Here's one fascinating Stratocaster from the late 1970s! Funky riffs and anthemic rock choruses start playing in your head even if you just look at this guitar. Can you hear them?


Vintage guitar market is going bananas lately, so normal players like you and me turn their gazes onto the 1970s Fenders - these are still affordable and come with bags of mojo (and extra cool big headstocks), your gateway to the world of vintage Fenders. 

This Stratocaster seems to have been born at the very tail-end of the CBS era, at the times of massive changes for Fender. Guitar for sale comes in its original factory 3-tone Sunburst finish (faded to 2-tone on the front) and with all original parts, included oh-so hard to find flat-pole grey bobbin pickups. It also somehow managed to survive unmodified for 42 years, unlike so many 1970s Fenders, that were repainted, chopped up inside for humbuckers and etc. 

Heavy swamp ash body is nicely resonant and retains all the original patina. No strucutral modifications mean that the internal cavities still have SSS design and there is a typical late 1970s grounding lug in the control cavity - and all the cavities are factory-shielded with special paint. Neck pocket retains the factory serial number sticker that dates it to 1979 as well as the then innovative micro-tilt neck heel adjuster. 

All three pickups are original and have date stamps of 1980 on their grey bobbins. Flat pole magnet design allows to raise these closer to the strings for a nice bass and treble boost without the mid-range poking your ears out. Think The Edge and John Mayer.

All electronics including CTS A250k pots, CRL 5-way switch and that gorgeous-sounding ceramic disc capacitor are original and all solder joints seem to be untouched. Volume and tone controls work smoothly and seem to be of the long-lasting variety. The pickguard, is for some reason white (most 1970s sunburst Strats will come with black pickguards and pickup covers and knobs). The design with the full shielding on the back and truss-rod notch is correct for very early 1980s. Tremolo cavity plate is still black.

So many 1970s Strats are not everyone's cup of tea thanks to their super skinny and narrow necks. Thankfully, this is not the case here. The neck has a full C or D backshape that is a real pleasure to play; it also comes with a much more playable 42mm nut width. The wear on the neck is minimal, with only some bumps and finish wear on the headstock. Frets seem to be original and have some minor wear in the open positions, but these still play well and allow for decent action and bending. The neck heel has the MicroTilt disc, all the correct factory markings and the word "friend" in pencil (??). The serial on the neck dates it to 1977.

The tremolo bridge has the traditional 1970s design, where the bridge plate and the sustain block were cast in one piece. Chunky saddles are also typical and have their secret stamps on the back (027037). Even the original tremolo arm with the black tip is still intact and will be included with the guitar.


Our theory is as follows: this might be one of the last true CBS-era Stratocasters, released in 1980. Fender might have assembled the last batch from the parts lying around the Fullerton factory, before they sold everything (including the factory) to the new owners. This might explain how pickups dated 1980 and the neck dated 1977 might have ended up on a 1979 body. Judging from the untouched wiring the pickups and the body lived their whole lives together. 


The cherry on top is the original Fender USA ABS moulded hardcase. We usually see these cases absolutely destroyed, but this one is a nice exception. All latches work well, the interior has no tears and doesn't smell like an ashtray and there is no structural damage to the outside of the case. Score!


The cherry on top of the cherry is a 1979 Fender Stratocaster 25th Anniversary owner's manual. Rarity in its own right, we have no idea how this piece of Fender history got into this case.


This instrument received a full professional setup with deep body cleaning, body polish, neck deep clean, full electronics check, truss-rod and action and intonation adjustment. Restringed with D'addario 10-46 Nickel-plated steel strings.


This guitar  will be shipped around UK with Parcelforce courier, safely packed into a sturdy guitar cardboard box. 24h courier service provided to UK customers. Worldwide shipping provided as well.

Fender Stratocaster - USA - CBS era - 3-tone Sunburst - with hardcase (1979)

  • SPECS:

    MODEL: 1977-1980 Fender USA Stratocaster


    YEAR: 1979 (body) 1977 (neck)


    COLOUR: 3-tone sunburst, road worn gloss finish


    PICKGUARD: 3-ply aged vintage white


    NECK: C-shape maple neck, gloss finish, Bullet truss-rod, MicroTilt heel adjuster


    NUT WIDTH: 42 mm


    NECK THICKNESS: 1st fret: 22.2 mm, 12th fret: 24.8 mm


    FRETBOARD: maple, 7.25 inch radius


    FRETS: 21 original vintage frets with moderate wear


    TUNERS: original Fender/Schaller 1970s style sealed tuners, chrome finish


    BODY: Ash body, original SSS body routing with factory shielding paint, additional grounding lug in the control cavity, neck pocket serial S960421


    TOTAL WEIGHT: 4.5 kg


    TREMOLO: original "Mazak" vintage style 6-point tremolo with one piece steel tremolo block (stamped 010347) and tremolo plate and 70s steel saddles (stamped 027037)


    WEAR: road worn body with plenty of small dings and scratches, hardware wear, minimal neck wear with only a few bumps on the headstock and finish ageing


    PICKUPS: original 1970s style pickup set with flat pole alnico V magnets, enamel wire and grey fibre bobbins


    WIRING: original 1970s wiring with CTS A250K pots, CRL USA 5-way switch, Sprague ceramic disc tone capacitor, Switchcraft output jack


    CASE: original Fender USA ABS plastic hardcase with accessories pocket, all latches work, no structural damage


    ACCESSORIES: original 1970s Fender plectrums, 1979 Fender Stratocaster Anniversary owner's manual


    Please note that although we put our heart and soul and also all our knowledge into every single guitar we sell, a setup is a personal preference. However, we try to get the best playability out of every guitar and set them up so you can play both rhythm and lead. We also pull them all apart to clean and check every single component and replace all unreliable parts with new ones, from dodgy pots to the whole wiring, tuners, string trees, nuts and etc. All the work done is described in detail in the listing.

    We make sure that every guitar we sell is problem free and take full responsibility for the accuracy of our listing descriptions. All photographs are done by a professional photographer and processed on a calibrated monitor. Some colours might look slightly different on your monitor, but we will always put the official Fender colour name in the listing description, so please study pictures of other guitars with the same colour if you are unsure. We focus on finding great quality guitars and making them reliable and inspiring to play.