1954 Stratocaster and 1958 Tremolux


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Since my last foray in the Home Recording forums (guitar subsection), I have started an online store for my collection through prompting from (certain members here and) my girlfriend.

I am happy to report that the interactions with customers I have experienced have been very heart warming and enjoyable.

Anyway, I have come across this 1954 Fender Stratocaster and a 1958 Fender Tremolux which I thought it appropriate to share.


One of the most enjoyable parts of buying vintage gear is that you suddenly gain an appreciation for the high quality of musical equipment that Leo Fender and Gibson (Les Paul) were putting out. As a result, you realise that musicians in the late 1950's had some of the best guitars and basses available.

Leo Fender was a cut above in terms of craftsmanship and precision.

The woods, the build, the designs, and ultimately the sound, are second to none. Even Gibson need a mention for the quality of woods sourced in the 1950's as evident in their acoustics, Les Paul and ES range instruments.

The story behind this 1954 Fender Stratocaster starts with it's owner from England moving to Perth in Western Australia. He was quite taken in the 1980's with the more modern Fender Stratocasters, and being short of money, he decided to trade it for AUD$4,000 cash ($3k US) plus a contemporary Standard Strat from 1986. The music store owner who made the deal still owns this 54 Strat and I have offered it up on my website to sell.

Over the last 30 years, it has only been played live a few times, one time being a gig at the Perth Casino in the early 2000's. After packing up for the evening, the musicians drove home in their van, and once arrived, the guitarist enquired as to where his guitar was. They had accidentally left it on the footpath outside where the van was parked as they were packing up.

Upon returning to the Casino, there was no sign of the guitar. But the bouncer approached them and told them they had left it on the footpath. It stayed there for 15 minutes before he realised they had forgot it, and he picked it up and put it behind the curtain. $50,000 mistake avoided.

One piece ash body. Serial 0251. Replaced string tree. Back plate has been dug at with the circular holes changed to oval. Although it is the original back plate, the thing has been off the guitar for some time, and then the wrong screws used to put it back on. Original case.


More information:

1954 Fender Stratocaster - Vintage Electric Guitars

This piece is simply a part of musical history that cannot be replaced or copied.

And the 1958 Tremolux I purchased recently to get some vintage amps into the collection has a 1954 Jensen speaker inside. It was in a New Jersey music store, and the staff loved it and used it as their own private go-to amp whilst demonstrating guitars to customers. The owner noticed that no one was interested in selling the amplifier itself, and it eventually came up for sale online and so I grabbed it immediately.

This thing sounds simply incredible, and no re-issue is going to match it for unique tonal response. It just sounds old, has lot's of character and is now pride of place in the music room.


More information:

1958 Fender Tremolux - Vintage Electric Guitars

Even the neighbours like it.

The large late 50's tweed amps have this amazing smooth bass response when playing rhythm that I have not experienced before. I would not say that this amplifier is easy to deal with in terms of getting a particular tone. They might have scratchy pots or old dry capacitors, but the one thing I have noticed is the tone is unique.

And obviously the Stratocaster is as well.

Whereas your modern Stratocasters are almost 3D printed to within a minute specification of each other, the 1950-1960's hand-made Telecasters and Stratocasters are very different beasts in terms of weight, tone, and ultimately, as was previously said, sound.

I will post up some interesting old guitar-amp combos over the coming months to give people a feel for pieces they are never likely to own themselves, and some other less expensive options to get an original vintage tone.

I have had quite a few recording artists enquire and select certain pieces which they swear by for their own recordings.

Hence I am learning a lot more about recording than I ever thought i would.


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