Soldering - original vs non-original

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by ThomasKoch, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. ThomasKoch

    ThomasKoch Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi guys

    One aspect of vintage fenders that I still havent quite figured out is how to distinguish original soldering from one that has been redone.

    Anyone got some good comparison-pictures and/or some tips on how to tell that the solderings are untouched?

    Much appreciated.

    Br Thomas
     
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  2. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Almost impossible. Newer solder will be less tarnished, but after 5, 10, 20 years...
     
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  3. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    How tarnished it is. If there are signs of spillage or sloppiness. If different parts of the solder joints show different discolorations...
     
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  4. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Unless it looks like scrambled egg...
     
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  5. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    Usually if it looks clean even with the tarnish chances are it’s original. You can always tell a crappy solder job, it is hard to tell a good job being original which is the whole point. Who wants their work to look like a snot weld.

    Just have to have a good eye and look for pot date and/or switch date codes. If it doesn’t match up then you know something has been replaced.
     
  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    It's not that you can tell it's original; it's whether there's evidence it's been redone. If there's solder in 3 places, and scorch marks etc. then you know somebody's been messing with it. If you see two solder joints are a different color, you know they're not from the same time. And of course, if one of the components isn't period correct (you find an 80s pot or vinyl insulation in a 60s guitar) then you probably know you need to look even more closely.

    It would be difficult to make a solder joint today look just like the ones from the 1960s. The original solder joins will be tarnished while the new one's shiny. They'll be made of different solder compounds, too, unless somebody saved a roll of solder from the 60s. The stuff that was standard in 1960 isn't available new anymore.
     
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  7. BuddhaFingas

    BuddhaFingas Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    So you're all saying I could make a fair amount of coin with my secret process which can make new solder tarnish to any degree desired?

    Also:

    20210624_163909.jpg

    Make me an offer.

    No low-ballers; I know what I got.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
  8. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Platinum Supporting Member

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    Ya want some chips with that solder?

    temp3.jpg
     
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  9. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Silver Member

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    You all pronounce this "sodder" right?? :confused:
     
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  10. BlurgyWurgyWibble

    BlurgyWurgyWibble Strat-O-Master

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    Depending on the vintage the soldering was done from the bottom (60's pre cbs) generally on eyelet boards. That created a mushroom like dome of solder on the "top" which is quite distinctive and quite difficult to reproduce. Not that you can't, but I can't .. :)

    Its true about not really being able to tell. An old solder joint looks much like any other after a certain amount of time. I'm sure super experienced techs can tell by eyeballing if its very likely "factory" or not but I've recently removed stuff from an old Fender which I thought was factory that had the wrong value completely and so it can't have been ..

    I guess tl;dr: if you're really good and a pro at what you do, I'm sure they can pretty accurately assess originality. Most of us can't.

    Also, fwiw, I reflow all the solder joints in old amps with lead solder as part of the "servicing" process. So there's that .. lol
     
  11. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Like hell. o_O
     
  12. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Lead/tin solders have been used since Eddison was in short trousers, so unless you're prepared to do a chemical analysis to determine what, if any, trace elements or residual flux is present, any use of lead/tin solders is unlikely to yield results.

    Electric soldering irons were invented by Ernst Sachs in 1921, apparently, so no help there either.
     
  13. ThomasKoch

    ThomasKoch Strat-Talk Member

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    Lost of good pointers, but hard to really get without pictures. It would be awesome with some pictures to show examples of the below.

     
  14. BuddhaFingas

    BuddhaFingas Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes; in recognition of the majority of results you see.
     
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  15. ThomasKoch

    ThomasKoch Strat-Talk Member

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    And there was silence…

    Does anyone have just one picture of a verified original solder and one that was redone? For comparison.
     
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  16. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Platinum Supporting Member

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    If you pour wine into a glass and try to guess it's vintage just from looking at it can you? About the only thing that might give a clue is if there is any flux. Old fluxes are a clue but not a dead give away. If a old oxidized joint gets reflowed it would look like any other joint. So much depends on the environment in which the solder joint has been in. I have seen solder joints of only a decade old that look like they were from the 1940s. Conversely, I have opened up some old radios that were point to point wiring and the solder is still bright and shiny.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
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  17. crashbelt

    crashbelt Strat-O-Master

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    My vintage guitar tech can replicate an original old solder joint really well. I certainly can't spot them and I'd love to see if real vintage guitar experts would be able to identify them as non-original.
     
  18. ThomasKoch

    ThomasKoch Strat-Talk Member

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    Its just so funny how often you see the statement “untouched original solders”. When it can quite easily be faked, and in fact one can only state if it is definitely un-original…

    thanks for the inputs y’all!
     
  19. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Here ya go. One redone, the other original--I think you can tell which is which. These are from a 2000 MIM Strat. mim harness.jpg
     
  20. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Thank God elephants don't fly.




    Ya.. my electronics teacher used to say that all the time.
     
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