“People think ’70s Fenders are bad, but that’s not correct”: Guitarists often knock CBS-era Strats – but Yngwie Malmsteen knows how to find a good one

Yngwie Malmsteen
(Image credit: Getty Images / Scott Legato)

Yngwie Malmsteen’s fiery fingers may be most synonymous with his ‘Duck’ guitar, an iconic Fender Stratocaster that nonetheless was made during what many view as the Strat's low point, the CBS era. 

Many players are quick to discredit the quality of the guitars Fender produced under the ownership of CBS, which owned the Fender marquee from 1965 to 1985. The move to a more mass-production model of guitar-making, alongside a factory change, ultimately hindered the firm’s reputation. 

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.