Buying a fender stratocaster

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*** Guide to buying a fender stratocaster .
here's pics of  my  USA FENDER 1971 STRATOCASTER

 Fender Stratocasters come in 3 basic formats which are:

1) American Series Stratocasters .. American, American Deluxe and Highway One series Stratocasters are made in a Fender factory in Corona, California, United States of America and are commonly called Made In America (MIA) Stratocasters.These come with alder or ash bodies, rolled fingerboard edges, three custom "modern" staggered single-coils and the DeltaTone system (which includes a high output bridge pickup and a reverse-wound single-coil in the middle position). Hardtail versions were discontinued in 2007. New for 2003 was the American Strat HSS which features a Diamondback humbucker (bridge), two Tex-Mex single-coils (neck/middle) and S-1 switching. An HH model with dual Sidewinder/Black Cobra humbuckers was offered until 2007. As of 2008, all American Standard Stratocasters come with a redesigned bridge with vintage-style bent steel saddles and the S-1 switching has been dropped.These AM series guitars are considered to be one of the best and cost quite a lot of money.New they can be over $2,099.00 - $3,000 + and used it's hard to find them in australia under $1000. 

2) Fender Standard Stratocasters....(Mexico).are made in a Fender factory in Ensenada, Mexico and are often labelled as Made In Mexico (MIM). Guitar necks are still manufactured in the Corona factory and sent to the Ensenada factory to be mounted onto guitars. If it's a very recent model (2005-2008) in great shape,may be worth up to $750 or so shipped but just remember  a brand new 2008/9 model, which supposedly has a few upgrades over the previous models,can be shipped to you for $900 if you search Ebay shops and retail outlets.

3) Squier Stratocasters, The Squier Stratocaster is made in Indonesia or China by Fender Guitars. The Affinity and Standard series guitars are a low cost option to the American Made and Mexican Made standard Fender Stratocasters. They are affordable guitars ideal for beginners and intermediate guitarists of all ages. The top of the Squier line is the 'Standard' which sells for around $599.00 new, the 'Affinity' which goes for around $349 and the bottom of the line 'Bullet' which goes for around $200 new.Those are shipped to your door prices, but you should be able to find a very nice used Squier Standard on Ebay for between $200-$350 shipped.

*** Japan made fender strats and some squiers are sought after as high end guitars and some korean made one's are a bit better than the china guitars,these will cost a bit more!

 Watch out for :

    * Stratocaster parts are highly interchangeable.Leo Fender may have designed them that way on purpose.Necks can be removed and replaced  very easily by removing 4 screws. Other parts are easily changed out also and there are a ton of aftermarket parts from Stratocaster copies (many inferior), including necks and bodies out there.

 * * *Sellers who are selling a  Stratocaster sometimes fail to mention in the ad that it's a Squier or Mexican or a USA made for that matter! and they won't mention which model it is (Standard, Affinity or Bullet) ask,then you won't be sorry when you receive it,and it's not what you thought!

 * * * Make sure you know the condition of the guitar and exactly what model it is before bidding,the serial number is what you should be looking for to identify it.If it isn't mentioned or shown you can email the seller and ask specific questions.

   *Watch sellers charging way too much for shipping.It shouldn't cost more than about $35 or $40 maximum with normal post or registered post,to ship a guitar in australia.These sellers that charge $100 (or more) to ship a guitar  are trying to make money on shipping. Always check the shipping charges before bidding.
*** Let me also note that if the guitar has a case and exceeds 105cm.then you may have a problem through australia post,i have used fastway couriers and would be around $60,
*** But look around...some post offices do let them through at normal rates.

*** A standard guitar box you can get from a music store(usually free) is allowable thru australia post!

   * I am not an expert on this subject....but i hope this helps some new buyers of these guitars.
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