Hard evidence of details of this range is hard to find. Most of the confirmed information comes from Yogi on the
Strat forum and some members of that and other forums. This guitar does not appear in any of the catalogues I can find
but that isn't that surprising. It appears to originally been made in 2001 as a limited edition for Yamano and
Fender Europe. There were four colours and 250 of each were made, so 1000 in all. Exactly how many were exported to
where is impossible to tell. Also they have been seen in the USA.
There is good evidence that there was at least one more run of these in 2003, but how many and where these went to isn't clear. The specs seem to be fairly consistent throughout the range except that the 2003 Aztec Gold has Gold Hardware rather than Chrome. The Guitar was designed by J W Black of the custom shop and the 2001 release included his name on the special edition sticker.
These guitars are essentially a special run of Classic 50s or 60s made for export so are very similar to that range. The price at the time was listed as $1,000
|Vintage Player 50s||Vintage Player 60s|
|Neck||Maple Soft V vintage tint||Maple C Vintage tint|
|Body||Alder Poly Finish||Alder Poly Finish|
|Fretboard||Maple 9.5" radius 21 frets||Rosewood 9.5" radius 21 frets|
|Hardware||Chrome||Chrome Gold on the 2003 Aztec Gold|
|Tuners||Kluson type Vintage Staggered||Kluson type Vintage Staggered|
|Bridge||Vintage 6pt||Vintage 6pt|
|Pickguard||1 ply 8 screw see picture above for colours||3 ply tortoiseshell 11 screw again see picture above|
|Pickups||3 Texas Specials aged covers||3 Texas Specials aged covers|
|Controls||2 tone 1 Volume 5 way switch aged white||2 tone 1 Volume 5 way switch aged white|
|Electronics||All as US models CTS Switchcraft etc.||All as US models CTS Switchcraft etc.|
As I have said before hard information is tough to come by so if anyone can add anything correct or confirm
anything please do.
Update May 2023
Steve Nattsas has sent me the following information. Thanks Steve
I ran across your info on the Vintage Player Stratocaster and just wanted to confirm that I have one of the 2003 release. Mine is of the Desert Sand w/ gold anodized pick guard version. It is identical to the 2001 release with one exception which is that the J. Black signature is missing on the special edition sticker.