Fender California Series Strat, made in USA 1997. The California Series was a short-lived experiment for Fender in manufacturing options. This is basically how they were made: the body and neck were made in the Corona, California plant, same as the American Standard model, then they'd send the body to the Mexico plant. They'd hand-paint the bodies in Mexico, and send back the painted bodies to Corona, where they'd attach the neck and hardware and do the final setups and checks. The issue for Fender was that these guitars were finished so well and played so nicely, they were taking significant business away from the higher-priced American Standard, so the discontinued them after a nudge over a year. This really does play brilliantly: it's a more 'true' '62 Reissue than an American standard, so you get a lovely slim neck finished in light gloss; it really feels exceptional in the hand. The Hot Rails pickup in the bridge adds some extra beef to the sonic flavour options; it's a welcome addition and blends perfectly with the Tex-Mex pickups in the other positions. The tone is classic-Strat: bright, spanky, sparkly and charming. This one is in great shape, with the original high-quality case. This is a great Strat, it'll make someone very happy indeed.
Model: Fender California Series Stratocaster
Made: USA, Corona plant, 1997 (serial AMXN722793)
Finish: gloss black, 3-ply white guard
Neck: maple with rosewood board, dot inlays
Mods: bridge pickup replaced (original included)
Pickups: neck and middle are Fender USA Tex-Mex singles, bridge is a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails (note: pos. 4 only engages half the rails, so you still get the 'quack')
Case: original Fender ABS moulded hardcase, excellent quality and condition
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. There's some play scratches on and above the guard, as well as some minor buckle rash on and around the back plate. There's some minor marks on the end of the headstock. Really not much wear at all for 20 years. Overall: very good condition (8/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets have some normal wear, they look recently dressed and polished, 8/10 for life left. Wearing fresh 10/46s and playing brilliantly.