The Fender American Original '50s Stratocaster is a dead ringer for a classic '59 — save for a few modern refinements. The American Original '50s' lightweight alder body and Soft "V" maple neck are staples of this era, as are its vintage-tall frets, synchronized trem system, and nitro lacquer finish. Yet an enlarged 9.5" fingerboard radius (from 7.25") gives the American Original '50s Strat an advantage for lead work. Meanwhile, a trio of painstaking Pure Vintage '59 pickups with period-correct wire, bobbins, and pole pieces — wax potted for feedback control and wired for 5-way switching — puts this instrument in a class all its own.
This Strat's Soft "V" neck profile feels great in the hand, especially for thumb-over players. Think of it as an early-'50s "U" shape with the shoulders cut off for added clearance. Where the American Original '50s Stratocaster has the advantage over a classic '59 is its enlarged 9.5" (from 7.25") fingerboard radius, which allows for upper-register leads and bends with less risk of fretting out.
This Strat's Pure Vintage '59 single-coils are as period correct as they come, from the fiber bobbins and Alnico V magnets right down to the Formvar-coated coil wire and cloth-covered output wires. Wax potting keeps feedback and icepicks to a minimum, while contemporary 5-way switching unlocks in-between tones impossible on a true '59.
This Strat's lightweight, resonant alder body retains its full tonal characteristics thanks to a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. This is just another reason why, for classic inspiration and modern playability, it's hard to top the Fender American Original '50s Strat from Hiendguitar.