Skip to main content

How to Spot a Fake Fender Strat in Seconds

At some point, Kennis Russell bought a used Stratocaster at his local guitar shop. Within a few seconds, however, Russell—a guitarist who provides backing tracks, gear demos and reviews on YouTube—realized it was a fake.

"Someone had rubbed off the Squier logo from the headstock and put a fake Fender waterslide on it," Russell says. "In this video I compare this fake Fender Strat to two 'real' U.S. Fender Strats, a Mexican Fender Strat and a Squier Strat. Here are the things I identified as a fake: truss-rod opening, bridge, serial number, headstock, logo, tuners and more."

Basically, if you have any doubts about a recent purchase—or if you just want to be prepared for the future—this video is a must-watch.

For more videos by Russell, be sure to drop in on his YouTube channel, which you'll see when or if you click on these highlighted words.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.