 model featured 21 frets on a one-piece maple neck with Kluson machine heads and black dot inlays.
If the guitar itself doesn’t scream 1950s icon, a now-back-in-style tweed case completed the statement.
Fender has made many models through the years that were inspired by the original 1954 model’s styling, including a 50th anniversary Custom Shop exact replica of this model.
The classic look is one Fender has returned to again and again.
To the casual observer, an authentic 1954 Strat might look the same as sunburst Strats coming out of the factory today.
While headstocks have gotten larger and then smaller again and the electronics have been upgraded and have then gone retro, Strats have stayed pretty much the same.
A 1954 Stratocaster proves that Fender had the Strat essentially right -- right from the start.
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