Fender Stratocaster
The Specs

Fender Stratocaster

Year: 2023
Builder: Fender
Series: Player
Model: Stratocaster
Color: Candy Apple Red
Hardware Finish: Chrome
Serial Number: MX23069159
Body: Alder
Body Finish: Gloss Polyester
Body Binding: None
Cutaway: Double
Pickguard: 3-Ply Parchment
Bridge: 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo
Saddles: Bent Steel
Fretboard: Maple
Fretboard Binding: None
Fretboard Inlay: Black Dots
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Modern "C"
Neck Finish: Satin Urethane
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Headstock: Stratocaster
Headstock Binding: None
Headstock Logo: Fender "Spaghetti" Logo
Tuners: Fender Standard Cast
Neck Pickup: Player Series Alnico 5 Strat
Middle Pickup: Player Series Alnico 5 Strat
Bridge Pickup: Player Series Alnico 5 Strat
Pickup Switching: 5-Way
Control Knobs: Parchment
Controls: Volume, 2 Tone
Case: Fender deluxe hardshell case

Body Size/Shape: Stratocaster
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Frets to Body: 17/21
Fretboard Radius: 9.5"
Scale Length: 25.5"
Nut Width: 1.650"
Body Width: 12.75"
Body Depth: 1.75"
Strings: D'Addario EXL115 (.011-.049)

The Story:

The very first guitar I ever owned was a red Memphis Stratocaster that my parents got me for Christmas in 1983. The classic Stratocaster shape became the electric guitar in my mind.

This impression was further cemented as my taste in music shifted over the next couple of years, from the heavy metal that first inspired my interest in electric guitar to classic rock and blues. It seemed that almost all of the guitarists that I admired and tried to emulate were Stratocaster players—Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Cray, David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and especially Mark Knopfler.

I bought my first Fender Stratocaster when I was playing in my first band in high school. I was a big Eric Clapton fan at the time, so I purchased a Japanese-made black Strat with a white pickguard and a maple fretboard—just like Clapton's "Blackie." It was on that guitar that I really started developing as a player, as I got immersed in blues and blues-influenced rock music. I never had much talent for playing fast, but once I started focusing on playing with emotion instead, my playing quickly progressed.

In the 90's, when I played in the progessive folk-rock band Shiver, my main guitar was a sunburst American Standard Stratocaster that I purchased when the band started getting serious and I decided it was worth upgrading my gear. I would later own a white Gibson Les Paul Studio that I used on two specific songs, but the sunburst Strat was my clear favorite and constant sidekick during those years.

Over the next 25-30 years, buying and selling guitars would become an addictive hobby for me, and I've owned more Stratocasters than any other type of electric guitar (with Telecasters being a distant second). There's just something about the look and the sound—especially those instantly recognizeable "quacky" tones from positions 2 and 4 on the pickup selector switch—that keeps drawing me back to Strats.

I'm especially fond of clean Stratocaster tones through a good tube amp with spring reverb. There's something about that glassy tonality that really resonates with me—and it's a sound you can only get using a Stratocaster. Mark Knopfler is my favorite guitarist to listen to, but there are others who really make their Strats sound heavenly as well when played clean—SRV on "Tin Pan Alley" or "Riviera Paradise," Robbie Blunt's guitar work on Robert Plant's early solo albums, and James Calvin Wilsey's or Hershel Yatovitz's tasty playing with Chris Isaak.

In the summer of 2023, I decided to sell off some of my other guitars and buy a quartet of classic Fender instruments—a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass, and Jazz Bass—all in Candy Apple Red.

© Thunder Moose/Groove Like a Moose Productions