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1982 Smith Strat: Not-so-NGD

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Estibi, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    I posted some questions and a few photos on another thread but I'll call this a belated NGD thread. When I got her she had Schaller tuners (cool 80s vintage "Made In W Germany" ones) and all the plastics except the pickguard were replaced with black. It looked cool but I wanted it to look original. I had most of the original parts but was missing one pickup cover, one knob, and the switch tip.

    I was able to get a correct set of pickup covers and I had to resort to reproductions for the switch tip and the bottom tone knob. I replaced the Schallers with reproduction Fender '70s style tuners which mimic what was on the guitar originally. I'd have preferred originals but the cost was a bit too high.

    So two shots: the guitar as it looked when bought, and the guitar as it looks tonight. Preferences?
     
    garyhoos1, Stratbats, Erik_C and 2 others like this.
  2. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Good job, looks great!
     
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  3. 79olympicwhite

    79olympicwhite Strat-O-Master

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    I prefer the 70s look but either way those are nice guitars congrats
     
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  4. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Nice work; I've always had a soft spot for the 1982 Smith Strats.
     
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  5. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

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    Is it a V neck?

    My late 1982 has the Fender German Schaller tuners, and a maple V neck. No sign of any alterations. Looks 100% original.
     
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  6. DeMelo

    DeMelo Strat-Talker

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    Pretty cool strat you got there. How hot are those pups compared to regular fat 50s?
     
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  7. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

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    Soft v on my 82 ..it is heaven .
    Looking great !
     
  8. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Much prefer the restored look. Lovely strat
     
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  9. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Fender did switch to the Schallers toward the end of the Smith Strat's run - I'm not sure when it happened, but I suspect it was late 1982 or early 1983. Even though they all had "E2xxxxx" serial numbers the production run was actually from late 1981 through early 1983. When the revised models (2-knob Standards and Elite models) went into production circa March/April 1983 they used the Fender/Schaller tuners from the start.
     
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  10. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

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    I have always been unsure what model Stratocaster my October 1982 built Strat was intended to be. It had many similarities to what is usually called a “Smith” Strat, but it has the newly introduced for 1983 Schallers. I am making the assumption of build time from date stamping on the neck, and in the neck pocket.
    I am sure that many strange things were happening in the plant, and perhaps guitars shipped outside of the USA, might have had a few build specs done differently, such as the Schallers. I found this Strat in a Canadian pawnshop, barely played, but with a really abused hard shelled case, that I first saw around 1983.

    I have only seen in person, one other guitar similar to mine.
     
  11. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    My schallers were definitely replacements. Screw holes left behind from the originals. At one point I took the neck off and the stamp on the end was barely there but it clearly said Sep or Sept so I'm assuming this one was made fall of '82 and it had the old '70s style diagonal F logo tuners when it was new.
     
  12. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    The neck is slim, just like I like it. Very comfortable playing on this baby.
     
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  13. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    What's different about it other than the Schallers? Does it have the small headstock with the big 70s Stratocaster sticker? I think by '83 that was gone because they ran out or decided to ditch it or whatever.
    Kinda hard to say, the neck pickup is original but the bridge and middle were replaced with Texas specials at some point. I have the middle but haven't re-installed it. The bridge originally was a so-called X-1 pickup which fender made hotter than the normal ones and it sells for more so someone obviously sold that one off. I doubt I'll ever put out the money to get another one. So the only real original sounds I can get or neck pickup and those are great, smooth and creamy with just the right touch of spank. I really love playing this one in the neck position. The texas specials sound like Texas specials so you know how that goes, some love 'em, some hate 'em. I think they sound really good but I will put the original middle in at some point because that neck sounds so good.

    I do want to be careful though, the pickguard screws have patina on them (i.e. corrosion or rust) and in a couple of instances were just floating in the screw holes. I really don't want to be taking the pickguard on and off a lot. When you see it in person it has that beautiful aged yellowing going on, as do the pickup covers and knobs and I'd lose my mind if I cracked it or lost a couple of the original screws. It's not a holy relic from the pre-CBS era but still, don't want to do harm.

    You can get a better sense of what it looks like in real life from this closeup, although it makes the plastics look a bit less yellow than they are in person. Look at the lettering on those knobs, aged to green. Love the look of this axe! If only it had a maple neck it would be perfect.

     
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  14. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Fender didn't start shutting down the Fullerton factory until 1984; there weren't many of those issues happening in 1982. I think it was simply a case of them already having the 1983 models designed, so when they ran out of the F tuners they just subbed in the Fender/Schaller tuners that were planned for the 1983 models.
     
  15. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    To the OP, I have an original set of white knobs from an 82 Smith strat. Send me a PM if you are interested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  16. Stratbats

    Stratbats Senior Stratmaster

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    Beautiful the way it was meant to be!
     
  17. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    @Estibi, I was just gonna give em to you, but I see you are in the UK, and.I can't afford to ship international. So I think I will keep em as a set, as I see you only really need one knob. Maybe I can trade them for some original parts for my 79 strat. Besides, you didn't answer my PM, so I guess you probably aren't interested. That is a nice strat you've got there. Can we see the back of the headstock? Just wondering how your F tuners came out..
     
  18. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    Sorry, been away. Will PM you
     
  19. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    Here's the tuners installed. They look good, covered up all but one hole from the schallers (it'e the one closest to the nut, not visible in the pic because of the angle I took. I never had this style before, had to learn how to string it up but once you get the tricks down they are really easy and work very well.

     
  20. Estibi

    Estibi Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks to the great and generous 3bolt79 I have been able to restore all three knobs to their original state. This matters because the real knobs of that era don't look like the reproductions. They use a different font on the new ones, the aged color isn't really right, and they have black painted letters. Originally the letters were done in a gold paint that would oxidize to green over the years. So having a mix of old and new didn't look right.

    To see what I mean, take a look. First, a picture of original '82 knobs with a modern Fender aged white one. You can see the color difference and the font. But look at the color of the letters on those old ones. One is still half gold while the other half has oxidized to green, proving that point. They look so cool on the guitar, and that is the next picture.
     
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