50th Anniversary Strat

Now, as it happens, it's not only my 50th anniversary, it's also the 50th anniversary of Leo Fender's Stratocaster. Yup, The Stratocaster and I were born in the same year. So I decided that now was the time to get a proper Strat, an American one - the best.

Except that no matter how many I tried out, none of them felt as comfortable and 'right' as my old Hank Marvin. Some of them (well, one of them - the Stevie Ray Vaughan' model) sounded better, but otherwise they all felt wrong.

So I decided to finish off what I'd started and replace the only remaining parts of Hank that were original until I had a totally new guitar.

I measured and profiled and weighed Hank's body and neck and then ordered replacements from warmoth.com. I restored Hank to its former 'Fiesta Red' glory and started on the slow process of spraying, wiring and assembling the new guitar (with assistance and advice from the excellent manchesterguitartech.co.uk).

James F Bisset: 50th Anniversary Guitar

The pickups are Kent Armstrong 'Standard', 'Vintage' and 'Screamer' from neck to bridge. The 'Screamer' is a coil-tapped humbucker, and the wiring allows any combination of pickups. Oh, and the control cavity is screened using the the Guitarnuts.com star-grounding technique.

You can download a diagram of the wiring: fiftieth-3pickup-wiring.pdf (480k)

And if you're seriously into guitar construction and want more detail - read the tech spec page.