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Vintage Owners I have a Question

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by bluesman1956, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. ripgtr

    ripgtr Most Honored Senior Member

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    So, my '60, which I've had since '76, started to sound little weak in a couple spot to me a couple years back. I am pretty familiar with it, having it so long. I have easy a thousand gigs on it, so not just at home. So I built a homemade Gauss meter. I could see a couple poles were really low, some low, and most fine. So I got a neo magnet, very strong, and recharged them. This was the same magnet recommended by a builder who uses one to charge new pickups. Worked like a charm. Thing is, it didn't change the sound that I knew so well, it still has a really nice rounded high end. The only modern pickups that come close, that I have tried, are Don Mare's. Apaches are really good for that, but they use alnico 3, so there is that.

    They didn't get quite as strong as most new pickups I tested with the meter, which may come down to the actual composition of the pole pieces. This may be why some builders soften the magnets, demagnitize them a bit. Not so much that the older magnets lost all their charge - most of mine were actually pretty close, it was just a few that were WAY demagnitized. It may simply be that the older alnico just couldn't charge up as much.

    I believe this is a significant factor in why newer strats do not sound the same, to me.
     
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  2. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    This is nice to know.
     
  3. Alan Crossley

    Alan Crossley Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m going going to be able to answer your question fully, but having owned a near original ‘63 for many years, you might not necessarily find that a genuine vintage Strat offers you anything more than a very well built quality Strat.

    My experience was one of tuning issues, not huge problems, but possibly better with a high spec newer guitar.

    For me the satisfaction was how it felt to play. And, it felt part of me, very comfortable and satisfying to own.
     
  4. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

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    A good guitar is a good guitar
    regardless of age
     
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  5. ripgtr

    ripgtr Most Honored Senior Member

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    Did you get that squared away? It most likely is the nut, that is what it is most of the time. A well cut bone nut on mine, I float and use the trem and it stays in tune as well as any guitar I own.
     
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  6. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Strat-Talker

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    I'm sure all of what you say is true but you don't have to plug the guitar in to feel the natural compression. It's in the wood and the bridge too. My 55 tele has tons of natural compression un plugged. I've never tried a new guitar that does the same thing
     
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  7. Alan Crossley

    Alan Crossley Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks for your posting. Unfortunately, I had to sell the guitar to pay for college fees. I didn’t change anything on the guitar to retain the vintage untouched condition. It was an issue which I happily lived with.:whistling:
     
  8. inra311

    inra311 Strat-Talker

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    Having played so many vintage Strats (often in times when they still were affordable) I always experienced a general difference - that woodier, softer, rounder ... tone - but some years ago I played a CS Strat and for the first time I thought "Hey, what is this, it sounds like a vintage Strat !!?"
    I think Fender really got closer and closer. Possibly the increased attention to the kind of steel blocks and thin nitro laquers etc. was a major step forward. And I can imagine that with some years of setting the new ones will become even better than today.
    Generally I feel maple neck Strats are closer than rosewood Strats.
     
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  9. Buster Jingles

    Buster Jingles Strat-Talk Member

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    Re issues are usually built to the orig. specs. Its the years of aging and wear that makes old guitars great or sometimes horrible. I bought a late 60's strat off ebay once and it was horrible. I parted it out. and made money in the deal. But the guitar was a dud. Be more concerned with playing.
     
  10. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Strat-Talker

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    I once had the opportunity to play a absolute mint shape '56 Mary Kay and not long after a beat up '56 sunburst. The MK was one of the worst guitars I ever played, I can see why no one played it in 60 years. If you had told me it was a 2014 reissue, I would've believed you. It was a $125,000 guitar.

    The beat up 56 was a turd as well, tonally and feel wise. It was $16,000. I wouldn't have given $600 for it.

    I have owned a few mid-late 60s, and was not impressed. I would say the AVRI's are better than all but the very best 'vintage' guitars ever made. And today's indonesian built stuff exceeds them in fit and finish.

    The real quality of vintage is in the materials... the woods and metal. You can't get that quality of wood any more. The fit and finish were done by hand, and usually by minimum wage laborers who didn't care if it was a guitar or a toilet seat. Some were exceptional, most were not. That's the truth.
     
  11. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

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    That's your truth ;)

    A lot were as good as guitars being build today. Some were exceptional and some were turds. And it's exactly the same today.
    What every guitar needs is a good setup and that's what is often lacking on secondhand guitars (vintage and modern). With a proper set up, 90% of all Fenders are at least good guitars, some will exceed and be absolute gems. the other 10% are the turds that require a little bit more than just adjustments to make them good.
    I've had guitars passing through here that were brought in by the owner, stating it was a turd, that pickups were lifeless, that the neck pocket was too big,... all things that can get remedied if you know what to adjust and where to look.
     
  12. T Guitar Floyd

    T Guitar Floyd Senior Stratmaster

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    LOL! This is very limited experience on which to base "the truth". Statement would have been closer to fact if ended with, "That's the opinion". :)
     
  13. candyapple1964

    candyapple1964 Senior Stratmaster

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    Based on my experience of one..

    I have had my 64 car for many years. When I first bought it I tried to play it. It did not work.

    Kept it in its case a few years.

    Pulled it out to give it one more try. Checked the setup. Adjusted pickups. Then the breakthrough. The neck was not completely snug in the pocket.

    Loosened the 4 screws ever so slightly and the string tension caused the neck to pop in firmly. All of a sudden the guitar was what I expected. Better sustain more stable tuning and just great to play.

    Small things can make a difference:)

    Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
     
  14. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Strat-Talker

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    I agree, that was my truth and I agree with your any guitar that has a good setup will benefit from it. However, poor wood, poor fit and finish and poorly made components can not be overcome. That '56 Mary Kay was owned by someone famous and he never played it because it was a dog... he continued to play his 1954 Strat which he still does, because it's a gem. No set up in the world could save that MK, it would require major work.
     
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