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Butchering a Late 70s Strat...?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by frama78, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. frama78

    frama78 New Member!

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hi Stratomaniacs, 

    I own a 1978 Strat. It has a replacement Tremolo and there has been a locking nut installed once. No woodworking on the body. It had a bad refin with some edges sanded over. I refinished it againg and it looks nice to me. Besides that, It´s stock. 

    It´s a relative lightweight for a late 70s Strat (8,2 pounds) and sounds nice, but not really like a typical Strat.  

    Now, I´m a 80´s influenced Hardrock/Poser-Rock/Pop guy and I love HSS-Strats. I have tried various Staggered Humbuckers, but it just won´t sound and look(!) right. I tried a Hotrail (too thick in the mids), a Chopper (too thin in the bass) and some hot Singlecoils, too. I just love the sound of a EMGs (85 on bridge) 

    What I´m seriously thinking about is to completly "butchering" it and making a typical Hotrodded 80´s Style Strat out of it. Thinking of Joe Holme, Dave Amato, Luke,...). This means: Humbucker routing an putting on a Floyd Rose (of course...) on it. On one hand, it has always been my dream to have a 70s-hotrod Strat but on the other hand, I feel a little sorry to kill a possible (prospective) collector guitar, even if it´s not 100% original right now... Even the late 70s go up in Price, now.

    I do have a lot of other Guitars and I´m not GASing for a new one.  

    Any thoughts...?

    Robins likes this.
  2. Cuban

    Cuban Strat-Talker

    Mar 18, 2017
    I vote go for it!
    Make it how you want it.
    It's not like you are unaware of its history and possible value.
  3. Cerb

    Cerb Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 22, 2016
    On one hand, it's your guitar and you should do what makes you happy. On the other hand, damn that's a shame :) I have a 1977 Start and it's the best guitar I ever played. I don't know… Do what makes you happy :)
    circles and Stratbats like this.
  4. Vinnie1971

    Vinnie1971 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 14, 2015
    I’d get a Squier for those mods and leave that one alone.
    I have a very high end late 70s El Maya that I messed with - put Seymour Duncan’s in, coil splits and out of phase. It stated that way for a month then I put it back to stock, as I realised it was not an improvement- so instead I got a Dearmond M65 for £50 and put it all in that. It was a good move, I love both and play both.
    Cerb likes this.
  5. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014

    You'd be crazy to modify that baby IMO. There's so many "new" guitars available now to suit your dream-needs.

    Your '78 Stratocaster is now 40-years old, & that makes it an heirloom. Pass it on to someone in your family that will appreciate it when the time comes.


  6. 93studiolite

    93studiolite Strat-Talker

    Mar 15, 2017
    Alachua, Florida
  7. 808K

    808K Strat-O-Master

    Apr 24, 2018
    Philly, USA
    Me? I’m with Rastus on this. But it’s your guitar, do what makes you happy.
    Rastus and Electgumbo like this.
  8. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 22, 2010
    It is a great looking Strat and I would not mod anything more on that one.
    Just buy something new and mod the heck out of it.
    Maybe you can just buy a body and make a one of a kind hotrod ´80s using the neck but I bet you will regret it in the future butchering that great ´78.
    I would not do it but that is just me. I would keep it and get something "new"(buy a 70 classic and butcher it but it also comes with single coil cavities like the originals).

    EDIT: Willkommen im Forum (ganz vergessen xD) !

    All the best,
  9. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 28, 2011
    Buy a new body. Send the '78 to me for safekeeping and I'll return it when you grow out of this phase. As much as you've apparently spent on pickups, buying a body routed for HSS and Floyd should be a money saving move.
    skypeace likes this.
  10. frama78

    frama78 New Member!

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thank you all for your Input so far. 

    as I´ve said: I will not buy a new guitar (hahaha...). No ,really: I have enough great stuff with me. I do have a 4 Strats, a Luke II and a Ibanez S, some Gibson-Styles and Tellies..... I love all my guitars for some reasons. The 78 (I´m a 78 myself :D) is nice but not typical Strat sounding. But I think it could be a really special one. MaybeTHE One... but that´s not for sure and when I realize, I liked it more before, I would be upset. 

    When it comes to strats, I love my 94 MiJ 54 Reissue. This one is awesome for 50´s twang and gilmourish-pop/rocksounds. 

    then I have a 73 Strat with the old staggered greybottoms. This is the very best guitar I´ve ever had. Since I have this one, there is no more GAS for me anymore :) 

    Then there is my first electric. A ´83 2-Knob Strat, which I have already value-neutered (if you know what I mean:D) 

    I hammered in a Jackplate with a Screwdriver and knocked out some wood to get a humbucker in. I have to say, I was 16, when i tortured her .. well... maybe I´ll be better off when I take the 2-Knob and kill that one a little more. Filling the cavity and routing out the floyd... but no CBS headstock (pipsqeak: actually IS a CBS head, but not the big one :D).  

    I already tried the body-swapping but it´s not the same. This way I could even build a complete new guitar.

    EDIT: That´s my 83 called Sponge Bob:
  11. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2016
    NC. USA
    I was gonna say go ahead and mod it. Cuz I don't respect too many Strats. But if it has any value, I would grab a Squire from shopgoodwill.Com . You can get delivered to your door for less than 50 .
    s5tuart likes this.
  12. Guitaraxe

    Guitaraxe Strat-O-Master

    Aug 22, 2015
    I'd guestimate that you would have to change the board radius to accommodate a Floyd.
  13. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL Strat-O-Master

    Dec 25, 2010
    I'd sell it and buy a new one.

    BTW, Fender used to offer MiM Deluxe Strats witb CBS headstock and a Floyd Rose...
  14. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I'm usually loathe to recommend these kind of mods to any Stratocaster, but since this one has already been tinkered with, the collectability gone I see no reason not to finish the job.

    Done properly you could even have a locking nut installed that would cover the old holes.
  15. cool ghoul

    cool ghoul Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 4, 2014
    If it was all original I would talk you out of it, but since it has already been altered I say mod the hell out of it and make it your dream guitar. Sounds like a nice project, that's my two cents.
  16. Davey77

    Davey77 Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 29, 2014
    Monroe WA
    I wouldn't do it.
  17. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 21, 2015
    I wouldn't do it. To meet you half way...routing for a humbucker I'd maybe consider.
    No way would I fully butcher it and put in a Floyd, ever.

    BTW, I like Floyds, have one and have had many over the years, just not on a Strat.

    Were I to put on a Floyd, I'd do it on a Mexican model.
  18. DickBanks

    DickBanks Strat-Talker

    May 2, 2017
    Olathe, KS
    It's your guitar, and it's a THING. So cut it with impunity!
    Just don't make me watch...:D
  19. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-Talker

    Feb 10, 2018
    Sutton in Ashfield