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Dilemma: '79 strat vs '60 Custom Shop

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by 725radius, Dec 15, 2015.

79 or the 60cs?

  1. 1979

    13 vote(s)
    43.3%
  2. 60CS

    17 vote(s)
    56.7%
  1. 725radius

    725radius Strat-Talk Member

    56
    Dec 6, 2011
    Pacific
    Hey guys.. newb here.

    Currently facing a dilemma.. I have these 2 strats.. one is an all original 79, while the other one is a 60 custom shop sunburst. Both are awesome guitars but I just have to choose one.

    I have a real 62 strat (late 62, veneer board, sunburst) - but I need another one as a backup. So I'm choosing between those two I mentioned above... Here's the situation:

    1. The 60CS is an awesome guitar. Easily a twin of my real 62. It has the best neck of the bunch (59 large neck - bought this from Wildwood). Sounds a bit hi-fi, but still, a great sounding strat. No qualms. Hands down could be the 2nd best sounding strat I've owned next to the 62. But would need a bit of a break-in.. It seems that the whole thing needs to get old first - but I believe it should be given that chance.

    If you're curious about how this 60CS sounds, it's in this video, being played by Greg Koch:


    2. Now the 79... it's awesome in its own right. For some reason it has the same response and character as the 62. It has that mid-focused, bell-sounding, woody, vintage tone. Deep lows. But I hate the finish, the weight and the neck is a bit thicker than usual.. not the best neck, but still if we're dealing with sound, this one is right next to the 62. Plus it's old.. nothing can replace that vintage vibe.. and the yellowed/ambered large headstock.

    If I'm gonna rank them by sound (to my preference of tone of course):
    1: 62
    1.5 (lol!): 79
    2: 60CS

    Here's the comparison video I made, please excuse the playing:


    So yeah. That's my dilemma. Which would you pick if your in my shoes?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015

  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    60CS would be my choice after the 62.

    I could watch Greg Koch demo Custom Shop guitars all day!
     
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  3. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    a good playing strat is better than a crappy playing strat with better pickups in my book....
     

  4. 725radius

    725radius Strat-Talk Member

    56
    Dec 6, 2011
    Pacific
    awesome replies guys. Keep em coming! Been splitting my head over this decision and still can't decide... I'll take the poll results as my basis, will wait 2 days until I decide. :)
     

  5. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

    Age:
    52
    Oct 22, 2009
    New Joisey!
    Is there any way you can avoid selling one? Have you got something else to put on the block?

    You have no idea how close I've come to this exact scenario. :)
     
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  6. normj

    normj Strat-O-Master

    896
    Mar 29, 2010
    Indiana
    I have a Custom Shop NOS 60 and two original 1979 Strats. I love playing the NOS 60. Both of the 79s are beasts. Just too damn heavy. Thick neck. I do not like the sound of the original pickups in either 79. They do not have that early 60s sound to my ears. If I had to choose: sell my NOS 60 or sell both 79s, the 79s are out the door in a heart beat. Not even close.
     

  7. 725radius

    725radius Strat-Talk Member

    56
    Dec 6, 2011
    Pacific
    I can relate to this... The feel of the CS is really really good. The relicing is also tastefully done. The sound is also there.. but there's just something with my 79 that makes it sound "old". It's not like my previous '73 and '77 that sounded thin, flat and scooped. Really hard to decide.. but yeah.. I understand why the CS is a better guitar.
     

  8. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog The Artist Formerly Known As gt Strat-Talk Supporter

    I don't know how a neck can be thicker than the 59 SRV type BB one I tried from Wildwood but I think you answered your question in your first post. The weight & neck of the 79. Re read what you wrote.
     
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  9. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog The Artist Formerly Known As gt Strat-Talk Supporter

    My 60 CC has a fairly slender neck FWIW.
     

  10. 725radius

    725radius Strat-Talk Member

    56
    Dec 6, 2011
    Pacific
    Haha.. yeah.. I think so too.. I guess it kinda shows in what I say. I mean, my heart says the CS60, while my mind says the 79. Weird as it is, but I'm sure pretty much all of us experience this with gear. :D :D
     

  11. Renz

    Renz Strat-Talker

    316
    Sep 18, 2014
    Italy
    Without knowing your guitars, I would probably choose to keep the CS, because the 79 is heavy and I tend to avoid heavy guitars, even though I’m into old wood too, even though I also like these ambered large headstocks.

    About the CS, I understand what you mean by “sounds a bit hi-fi, needs to get old”, etc.
    From what I hear from the demo with Greg Koch, this CS has everything to become a great Strat.

    I would use a ToneRite to help breaking it in. I did that with my CS 56, left the thing several weeks – at least one month, probably more, I don’t remember - on the Strat, and it sounded afterwards more mature, more musical, I found.

    Some people will say this device works maybe for acoustics, certainly not for solid-bodies. Well, I can tell you it definitely works for acoustics. I started hearing a real improvement after 2 weeks’ use on a recent Martin. They say 1 week on the notice; it’s too short I believe.

    As for the electrics, I found that it needs to stay much longer on the guitar to really make a difference. Like, you put it on the guitar, you turn it on, and you forget about it… But it does work. I used it on my Strat CS and a LP too. Good results in both cases.

    I would say this device is excellent to break in recent guitars, however not sure it’s worth it for old guitars.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your choice.
     

  12. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    This is something I had never heard of. No link was provided, so I Googled it. Hmmmm. A device to artificially age a guitar. :confused: I read through their website, & I'm none the wiser. Details of what it is & what it does are vague, they simply tell us how good it is. Forgive me for being a bit suspicious here, but I wonder if the "ToneRite" is made by the same folk who produce this stuff?

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. ZlurkCorzDog

    ZlurkCorzDog The Artist Formerly Known As gt Strat-Talk Supporter

    You're right about that & if you stick around you'll find many of us have the same issues.
     
    725radius likes this.

  14. Renz

    Renz Strat-Talker

    316
    Sep 18, 2014
    Italy

    Ah! I was expecting something like this. Listen my friend, your never having heard of it doesn’t mean much in itself, does it?
    What it does is very simple: it makes the whole instrument vibrate non-stop. You do the same thing by playing it, of course, but I doubt you’ll ever be able to play a guitar even 24 hours non-stop, especially when you have other instruments to play.
    This device “plays” your guitar as long as you want, 2 months non-stop if you want, it just accelerates the break-in process. Once again, the same thing happens by just using the guitar, but it takes muuuuuuch longer.
    Also, it’s not going to transform a bad guitar into a good one. It’s not magic, just physics.
    I suggest you try one, and then we’ll talk.
     
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  15. 725radius

    725radius Strat-Talk Member

    56
    Dec 6, 2011
    Pacific
    Hey man... thanks for your input! This is the first time I ever encountered this. I'm checking out their site now. And yeah.. there's this "hifi" thing going on with the CS.. I took off the backplate and that seems to have done something to make it "sound better", deeper.. I also adjusted the pickup heights ( a bit higher, maybe around 2 notches).. My friend told me a capacitor change may do the trick. But your suggestion is really interesting. Thanks for the input! :D
     

  16. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    "it makes the whole instrument vibrate non-stop". OK. So I could just place a guitar next to the washing machine on a spin cycle & let that do the job for me.

    But where is the evidence (or indeed even the belief) that making the instrument vibrate non-stop will improve it? How do we know it won't make it worse? Maybe shake the glue joints loose?

    As for "I suggest you try one, and then we’ll talk", well forgive me, but I want a little more evidence that it will work before I shell out my dosh on a gimmick. All this is predicated on a big assumption - that guitars improve as they get played. Is there a shred of evidence to back this up?
     
    johnnymg likes this.

  17. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member

    I have played a lot of crappy Custom shop guitars[have a Fender custom shop across the street]but every time I pick up CBS Strat I am in love...........
     

  18. Renz

    Renz Strat-Talker

    316
    Sep 18, 2014
    Italy

    Taking off the backplate makes it sound better!!!??? Now, that is something I had never heard before.

    Skeptical about the capacitor change, but yeah, I guess you can try different values and see what it does, why not? It’s a rather standard mod on a Gibson, not really on a Fender, there must be a reason for that…

    You might try everything in order to make it sound like an old guitar, but you can’t avoid the fact that your guitar is new. I believe that this “hifi” thing is inherent to new/recent instruments. Hence my suggestion with the ToneRite.

    However, there’s something else worth doing: replacing the springs with Raw Vintage ones. They have the same tension as the vintage ones, i.e. not as stiff as the modern ones, it allows you to put the 5 springs (which is recommended by Raw Vintage), it somewhat thickens the sound.

    As for pickups height, your call. I recently lowered mine on my CS; I find the sound has a better definition this way, more clarity.
     

  19. Renz

    Renz Strat-Talker

    316
    Sep 18, 2014
    Italy

    Look, I’m not trying to convince anybody, I’m here to share info and experience, and get info and experience from others. You don’t believe me, that’s fine. I’m not even asking you to.
     
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  20. 725radius

    725radius Strat-Talk Member

    56
    Dec 6, 2011
    Pacific
    Hey guys, check this out... pretty cool. But I kinda liked the tone before the ToneRite was used because it sounded "warmer". But anyway.. to each his own, and it did sound very different after the ToneRite treatment...



    Hey Renz, thanks for the raw vintage springs suggestion, will check that out as well.
     
    lonegroover likes this.