Austin (brand) Strat copy

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by stratman in va, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    From time to time I stop off at pawn shops and check out the amps and guitars.

    I got a low budget strat copy by " Austin" yesterday. Given the fact that its a budget guitar, it seems pretty well made.

    I did not get to totally put it thru its paces, but the pickups sound very vintage / Strat like to me, even though they are ceramic, and even though the strings need changing. The wiring is very neat, looks stock, and looks like its better wiring and components than an Affinity Strat. The switch is a little different than most, seems decent, and all the moving parts are enclosed in a box.

    Its a nice looking sunburst, solid wood body, looks like 3 pieces. They did a great job of hiding the seams on the front, but you can tell on the back its at least 2 pieces. Its routed for HSH, neatly done too. None of the screws have stripped out the wood, so seems like a decent type of wood for the body, not the balsa like wood sometimes found on cheaper imports.

    Neck is pretty straight, no rough fret edges or frets working their way up.
    Tuners look to be really cheap... so depending on what I do with it may be swapping those out. Bridge and block are pretty typical for this price range. Previous owner decked the trem with the springs and tightened down the 6 screws on top.

    I think the neck is the same type that I got in a trade a couple years back.. its pretty good - along the lines of an Squier.

    Anyone have any experience with these? This one I may fix up with some parts I have on hand, perhaps mixing and matching things from another guitar.
     
  2. ToyoMojo

    ToyoMojo Senior Stratmaster

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    What do they say? Pics or it didn't happen? :)
     
  3. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    Well.. that'll have to wait til tonight or tomorrow! Will try to snap a couple photos.
     
  4. ToyoMojo

    ToyoMojo Senior Stratmaster

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    HNGD either way! Love hearing about new/different models.
     
  5. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    Its a budget model, but I think they did a lot of the basic things right when they made it.

    Some previous owner did a decent job of setting it up. It needs some more cleaning and TLC, new strings too. Not sure exactly how much rehab I want to do on it.
     
  6. Virgman

    Virgman Strat-O-Master

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    My son's friend has an Austin strat.

    I set it up for him and it was a decent guitar.
     
  7. Lost Sailor

    Lost Sailor Senior Stratmaster

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    I just picked up a lefty Austin "Strat" at a local pawnshop here today. It was very dirty and looking unloved -- I wanted a knock off to play when I work away from home so none of my Fenders get stolen. I don't know how to post pics here, but it is a black body and "rosewood" style neck - I removed the blackened steel strings and washed it off from top to bottom, cleaned the gunk off of the pickguard, now it shines -- I cleaned and polished the fingerboard, restrung it, adjusted the pickup height, string height, intonation -- very solid construction and the neck playable, I plugged into my lil micro cube not expecting much, it sounds very close to a MIM Fender-- very surprised - I got it for about 80 dollars, and it stays in tune. I have been playing it most of the afternoon -- it plays well but it is not a Fender - I can live with it though.
     
  8. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have only tried the Austin with a little Fender Bullet amp and the Peavey that was at the pawn shop. The weak link is the tuners... just not that good. I may get a better set of tuners for it and see how it does. The neck is well made for a basic budget guitar.
     
  9. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The guitar player in one of my favorite local bands absolutely rocks with just an Austin Strat and a Peavey Bandit.

    The great thing about the Strat design being so well-established, and relatively unchanging is that every factory knows how a Strat is made. They just carve the headstock a bit differently and put a different name on it as needed.

    Semi-related: I put new Wilkinson ez-lock tuners on both my Squier Strats last night. New tuners make an inexpensive guitar feel like a mid-range guitar. :)
     
  10. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    This particular Austin guitar reminds me a bit of some of the Squiers .. no idea how old it is. The body is not the full standard thickness. I picked it up thinking that I would use the neck on something else, but the darn thing sounds pretty good and works so well as it is ... except the crummy tuners. I picked up my Affinity with some similar intents and ended up just doing a little fix up on it and keeping it!

    Thanks for the tips on the Wilkinsons. Where did you get those?
     
  11. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Both guitarfetish.com and Dragonfire sell them. I bought from Dragonfire.

    Wilkinson - Dragonfire Guitars

    They're inexpensive, and make a great upgrade.
     
  12. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    I found some at Dragonfire... EZ lock... the simplest locking tuners ever, or so it seems.


    Thanks for the tip.
     
  13. tmenss

    tmenss Strat-O-Master

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    I have a couple Austins,one is an older series (can't remember the model Number) which had a quality build similar to Squier Deluxes. It had staggered Wilkinson tuners, wilky SSH pickups (hot vintage wind) and the Wilky modern trem with full block. It has a quilted maple top finished in a transparent Blue. The vintage hot pups sound good but I'm a low inductance vintage pup guy (CS69's and APS-1's) but Wilkinson also makes some very good sounding vintage A5 pups that are very affordable. Wilkinson parts more popular in England than in the US. The trem is impressively solid. I use Wilkinson vintage type trems to replace squier trems. (have to redrill the holes or us the 5+1 mount system).

    There's a newer model AST-100BK, cut away that is about a $100 retail that are more like squiers. They have a materials feel between a Bullet and Squier but the out of the box playability is superior. The neck is full size, the fretwork is nice, it is a beefier profile neck akin to some of the older Squier standards. The setup was very good, intonation was set and it comes with D'addario 10's installed. The Pups are ceramic but decent sounding, at least equivalent to most Squiers. On the whole I think it is a great value. Enjoy playing yours!
     
  14. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    Here is the Austin, and my Ibanez too, a pair of 'bursts.
     

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  15. Lost Sailor

    Lost Sailor Senior Stratmaster

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    Here is my Austin (those are fingerprints not dents reflected on the body)
    sitting next to a 92 MIM

    I know what you mean about the tuners - I am planning to replace them too
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  16. Rutiger

    Rutiger Strat-Talk Member

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    I have an Austin, pictured. Body thickness is 42 mm - 1 5/8 inches. My Squier SE is 45 mm thick or 1 3/4 inches. They weigh the same which is to say both are heavy guitars. I have no scale so I can't be more specific. I've had them both for years and there is really no difference between the 2 in any respect. All hardware and electronics on both are real good. I should point out that I don't do any gigging so they're gently used at low volumes. Through Boss Katana 50 amp. The Austin has the nicer finish in my opinion compared to that tobacco burst or whatever is so popular in other brands. I'll just bet that the Austin's and Squier's are built on the same carpenter's bench in the factory, same tuners, pickups, different headstock. Both are suited to modification and upgrading but neither need any upgrades. Squier's and Austin's leave the factory needing minor attention to fret refinement and setup but once that is done they're same. Darn good guitars as is!
     

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  17. mikaellewis

    mikaellewis New Member!

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    I bought an Austin Strat locally for $60 and I love it. The pickups were a bit meh, but build quality is excellent. It 's very playable and stays in tune very well. I've just ordered some Wilde L280s/ L298s pickups for it. Excited to hear it with those new pups. I'll post a review after I've done that.
     
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  18. Oldboy

    Oldboy Senior Stratmaster

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    My partscaster is based on an Austin, built about 15 years ago. Bought it on eBay for $35, no pickups.

    A1.JPG

    Put in GFS 60s pickups, Alpha pots, Wilkinson trem (thinner body, had 1/8" machined off the the block), stripped the thin satin finish off the neck and refinished with Minwax wipe on tung oil. Looks good, plays good, sounds good. They are definitely one of the better budget brands.

    Strat1.JPG

    Strat2.JPG

    Strat3.JPG

    Strat4.JPG
     
  19. of this world

    of this world Senior Stratmaster

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    started life as a black Austin with a white pickguard... paid $50 - sold it for $250 after some remodeling.
    IMG_1372.jpg IMG_1373.jpg IMG_1374.jpg IMG_1375.jpg
     
  20. teleamp

    teleamp Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    I recall a shop in Colorado Springs that was in between prosound and GC.. They sold Austin brand electrics... When they would get them in, before they went on the showroom floor. Each was given a fret level, dress crown and polish along with all of the solder joints resoldered then set up... The store sold boatloads of them.