In this roundup, we're focusing on finding a Fender Stratocaster with gold hardware. We should note up front that there aren't a ton of these, and the ones we did find tend to be more expensive as several a re from the Fender Custom Shop.
It's worth mentioning that a Stratocaster bridge and hardware upgrade might be a cheaper road to get a Stratocaster with gold hardware.
Read more: Stratocaster bridge upgrade
You would need all of the following components to complete the "gold look" on a Stratocaster:
- Tuning heads/machines
- Tremolo bridge (vintage or modern)
- Input jack plate
- Whammy bar
- Strap buttons
All of these parts should be gold colored if you want the full look of gold hardware on your Stratocaster.
If you don't want to go the modification route, or if you don't already have a Fender Stratocaster to work with, we've highlighted a simple list of Stratocasters that already have gold hardware on them.
Finding a Stratocaster with Gold Hardware (full list)
Your primary options are the Stevie Ray Vaughan and Tash Sultana Strats, both of which are in full production. The other four are a combination of commemorative models and custom shop offerings, which means they may or may not be around for awhile.
- Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster
- Fender Tash Sultana Stratocaster
- Fender 75th Anniversary Commemorative Stratocaster
- Fender Custom Shop 1960 Stratocaster (NOS Times Square)
- Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition 75th Anniversary Stratocaster
- Fender Custom Shop 1962 Limited Edition Bone Tone Journeyman Relic
If you know of a Stratocaster with gold hardware that we missed, please mention it in the comments section below and we'll update our table.
Would a hardware kit be a better option?
As we mentioned earlier, it's possible to replace bridge hardware and other hardware pieces one at a time on a Stratocaster. You can also get gold colored hardware kits.
If your goal is simply the gold-colored hardware, it would certainly be cheaper to mod an existing Stratocaster.
It might even be cheaper to buy a regular Player Strat and then add the gold hardware later.
Does it sound different?
Does gold hardware sound any different on a Stratocaster?
For the most part, no. It should sound the same as other hardware configurations.
Though it is worth mentioning that the more expensive the guitar, the nicer the hardware used, which is generally better for tone and tuning stability. However, the fact that it's gold has nothing to do with it.
Is it worth the extra cost?
You might be questioning: Is it worth the additional cost for these guitars?
It's not really the gold hardware that's costing you extra. Rather it's the rest of the guitar that runs up the price. The Custom Shop models are just in general more expensive, which has more to do with construction, tonewood, and pickups.
Simply put, the Fender Stratocasters with gold hardware are just nicer guitars, and they cost more.
However, whether or not it's worth the added cost is totally a matter of preference.
Again, keep in mind that you can mod other Stratocasters with your own gold hardware. If cost is an issue, that's the direction we'd recommend taking.
Gold hardware is a real treat on a Fender Stratocaster. To be honest, we like it on a lot of different guitars and feel like it adds a lot of aesthetic pristine. Yet there are multiple ways to get gold hardware, especially since Stratocaster parts are so easy to get on their own. We'd recommend doing some research on what your options are before buying an entire guitar based on that feature alone.
Questions and Additions to the List
If you have questions about the Fender Stratocasters we have listed, or you know of another Stratocaster with gold hardware (ships with gold hardware) that's worthy of inclusion, let us know in the comments section below.