1961 strat authenticity?

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by GrDo, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. GrDo

    GrDo New Member!

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    Hi, forgive me but I'm new to the forum. I am in the market to purchase a 60s pre CBS strat and came across this one online. I am not super familiar with the little distinguishing factors of what constitutes an authentic 1961 stratocaster and what is a fake. I realize this is not the same as seeing the guitar in person but perhaps some one can shed some light and give me their honest opinion of whether or not this guitar is a true 1961 strat. I'm not real familiar with some of the newer relic/reissues and I'm hoping its the real deal. The seller for this strat naturally claims everything is original. Please help me out. Thanks a lot!

    I have a few more pics of the back of body, inside pickguard and neck if anyone's interested. Thanks again.
     

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  2. srvwannab

    srvwannab Senior Stratmaster

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    This was just posted by PeskyPesky the other day and there is more talk about authenticity if you search here and elsewhere.

    From the looks of the rosewood slab and truss placement half way into the slab with pencil lettering for date that much looks good, but I don't know much so stick around.

    [​IMG]

    I think the curved slab where the neck meets the headstock might be another good sign, but not sure.
     
  3. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    Judging the 1961 Strat's authenticity from those pictures,it looks authentic but these days there are some amazing luthiers who can really replicate a vintage guitar.You would realy have to judge it by seeing it in person.I would never risk spending that much money for an online purchase.
     
  4. Strat-Man-Do

    Strat-Man-Do Senior Stratmaster

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    You know really what you need a good array of photos Sonny. If we had a multitude from top to bottom and end to end, then it becomes a bit clearer. Obviously the first step is know the exact appointments of those couple years. The most significant feature of those few years is the plain face on the headstock with no TR Plug. That automatically put ya in that range. Then from there it becomes carefull inspection of wear and appointments and actual materials used. The profile around the first register is where they are thicker/fatter also. Not so much a complete thickness throughout the length of the neck as the newer models have like the SRV 60 Oval or the Cray C-61 or Jeff Becks 1st year models of his signature. Those all run fat to fatter and thats not how the original 59, 60 and 61 Fenders were. Though with the amount of hand sanding involved in those years they also all differ slightly......slightly though.
     
  5. Strat-Man-Do

    Strat-Man-Do Senior Stratmaster

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    BTW I had seen the photos of that Strat above before. Thats the one from E-Bay. What is sigificant on that Strat is the control cavity route. Thats the area that those with a minimal amount of experience with authentic late 50 early 60 Fenders will overlook. Photo's that date the electronics are also "very" helpfull. And close shots of the plastic on the PG and Pup covers help.

    Again you need a multitude of Great photos that show every single nook and cranny. Sonnys right in his conclusion that there are some very, very good luthiers out here now. Some times TOO GOOD is a indication os fake in present days. The problem they do have though is replacing the parts of those years accuratly. So when a seller is showing a Strat and indicating original electronics etc. It does become a bit easier to date and authenticate.
     
  6. jflintmac

    jflintmac Most Honored Senior Member

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    I too have seen this guitar on E-Bay. I couldn't begin to consider myself capable to verify the authenticy of such an instrument, one way or another.
    That said, I have been burned , more often than not through ebay and could never buy a '61 without holding it first and having it professionally checked.
    That guitar is in great shape for a '61 and one would wonder why there isn't an array of friends and family or other local musicians rallying over it?

    This could be legitimate - but I remain sceptical????

    Good luck with your search........................Jeff
     
  7. StratDen

    StratDen Senior Stratmaster

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    Agreed. A buyer can also ask if added terms be made allowing a third-party evaluation be performed at the buyer's expense and having a binding outcome on the sale. Gruhns (and others) for instance provide this service.
     
  8. StratDen

    StratDen Senior Stratmaster

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    The vintage market is risky. With the flow of parted out guitars, one may have a mix and match of vintage and some 'manufactured' bits added that are produced to appear authentic.

    There's a reason Fender's Custom Shop sells alot of guitars. Buyers not only save some money, they at least know what they are receiving is legitimate. Of course there are many legitimate vintage guitars out there, but I wouldn't want to be the guy who spends $20k on a well-done fake.
     
  9. problem-child

    problem-child Senior Stratmaster

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    I know nothing of these vintage instruments, but I would question why the two hand written dates appear to be done by the same person. Maybe that's the way they did it back then... Maybe not.
     
  10. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    There are some luthiers that can really nail a particular model and all it's subtle details.They can use certain authentic parts and build the rest.There is a guy in the U.K. called Bravewood guitars....his work is really impressive.He really knows the nuances better than most copycat luthiers.Google his website....he is awesome.He even makes his own hardware.On his site,he has a section where he restored guitars to look really authentic...his work is as good as it gets.
     
  11. jflintmac

    jflintmac Most Honored Senior Member

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    I've been a cabinet maker for a lot of years and a bit of a finishing specialist as well.
    The hard part is learning what all to look for but duplicating what I see in the pics above would not be that hard for me to do at all.
    The hard part of that is learning how to live with one's self, knowing that you have just ripped off some poor guy for 20 grand!
     
  12. srvwannab

    srvwannab Senior Stratmaster

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    That's a good eye, it seems like it might be penciled by the same hand. I thought the neck and body were inspected by different people too, but I'm no expert. Somebody on this forum knows I'm sure.
     
  13. Rigel42

    Rigel42 Strat-Talker

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  14. GrDo

    GrDo New Member!

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    Thanks for all the responses everyone. Very helpful. Yeah I remain skeptical but I just wanted to see what other people thought. The dates on the neck/body concerned me as well. I was thinking even though the body and neck might have a matching year, more often than not they usually had different months of manufacture. Not to the mention someone could have roughed up that neck in their garage and penciled in the dates themselves. Just my thoughts. Here are the remaining photos I have of the strat.
     

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  15. GrDo

    GrDo New Member!

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    ...and more!
     

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  16. dennyn23

    dennyn23 Strat-Talker

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    I'm no expert, but I thought that the pre-cbs strats all had skunk stripes. judging by the photos yours doesn't have one. also, the bridge saddles were stamped: "pending" or something along those lines. looks like yours has fender stamped on them.
     
  17. Oldboy

    Oldboy Senior Stratmaster

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    +1. Do the smart thing and get a professional and trustworthy authentication.Gruhn does it online for $50. Check out the details here.Click on "Appraisal".

    Gruhn Guitars
     
  18. crawdaddy

    crawdaddy Most Honored Senior Member

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    1962 Strats do not have skunk stripes & I guess '61's don't either.
     
  19. scotzoid

    scotzoid Senior Stratmaster

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    The skunk stripe was dropped when they went to rosewood fretboards in '58-'59. The bridge saddles shown in the pic are era-correct, "FENDER" on one side & "PAT PEND" on the other. Of course, that alone doesn't prove it's real, they are some pretty good fake bridges being made
     
  20. macnik

    macnik Strat-Talker

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    I'm no expert, but the only neck and body dated the same that I've seen was a '54, pencilled 7/54, and signed by Taddeo Gomez. There is a difference of between 1 and 2 months generally and as Fender had increased production by 60/61, I would expect to see the date gap widen. Also due to the random selection of necks and bodies from the bin, it would be a big coincidence for the two to match. However there is always the possibility....
    Use your nose and have a good sniff. Those pre-cbs strats had a distinctive smell!
    Try and get to see this one if you're a serious buyer and take along someone with some knowledge. Good luck.