NEW GUITAR DAY: Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster

I’m sad to say that despite its innate awesomeness, I just wasn’t really connecting with my Ibanez Jem7VWH on that deep level, and rather than let it sit around being unloved, today I traded it (plus some $$$) for this brand new Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster Reissue in Olympic White. Yay, new guitar day!

This is quite a different guitar to most in my Ibanez-heavy arsenal (although I do have a super-cheap Status Strat copy and a Telecaster made out of parts), but one can’t just play pointy metal axes all the time, right? When I decided I needed a Strat (inspired partly by Richie Kotzen and partly by the DiMarzio pickup upgrade to my Status copy), I looked around online to familiarise myself with the various models, and I decided that the things I like in Strats aesthetically are:

3-ply pickguards
3 single coils
Rosewood fretboards
6-screw vintage tremolos.

I considered a few different models: This American Vintage ’62; the American Vintage Hot Rod ’62; the John Mayer and Eric Johnson models; even theCustom Shop 1965 Stratocaster (I really dig that transitional logo, but the budget didn’t really allow for that one). I dropped into World of Music in Brighton East and tried almost every US Strat in the place, including a few that fell outside my desired parameters. I was very taken by an HSS American Deluxe Stratocaster (and the American Deluxe Telecaster, which I really, really liked but since I promised myself I was getting a Strat, I decided not to buy that one …this time around, hehe). I played the ’62 first, and I came back to it after trying all the others, and it was love at first chord. So now, in addition to my Ibanii, I’m a proud Fender owner for the first time.

On paper, the American Vintage Hod Rod ’62 was probably on top of my ‘want’ list because it features similar specs to the ’62 but with a 5-way pickup switch (the non-Hot Rod version has a vintage-correct 3-way switch); a reverse-polarity middle pickup for hum-cancelling 2 and 4 settings; a flatter 9.5″ fretboard radius instead of 7.25″; and medium-jumbo frets. I also hear the back of the neck is huge, which is something I really dig about my Telecaster. But after spending some time in the store with the American Vintage ’62, it just felt right. We bonded, sparks flew, everything got all slow and soft-focus, and I think I heard ‘Dream Weaver’ playing in the background.

Case candy includes a cool old-school strap, an equally old-school lead, a 5-way switch in case you want to upgrade so you get those 2 and 4 pickup positions, and the ‘ashtray’ tremolo cover that everyone always took off anyway.

Huge thanks to Brett and everyone at World of Music.

[geo-in country=”United States” note=””]CLICK HERE to buy the
Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster Electric Guitar Olympic White from Guitar Center.

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