View Full Version : Restoring a 1963 Strat. Looking for info resources
01-09-2011, 03:57 PM
It's a '63 in very good shape but a couple parts have been swapped for newer versions - I have no idea why. I'm hoping to find a resource which explains all the different components throughout the history of the Strat, especially during the pre-CBS era. And maybe some advice on selling restorations (e.g. is it worth it to find EVERY piece from the correct year? Is it worth it to find perfect examples of each piece or does a certain amount of wear and patina have good resale value?. Etc.)
There may be a book or two that explains all this - I'd be willing to buy them. But there must be a few sources online as well.
01-09-2011, 04:03 PM
But there must be a few sources online as well.
I believe you are at the online source here at TGP!!!!
01-09-2011, 04:06 PM
Great resource here; http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fender.html
01-09-2011, 04:12 PM
Good point, ricoh! ;)
I was hoping for something that I could page through, something comprehensive which I could plow into. I'd like to dig deep and climb towards expert level on Strat restorations so that I can do this right, and if it goes well I may continue with the hobby.
1) I need to buy pickups from '63 - should I expect a wide variety of sound, impedance, and quality from used pickups? Other than eBay and gBase, are there great sources for vintage pickups?
2) The body was refinished decently but there's room for improvement - should I have it refinished? Any tips along these lines? Should I find another body from '63 in better shape? I don't yet understand the true value of an untouched '63 Strat body, both from the standpoint of sound and resale value.
01-09-2011, 04:13 PM
Great resource here; http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fender.html (http://home.provide.net/%7Ecfh/fender.html)
I did find that page last night and it was incredibly helpful. It didn't talk much about the process of restoring (what's necessary, what's irrelevant, what's mandatory, what's a bad idea, etc.).
01-09-2011, 04:16 PM
I'm sure it will make a difference with what people suggest if your looking to make it into a players guitar or a collectors guitar. With these old guitars becoming more and more scarce...the "devalue" of a refin isnt what it once was. (My understanding anyway).
01-09-2011, 04:31 PM
Good point also. Knowing my goal is important.
I think I'm ultimately looking to sell it, willing to take 6 months or a year to find all the parts and get it back into shape, and wanting to use it as a player during that time.
01-10-2011, 02:14 AM
Any other ideas? Hard copies maybe?
01-10-2011, 06:59 AM
I think having the original body as a refin will get you more money (and is better imho) than investing in another body ... read expensive. You might consider having someone slightly relic the refin if you're not loving it as is.
If it were me, I'd just put really good pickups in it. Again, if you start investing in vintage pickup, there's no guarantee you will get your money back since they are not original to that guitar. Someone might just love the tone of current production throw back pickups and want the option of upgrading to stock in their own time. Sometimes those old pickups don't sound agreeable to modern players.
It is what it is, it's a matter of finding the right buyer and enjoying it while you have it.
01-10-2011, 07:13 AM
Good comments so far. The http://home.provide.net/~cfh/fender.html link is a great free resource. You can find tons of books on old Fenders at http://www.jklutherie.com/.
If you were restoring a family heirloom or something nostalgic, it would be easier to answer your question. I would then recommend getting the parts over time and restoring it as close to original as possible.
Since it has a refin, it will be considered more of a player guitar. Also, since you've already said you're going to sell it, that means you don't want to put any money into it that you can't get back later.
One option is to sell it "as is", but you'll want to offer a blow-by-blow description of everything, including any non-original items. My experience is that paying retail for original parts does NOT pay off when you resell unless you have a very nice, mostly original specimen. But if the body is refinished and the pickups are swapped, that is a tremendous amount of devaluation already, and I would wonder what else might be changed.
01-10-2011, 09:03 AM
If you're looking to sell, just keep it as is. You'll end up losing money trying to bring it back to stock since it sounds like it's been modded quite a bit anyway. Because of the refin, you'll never be able to get it back to truly stock spec so it's a bit of a waste anyway. I'd just enjoy the guitar and then sell it for what you have in it in a few years.
01-26-2011, 12:36 AM
it sounds like it's been modded quite a bit anyway.
Only a few parts had been swapped for newer (the pickups were the big one, though I've since found and installed '63s again, which are amazing pups). All that's left are the tuners and the saddles, which I'll only swap at the very end since I prefer how these perform.
01-26-2011, 08:16 AM
A.R. Duchossoir's "Fender Stratocaster" is the most comprehensive book I have seen as concerns running down the year-by-year specs and changes in both text and photos.
01-26-2011, 08:20 AM
Even with 63 pickups, they are not the original pickups. You should look around some at what these are actually going for. The guitar like you originally had it would probably be somewhere around 10k at the most. You will probably not increase the value of the instrument enough to cover the value of the parts you are getting
These are not moving for what the were three years ago
01-26-2011, 08:28 AM
Assuming the refin is just poorly done, you could invest in a "name-brand" refin/relic by someone who's got a good name and some cache. I think as far as refin's go, that'll help you maximize value. Re: tracking down old pickups, it's a bit of a crap shoot. I think eBay would be quite sketchy for finding pickups that you could properly date and then also guarantee proper performance. I'll echo the other sentiments that you could drop some nice pickups in there and call it a day. I'd personally recommend some Lollars. You could even call Jason, let him know about the guitar and have him whip up something a little special. I'm sure he'd have some cool ideas of what to do for a 63 Strat that'd be quite nice.
Edited to note - I see you've actually found some 63 pups since you posted this. Impressive. Good luck with the restoration.
01-26-2011, 09:16 AM
Bill Callaham can likely help on a refin, ideas on parts, correct era components and the like. He's not the only one of course, but someone I know that REALLY knows what he's talking about when it comes to these buggers.
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