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Help with 1973 Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by M2466d, Aug 11, 2017 at 10:45 AM.

  1. M2466d

    M2466d New Member!

    Age:
    53
    5
    Friday
    New York
    Hey everyone, first post-looking forward to be being a part of your awesome site! I recently acquired a 1973 Strat that's been modded a bit and I'm looking for some advice. It's been refinished in fiesta red (including headstock), the tuners and pickups have been changed and the backplate has been painted and changed. The tone and volume knobs have been changed, too.
    So I want to change the tuners, there's a set of 1973 tuners on reverb for 160 or something but I don't see a need for them because there's so much non-original parts on the guitar. Agree? Any suggestions on what replacement tuners I should get (I attached pic of the back of the neck).
    Will a standard Fender Strat replacement back cover plate fit?
    Any thoughts on how I can figure out what pickups are in it (I attached pics)? The cavities were skived out a little so they could fit (pics attached).
    Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks!
     

    Attached Files:


  2. Malurkey

    Malurkey Strat-O-Master

    717
    Dec 28, 2016
    Netherlands
    Hi! Welcome!

    Unfortunately I have no answers to your questions. Folks more knowledgeable will undoubtedly arrive shortly.
     
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  3. vid1900

    vid1900 Strat-O-Master

    629
    Nov 25, 2016
    USA
    Can you post a close up picture of the pickups?

    The posted pic came out like a collage, and the pickups are tiny.

    GrayBobbins_08.jpg
     

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  5. Falconbill

    Falconbill Strat-Talker

    186
    Jan 12, 2017
    USA
    Refinish looks good. It's probably an improvement over the dozen coats of polyester Fender applied as their "thick skin" finishes in the 70s. On you PU spaces being "skived out", a lot of people in the 70s flipped their PUs around in an attempt to emulate the sound of Hendrix playing a right handed strat left handed. As you mentioned, with all the changes, there's little to be gained by trying to find 70s tuners. If the tuners aren't cutting it, by all means change them to something you like. OTOH, the tremolos from the 70s were cast as one piece with cast saddles, as opposed to steel. Not the greatest "improvement.'
     
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  6. CosmicRider

    CosmicRider Strat-Talker

    112
    Jun 26, 2017
    NY
    I'd probably get reliced tuners to match vibe.
     
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  7. Yogi

    Yogi Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    30
    Jan 21, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    His guitar is a 73, the finishes really weren't that thick then. My 72 is worn down to the bare wood in spots.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 2:45 PM
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  8. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    usa
    The neck looks like a 1978 from the stamp

    09 - Stratocaster

    02- Rosewood

    40 - Week

    8- Year

    3 - Day
     

  9. M2466d

    M2466d New Member!

    Age:
    53
    5
    Friday
    New York
    I can try, will I need to take the magnets off to find out what kind of pickup it is?
     

  10. M2466d

    M2466d New Member!

    Age:
    53
    5
    Friday
    New York
    Very interesting, I need to look into that...the neck is a maple neck though.
     

  11. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    usa
    Sorry I wrote the neck code backwards

    Neck Configuration Codes:

    00 = Rosewood fingerboard
    01 = Rosewood fingerboard
    02 = Maple fingerboard
    03 = Maple fingerboard

    To bad your headstock has been refinished that would have cleared things up, 78`s had the serial on the headstock
     

  12. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 10, 2007
    RI
    I'd just keep the tuners. Probably better than the originals. And since the whole thing has been modded so much just enjoy! If you like pickups keep as is. But that'd be where I'd experiment getting back to more traditional single coil pickup sounds.
     

  13. artgtr

    artgtr Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    701
    Aug 18, 2013
    WURTSBORO, NY
    Welcome & congrats on your guitar, I would just enjoy it & if something is not working up to your standards, change that. I don't know if I would start trying to bring it back to original. IMHO it would get pricey & you may not get the results you were hoping for!
    Whatever you decide good luck!
     
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  14. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member

    Spending the cash to put correct tuners on that would be like trying to put original Ferrari wheels on a Fiero kit replicar. Not dissing your strat, but IMO it would be a waste of money to put those tuners on.

    You've got a nicely refinished player grade S series strat. Other than changing those knobs to something a little more suitable (less gaudy eBay type knurled knobs with little American flag stickers) I'd leave the tuners as they are. Unless there's something you don't like about them...

    And I've never seen a pup quite like those. Almost looks like someone added those magnets to the pole pieces. Again, if you're not satisfied with them there should be nothing keeping you from changing them.

    Also, is that a brass nut I see?
     
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  15. M2466d

    M2466d New Member!

    Age:
    53
    5
    Friday
    New York
    Yes, it has a brass nut. I ordered 70's replacement tuners, I'm not happy with the tuners on it.
    So I asked the guy I bought it
    from about the neck serial # seeming to indicate that it was a 1978 neck and he was very certain that it was the original 73 neck. He said he bought from the original owner who bought it new, and that the serial numbers from that period are extremely random. He is an extremely nice guy with a good reputation, so whether he's right or wrong I don't believe he is trying to put anything over on me.
    Now what I'm puzzled about is he feels that the body was refinished in the original color, which seems reasonable to me, and that the headstock is not refinished but a stock matching headstock! I can't find any info on strays with matching headstocks in the 70s. I may start another thread on that subject-what anyone knows about vintage strays with factory matching headstocks. My web searches haven't come up with much.
    Thank you for all the replies they've been great.
     

  16. Burned strat

    Burned strat New Member!

    Age:
    54
    5
    Tuesday
    Japan
    Hi,
    I just thought I'd drop a couple of lines in.

    What brand are those tuners? And, what are you replacing them with? The Grover tuners have a 12mm hole, whereas the Fender tuners only have a 10mm hole. You may find they have been drilled out to fit the new tuners and the ones you are replacing them with will be too small for the holes.

    Have a look on Amazon for knobs. You can get a set of standard strat knobs for a few bucks, straight from China.

    The body does look like it's been hacked to fit the bridge pick up. It's not very pretty, but nobody knows what's under the pick guard. It's probably a good idea to shield it while you've got it in pieces.

    As for the pick ups, the neck and middle look original, but the bridge pick up with the magnet on the back doesn't look original. However, they all look very old, for sure. Do they seem to have much wax melting out of them? If so, you should replace them. I really like the Tex-Mex or Vintage pick ups for all-round performance. Personally, I'd rewire the whole thing and put an oil filled capacitor in it. I'd guess the pots are a tad scratchy too. The switch is probably alright though. Just because it looks old, doesn't mean it has to sound old.

    Here's a photo of a monster strat I just built. Three Seymour Duncan humbuckers (2 x Hot Rodded and a Hot Rails) with three split coil volumes and a master tone. It's fully shielded and has an 'orange drop' oil filled capacitor. The photo is just to inspire you to go crazy with your project. scratch plate back.JPG
     

  17. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    usa
    Its possible the year and week numbers were stamped backwards
     
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  18. M2466d

    M2466d New Member!

    Age:
    53
    5
    Friday
    New York
    Thanks for the info and advice!!! I'm pretty sure that the tuning peg holes haven't been drilled, I ordered 70s Fender replacement tuners. I'm really interested in checking to see if the neck and middle pickups are original.