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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Classic 50's Stratocaster

Contributing Member

Seattle WA

Clueless in Seattle
Jan 18th, 2006 12:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just received a Sunburst Classic 50 a few weeks ago, so I've had some time to give it a thorough going-over to provide a (hopefully) objective evaluation.

Ordered from local Guitar Center, is was delivered straight from the factory. Out of the box, the finish, setup, and playability are on this guitar was excellent.

The intonation is spot-on. I checked every fret position and could not detect any fretbuzz, etc.

The vintage Kluson-style tuners stay in tune just fine, I've had no problems with them at all. (Plus I find them easier to restring than the modern tuners.)

The highly polished v-neck maple fretboard is very comfortable, and the frets are smooth down to the side edges.

Again, very good build and setup quality literally out of the box.

Initially I was a bit concerned with the two-tone sunburst finish, as the brown is a bit darker than I expected (with very little brown contrast on the upper horn), but the finish does seem to be accurate, after looking thru the photos of vintage 50 Strats in the 'Stratocaster Chronicles' and 'The Story Of The Fender Stratocaster' books.

The 'aged' plastic parts give the appearance an nice 'vibe look' too. (Although the plastic on most pictures of 50's strats still look white, not aged.)

I'm happy with the tones from the stock alnico 5 pickups. They are bright and twangy, and to me anyway, deliver typical strat sounds.

The bridge pickup is exceptionally 'bright', but does real well with distortion settings. The neck and middle pickups are very usable in all settings, particulary the middle pickup, and I don't have any plans of replacing them.

Note however, the stock pickups also provide lots of hum, (and the middle pickup isn't reversed wound), so they are definitely not 'noiseless'.

Judging from this guitar anyway, it's clear the Fender Ensenada (Mexico) facility puts alot of effort into assuring good quality control on these Classic Series re-issues.

In my opinion, I think the Classic 50 Stratocaster is a very well made and great playing Strat in it's own right, and a very good value for the price.

(This message was last edited by MichaelBehuniak at 02:16 AM, Jan 18th, 2006)

Contributing Member

Back Creek, MD

"Half of what I say is meaningless..."
Jan 19th, 2006 06:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Congrats, and I agree--love mine. These may be one of the best Strat deals around.

Contributing Member


Mar 9th, 2006 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

MB, I found the bridge pick up to be too bright as well. I dropped in a set of 57/62s and replaced the zinc block with steel. I hate to use the term, but the 57/62s are a bit mellower than the classic stock pups which measure 6 ohms; the 57/62s come in at 5.6. These upgrades, which most people on the forum don't do, still keep the price well below an AV RI.


Berks, UK

Unashameably retro & proud...
Mar 12th, 2006 04:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just got one in Surf Green & it is beautiful. A lovely neck. Really good value for money



Mar 14th, 2006 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I used to have a red one, nice guitar, especially for the price


Metro Chicago, USA

Walk, don't run.
Mar 22nd, 2006 11:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yup, thumbs up!

'Paid adoption fee for a Surf Green 'bout 4 years ago and it's a fun toy. 'Love the chunky neck and heavily varnished fingerboard. With .011 flatwounds for surf, yowzah!

Contributing Member


Mar 24th, 2006 06:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, I really like the finish on the neck. Surf green here, too. Its set up with 10s. For me, the soft V neck is the most comfortable. I like it more than the neck on my 50th AMSE.


USA Ohio

May 14th, 2006 10:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Surf Green also here. Mine is just fine. Comfortable to play. I have other Strats and this one fits the catagory of "vintage wired". I've wanted a Surf Green Strat forever- for the price you can't beat it. Jam on!


M.V. Southern Cal

Dec 16th, 2009 06:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a surf green I picked up last month and I set up the pickups according to the factory specs, with the last fret down 5/64 on treble and 3/32 (on the Fender site they say 6/64 which is the same not reduced) on the bass side. I love the guitar but the pickups are noisier than my Deluxe Strat by far, I may throw in some Texas specials. Overall the guitar is pretty cherry!

Contributing Member


I can catch trout across the street!
Mar 18th, 2010 10:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Got my MIM in surf green in Feb. of this year. Damn fine guitar. I may upgrade the pups, but what a great axe.



Jun 7th, 2010 03:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Jason Lee of next level guitar reviews his 1999 Classic in surf green.


Contributing Member

Edmond, OK

Apr 18th, 2013 04:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Are we talking about classic 50 'SERIES'? Or is it the classic players, or...

Don't know for sure if I should be happy yet or not



May 31st, 2013 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

It would be the Classic 50's series for sure from the description.


Columbus, Ohio

Jun 19th, 2014 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a surf green . I modded so that the mid pup tone control also works on the bridge pup. I have a Fulltone Fatboost 3 that I can use to goose the bridge pup if need be, however I think the these pups sound very vintage Stratty.



Jun 24th, 2014 06:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

They are nice sounding pups for sure. I have not changed out my original pups yet either.


Columbus, Ohio

Mar 9th, 2015 05:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

The fulltone Fatboost can be used to dial down some of the treble in the bridge pup as well. Thought about changing the pups initially but adding tone control to bridge really worked well for me to control the brightness.


Columbus, Ohio

Jan 17th, 2018 08:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

All you really need to do is wire the tone control for the middle and bridge pickups together and you can take that bridge pup shrillness .

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Fender Classic 50's Stratocaster

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