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.





Strat… Delay

I brought my Fender Stratocaster up from the cellar this morning.  I cleaned everything out of the case (except for the whammy bar and a couple of strap locks that were there when I bought the guitar six years ago).  I plugged it into the little Bassbreaker and made sure everything worked.  The volume pot is a touch on the scratchy side, other than that it’s top notch.

Then I put it back in the case and leaned it against the wall and left it there.  I was going to take it to Guitar Center tonight after work to see how much they would give me for a trade in.  I paid $700.  Strangely, $700 is about the retail price for a Vox AC15 amplifier.  Weird how that works out, eh?  I know Guitar Center has a reputation for being stingy about trades and if they offer anything less than $700 I’ll take it somewhere else.  Maybe ebay.  Maybe reverb.  I’m not taking a loss on this baby.  No way.

I’m not doing any of that tonight though.  I’ll take a look at the world situation on Saturday and see how things look.  This is the very definition of non-essential.  It can wait.



I did a little recording tonight. I put the rhythm guitar onto one of the two songs that were still guitar free, and I put the leads onto two songs that are now finished and ready to iOS mix.

My playing is poor. Very poor. It’s only been a couple of weeks or so since last I played and tonight it was just difficult. I wonder if I took out the Les Paul would I have an easier time.

I also have an urge to write an extra song this month and make it proggy and long as opposed to the bluesier, acidy feel for most of this month’s crap.

We shall see, but I can almost see a GarageBand for iOS file with some 12-string tracks. Almost. Again, we shall see.

Overdoing It

I’ve got three songs left to finish. Almost there. I might even have time on Tuesday morning to finish up the vocals. Nice, right?


I felt like playing the guitar today and I didn’t have any parts to record so I… Well… I added another song. Urgh.

Even worse, it’s a cover. Urgh indeed.

Question for guitarists and guitar playing aficionados. When you think of Fender Stratocasters, who do you think of? Jimi Hendrix, post 1970 Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, about 100 others. All good choices.

Me? Despite a lifetime of being obsessed with both Clapton and Beck, to me the first name that comes to mind when I think of Strats is Robin Trower. Not the biggest name, and probably not the best player, but something about his style always spoke to me. There is soul, there is passion, there is class, there is fire. Lots of slow bends, legato phrasing, well… Just a lot of things I have always tried to do. The difference being that he does it all while I futz around like a wannabe.

Back in high school I had heard of him without ever actually hearing him. One night I listened to a recording of a Procol Harem concert on the King Biscuit Flower Hour. The host was singing Trower’s praises and rightly so. The guitar playing in the show was fantastic. First chance I got I went out and bought a couple of records. BLT and Bridge of Sighs. I didn’t find out until later that despite the commentary, it wasn’t actually Robin Trower playing in that Procol Harem show. That was okay though, Bridge of Sighs won me over big time.

There is a song on his first record that I’ve always loved. “I Can’t Wait Much Longer.” Great song. Back in high school I tried to get my band to play it, but no one else was feeling it the way I was. The first time I ever borrowed a 4-track recorder I recorded that song. I used the cheesy little drum sounds on my dinky little Casio keyboard. It was basically the same goofiness I’ve been boring the universe with lately, it just didn’t sound as clean.

Anyway, I recorded a cover of “I Can’t Wait Much Longer” today. It’s all done except for the vocals. Once I bought a Strat it was pretty much inevitable. The whole thing is on my iPad right now. After I finish the vocal I’ll port it to the MacBook. I’ll have to clean up a little bass here and there, but other than that I’ll just mix it as is.

I’ll leave it until the last three March songs are done though.


More April Music in May

Was sticking with Amplitube for all of the guitars on the 10 April songs a good idea? This one used the Jimi Hendrix bundle for all of the guitars. The rhythm is my Les Paul and the lead is my Strat. All of the other April songs used the Fender Twin for the rhythm and Hendrix for the leads.

It’s okay, I guess. If I put a ton of effects on during the mix it might be all right. I don’t know. Maybe if I did everything on the iPad it might feel better, and be a little less noisy. I don’t know. I’m torn.

The lyrics are one of many songs about how much I love my wife, and how happy she makes me. I expect the list of such songs to grow steadily for the rest of my life. I’m kinda nuts about her.

100% Fender

I recorded the rhythm guitar on this song on Sunday. I recorded the vocals and the lead guitars tonight.

Why is that important? Because I bought the Fender Strat on Saturday. All of the guitars you hear on this song are Fender. There isn’t even a single note played on a Gibson. That has never happened to me before. Also, I used the whammy bar near the end. I have never recorded myself using one of those ridiculous things before. There are firsts all around on this one!

What isn’t unique is that the lyrics are utterly meaningless. You can’t tell me what they mean because I was there and I know they mean nothing. The rhyming dictionary site I use more or less wrote this one for me.