Making Sure Older Strat is Genuine US Article--How?

PCollen

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 13, 2014
4,263
Florida
They are just applying the "conventional wisdom" of the "N9" serial number reflecting 1999, but the headstock decal is incorrect for a 1999, so IF this is a legit neck, it's a 1990.

Here is your primary and ONLY accurate resource for an actual database


If no information is listed there (and there won't be for anything prior to 1995), then Fender can not validate the serial number.

This information is where other sites are getting their lookup data:


Note:
View attachment 610923
A proper 1999 American Standard Strat model would have the Delta Tone set-up, introduced in 1997, not the TBX T2.
 

PCollen

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 13, 2014
4,263
Florida
So, I'll have to convince the seller to open up the guitar.
At $750, Seller is not asking for top-dollar nor advertising a pristine "museum quality" instrument. That guitar sold for $595 new with case, and appears authentic and in fair shape. I'd be more concerned with possible fret wear/finish ,which cannot be determined because there are no clear and complete pics of the fretboard.
 

68Kustom

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 23, 2022
74
Deepwater
So y'all ought to be asking yourself why this is...? Ask yourself why this seller didn't provide photos that are sharp and clear and informative? Why, upon seeing the thoroughly sh!tty quality of the photos, didn't this seller make better photos ?

Or...don't.
Your call.

Me?
I'd walk.
Maybe the photographer is an elder person and/or not technically inclined. Would you not pay a call to look at the guitar?

I use the ad for what it is--a thumbnail. Not everyone selling a Strat is an expert Reverb store with hundreds of sales made and a 4K camera with studio lights.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,866
Maine
Maybe the photographer is an elder person and/or not technically inclined. Would you not pay a call to look at the guitar?

I use the ad for what it is--a thumbnail. Not everyone selling a Strat is an expert Reverb store with hundreds of sales made and a 4K camera with studio lights.
No need for studio lighting and skills to get better pics, those pics are HUGE RED FLAGS.
Today you cannot buy a camera anywhere that takes pics that bad with that low resolution, to get pics that bad you must download pics of guitars you do not own.

Could be a crap aftermarket guard, or not, but the guard fit is a second red flag.

While I have things to do besides scrutinize a beat up modded old Strat listed with multiple red flags, I still stick to my general position that if you the buyer need help determining if a listing is legit (which is in itself a red flag, you are unprepared to spot scammers), then the pics are so bad they could not have been taken by the actual seller using any current tech, plus there are red flags visible in the bad pics?

Sure it is possible enough parts are original and in good enough shape to be worth $750.
But I am not going to state that I think it looks like a safe buy and worth $750.

Go see it, if you cannot be certain on your own, take better pics and update the thread.

This thread itself is red flag material, starts off with no pics then adds terrible pics. I used to be more encouraging on the net, but society today I do not tend to say "looks good pay the man!" if there are multiple red flags.

Note that the used guitar market is slow now, plenty of fairly priced guitars to look at.
Skip the red flags!
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,866
Maine
..and the apparent mis-alignment of your pickguard screw holes ?
True that, its a $5 Chinese guard I bought with no pickup or contol routs to mount a single bridge Filtertron which no guards can be purchased for.
Screw holes are not all in the right places but it still fits the cutaway in the typical manner that other USA guards fit, unlike the fuzzy pic of the OP thread guitar.

I am counting red flags here, not stating that a visible problem guarantees one way or the other.

In todays market, do you really think this sale listing with terrible pics and red flags is worthy of being a recommended purchase?
If your best friend was looking for a Strat, would you send them this listing and tell them to buy it?
Or look elsewhere for better offerings?
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,866
Maine
When I wasn't making a living wiith music I was making a living as a photographer.
When I used soft focus it was usually because I was trying to obscure or conceal.

With the cameras of today one has to work pretty f*k'n hard to make an out of focus photo. It's deliberate. (This last bit is deductive speculation.)

So y'all ought to be asking yourself why this is...? Ask yourself why this seller didn't provide photos that are sharp and clear and informative? Why, upon seeing the thoroughly sh!tty quality of the photos, didn't this seller make better photos ?

Or...don't.
Your call.

Me?
I'd walk.
Not only out of focus but tiny files with incredibly low resolution, which screams pics downloaded off the net.
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,866
Maine
Another red flag IMO.
This is the later pic and shows a single screw hole where it has been suggested that possibly an ill fitting aftermarket guard is on a legit USA Fender body. That would generally require new holes drilled, particularly where the guard is known to fit incorrectly, and here this body appears to have no extra holes or filled holes.
This does not prove anything but to me it adds one more red flag, and fails to rectify the former red flag of ill fitting guard suggested might be aftermarket.
4FDE3C89-52BC-46EC-9E7F-4A97D1B52911.jpeg
 

Mr Dunlop

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 30, 2014
4,308
usa
Of coarse the pickguard is an after market.

Solder joints look intact. Pickups are period correct. I agree the pics do not show details of the pot codes.
If this is a cash in hand purchase I don't see an issues.
 

68Kustom

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 23, 2022
74
Deepwater
No need for studio lighting and skills to get better pics, those pics are HUGE RED FLAGS.
Today you cannot buy a camera anywhere that takes pics that bad with that low resolution, to get pics that bad you must download pics of guitars you do not own.

Except the photos are of that guitar; no other source. I think the owner may be an elder person. Not everyone is an expert Reverb user.
 

PCollen

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 13, 2014
4,263
Florida
Another red flag IMO.
This is the later pic and shows a single screw hole where it has been suggested that possibly an ill fitting aftermarket guard is on a legit USA Fender body. That would generally require new holes drilled, particularly where the guard is known to fit incorrectly, and here this body appears to have no extra holes or filled holes.
This does not prove anything but to me it adds one more red flag, and fails to rectify the former red flag of ill fitting guard suggested might be aftermarket.
View attachment 611021
Judging from comparing with my 89 and 91Strat Plus guitars, that singe screw hole is right about where it should be. No way to tell for sure tho'....
 

Butcher of Strats

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 28, 2022
3,866
Maine
Judging from comparing with my 89 and 91Strat Plus guitars, that singe screw hole is right about where it should be. No way to tell for sure tho'....
Well right, but if the screw hole is right for a USA body, then new holes would get drilled to mount an ill fitting aftermarket guard.
Again this proves nothing, just a red flag.
Ive been fixing Fender and fake Fender guitar for 40 years, so looked under lots of guards.

Could indeed be an elder and that is why so many red flags.
Oddly there have been comments in this thread about pics with both one and two string trees, but some of those pics seem to be missing?
Just too much looking iffy to be confident in the listing.

I dont even know if you are actually confident?
Or maybe just arguing each red flag discusdion point from a devils advocate position?
I dont think any of us looking at the provided pics are truly confident the listing is legit and a safe purchase for a buyer who says they do not know how to tell if an old beat up somewhat altered Strat is legit?
 

Exhead

Strat-Tinkerer
Jun 19, 2014
3,032
Temples of Syrinx
My $.02 is always to go lay hands on the item, turn the knobs, look down the neck, plug it in if you can, look up serial on the spot, point out any issues or obvious changes from original and make an offer. Strike while the iron is hot and keep in mind the used market is sh!te right now so you could get a good deal if you jump on it.
 
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