Almost perversely, Dan Smith's second variation on the Stratocaster was probably an improvement over his earlier, 1981–83 version. Despite another batch of cost-cutting moves for his CBS bosses, the model that came of the lines later in 1983, running through to '84 was far more in keeping with Leo Fender's fifties designs, including the smaller, more accurate headstock shape, proper 4-bolt neckplate and the truss-rod adjustment shifted back to the headstock.
It's doubtful that before he shifted across to Fender from Yamaha USA, at the behest of CBS, whether Smith could ever have imagined his name being permanently associated with one of America's greatest ever icons, the Stratocaster electric guitar. Technically, it's the first Strat remodeling that should be called the 'Smith Strat', but people have come to think of these later "two-knob" models as Smith's greater claim to fame.
So, here we have a Dan Smith designed, American built, Standard Stratocaster, "second version" 1983 – 1984. The serial number indicates a later production, confirmed by the 3/84 date penciled on the back of scratchplate. Along with the improvements mentioned above, (headstock shape, truss-rod adjustment and 4-bolt neckplate), this great-sounding Strat also features a solid Alder body, Fender-stamped die-cast tuners with metal buttons, single-ply scratchplate, (plastic parts are all nicely yellowed), and a revised six-saddle bridge/tremolo unit. This Smith revised unit is a really innovative and effective top-loading system, which may actually transfer more resonance to the body than the conventional rear-loading system. (And it makes string changes an absolute breeze!) The tremolo springs are mounted below the scratchplate, removing the need for rear routing and plastic cover plates. The volume and tone controls, plus the jack input are all mounted on the solid scratchplate, again removing the need for extra routing & plastic.
Very late fifties
With his 1983-84 model, Dan Smith came very close to recreating the much-loved Stratocaster as it existed in the late fifties. These guitars have really shot up in price recently, doubling – and sometimes tripling – what they were selling for just twelve to eighteen months back.
The guitar is in great condition, with just some light play wear on the body, (highlighted in pic # 6), and three quite small paint chips – two on the bottom edge, and one on the treble horn, (shown in pic # 8, above the overhead lights reflection). The tremolo arm is a replacement, but it does the job. The original pickups sound killer, and the Maple board and 21 jumbo frets are in amazing, near mint condition!
A true vintage Strat
Across the board, eighties Fender guitars are now selling at prices seventies models were commanding just a short while ago. At only $1750, complete with its original hard shell case, this is a fantastic buy in a true vintage Strat. Includes FREE COURIER DELIVERY to any address in Australia