Monday, May 23, 2011

Fender Lone Star Stratocaster


Sugoi!

In 1996 I was giddy like a schoolgirl when I heard that Fender was coming out with a Lone Star Stratocaster that had a humbucker at the bridge and two single coil pickups. I like having a humbucker at the bridge so I can get a thicker/heavier tone and more variety than the traditional SSS configuration.

The HSS configuration is no biggie nowadays, but it was cool beans when this guitar was introduced.

Spec-wise, there was not much else new with the Lone Star model. It had the typical components of the US-built Fenders of the day: a matte finish neck, large bridge saddles and sealed back tuners. And, of course, guitars of this era were not entirely true to the contours that Leo came up with back in the 1950s. But overall, it looked, felt and played like a strat.

But it came with bitchin’ electronics right out of the box: two Seymour Duncan Texas Special single coils and a Pearly Gates at the bridge. Though there does not seem to be much more output than a regular SSS-equipped strat, these pickups provide a better base for any distortion you might want to inject into your rock and/or blues.

The initial run of Lone Star Stratocasters did not sell very well, and it was discontinued when Fender introduced the American Fat Strat Texas Special in 2002. Apparently buyers that wanted a strat were looking for the clean tone that the conventional 3 single-coil models were able to provide.

Fender has since re-issued the Lone Star Stratocaster with the same improvements other Fenders have gotten over the last 15 years, and it looks like this model is not going away any time soon.

The guitar in the photos is a 1997 model, which is one of the handful of Lone Stars that I have owned though the years. I sold it to a buddy of mine that is in a classic rock band, and he has been super happy with it.

Mahalo!

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