Fender Strat PlusSold this guitar to a close friend that admired and wanted to buy it from me for 15 years. I finally said fine and gave hime a great price for a guitar he loved. At least it is going to a good home where it will get played more often.

1996 Fender Stratocaster Plus with three Lace pickups, roller nut and maple neck. This was one of the best bargains I ever bought. Perfect example of ending up in the right place at the right time. I happen to walk into a local guitar store when they had just took this guitar on a trade in.

The guitar was very dirty and was not even really ready for sale. The store salesman thought the guitar had big large scratches on the front of the guitar (so did I). I was looking for a good playing Strat and it played like a dream and sounded great. So I bought it anyway for a very desirable price due to its supposed condition. The salesman even gave me some free strings.

Was I quite surprised when I got it home and took the rusty strings off and cleaned the guitar only to find out the “big scratches” were actually just some grease that came right off. The guitar was in wonderful shape underneath the mess! Who brings a guitar to a store to sell or trade like this? The person turning it in must have been pretty lazy. This guitar end up being one of the best playing Stratocasters I have owned. I have sold plenty of other guitars, but always keep this one. Other than string changes and minor adjustments I have never changed a thing on this guitar.

Fender Stratocaster Plus is a one of the best Strats Fender made on their production line. If you want something better you would need to buy a Custom Shop model. The early Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck signature model Stratocasters were quite similar to the Strat Plus. Love this guitar and getting at a great price even makes it better. I have had a few offers from friends that have played this one, but with me it stays!


Fender Strat Plus guitars are quite wonderful. Fender made these from from 1987 to 1999. They all come with Lace Pickups which are noiseless and sound great. The Gold Lace pickups on this Strat, were the pickups of choice for years by Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Buddy Guy on their Signature Series. The Strat Plus Standard (like this one) uses 3 Gold Lace pickups. The Fender Strat Deluxe Plus, introduced mid-1989, used Silver/Silver/Blue Lace Sensors in mid-1990 they changed over to the Blue/Silver/Red pickups. Some models used a Gold Lace in the middle. These Lace Sensors have a different output and sound.

Gold Lace Pickups used on this Jeff Beck model signature Strat uses all Gold Lace pickups with a Gold Lace Dually in the bridge in connection with a push button “pickup splitter” to have it operate in either single or dually mode. The Dually is just 2 Lace pickups, side by side fitting a humbucker sized cutout and the switch just turns off the top pickup.

Eventually, Fender moved away from promoting Lace Sensors as they were made by Bob Lace and company and not Fender. Fender developed their own noiseless single coils that in my opinion are not as great sounding as the Lace Sensors. In fact, Fender used “plain” black pickup covers on the James Burton Signature Telecasters not to promote a third party pickup company. I guess James Burton likes the Lace Sensor since he has used them for many years!

Fender Strat Plus all have locking tuners and roller nut. Action on this one is low and it plays beautifully. Like many of the later USA Strats, the neck has the micro-tilt adjustment. There is an Allen screw under the Fender neck plate that allows for neck tilt instead of using shims. The Plus is one the best Strats Fender production guitars ever produced in my opinion.

The Strat Plus has TBX circuit that can cut treble or bass giving the bridge and middle pickup a unique variety of sounds. When the 5-way switch is in the 4th position, by turning the tone control you can get a bell like sound to a honking out-of-phase mid-range sound. Put the switch in position #2 and, you get a quack, or a hollow twang! The 1st tone control is a standard Fender 250 k potentiometer as is the volume control. This is not an active circuit like the boost seen on some Eric Clapton signature Strats.

This guitar like many of the Strat Plus Series, came with a Hipshot Tremsetter which compensates for the string tension. Once set up correctly it helps the guitar stay in tune even if a string breaks while playing.

Hipshot Tremsetter

Hipshot Tremsetter

The Tremsetter automatically brings your guitar back to its “zero” or starting position. Ordinarily, your tremolo relies on the your string tension pulling against the springs in the back of your guitar. Its a delicate balance similar to the way a teeter totter works. If one side is just a little out of balance, your guitar will be out of tune. The Tremsetter overrides this precarious balancing situation and brings your tremolo back to the exact “in-tune” position, according to Hipshot.

The used prices for Fender Strat Plus, Deluxe Plus and Ultra seem to very much on the rise in recent years. I think players are finding just how great these guitars are. I went looking for another Fender Strat Plus. As much as I love vintage “old school” Fender Stratocasters, the Strat Plus is a time when Fender improved the guitar and got almost everything just right. I did pickup another Strat Plus that was in mint condition.




Hipshot Tremsetter