NOTE: This instrument has been discontinued and is no longer available from Fender. This post remains for historical purposes only.
Since its introduction in 2007, the Vintage Hot Rod series has been one of Fender’s most popular lines. Today we are featuring a pair of Hot Rod ’57 Stratocasters. Fender has done a great job of blending a classic design with a few modernized features. The result is an instrument that feels instantly familiar, yet keeps up with the demands of modern music.
The first time I picked up a ’57 Hot Rod Strat, I was instantly drawn to the neck. The soft “V” profile definitely has a vintage vibe, but not to the extreme that it feels uncomfortable to players more accustomed to modern neck shapes. In a rather smart move, Fender decided to approach the neck finish in two ways. For many, one of the best features of a vintage Strat is the high gloss coating on the fingerboard; it gives an ultra smooth feel to dig into. However, anyone who has owned a guitar with a high gloss neck can attest to what happens after spending more than a few minutes playing: it gets sticky. This is what led to the satin finished necks Fender has made standard since the mid eighties. It might not have the same feel under your fingers, but a satin finish allows your hand to glide across the neck with ease. With the ’57 Hot Rod Strat, we can finally get the best of both worlds. The high gloss fingerboard has the hard, glassy feel of any vintage Strat, while the satin finish on the back of the neck keeps your left hand moving smoothly.
In terms of sound, the ’57 Hot Rod delivers exactly what it claims; classic Strat tones with a little extra kick. A pair of SCN hum canceling pickups in the neck and middle positions ring out with the clear chime and bell like mids I expect from any nice Strat. The only thing missing is the ’60 cycle’ hum typical of a standard single coil pickup (cue massive sigh of relief… now). Switching to the bridge pickup, I let loose with every cheesy eighties lead riff I could remember, and the Dimarzio Tone Zone handled it with ease; all the while retaining the edge and attack I look for in a Strat. This bridge pickup provides a full, aggressive, yet musical tone perfect for those moments when you need a little extra kick from your guitar.
Rounding out the ’57 Hot Rod Strat’s impressive design is a ‘thin skin’ Nitrocellulose laquer finish, 50’s style single ply pick guard, Vintage synchronized trem, and vintage style Gotoh tuners.
All together, this adds up to one amazing guitar!
* “Thin-Skin” Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
* Body: Comfort Contoured Alder Body
* 1-Piece Maple Neck, Modified Soft “V” Shape,
(Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish with Satin Back).
* Fingerboard: Maple, 9.5″ radius (241 mm)
* No. of Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Frets
* Pickups: Parallel SCN (Neck), SCN (Mid) DiMarzio® Tone Zone™ (Bridge)
*Controls: Master Volume,
Tone 1. (Neck Pickup),
Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)
*Pickup Switching: 5-Position Blade:
* Bridge: American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
* Machine Heads: Fender/Gotoh Vintage Style Tuning Machines
* Hardware: Nickel/Chrome
* Pickguard: 1-Ply White, (8 Hole)
* Scale Length: 25.5 (648 mm)
* Width at Nut: 1.650 (42 mm)
* Includes Fender Tweed hardshell case.