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‘74 Strat update

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  • ‘74 Strat update

    This went from the worst guitar I’d ever played to my main Strat.

    Originally, I bought the purple guard to be kitschy, but I love how it looks. Pulled the DiMarzio SDS-1 and stock middle/neck and put in a set of Duncan stacks. I’d never tried any of them before, but I’m really happy with how it’s sounding. Bridge is the 9, middle 6, neck 7. I understand this to be an odd grouping, but for me, it works.

    My dad had the bridge blocked (ala Clapton), but he’d used some weird pressboard, and the plate was off the body. I yanked that crap, stuck in 4 springs and decked it. Sounds WAY more lively now. The final piece was redoing how he had the tone controls wired. They were connected using one cap, and I believe it was running the pickups through both pots, as it sounded incredibly muddy as soon as it was rolled back at all. I added a cap to the second pot, neutered the connection between them, hooked one to the neck, one to the bridge, and all is good.

    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

  • #2
    Your guitar reminds me of the L.A. Lakers. Might have to do with the pickguard.
    Formerly known as TheViewFromVenus.

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    • #3
      I’m really surprised at how much I love it. A $10 generic pickguard off Amazon really saved the day

      Next up is a new trem. It has the horrendous 70’s cast piece of crap. I’m leaning toward a Super Vee Bladerunner, and will probably do a Graphtec nut and string trees. These trees are not good, the strings all drag on them really bad.
      "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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      • #4
        I guess those '70s Strats really are that bad?
        Formerly known as TheViewFromVenus.

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        • #5
          It kind of depends. When I called it the worst guitar I'd ever played, it was setup really poorly and had the oddball wiring. Now that I've spent some time with it, it plays really well. The original neck and middle pickups are excellent, everything you'd want from Strat pickups. I can't say much in defense of the weight, aside from it'll give you a use for that 4 inch wide strap that's been gathering dust.

          The neck has a pretty thick poly finish, and tiny vintage frets, which are a bit on the worn side. I'm really torn on whether I want to strip the poly, oil/wax and refret it, or put a different neck on. I'm not getting rid of the guitar, so I can't think of a really compelling reason not to modify it further, except that it is 47 years old.
          "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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          • #6
            not all 70s strats are bad, there are some good ones out there but in general, they arent up to the standard that was set by the earlier models

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            • #7
              I've played a few good 70s Strats, and many bad ones. That one looks just like the one Blackmore played in 74, so I am a big fan.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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              • #8
                Refret it with stainless steel 6100s!
                Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
                  It kind of depends. When I called it the worst guitar I'd ever played, it was setup really poorly and had the oddball wiring. Now that I've spent some time with it, it plays really well. The original neck and middle pickups are excellent, everything you'd want from Strat pickups. I can't say much in defense of the weight, aside from it'll give you a use for that 4 inch wide strap that's been gathering dust.

                  The neck has a pretty thick poly finish, and tiny vintage frets, which are a bit on the worn side. I'm really torn on whether I want to strip the poly, oil/wax and refret it, or put a different neck on. I'm not getting rid of the guitar, so I can't think of a really compelling reason not to modify it further, except that it is 47 years old.
                  Would there be some resale value in the original, unaltered neck?
                  Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                  Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                  http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alex1fly View Post

                    Would there be some resale value in the original, unaltered neck?
                    Potentially, to someone who’s interested in hanging it on the wall rather than playing it.
                    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                    • #11
                      I'd refret it, especially if the playing suffers because of the worn frets. It wouldn't have value to me as something I didn't use. Usually, they will re-spray the neck after re-fretting. I would choose SS frets, too.
                      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                        I'd refret it, especially if the playing suffers because of the worn frets. It wouldn't have value to me as something I didn't use. Usually, they will re-spray the neck after re-fretting. I would choose SS frets, too.
                        If I refret it, it's getting the poly stripped, then oil/waxed. I hate poly necks. And yes on the stainless frets.
                        "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                        • #13
                          That’s awesome. I love a nice strat with a good story.
                          ISO - Fender Highway One Stratocaster - black
                          2004 Chevy Silveraro - 6.6 Liter Duramax Turbo Diesel
                          Pickup Booster - Lava Box - Tweak Fuzz - Vapor Trail

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