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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Nice Unintentional Color Changes on Your Older Strats



Feb 5th, 2017 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

My current Number 1 is a 2006 Mexican Standard that I bought new in 2006. It's the 60th Fender Anniversary Model that came in a beautiful (then) silverish Blizzard Pearl finish (with a maple neck and tex-mex pups). I do not keep my 5 guitars in their cases (they are players) but keep them on stands underneath a window (not in direct sunlight) next to the amps and other gear in the playing room.

11 years later, the blizzard pearl color, even through a thick poly coat finish, has now aged/turned into a darker Aztec Gold type shade. As much as I liked the blizzard pearl finish, and one of the main reasons I bought the guitar then, I like the new gold type color even more now. Along with the maple neck which has tinted darker, it looks better now between the goldish finish against the amber neck..........Almost like a custom ordered gold finish from back in the olden days.

I don't think that Fender, or any other manufacturer, can anticipate how aging and sun or other light exposure will affect the color of the guitar over time but this one turned out to be a pleasant surprise 11 years later.

However, the weird thing about this guitar is that I also bought the American Strat 60th anniversary model (57/62 pups)at the same time (I bought both)and that guitar has sat right next to the Mexican one the last 11 years with no color change in the finish (classic two tone burst with a little bit of red in the edges)at all.

Anyone have a similar experience with their older guitars? Also would like to know (for the paint/finish experts) why the Mexi changed colors and the American did not.....Is it because of a) the lighter shade to begin with on the Mexi with the darker colors not as subject to sun exposure issues; b) a thinner poly finish or different paint on the Mexi (the Blizzard Pearl finish was consider a "new" shade at that time; or c) it was just a beautiful act of God?

Thanks in advance.



Feb 5th, 2017 09:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

And a related comment/question. If the color change is due to sun and light exposure on the lighter color, does that mean that the guitar is on the way to an ugly yellow shade in another 11 years (which I hate) so I had better keep it in the case from now on to preserve the current shade? Thanks.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Feb 5th, 2017 10:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

The US-made guitar has a polyurethane finish on it, and chances are good there's a UV inhibitor added to the mix to help preserve the color.

The MIM Strat is probably a polyester finish with no UV inhibitor, so the finish has yellowed over time.

The MIM may have stabilized and won't continue to yellow, but who knows? If you like the color where it is, get it out of the sunlight. Even reflected sunlight contains enough UV to affect pigments.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 12:03 PM, Feb 5th, 2017)

Contributing Member

Santee CA

Poser extraordinaire
Feb 5th, 2017 10:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 2005 JV Strat (MIM) in Oly White that is yellowing nicely. :)

When not being played it resides on a wall hanger near a window. It occasionally gets direct sunlight, but most light is indirect.



Feb 5th, 2017 10:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

I figured that you would have a good idea out of many of the folks on here. I am going to case it or cover it up just in case; hate that Malmstein "duck" yellow on his older strats that started out as Olympic White............... :)

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Feb 6th, 2017 02:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Celius, do happen to have a photo of the Anniversary MIM Strat? I have the same, all original and purchased new, but it's spent most of its life in a case. I'd be interested to compare it to yours.

As I side note (and a thread hijack), I was never a fan of the Tex Mex pups. It's only in the last week or so I've discovered the glory of playing 'em through Orange amps, awesome! Anyway, that's why it's lived in the case. Although it will probably never be worth much I intend on keeping it original and wont change the pups.

Side note two: I was GASing real bad, I mean real bad, for the 2006 Anniversary American Series with the 57/62s but could never afford it at the time. I'd still love one.

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Feb 6th, 2017 04:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a circa '98 MIM Squier Strat that's seen a lot of use and more than a bit of smoke in its life. It is several shades different than "new" models and versus when I got it new.

It's minor, but particularly noticeable next to other white-shade Fenders that aren't almost 20 years old.



Feb 6th, 2017 12:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

I hear you and feel your pain. I have pictures of the MIM from when I first got it but will try to take a current picture and post both for reference.

I did not own any guitars in 2006 (after the school/family thing long break) and went into the Guitar Center to buy "1" strat when I was asked to play at a Blues festival that summer. The salesman turned me on to the two 60th anniversary models (the American and Mexi) and I loved them both but only had the money for the Mexi; then he "turned me on" to a Guitar Center credit card. That is how I ended up getting both that day and I still love them both.

Since then (2006), I have only bought 3 other guitars and the right way by saving up the money. On the Tex-Mex pups, I never bonded with them and ditched them for a set of Texas Specials a few years later and never looked back. But the original Tex-Mex set is still wrapped in plastic in a bin.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Feb 6th, 2017 12:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

My '81 Bullet has aged finish. It started out Olympic white and has turned to a beautiful honey color. Under the pick guard it remains the original color. It looks a bit darker in the pic than it actually is. The neck finish has aged nicely too.

To the best of my knowledge this guitar has always been in a case or gig bag unless being played. I bought it from owner #1.

'81 Bullet



Feb 12th, 2017 08:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've got a 2000 MIM Strat in Oly White with a white plate. It's darkening nicely to a Milwaukee "cream city" or aged ivory hue that I really like.


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Feb 17th, 2017 05:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have an 07 MiM arctic white strat. It appears vintage white to me. But I experimented a bit since it was kinda blazing white to begin with.

I left it out in the Hawaiian sun for an hour at a time front, and back 30 minutes each for about a a year every month or so.

Removing the back plate shows really white against a somewhat browned, not yellowed body. Overall, it looks real good, and the sun darkened the almost pine white back of the neck to a very warm amber.

Experiement's done though, too much is too much.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Nice Unintentional Color Changes on Your Older Strats

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