Jimi Hendrix. David Gilmour. I grew up admiring both of these artists…and their Stratocasters. Hendrix is most famously known for his late ’60s white “Woodstock” Strat, while Gilmour is best known for his black Strat (now a signature Fender model) which is a “mutt” of various parts – but started out as a circa 1968 stock model.
These late ’60s Strats are most easily identified by use of the large headstock design that originated after the CBS purchase of Fender musical instruments in 1965. Hendrix can be seen with his favorite Strat (he preferred his black one over the white he used at Woodstock) in his famous performance captured on video at The Isle of Wight in 1970. Gilmour used an identical black with maple board model in the Pink Floyd “Live at Pomeii” film shot in 1972. These classic performances, and those Stratocasters, left an impression on me that continues to this day.
A Brief Early History
As Marshall quickly grew in reputation as the new king of high-powered guitar amplification during the early 1960’s, Dave Reeves, who had been an employee of Mullard as well as a contractor for Sound City in London, began working on his own amplifiers that aimed to take the amplification construction quality and tonal designs to new heights. Reeve’s new Hiwatt amplifiers were born via his company, Hylight Electronics.
During the past few years, there has been a resurgence in the interest of vintage gear of all types, not only guitars and amplifiers, but even effect pedals. In the case of effect pedals, this is a most interesting phenomenon because during the ‘80s, when digital state-of-the-art rack systems were in vogue, effect pedals were basically considered “old junk.” Regardless, with so much interest in the market for vintage tones and gear, it was a no-brainer for companies to seek to fulfill the demand by creating reissues. And of course, like anything else, some of these recreations were built more accurately and better than others.