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Fender Road Worn Stratocaster: '50s vs '60s Review

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fender road worn 50s 60s stratocaster review

In today’s article, we’re going to review and compare two amazing guitars – Fender Road Worn Stratocaster (’50s vs ’60s). Undoubtedly, both of these Vintera models are really popular, but which one of them is actually better?

Both Strats from Vintera Road Worn Series feature an extraordinary quality and a really cool, vintage vibe and relic finish. The guitars are almost the same, but they have different necks – the ’50s model has a maple neck with a maple fretboard, while the ’60s model has a maple neck with a Pau Ferro fretboard.

Let’s dive deeper with research and find out what makes these guitars so special. We’ll also investigate whether they’re better than Strats from the regular Vintera Series, which is slightly less expensive.

Fender Road Worn ’50s Stratocaster

fender road worn 50s stratocaster review

The ’50s Road Worn Stratocaster features an alder body and a maple neck. It’s available in two color versions: Surf Green and Dakota Red. The guitar has a classic Strat pickup setting, so there are three single-coil pickups. In addition, it has a vintage tremolo and tuning machines.

What’s important, this model is equipped with a really interesting V-shaped neck, which is quite thick. Fender used the same neck profile back in the ’50s, so using this Road Worn Strat allows you to travel back in time. On the other hand, although it’s really comfortable to play, it may not be the best fit for people who are used to really thin necks.

Undoubtedly, this guitar looks really old-school. Whether you like relic finishes or not, you have to admit that it looks quite special. But most importantly, this guitar offers a remarkable tone. If you enjoy the clarity and brightness of a classic Strat, you most likely know what I’m talking about!

Here’s a really cool demo of that Strat – feel free to check it out.

Fender Road Worn ’60s Stratocaster

fender road worn 60s stratocaster

Similarly as the ’60s model, this Strat has an alder body and a maple neck. Still, instead of a V-shaped neck, this guitar is equipped with the mid-’60s C-shaped neck, which is pretty thin. Of course, the pickup setting is exactly the same – there are three single-coil pickups. The guitar is available in two colors: Lake Placid Blue and Firemist Gold.

If you compare both of these models, you’ll notice that the ’60s Strat has a different fretboard. Fender decided to use the Pau Ferro for this model, which is really smooth and comfortable to play.

In terms of sound, it’s very similar to the ’50s model. Some people may say that these guitars sound exactly the same. Although it’s difficult to notice the sound difference between these models, the feel of the 60’s Strat is completely different. It will definitely be appreciated by the lovers of thinner C-shaped necks.

Here’s a really good review and demo of this guitar – make sure to check it out.

Who Are These Guitars For?

I think that both of these guitars will be perfect for players who are searching for a reliable, great sounding and good looking piece of gear. The Road Worn Stratocasters will be particularly loved by guitarists who are specifically looking for guitars with a relic finish.

Of course, these Strats are really comfortable and fun to play, so they can be used by both amateur musicians and more intermediate players. Still, only the advanced guitarists will be able to use the full potential of these guitars. On the other hand, starting your musical journey with these axes will also be really inspiring!

Are These Strats Better Than Regular Vintera Strats?

To be honest, it is really difficult to clearly say if these Strats are better than regular Vintera Strats. In the end, it all depends on your personal preferences. The truth is that these guitars are almost the same as original Vintera Strats, but they just have a relic nitro finish. If you’re willing to spend more money just because of that then yes – the Road Worn Stratocasters will be a better choice for you.

A lot of luthiers claim that the nitro finish significantly improves the guitar tone. The reason is simple – it’s thiner than the regular lacquer, so it lets your guitar breathe. On the other hand, it provides a worse protection from minor damages. So there’s a high chance that these Road Worn guitars will become even more worn out in years to come!

Nevertheless, there are a lot of people who don’t like relic guitars. So if you don’t see the point of having a vintage-looking, old school axe – you should probably choose the regular Vintera Stratocaster instead.


Cheaper Alternatives

Fender Road Worn Stratocasters are really cool, but at the same time – they’re pretty expensive. If you’re on a tight budget and you know that it’s not a good fit at the moment, don’t worry – there’s a few good alternatives out there!

Firstly, you should definitely check out the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster. It’s an affordable guitar that features great quality and although it doesn’t have a relic finish, it has a really cool vintage vibe. Of course, it doesn’t have a Fender logo on the headstock, but if you’re okay with that – it’s worth considering.

If you’re looking for something even cheaper, you should also check out the Squier Affinity Stratocaster. This guitar is even cheaper than the Classic Vibe Strat and it’s actually pretty good. I actually own that Stratocaster in the Surf Green color and although it’s not the best guitar in the world, it definitely does the job. So if you’re looking for a budget Strat – this is the way to go.

Nevertheless, the Fender Vintera Road Worn Stratocaster is a really unique model and it will be really tough to beat that. Especially if you’re looking specifically for something with a relic finish.


What is a Stratocaster relic?

Relic Stratocasters are modern guitars that are manufactured in certain way that makes these guitars look really old – that includes occasional scratches, lacquer fades, vintage-looking hardware and other signs of time.

The relic finish became really popular in the last few years, so more and more guitar brands decide to release vintage guitars as a part of their offering.

Why do people want relic guitars?

The reason is simple – vintage-looking guitars are just cool and popular! Many people think that it’s just a silly trend and relic guitars shouldn’t be considered as vintage guitars, but the truth is that it all comes down our personal preferences.

Personally, I don’t have any problems with the fact that these guitars exist. Real vintage guitars from the ’50s and ’60s can cost thousands of dollars, so it is really nice that guitarists can get a glimpse of that vintage feel at a reasonable price.

Of course, a new guitar with a relic finish will never have the same soul as a real vintage guitar that was manufactured seventy years ago. Still, it’s not surprising that so many guitarists decide to get them – they’re just awesome!

Where is Fender Road Worn Stratocaster made?

Fender Vintera Road Worn guitars are currently manufactured in Fender’s factories in Mexico.

What is the V-shape in guitar neck?

The V-shape is a really unique guitar neck shape which was frequently used by guitar manufacturers back in the ’50s. What’s interesting, this unique shape works well for musicians who like to use their thumb to press bass notes on the fretboard.

What makes a guitar a vintage guitar?

Vintage guitars are usually guitars that were manufactured in the past century (usually in the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s). Some of these old guitars are extremely rare, so that’s why they’re in a high demand. In fact, they can cost thousands of dollars!

If you’d like to check out the list of some of the most expensive vintage guitars, I highly recommend checking out this article.

stratocaster road worn


Undoubtedly, both Stratocasters from the Vintera Road Worn Series offer an exceptional quality and playing experience. I’m positive that both of these models will be ideal for lovers of relic guitars.

Which one would I choose? Well, I love surf green Strats, so I’d probably stick with the ’50s Stratocaster. In addition, the relic design of that Strat combined with a maple neck and black fret markers looks absolutely amazing. I have to admit that I’m totally in love with that guitar! Still, the Fender Road Worn 60’s Stratocaster is also a really interesting choice.

What do you think about these guitars and which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments below, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, I hope that it was helpful. If you enjoyed it, you may also like:

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