The custom modified Stratocaster

Eddie Van Halen was one of the first to build a guitar with the superstrat characteristics. Dissatisfied with the available guitars at the time, Van Halen created hes own instrument. The single-coil pickups of the Fender Stratocaster were noisy, and lacked the necessary output. Van Halen put together a Stratocaster body with a thin maple neck and a humbucking Gibson PAF pickup. This guitar, known as the "Frankenstrat" was featured on Van Halen's debut album.

Charvel / Jackson, early 1980s

Soon, other guitarists and luthiers would also apply similar custom modifications to their instruments. Charvel and Jackson was the first guitar makers to craft custom shop guitars with all the features of Superstrats, as locking tremolo systems, most commonly the Floyd Rose. Later these improvements were built in to the factory-produced Jackson Soloist model.

Early and mid-1990s

Heavy metal declined in popularity, in favor of grunge. The popularity of Superstrats went down. Companies that relied on Superstrats suffered losses and went out of business or were bought by larger corporations.

And now...

Popularity of the superstrat is rising again. American made Superstrats from the early ears are sought after.


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