I Think My Strat Might Be Rare-ish

I want to sell my Fender Stratocaster.  I never use it and I want it to find a good home.  I’m thinking of trading it in somewhere and getting a Vox amp.  It’s a nice guitar, but the more I learn about myself, the more I just don’t connect with Strats.  I’m a Gibson guy to the core.

When I first bought the guitar in 2014 I did a little tiny bit of research to find out when it was made.  I learned that serial numbers starting with Z date to after 2000, with the number immediately following the Z representing the year.  Mine starts with Z0.  That means it was made in 2000.  Nice.

The guitar is also stamped with Made in USA (I don’t think I would have bought it if it said Mexico or Japan… snob) and being an old person who doesn’t pay much attention to Fender model names, I assumed that made it a Fender American Standard Stratocaster.  That’s what they called the non-custom shop (does Fender call it custom shop? I think so) American strats the last time I paid attention.  At some point over the last six years I realized that name isn’t used anymore and it likely changed prior to my guitar’s manufacture.

So today at lunch I figured I’d play the detective game and see if I could figure out what my guitar’s model name actually is.  Google brought me to a Fender webpage where you can enter your serial number and it will register your guitar.  Well, I don’t want to register it since I don’t plan to keep it, but I looked anyway.

I entered my serial number and it gave me this:


Okay… well what the hell does that mean?  I Googled it and it only returned a few hits.  Most of them were not in English.  Two were from a thread on aguitarforum.com.  Someone bought a franken-strat and was trying to piece together where the various components came from.  He listed his serial number and someone else apparently did the same registration that I did and came back with the same results.  He gave a breakdown of what the mnemonics stand for.

AM = American
NM = Maple neck
AMM = Aqua Marine Metallic finish.

Cool!  Now I finally know what to call the weird greenish color paint job.  He also included a link to a sale page from reverb.com that included more information.  Apparently the model name American Standard was changed to American Series in 2000, and the Aqua Marine Metallic finish was introduced at the same time.  Interestingly, that finish went away in 2002.  The production run was actually June 2000 through January 2002, so only about a year and a half.  Elsewhere in the listing he also said it ran from June 2001 to January 2002 for six months… so… yeah, I’m going to believe the 2000 because Fender told me my guitar was made in 2000.

So what exactly does that mean?

If the reverb listing is to be believed, then I think I got a pretty good deal when I bought this.  I believe I paid $700, which was so low for an American strat that I assumed I would eventually find something horribly wrong with it.  The guitar pictured in the reverb listing is definitely a match for my guitar except that it doesn’t have the stock pickups.  Or, at least, it doesn’t have the same pickups I have.  The sale shows Lace Sensors which I equate to Clapton signature models from the late 80’s.  I don’t think I ever saw them stock in a guitar from the 2000’s, but like I said I don’t know Fenders well at all.  I think I got a good deal because the selling price was quite a bit higher than what I paid.

The two things that are giving me pause are,

  1. The reverb listing uses the word “rare” in the description.  In fact, it’s the first word.
  2. The selling price on the listing is more than 50% higher than what I paid for mine.  Caveat there is that I don’t believe the guitar actually sold.  It just shows the listing ended.

Two months ago I was planning to take my guitar to a shop and trade it in, fully expecting that I would get at least mildly screwed on the trade value.  I was okay with that.

Now?  Am I still okay with that?

Crud.  Knowledge is power and all, but I feel like I was happier and more confident in my ignorance.  Now I know how trump supporters feel.





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