In the big scheme of things Fender’s venerable Stratocaster line has really changed very little over the years––sure, they’ve tweaked the neck profile, experimented with different body contours, and have certainly messed with the hardware quite a bit (perhaps most notably the incredibly cool S-1 Switching System,) but overall the guitar is pretty much the same instrument it was 50 years ago… only more refined.
Of course, every once in a while Fender tries something a bit more radical (Aerodyne Telecaster anyone?) but in the end it would seem that it’s the truly classic Fender designs that tend to prevail––I mean why fix it if it ain’t broke, right?
The company’s latest attempt at pushing the envelope is the recent release of the Fender Strat-O-Sonic – a guitar that pushes the Strat out into new territory with a lightweight chambered body (yep, a semi-hollowbody Stratocaster,) and what Fender has dubbed its Tech-Tonic bridge; which apparently allows for fine-tuning of the Strat-O-Sonic’s intonation, and easy adjustment of bridge & saddle height.
The guitar also switches things up a bit with a pair of “hot” top-less DE-9000 Black Dove humbuckers, a hardtail bridge, single volume & tone knobs, contemporary pickguard shape, painted black headstock, and a body of Honduran Mahogany.
The Fender Strat-O-Sonic Features–
- Chambered Honduran Mahogany Body
- Maple Neck (Modern C-Shape)
- 24 3/4-inch Scale Length
- Rosewood Fretboard With 22 MJ Frets
- Dual DE-9000 Black Dove Humbuckers
- Master Volume & Tone Controls
- 3-Way Pickup Switching
- Fender Tech-Tonic Bridge
- 6-Saddle Locking Bridge (Low Profile)
- Fender/Schaller Straplocks
- Fender/Schaller Deluxe Tuners
- Chrome Hardware
- Five Tone Chambers
Comes with a molded case, and is available in three finishes: Crimson Red Transparent, Brown Sunburst (my personal favorite,) and Butterscotch Blonde Rosewood. Anybody have any experience with the Strat-O-Sonic? We’d love to hear your thoughts…