We just got in our first Fender Blacktop Strat and Fender Blacktop Tele – both part of the new Blacktop series that also includes a Jazzmaster HS and a Jaguar HH, and frankly, we’re impressed as hell. These are built well (in Mexico), have great playability, killer pickups and are a steal at $449. These have some nice details too like the cool reversed control plate on the tele, the vintage bridge and trem bar on the strat, and the skirted knobs. The coolest in my book right now is the strat with its 5 way switching – this thing can really run the gamut from the neck’s outer single coil to the inner single coils of both pups to both humbuckers full on and more. These are Hot Vintage Alnico Humbuckers and they are fan-freaking-tastic. Would have been nice to see a gig bag included in the price, but those are not hard to come by. Brian’s giving the strat a spin right now too and will post his comments soon. When the Jazzmaster and Jag arrive, we’ll give run them through their paces too and post an update.
The fresh new Blackout Series from Fender makes me think of muscle cars from the late 60s/early 70s. These are based on timeless classics, but have a hot rodded appearance and tone! This particular Strat is too cool for school. It has a classic 60s Fender light blue finish and a mint pickguard, but has been blinged out with chrome covered humbuckers! It reminds me of buying chrome for my old Camaro in high school! The five way pickup selector allows you to dial in full-on humbucking tones or split them for a classic Strat single coil sound. Go from Chris Isaak to Eddie Van Halen with a flick of a switch. The neck is a comfy C-shape and the frets are highly polished. Gloss finished neck and headstock to boot! Excellent value, seriously. I’m getting one of these.