So when did the skunk come back?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by SpeedKing, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    I'm currently building a partscaster tribute to Blackmore's 'Machine Head' strat ... a 3tsb 4 bolt '71 with one piece neck and the decal with the large' with synchronised tremelo' bit since I thought until a few months ago that Fender didn't make such a thing.

    In the last few months I've seen what appears to be a genuine Japanese Fender from the 80s that is almost right... It's all correct except for the decal missing the aforementioned 'wst' text and the usual early Japanese incorrect '62 guard screw pattern which is easily fixed... the decal too ultimately but not without cost. Correct 12th dot spacing but this example was blonde so either a respray or new body but it does seem they're out there.

    Now I see a GF Masterbuilt Custom Shop '69 run advertised rather than with the usual maple cap (most desired) or (boring) standard rosewood board now with the one piece neck with skunk and walnut dot. Right decal too. Mind you they want about £3,000 for one and still don't do it in sunburst. Oh and the neck has a 9.5 radius so not perfect and is about £1250 without tuners from Stratosphere if you please. I don't know what the Japanese was but 7.25 would be my guess.

    So my question anyway, for the historians is when did the skunk first return on the 4 bolt neck? Any early examples owned here? Was it '69? I'd always thought it was just from 1970 sometime through till it was all 3 bolts (I believe there are very odd examples of 4 bolts in '72) so just a few months but were they about for three years then.... '69, '70 and 71?

    If there were why then are there also maple caps from 70 (poss '71 too for all I know). Would they really produce maple fretboard guitars using two separate techniques at the same time or is there a cut off date?

    Just to satisfy my curiosity....
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  2. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    Here's the '84 Japanese version .... also has incorrect tuners and too many string trees ... unless it's their version of the 5 year old at that time US 25th Anniversary model of course ..which did come with two different tuner styles I believe.

    plrhj3yip3cxfqlktyvg.jpg

    And the CS ...

    190327341450008-3726303f.jpg
     
  3. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    OK.

    Ignore the 'Japanese' guitar above. That neck IS from an anniversary model as established elsewhere previously.

    My query still stands ... who has the earliest '60s strat neck with skunk .. indeed does one even exist?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  4. kurher

    kurher Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    404
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    3rd Stone from the Sun
    Maple necks were first listed on the March 1970 price list, although they were already available in '69 on the Telecaster. There's always a transition period so, everything after that were probably leftovers.
    I've never seen one made before '70.
     
  5. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks kurher ... that fits with my understanding.

    Maple caps were in fact available as a special order right through the '60s ... there are certainly some small headstock maple caps about but they became a standard 'option' from about '66 or '67 I believe.

    Browsing random old sales pages last night I found a '71 with one piece neck and a '71 maple cap so on the assumption they weren't fakes it seems Fender was making maple board strats using both techniques for a while....
     
  6. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    No?

    Nobody here seen a one piece neck after the 50s any earlier than '71?

    Nobody seen one from '70 or even '69? If you have do you have links or pictures?
     
  7. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,362
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
    I always thought maple caps were kind of common from 68 until 70. Never seen a picture of a one piece maple neck from that period. I was surprised to find out a few months back that in 71 the one piece maple neck with skunk and walnut plug had a brief reappearance before the bullet/3-bolt. But everything is possible with Fender I guess.
     
  8. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    Well you know Ritchie's sunburst from the Beat Club session in late '71 is just that ... a 4 bolt but one piece neck.

    As I said I'm just asking as I'm building my partscaster tribute to that guitar and thought up until a few weeks ago that Fender didn't make such a reissue but I've now found this Greg Fessler Mastbuilt which is correct in all features save for the radius ... it has the more modern 9.5.

    My question stems from the fact that they call it a '69 reissue when I like you thought at this point anything with a maple board was a maple cap neck. I assumed they built maple caps only until they changed to the one piece construction for maple boards very late and just before the change to the 3 bolt but as I said I've now seen maple cap examples from '71!

    My theory still works if the first one piece necks were indeed '71... after the maple caps were finished and just for those few months. If anyone has actually seen a one piece neck from significantly earlier that theory is disproved.
     
    rafasounds likes this.
  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,242
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    It came back the first evening after I put the bird feeder back up :eek:...I'll let myself out :oops:.
     
    Wrighty likes this.
  10. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    .... shut the door.

    :p
     
    stormsedge and Wrighty like this.
  11. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,362
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/1-piece-vs-2-piece-maple-neck.530839/

    In this thread from TDPRI some people are suggesting that the one piece maple neck came back in 69. So maybe the two versions (cap/one piece) coexisted for a while. We would need more evidence.

    Also found this thread from ST:

    https://www.strat-talk.com/threads/maple-cap-neck-vs-1-piece-maple.84296/

    More people saying that the one piece maple neck came back in 69.

    Also these:

    https://www.harmonycentral.com/forums/topic/1133584-fender-strat-necksslab-maple-or-fingerboard/

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...-without-the-skunk-stripe-in-the-70s.1089689/
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  12. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,362
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
  13. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    Well it rather appears then that from sometime in '69 through till the advent of the 3 bolts in '71 Fender made maple board strats using both methods... a one piece construction AND the maple cap method... although the cap seems to dominate the numbers somewhat.
     
    rafasounds likes this.