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Let's talk "Transitional"

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by Strat Jacket, May 16, 2018.

  1. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    I'm finding out through this forum (and other sources) that while my '65 Strat is a CBS Strat, having the 'F' nameplate and Serial no. 1021XX, it is considered a 'transitional Strat' because it has the small headstock and pearloid fret markers, but has the grey bottom pickups dated 11-65. Until I joined this forum, I had never heard of a transitional Strat...I thought they were either Pre-CBS or CBS Strats. So what can you experts tell me about these in terms of value, rarity, etc?

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  2. TheDudeMan

    TheDudeMan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    40
    326
    Sep 19, 2016
    The Crossroads
    even though early 65' is when cbs took over they're still considered pre cbs because it's leftover inventory... anything with a big headstock from 66' on is cbs. Most of the parts from 65' were used up until the early 70's... that's when you see the bridge and pickups change.
     
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  3. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 19, 2014
    Up a lazy river
    Well they are, as there's a definitive point in time when CBS took over.

    That's the short answer :)
     
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  4. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 19, 2014
    Up a lazy river
    The long answer is, there was lots of tooling, parts, factory workers, templates, pre-cut necks at the change over, and it took a year or so for CBS to redefine the stratocaster. 65 strats were pretty much made by the same workers, with the same materials in the same workspace.

    Actually, that's a pretty short answer too...
     
  5. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    Have nothing more I can add that these two gentlemen above haven't covered. They've summed it up good. It's kind of like the first Gibson SGs that were called Les Paul during a short period before they switched the name to SG. Transition era.
     
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  6. TheDudeMan

    TheDudeMan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    40
    326
    Sep 19, 2016
    The Crossroads
    I forgot to mention that the transition logo, grey bottom pickups, and pearl inlays were standard on strat's by late 64'.... Leo was already developing those features before cbs took over. cbs just carried them over through 65' until late 65' when the first big headstock guitars started production. It's not uncommon to see a late 64' with clay dots and a transition logo, or any other odd creation.... the only thing I've never seen is a late 64' with original spaghetti logo and pearl dots.... but I'm sure they're out there.
     
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  7. sikoniko

    sikoniko Strat-O-Master

    $10k-$12k all original?

    There is a thread on TGP about transitional strats. The member hogy claims that the ones with the Fender logo further back on the headstock are some of the best strats ever made. So, for him they would be desirable. That doesn't translate into the value increasing. because it is more finite, it might be considered more scarce (rare).

    The most valuable non-celebrity owned strats are first year (54) all original or Mary Kaye's. After that, they take a big dive. Custom Color strats can be valuable, but it can be difficult to prove originality, so many don't want to touch them.

    nice guitar! are you just wanting to know more about what you have?
     
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  8. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    Yes. That and I'm trying to return it to what it was when it left the factory.
     
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  9. TheDudeMan

    TheDudeMan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    40
    326
    Sep 19, 2016
    The Crossroads
    Transition logo strats are the most affordable, also 65 and 66 have the most custom colors available.... the value changes considerably. An all original 65' small headstock in great condition is worth about 16k in 3 color, and 22k in a custom color.... unlike the similar mid 62' to mid 64', they're 22k and upwards of 35k respectively.... and it goes up from there based on how rare the color is and who owned it.
     
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  10. sikoniko

    sikoniko Strat-O-Master

    I don't think those prices are accurate in the US. are your numbers from another country?
     
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  11. sikoniko

    sikoniko Strat-O-Master

    are there non-original parts on it? has it been refinished? Not quite clear what you are trying to 'return' the state from.
     
  12. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 19, 2014
    Up a lazy river
  13. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
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  14. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 22, 2010
    Germany
    Fender built transitional Strats from 1954-2018.
    They still do.
    Some people call it evolution some call it degeneration.
    Having choices is a good thing.
    They put out some one of a kind guitars during the time. I like guitars with a special character.
    Rare doesn´t always mean higher prices.

    Life is good,
    Robin
     
  15. TheDudeMan

    TheDudeMan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    40
    326
    Sep 19, 2016
    The Crossroads
    That's in USD... what people are asking vs what they sell for is totally different. You can check pricing on reverb and see what they are going for. 16k seems to be the sweet spot for a 3tsb 65' in mint condition.... I've seen people ask for 30+ on a 65' CAR and they don't sell.... it's probably because they're not that rare of a custom color. Dealers on the other hand ask crazy prices because you're paying a large markup with a guarantee.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  16. TheDudeMan

    TheDudeMan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    40
    326
    Sep 19, 2016
    The Crossroads
    Me personally I refuse to pay more then 10k for one.... the market is just gonna get softer as time goes on. I've personally purchased 2 in the last few years and haven't gone over that mark, but I've also stayed in the early 64' range.... it would have to be a real special guitar for me to go over 10k... maybe an early 50's LP.
     
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  17. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
  18. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockingham Palace
    I hope you know that restoring the guitar with all it’s issues will not be a sound return on investment.
    It will never be worth more as the sum of its parts. Even worse, with the crazy prices of vintage parts nowadays, I wonder if it makes a lot of sense a part from a purely sentimental reason.
     
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  19. sikoniko

    sikoniko Strat-O-Master

    I would get the body repaired and refinished - have it professionally done black, as that is what you wanted it to be in your youth. if it needs a refret I would also do that.Then I would buy reissue plastic. I wouldn't worry about the pots. I would also look into sending the pickups to 'The Pickup Wizard', Jim Rolph, or Don Mare to be re-wound.

    I would then rock out on it and not worry about the value.
     
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  20. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    Another characteristic that changed during the transition period was the type of plastic used for pickguards.
    By late 1965 the celluloid nitrate was replaced by a more modern plastic which did not fade nearly as much.
    So instead of fading to a mint green, it aged to a more subtle degree.
    Aged white, eggshell, slightly yellowed, but no mint green.
    The new grade of plastic also didn't shrink nearly as bad or split around the upper screw holes.
     
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