My Starcaster by Fender

starcaster stratocaster copy guitar at Ukulele Corner
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Fender Starcaster
what I thought I was getting

Tuned E~A~D~G~B~E (once I've restrung it)




Starcaster by Fender

I was keen to go to a local Auction as one of the lots was described as a"Fender Star Caster and a Hohner electric Guitar" but there was no pictures in the online catalogue. Now I know the Starcaster it was a kind of semi-hollow vaguely stratocaster shaped Guitar Fender had out for a while in the 60's and reissued in 2013 and from the Starcaster I hazarded a guess that the Hohner might be one of their semi-acoustic too. I would very much like a 60's Starcaster, I would still be happy with the re-issue; and a nice German semi-acoustic would be a treat too. What I didn't know is that in between the 60's original and the 2013 reissue Fender reused the name Starcaster in the branding "Starcaster by Fender" for a line of Chinese, Squire type instruments, (they even included a drum kit in the range), that were sold through some specific department store chains primarily in the U.S.

I hadn't seen the Guitars before the auction and when I got there I couldn't find them in the saleroom. As the auction was under way I couldn't ask either. Still I know what, (I thought), a Star Caster was and at the guide price this was going to be a real bargain. What I did find though was a Balalaika and an acoustic Guitar in a really nice hardcase. I got a good look at the Balalaika, and with a guide price of £10-£15, (I had seen it mentioned on line), though I'm no great fan of Balalaikas I thought I'd go a tenner or so. And the cased acoustic, well it was tucked away under a table next to where I was sitting so I could see a bit, but I couldn't get it out and have a good look while the auction was going. Still it was a nice case if nothing else and I did think "if the case is that good, the Guitar should be OK too?" so I'd have a bid on that if it was cheap.

Well first up was the Balalaika, and though I did get a bid in it went for a lot more than the guide price and a lot more than I was willing to pay. A few lots later was the Starcaster and someone else in the room was interested too, but thankfully they dropped out fairly quickly and I won it for just over the low estimate, (which was a good thing as I still hadn't seen it and was prepared to go a lot higher). Next the cased Guitar, and I was the only bidder in the room, someone had put a low commision bid in, but I went a couple of quid higher and paid what I though the case alone was worth. So I'd brought three Guitars and I hadn't really seen any of them! At this point the reality of it hit home; I hadn't really spent that much but there are other consideration than money. It's Ukulele Corner after all because Ukuleles are much smaller than Guitars so easier to find room for; and I can play the Ukulele and I can't really play the Guitar. So I left the hall at this point, went to paid for what I had won then found a porter to collect it so I could go home. First he got the Fender and the Hofner; and of course it was a black(!) Starcaster by Fender Stratocaster thing, not the semi-acoustic I was hoping for. Then since this wasn't a semi' neither was the Hohner, it was another strat copy (but at least this one was blond) from their Arbor series. Both Guitars had seen a LOT of experience, both need new strings, and some work done, and both are real pawn shop specials. There's nothing drastically wrong with them but I didn't really want another strat copy, I'm quite happy with the Power Play, and I especially didn't need another black strat copy, (still I suppose however tenuous this one is an actual Fender Stratocaster). Eventually we got the cased Guitar out, and this one, (and I later found out it was listed in the catalogue), was an E-Ros 606 Dakota Jumbo. Made in Italy by the Fuselli Brothers, (who also made some of the Ekos), and the same model as the one Jimmy Page used to record the rhythm track for the song "Thank You" at Morgan Sound Studios in 1969. So a good Guitar? Well at least a reasonable Guitar? Well it may have been but there is a very bad crack in the neck at the headstock and along with all of the other faults, (needs a new tuner, new strings, a new nut, a fret dressing and possibly a full neck reset?), I'll be surprised if I ever get it playable again; still the case it good... (but as has been said to me since, "what do you need a Guitar case for?") and there was a good capo in the case, (but I don't really need a capo either). At the end of the day if I had seen any of them first I wouldn't have bothered with any of them. Well I hope I have learned the lessons now and I guess I am looking for new homes for at least two strat copies