Here is a fun series that Fender did out of their Mexico plant from 2003-2006.
These instruments featured Alder bodies with maple necks and came with the option of a Rosewood or Maple fretboard. However, where these instruments truly shined (or didn’t shine) was with their unique-colored satin finishes.
What is a satin finish? Without getting technical, it has a more “flat” feel and look to it. It’s smoother to the touch. This type of finish is often looked down upon since it is “cheaper” to produce even though many players (including myself) actually prefer the feel of it. The one downside to satin finishes though, is they are only a good polish job away from becoming glossy and they naturally buff into a shine on the high-traffic areas of your guitar which may become an eyesore.
The colors offered in this run include Candy Apple Red, Midnight Wine, Midnight Blue, Gunmetal Blue and a Purple/Violet hue as well.
The finish was definitely the selling feature for these guitars as they are fairly basic 3-single coil ceramic pickup strats besides that. They feature 3-Ply Black pickguards with black knobs, pickup covers and switch tip. The hardware was chrome plated with a standard tremolo unit and the tuners were standard cast/sealed machines with Fender branding.
According to the original for sale listings for these instruments they had a 21 fret, modern C-Shaped Neck with a 9.5″ radius on a 25.5″ Scale Length.
These strats were also reissued in the Summer of 2013 in Flame Orange, Ocean Blue Candy, Arizona Sun and Blaze Gold Finishes. (There were Tele Versions too, both Made in Mexico)
Would You Rock or Not?
I first discovered this series when this listing was posted on Reverb.com. This particular one has been modified in a very SuperStrat-like way. Gone are the 3 single coil pickups with a master volume and double tone controls and in goes what appears to be a custom pickguard similar to the original, loaded with a hex key pole-pieced pickup of some sort. (Viewers of the show were quick to point out it might be a DiMarzio Super Distortion.) Radical! I give this modification an A+ as it now looks like an 80s Fender model such as the Fender Lead 1.
I personally really like the purple version of this guitar, but would probably choose a rosewood fretboard over maple for the look (despite liking maple boards quite a bit!)
How do one of these sound? Sadly, there aren’t a lot of video reviews of these guitars, so maybe I will pick one up in the future to document even further. You can check out this YouTube Video for now though to hear some limited tones.
The only question left – Would You Rock a Fender Standard Stratocaster Satin MIM Guitar or Not? Leave your vote down below!