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1973 Strat Pickups

occimoron

Member
Messages
29
I've got a 1973 strat, slightly dismantled, and I'm going to put it back together. I'm wondering whether to use the original pickups, which I remember as being pretty thin sounding, or use something else. I had some humbuckers in there for a long time (vintage rails, cool rails), cuz I wanted a smoother tone, but that was when this was my only guitar. I've got others now and this should sound like a strat again. And I'd like to take it back to the original look. Anybody know about the strat pickups of this era?

Thanks.
 

Baxtercat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,709
My '71 had grey bottoms [the bobbins].
Absolutely killer, if you can work with clean...
Pretty much what the newer Custom Shop '69s are modeled after.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,472
I had a 72 strat, 3 greybottoms, each coil had its own particular shape, and they had classic strat tone - as noted a bit on the clean side, very Blackmoore sounding through the right amp. But really no more mojo than any of the decent quality imitations available today.

Two of them eventually failed back in the early 80s. I had no knowledge of pickup re-winding then (couldn't have afforded it anyway) so I did autopsies and pitched them (IIRC the magnets floated around in a junk drawer for about a decade.) I sold the third pickup a couple years ago for more than the price paid for the entire guitar.

You need to decide whether or not you want to maintain a vintage instrument. If the guitar has not been substantially altered and is otherwise period correct, keeping the pickups keeps the value. Personally I do not consider three bolts to be anything special, but the market says otherwise and prices have been rising to serious levels.

If the guitar has been altered enough to limit its collector value then I'd consider selling those pickups and using the proceeds to finance a nice set of high quality aftermarkets that can deliver the exact sound you want (e.g. Lollars, Fralins, etc.)
 

occimoron

Member
Messages
29
The guitar has one serious mod: a Kahler trem was added to the previous hard-tail body. I'm not really wild about the chunky neck or the thick finish on it either, so I'm thinking of selling it to finance a good, newer strat. Wonder what I could get for it? I've got most of the original parts.
 

curtis

Member
Messages
155
The guitar has one serious mod: a Kahler trem was added to the previous hard-tail body. I'm not really wild about the chunky neck or the thick finish on it either, so I'm thinking of selling it to finance a good, newer strat. Wonder what I could get for it? I've got most of the original parts.
have a look on Gbase.com, should be useful for valuing the guitar.
Upgrade and get something you love and playing is what I'd suggest, the 70's stuff is going up in price fast (at least here in the UK) so you may be able to virtually swap it for something you'll get a lot of use from

cheers
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,520
I found a Squier Strat I got for $75 a few years ago. Its around 1990 build. It played and felt too good, but sounded thin with cheap ceramic pickups. I had 73 strat pickups and put them in. I have that Strat and and EJ Strat. They sound different and out standing. The 73's give it a pure vintage tone. The 73's are worth a few Squier Strats.
 
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occimoron

Member
Messages
29
Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm taking it to my guitar man tomorrow to have the original PU's installed. We'll see. I'll let you know. I have 2 other strats: a '94 40th anniversary American with Fender noiseless PU's, (great all around tone; I didn't like the original Tex Specials) and a mid 90's MIM Tex Mex with Tex Mex PU's (this sucker quacks!). It will be fun to compare the 3 of 'em.
 




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