I scored this one from GC Used for roughly half the going used rate. The reason is because it was refinished - and it was either a terrible job or the previous owner tried to relic it. Either way, the body needs a little TLC.
Until I have the time to properly refinish it, I stuck some stickers on it - one of which may look familiar to some of you. It covers the name "Anna" that was carved into it. I think it looks better now!
Yeah, the stickers really improved the tone. ;)
I've blogged about 90's strats before - the necks are great. The bodies are typically heavier than more modern strats and don't have the same cuts/route measurements. But I think their saddles are an acoustic improvement. I understand the return to "vintage: rolled saddles, but they aren't "better". I A/B this one with my 2011 Fender American Standard strat unplugged and the 90's was certainly louder, more acoustic with more "ring" to it (if that makes any sense).
The '97 pickups are as stratty-quack sounding as any I've heard. The only confusing thing was the lack of a TBX tone pot. It has three CTS pots so my guess is the stock pots were replaced. Whoever did the replacement did it right as all pickups and switch positions function and sound as they should.
It didn't come with the trem bar but I happened to have an extra righty lying around so NBD. I actually like the (opposite) curve though I might try to straighten it out jut a bit.
The neck is in great condition as are the frets. There is some binding at the nut - the slots probably need to be widened a bit with a small dab of graphite. No case but at the price I paid I can't complain.
So there it is, the VMware strat!