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1973 Stratocaster

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by nielsdekerpel, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi guys

    I'm here again with my 70's strat questions :p

    I've been looking for a good and affordable 70's strat for over 3 years now.
    I think I've found one: a 1973 Stratocaster natural finish/Maple fretboard. It's not too heavy and according to the guy who sells the guitar it's 100% original. The guy is working in a highly known musicshop in Belgium with shops all over the country and they're having a good reputation so I think he can't afford to fool me around or lie to me.(It's his own guitar not property of the shop!) He wants to sell the guitar for 1300euros(1700dollars) which is not that expensive. But maybe there's a reason why a 1973 strat is that cheap? Was this a bad year for the stratocaster ? I don't know, maybe some guys can give me some more information about the year 1973? :confused:


    Thanks Guys!


    Niels
     
  2. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

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    people gripe over the fact that when leo sold off fender to CBS that everything went down hill. I have played some pigs from the 70's with that being said i have also played some Dead pieces of fire wood from the 60's (ok only one was a total flop) With every era there will be players, collectors, and pigs. If the Strat rips, feels nice, and has that tone you are after, dont be worried about what people have to say about the era its from.
     
    SurfsUp likes this.
  3. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Strat-Talker

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    I have a 73 Strat.
    It's okay. It's old and I feel that an old, well played guitar develops some sort of magical resonance that make it different from a newer guitar but I might be imagining things.

    1973 is not a 'bad' year for a CBS Stratocaster. Older and especially older 4 bolt 1971 and older guitars are worth quite a bit more.

    My strat feels all right to play but I prefer the soft V of my 57 AVRI. I like the vintage sound of the AVRI's pickups more than the harder sound of the 73. But the older guitar has more resonance.

    1300€ sounds really low for a 1973 though. I never trust a deal that sounds too good to be true. Get a bunch of pictures, butt end of the neck, pot date stamps, pickup date stamps, the body without the pickguard and the trem block and post them here to get some more advice.
     
  4. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Most Honored Senior Member

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    Play it before you buy, even if you have to drive a ways to do it. If possible get pics and post them here before you buy. If there is anything visibly off the mark about it someone around here will likely notice it. If it just isn't a player you'll see/hear/feel it when you try it out.
     
  5. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    He bought it a guitar fair in holland (Vintage Guitar Show Veenendaal) and paid it 1300 euros himself and he wanted to get rid of the guitar because he has allready 7 strats or something and this one was the guitar he didn't play much. I'll ask him for some pictures! thanks anyways guys!
     
  6. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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  7. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The photo is not visible, try again?
     
  8. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    It won't work :s how do u guys post pictures in a topic?
     
  9. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    I've checked the vintage guid and it says 1973 natural finish is worth 2000dollars. So maybe this really is a good deal :)
     
  10. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Strat-Talker

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    To load pictures, go to your homepage here and create a picture album and upload the photos into that. Then use the icon that looks like a letter with a mountain on it (the second to the right icon after the A (attachment) icon) and paste the photo's address there.

    Yes, the price is very good if it is original, if it is a real 1973 Stratocaster and especially if you really, really like it. Much of the value is 'collector' value (despite the fact that there is a lot of disrespect for this era of Fender guitars, there are still many, many who want to collect these) so being able to verify it's legitimacy is important.

    If it's legitimate, the seller should not be afraid of showing you pictures of the date stamp on the butt end of the neck, date stamps on the pickups and the pots and a picture of the trem block.
     
  11. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    Allright thank you! He'll be sending me Some pictures asap. But it's a natural finish strat with Black knobs, Black plate,... To be honest I tought they introduced the Black hardware only for THE custom color mocha Brown in 73'. Only in the next 70's they had the Black hardware on other colours I tought... Or am I completely wrong?
     
  12. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Most Honored Senior Member

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    Actually I think the black plastics came for the Mocha finish in 1974. If I recall correctly all 1973 plastics were white. In 1975 and 1976 they increased the number of colors that got black plastics and by 1977 all the pickguards were black plastic although many 1977 and a few 1978 Strats came with the "tuxedo" look with black plastic pickguard but white pickup covers, knobs, switch tip and trem tip. By 1979 virtually all if not all were shipped with all black hardware. This sort of progression of things is pretty typical of the way Fender did things. In 1980 or 1981 they started putting white plastics back on some of the "International colors" models... These were usually "reverse tuxedo" with a white pickguard and black knobs, pickup covers, switch tip and trem tip. FWIW, all through this time Fender sold all the plastics as replacement parts in both black and white, so some people immediately changed out plastics they didn't like to a color scheme of their liking. It is why you sometimes see reverse tuxedo on 1976-1979 Strats with all period correct parts that obviously have been that way since they were new.
     
  13. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi guys

    I'm having an appointment with the guy after new year and than I'll make pictures myself :)

    I've found another strat but it's according to the owner a 1976 strat with a serial number(576048) that's refering back to 1974. Also the serial number is placed on the neckplate. Strange because they changed the serial number (576048) from the neckplate to the headstock in 1976 I tought? He said that the tuners were replaced and the pots changed to CTS-pots but he still has the original pots and would give them to me as well. Also he wasn't sure if the scratch plate was orignal. Appart from all that everything is orignal he said.
    I've uploaded some pictures and you guys can have a look. What do you think about this?

    ps. the price is 1500 euro or 2000 dollars
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  14. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That one looks great, all original as it seems. I would say it is a late 1974 but check the neck heel.
    If it plays great and it sounds good I would buy it. Try to drop the price but is fair enough anyway esp. for Europe.
    If there aren´t any surprises under the hood (pickups or routing) it is a very good offer.
    You could easy get more money out of the deal by buying it and selling with a bigger price tag.
    If it plays and sounds great keep it forever, price is good. Fair enough for a guitar you play your whole life.

    All the best,
    Robin
     
  15. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    so the changes he has made is nothing suspicious? maybe any risk for a partscaster?
     
  16. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    May I ask why you are so keen on a 1970s Strat? Maybe you're not old enough to remember that the 70s was Fender's low point. Quality control & attention to detail suffered, so a 70s Strat is unlikely to be a shining example of Fender's craft.
     
  17. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    He give you the original pots and changed them to good working ones. He changed the tuners for the same reason I guess.
    But as I said check the neck heel and the pickups. If you feel better try to talk him down and get it at an even better price. No case included?
    I think the neck is worth 800-900€ here in Europe.
    To me it looks like a late 1974 maybe he doesn´t know what he have?
    Definitely take a look and hopefully you get a great deal.

    All the best,
    Robin
     
  18. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Strat-Talker

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    The pickguard is not original. It has a notch for neck heel end truss rod adjustment but these guitars have the bullet truss rod adjustment.

    See if you can get a picture of the underside of the pickguard so you can see if there are any markings on the pickups. A photo of the butt end of the neck would be good too. There should be a date stamp there.

    You have to go and play it. Check the weight, see if the neck is stable in the pocket and see if it sounds good.
     
  19. nielsdekerpel

    nielsdekerpel Strat-Talk Member

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    It's case included, I asked him about the neck heel and he said there were only some unreadable numbers :s
     
  20. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have to agree... and I own a 1970s Strat. While there is nothing wrong with the one I have (other than perhaps it is a bit heavy being natural ash)... it isn't my favorite of the Strats I own, I've never really "bonded" with it. I've got a couple partscasters and some hot rodded Squiers that I play quite a bit more, probably one of the reasons is one of the partscasters I like better I built before I bought the 1977. Also I prefer a flatter fretboard with bigger frets and hotter wound pickups than what you typically find in an original CBS era Strat. And some things like the cosmetics and stuff like the pot metal trem in the 1970s Strats kind of turns me off.

    Anyway the big thing is, I really can't imagine paying a big premium in price for a non-vintage and only semi-collectible guitar like the typical CBS Strat. I bought my 1977 over 20 years ago back when they were still pretty cheap, I would not pay even what they go for right now since there are other guitars I would prefer available for less. And unfortunately I missed when the market peaked and now I can't get much for mine around here... Oh well.

    Anyway... unless you are a collector trying to fill a specific spot in a collection I really don't understand fixation on a particular year guitar that much... For playing I'd try a whole bunch of Strats and pick the one that is the best combination of sound, feel and price. If you limit yourself to what is generally regarded as Fender's low decade (1972-1981) that seems like making things a lot harder on yourself.
     
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