A Very Unique Fender Strat!
Want a Gold Stratocaster?
You’re not alone...
Fender’s iconic Stratocaster guitars look great with gold knobs, gold frets and even a gold finish.
But the company never released anything called simply a Gold Strat. What do people mean when they use this term?
Many of them are talking about the 1981 Gold on Gold Strat introduced in the early 1980s.
Bill Shultz came to Fender in 1981 with a clear mission: Save the floundering franchise and return it to its former glory.
He knew the company needed a boost to get people’s attention away from Gibson and the many knockoff brands, some of which were meeting or perhaps even exceeding Fender’s high quality standards.
In June 1981, Schultz introduced the Gold on Gold Strat, part of the company’s Collector’s Series.
It was a simple but simply amazing instrument that was easy for Fender to bring to production.
No retooling was needed since it used a regular Strat one-piece neck and alder body.
In addition to the body being an almost iridescent golden color, most of the hardware, including the Brassmaster Series bridge, was gold plated.
Schultz spared no expense either.
The gold plating was a genuine 22-carat jewelry-grade overlay that was 100 microns thick.
If you’re going to plate something with gold, there’s no better way to do it, and that thickness is plenty, too.
Plating that thick wasn’t likely to quickly wear away.
Guitar industry experts believe Fender must have lost money on every Gold on Gold model it sold, but Fender has never confirmed this.
Whatever the case, it’s a fine guitar, and it helped Fender in its quest to stay at the top of the electric guitar heap.
Through the years, Fender has also released a number of other gold models.
Some had gold hardware with bodies available in a variety of colors.
Others had gold bodies with other kinds of hardware. And the Custom Shop has always been happy to include gold paint and accessories among its many one-of-kind guitar options.
But the 1981 model is Fender’s only truly Gold Strat model.
Look around guitar collector websites and used guitar shops and you’ll probably eventually run across a Fender Gold on Gold Stratocaster.
When you see one, remember you’re in the presence of a beautiful loss leader intended to impress at a reasonable price point.
To get one now, though, you’ll have to impress the dealer with your ability to shell out the big bucks.
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