Back from Chicago in early October I brought back another addition to my (now) flourishing guitar collection (it's the red one on the picture). My wife asked me why I bought a second one that is exactly similar to the one I already had. Obviously she doesn't appreciate the difference between a Tele and a Strat! I originally wanted the Jaguar (or Jaguar-like) model from the brand new Blacktop series but this was not available (at Chicago's GC store I mean) and, anyway, I really prefer maple fretboards, so I ended up with the Strat. I don't regret (but maybe if the Jaguar passes by...) especially for the five way switch as I very much like the two single coil microphone positions (together with the center -both humbuckers up- these are the best sounding ones) which are only available on the Strat (and perhaps on the Jazzmaster). I was also pleased that the guitar is pretty lightweight, with 3.2 kg compared to 2.8 kg for my Tele (but it's a Thinline one). The finish is in fact of higher quality on the Blacktop Strat and it's amazing that it sells for about half the price of the Tele (this being said, humbuckers on the Thinline Classic Player Telecaster are definitely better). In the shop, I tried both the Blacktop Strat and Tele and these were far superior (finish, look sound, weight, ...) to the models from the Standard Fender series which were slightly more expensive.

Fender museum

If you want to see what's inside (not joking) the Blacktop Strat, there are nice pictures and comments here. Note that as suggested by comments here and there, the original setup of the Strat seemed to be incorrect and to adjust it approx. like my Tele (which was set up by a professional) I had to significantly turn the truss rod counter-clockwise as the strings were too close to the fingerboard (based on Fender's instructions booklet also available online here). There's a video demo of the guitar here (the same guy demos all the models in the series in a very pleasant -not harmful for your ears- way: Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Tele).

Edit: I am just copying below the technical specs. from Fender site for archiving

Blacktop Stratocaster (the Candy Apple Red Body / Mint Green Pickguard one)

Body Material:  Alder

Number of Frets:    22
Fret Size:      Medium Jumbo
Position Inlays:    Black Dots on Maple
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5" (24.1 cm)
Fretboard:      Maple
Neck Material:  Maple
Neck Finish:    Gloss Urethane
Nut Width:      1.650" (42 mm)
Scale Length:   25.5" (64.8 cm)
Neck Plate:     Vintage Style 4 Bolt
Truss Rod Nut:  3/16" Adjustable Hex Nut

Pickup Configuration: H/H
Bridge Pickup:  Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup:    Hot Vintage Alnico Humbucking Neck Pickup
Pickup Switching:   5-Position Blade: Position 1. Full Bridge Pickup,
                    Position 2. Two Inside Single Coils,
                    Position 3. Both Full Humbucking Pickups,
                    Position 4. Outer Neck Single Coil,
                    Position 5. Full Neck Pickup
Controls:           Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup),
                    Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)

Hardware Finish:    Nickel/Chrome
Bridge:     Vintage Style Synchronized Tremolo
Tuning Machines:    Standard Cast/Sealed Tuning Machines

Classic Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe (the Black and White Thinline)

Body:           Semi-Hollow Ash

Neck:       1-Piece Maple, C Shape, (Gloss Urethane Finish)
Fingerboard:    Maple, 9.5 Radius (241 mm)
No. of Frets:   21 Medium Jumbo Frets
Scale Length:   25.5 (648 mm)
Width at Nut:   1.650 (42 mm)

Pickups:        2 Fender Wide Range Humbucking Pickups, (Neck/Bridge)
Controls:       Volume 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 1. (Neck Pickup),
                Volume 2. (Bridge Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)
Pickup Switching:   3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup,
                    Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups,
                    Position 3. Neck Pickup

Hardware:       Chrome
Bridge:         Vintage Style Strat Strings-Through-Body Hardtail Bridge
Machine Heads:  Fender/Schaller Vintage F Style Tuning Machines

Originally posted November 2010