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FENDER CONTEMPORARY STRATOCASTER
Example of an '85 Fender Contemporary Stratocaster Deluxe, (front), (back), (headstock), (bridge/nut), (original era case), (catalog).
During this era USA production had slowed down to a crawl, with the only production being the US Vintage Series. Fender Japan was supplying around 90% of Fender's stock until the American Standard started shipping in the fall of '86. The Contemporary Deluxe Strat was the top of the line from Fender Japan with noteworthy features like the System III locking tremolo system, locking nut with an ingenious thumb lever to tighten or slack the nut tension, Fender's new Ping tuners which would soon be used on the American Standard, Schaller humbucker mounted directly to the body with accompanying mini-switch to split the humbucker, side-mounted barrel jack, and TBX (Treble Bass Expander) tone control, also used on the American Standard a year or two later.
Fender's Contemporary line consisted of the Deluxe, which offered the top of the line System III tremolo and was equipped with either dual Schaller humbuckers or an HSS with a Schaller humbucker and two USA single coils. A lesser model Deluxe was offered only with HSS and outfitted with the mid-line System II tremolo without fine tuners, using knife-edge pivot system. This model didn't use the Schaller humbucker but a standard Fender humbucker mounted to a pickup ring. Rounding out the series were the "regular" Contemporary Stratocasters: an HH model and single humbucker model, which were the only ones in the series built without pickguard, which I attribute to retailer's being able to compare it to a Kramer Baretta/Imperial and since it was built sans pickguard, the output jack was side-mounted. The Contemporary Strat featured the System I tremolo which pivoted on two studs like a modern day tremolo, and featured both a standard nut PLUS a locking nut located on the headstock. The most common model in the "regular" contemporaries was an SSS model with identical specs to the HH and H models above, including the System I, but Fender opted to call it the "Standard Stratocaster" (sans "Contemporary") since Fender wasn't building any other Standards at the time. It rightfully should have been part of the Contemporary series since, other than the pickguard and SSS configuration, it was identical to the single humbucker Contemporary. These "Standard Strat" models are, by far, the most common due primarily to considerably lower cost.
Features of high end 27-5700 model include: alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, blackface headstock, System III locking vibrato, black pickguard, Schaller humbucker with 2/1 screw attachment that's screwed directly into the body, single volume and TBX control, 5-way switch plus mini-switch for 7 tone settings, and chrome hardware. The System III was really a rather ingenious piece of engineering. First off, it uses a special tremolo arm with the short shaft being square and the tip screws off to reveal an Allen wrench. The reason for this is that, adjacent to the strap pin is an Allen socket, which raises/lowers the bridge, making minor adjustments a breeze. The square shaft was used as it operated a locking mechanism in the tremolo to convert it from tremolo to fixed bridge with just a 1/4 turn of the bar. Both of these are very practical features and I'm surprised that Fender never pursued the technology in any models that followed. This guitar plays superbly and sounds great. The Schaller humbucker is the same model used in the Esprit/Flame models and one of my favorite pickups of all time. It is capable of producing great Strat tones plus a warmer, fatter tone via the Schaller.
In addition to these, Fender offered a line of Squier Contemporary's consisting of an H, HH, and SSS. The H and HH were built without pickguard and had side mounted output jacks, while the SSS model looked pretty much like a Standard Strat. Oddly enough, the H and HH model also had a shorter (24.75") scale (hello Gibson fans) while the SSS, being a traditional Strat, had the standard 25.5" scale. All of the Squiers featured a vintage, non-locking Gotoh tremolo with stamped, unmarked steel saddles.
The Contemporary line, including the Deluxe, featured a very flat fretboard. At 12", it was flatter than today's "modern" radius of 9.5' and much flatter than the 7.25" vintage radius.
The catalog page above is from the actual catalog I carried in my back pocket in 1985 when I was working at Hotlicks Guitar Shop, Waldorf MD. List prices would be higher but as I noted on the catalog page, our discount price for the HH model was $599 and I'm guessing the HSS was $649 since HSS models were generally $50 higher in the Fender catalog.