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'80s Fender STRAT - Candy Apple Red (Chris Rea-ish)

Posted on 23/02/2014 by ozzy in Chris Rea-ish

On Driving Home for Christmas video from about 1987, Chris Rea can be seen playing a somewhat rare version of Stratocaster dubbed the STRAT and manufactured by Fender in the early '80s.

The STRAT was introduced by Fender in 1980 lasting in production until 1983. Chris Rea's guitar featured Alder (or Ash?) body, maple neck, small pre-CBS headstock with the word "STRAT" written on it, and a headstock face matching the body colour. The STRAT also incorporated a hotter lead pickup (branded the X-1) with much stronger output than the standard Stratocaster pickup, plus new wiring circuitry delivering 4 "new" tones that were not available on the Stratocaster before. These new tones were selected with the standard five-way pickup selector and with a twin-mode rotary switch that had replaced the original bottom tone control. These new tones were: 1) humbacking (neck and middle pickups in series), 2) humbucking (middle and bridge pickups in series), 3) neck and bridge pickups in parallel, and 4) neck and bridge pickups in parellel, with the middle pickup in series. The STRAT also featured a gold-plated brass hardware including a redesigned massive six-pivot bridge/vibrato unit, gold-plated tuners and volume/tone knobs.

Source: Strat Collector News, Wikipedia

Fender STRAT  

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