Poor paint job on US Strat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Snicky, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Snicky

    Snicky New Member!

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    Hello everyone!

    Just picked up a used American Performer from 2018.
    The previous owner said he never played it, since he's an acoustic guy, so it has been sitting in the bag the whole time. Judging by the complete lack of mini scratches, I'm confident in him stating the truth.

    Sadly though, the guitar has a big fat spot in the paint job, right where you rest you right arm, that looks like the paint is lifting of the body. Its very bumpy with a little "ring" towards the pickguard, as if the paint has been pushed into that direction. Its very difficult to get on picture, but I tried my best:

    PXL_20210416_161458766.jpg PXL_20210416_161455956.jpg PXL_20210416_152440878.jpg PXL_20210416_150757615.jpg

    In addition to that, there is a gap between the neck and body, the fretends are very sharp and there is a very bad orange peel on one side of the neck joint, that looks and feels like an amateur did it with a spray can. Im usually not a quality snob, and even have a bunch of <100€ guitars that are all absolutely perfect. Despite me really enjoying it, I have to say that this US Strat is sadly the worst guitar I ever picked up in terms of quality...

    Does anybody know if thats just a general issue with matte finishes and if there's any chance of getting a replacement body from Fender, despite having bought second hand?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes that’s pretty typical of a matte finish. It will wear and eventually polish itself in the play area. The frets being sharp is also typical of any wooden instrument with metal frets. From low end to high end, get a humidifier/dehumidifier and make sure it’s stored properly at 45-50% humidity.

    The neck gap is also pretty typical. I see nothing wrong with that guitar at all.
     
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  3. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    I wouldn't say a widespread issue with the satin finishes but having played a few American Performers with that type of finish I can say that some of them do feel like a thin plastic wrap over the body instead of a sprayed on finish while the glossy finishes feel like a normal Fender glossy finish. Maybe just me, but I never quite got that "plastic wrap" feel from satin finishes done by other brands.

    The frets - probably a result of how the first owner stored it. Kind of surprising from someone with acoustics, but maybe he uses individual case humidifiers for them instead of monitoring the household humidity levels.
     
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  4. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi, @Snicky
    I think once a guitar is used, Fender can't really verify whether a flaw happened at factory quality check stages.
     
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  5. Slyy

    Slyy Strat-Talker

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    Fret sprout is easy to address with a fret file.......and very common.

    The paint inconsistency is a bummer. You might be able to polish it out if it really bothers you. Better yet, just chuck the guitar down a flight of stairs. The resulting dings will make you forget all about a little orange peel.

    Or, you could just rock the #$%^&* out of it and enjoy it the way it is. :D
     
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  6. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    Correct, and Fender only honors warranty for original purchaser so since OP bought used Fender won’t help.
     
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  7. Snicky

    Snicky New Member!

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    Alright, seems like thats just part of the matte finish.
    Don't get me wrong, this doesnt make me enjoy it any less. It plays, sounds and looks phenomenal. I just expected 0 quality issues on a US model. After having owned a couple mexican ones and cheaper guitars I guess I've been a bit too excited for my first own "real" strat ;)
    Considering the amount of hours I am about to put into it, its gonna look very different very soon anyways!
    Thanks guys for helping out, eases my initial worries!
     
  8. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    Exactly, those matte finishes look wild when they wear in. Those dimples or orange peel you have on the body is not that paint lifting it’s actually being pushing into the wood. That will probably be the first spot to wear through the finish.
     
  9. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    There's your problem.
     
  10. J4ME5

    J4ME5 Strat-O-Master

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    Willkommen :) !
     
  11. Stratafied

    Stratafied Dr. Stratster

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    Zero problem with just about anything is nearly impossible.
     
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  12. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    hmmm the little bumps on the neck pocket area seem normal to me, but...

    I'll have to raise my hand and provide the unpopular opinion: I don't think that level of wave around the forearm area is normal for a matte finish.
    But... honestly, I don't think that would bother me much, personally... especially because if that area gets played a lot, it will anyway get glossier over time and disappear

    Welcome to the forum and mind the beasts in this community :)
     
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  13. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    I don’t think that area of the forearm orange peel look came stock like it. It’s wear and the original owner maybe played it more than he said. It takes no time at all for a matte finish to start showing wear.
     
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  14. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    I sympathize with you, because from the sound of it, the seller never disclosed any of the issues before you paid for it.

    My only recommendation would be to find a good tech and have the fret sprout fixed. The other two items may be repairable, but unless either interferes with the playability, I would let them go.

    You could try to return it, if the seller is agreeable, or try for a partial refund to pay for the defects and/or the fret job.
     
  15. Colnago1

    Colnago1 Senior Stratmaster

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    Sounds like it was stored in a very dry environment with the neck joint gap and the fret sprout as a result. Matte finishes are inherently bumpy.
    Being used with these issues makes me wonder why you bought it? I’m doubting that it left the factory with any of those issues as I’ve had very good results buying new from Fender.
    Sellers of used gear are rarely honest with the amount that they actually used the item that they are selling as nobody wants to buy something that has been played to death and put through the ringer, we all want the barely played almost new guitar.
     
  16. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

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    Yah I agree. The original owner put that wear on the guitar.
     
  17. Dibbs

    Dibbs Senior Stratmaster

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    Eeerrrrtt! Back the truck up, "so it has been sitting in the bag the whole time." So, shortly after the original owner bought this Fender American, he took it out of it's hard shell case, and put it in a gig bag, where it's been, ever since ?

    Because MIAs come in HSCs...
     
  18. Downeast

    Downeast Strat-Talk Member

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    I think American performers are an exception to the hard case rule. At least the 2020 model I bought only came with a gig bag, not a hard case. It was advertised that way when I bought it.
     
  19. Lewbypls

    Lewbypls Strat-O-Master

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    The american performer never came with a hsc. They only come in a gig bag similar to the ones found on the vintera line
     
  20. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    Yep - Fender started putting the "entry level" USA models into gig bags when they introduced the Highway 1 series to be the least expensive USA model circa late 2002/early 2003; they continued to use the gig bags as that model was replaced first by the American Specials and again by the American Performers.
     
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