Thoughts on 3 bolt 70s Strats?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by OutstandingBill, Nov 8, 2020.

How was yours?

Poll closed Nov 15, 2020.
  1. Love it

    34 vote(s)
    43.0%
  2. Pretty good

    13 vote(s)
    16.5%
  3. OK

    12 vote(s)
    15.2%
  4. Meh

    9 vote(s)
    11.4%
  5. Awful

    11 vote(s)
    13.9%
  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Age:
    65
    Messages:
    283
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    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Northants England
    Having played in bands in the 70's I was a sucker to trade my 63 strat for a new cbs, it was mainly the micro-tilt that made it unstable so I shimmed it, great pups and sounded great but the build was nowhere near as good as my 60's one, my biggest mistake ever.
     
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  2. Strums

    Strums Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    755
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    CO
    I had a '77 for 38 yrs. Completely stock. No problems at all with the 3 bolt neck or anything else on the guitar.
     
  3. Kester

    Kester Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Halesowen, England
    I've grown to quite like the big headstock look but don't own one. I quite like the idea of a late 70s strat for some reason. However, they tend to weigh a ton and the body contours, or lack of, are unattractive. And all the ones I've played have had a fairly large C neck with very little taper.
     
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  4. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
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    3,518
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    Feb 11, 2019
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I had a brand new Strat in 1979. A boat anchor, and it just didn’t feel like a Stratocaster. Traded it even up for a Les Paul.
     
  5. train

    train Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Messages:
    244
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    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    L.S.D. US
    Man that’s funny . Good joke thanks , I needed a laugh
     
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  6. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    64
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    Santa Rosa, CA
    Not kidding.
     
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  7. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Oregon
    Sadly my 79 is gone, but the good news is that it now resides with my son. It was his to begin with. But I do have a Vintera 70’s Strat. And it plays just as good, and the neck pup sounds even better than my old one did. It would have been better with rosewood though, instead of the Pau Ferro. If any body has a Vintera 70’s Strat in mocha, I might be interested. Maybe trade my American special. Just F.Y.I. My Vintera is my favorite Strat, and the neck is just slightly bigger than the 79 was. image.jpg
     
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  8. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Oregon
    Oh by the way, the neck pockets on the 2 Vinteras I’ve had is tight. No slop whatsoever. In some ways they are better than the real deal old ones.
     
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  9. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Messages:
    711
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    pennsyltucky
    My 76 is pretty good.
    Lotsa buffing compound in the cavity, a jack plate where the screw barely hits the wood and neck pocket a little big...but when I sock it down it doesn't shift, and the guitar stays in tune and is gig worthy.
    About 7.75#
    Sounds like a Strat should, so that's good.
    I like it.
     
  10. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,758
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Location:
    SoCal
    I had a '78 Antigua
    Traded it for a '79 Silver Anniversary
    Traded it back 2 weeks later (store owner was cool, even trade both times)
    Biggest mistake in my GAS history was trading it for a Kramer "Tuning Fork" DMZ series a couple of years later.

    The '78 was fretting out on bends above the 12th. I strapped it to my bicycle and rode to the Fender factory on Valencia.
    The tech looked at it, raised the action slightly, and said that I had the best neck he had ever seen leave that factory, not to let anyone touch it.

    By comparison, I hated the '79 Anniversary.
    The pickup output was low and dull. The neck just didn't feel right... played slow and heavy.

    Both were beasts that were as heavy as my Les Paul.
     
  11. Malurkey

    Malurkey Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,377
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I only ever played one 70’s Strat: A 1977 one.

    What most struck me was the incredible weight of the guitar and the severe 3-tone burst that went from black to bright orange to nearly white.
     
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  12. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,330
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    Aug 25, 2011
    Location:
    Brazil
    I agree. The neck pocket is what's crucial, not the number of bolts. One could use 10 bolts and it would not make a difference. I have a 3-bolt Jazz Bass and it's just as stable as anything else, given the tight neck pocket.
     
  13. crashbelt

    crashbelt Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    683
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Location:
    England
    20201106_152223.jpg
    I have tried a few bad 70s Strats over the years.

    But my 74 hardtail is great. Blonde over lightweight Ash body. Staggered pole p'ups, tight neck pocket. Tuners were shot so were replaced and I put in a 5 way.

    It holds its own with my 65 and is very funky Nile Rogers sounding.
     
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  14. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,532
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    I recently moved my 78 hardtail upstairs to the livingroom so I could use it for learning/practicing. My EC is tuned Eb for now so I needed something in standard tuning. My Elite is still my #1 for the heavy lifting.
     
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  15. longboard blues

    longboard blues Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    May 13, 2019
    Location:
    The People's Republic of Melbourne
    I'd reeeeeealy like a '76 (leftie ,natch) - but the supply here in Oz is v. limited, and prices off the charts.
    I'd not buy one sight unseen, either.

    However, certain events this week have meant I can now happily visit my Bro in the USA, so there's every possibility i'll accidentally buy a vintage Strat when i'm there... i'm sure there are some vintage guitar shops in SC.... :D
     
  16. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,333
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    Jul 13, 2015
    Location:
    Foothills of the Cascades
    Most wonderfulest sounding Strat I've owned was a late seventies swampash 3-bolt hardtail. It had throat...deep, resonant, robust soul that would hold a note forever.

    I played it through a silverface Pro Reverb. Dumbest thing I ever did with regard to instruments was sell those two. Because I'm stupid.
     
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  17. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,456
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    Jun 3, 2009
    Location:
    Mobile Bay, Alabama
    Hope you land one that's a keeper! I always wanted one, and my guitar builder/ luthier has a beautiful one!
     
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  18. ptb1

    ptb1 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    56
    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2020
    Location:
    Norway
    I´ve "always" been found of the 70s design, but when I bought my first Strat it was an American Standard. After having 2 American Standards for many years, a year ago I decided to sell one of them and look for a 70s.
    I was aware of the different potential quality issues, and cheched out 3 differnt ones that was advertised nearby. Combinations of wear an/or too high asked prices (my opinion), I looked away from all of them.

    Then this showed up:
    IMG_1235 (1).JPG Well kept, no cracks or dents and close to no fret wear. And the price was fully acceptabel. So, instead of an original 70s, I ended up with an AVRI.
     
  19. train

    train Strat-Talker Silver Member

    Messages:
    244
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    L.S.D. US
    I’m thinking at least half of the ones I’ve seen had neck pocket cracks in the finish, which they never could figure out so they widen the pockets at the very end of days. Funny how that problem disappeared with the advent of smith and the new management team.I have worked on a few 79s that were played professionally and neck shifting was never a problem . All had parked trems.some were pocket reinforced . The Jimi days being long gone.
     
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  20. OutstandingBill

    OutstandingBill Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Here's mine. As I said, I love it. IMG_1436.JPG