Advice Needed: Vintage 1969 Fender Strat

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
Good Evening,

I have stumbled into quite an interesting situation. A family member has passed along what appears to be at the least an almost fully original 3 color sunburst 1969 Stratocaster with original hard shell case. The guitar is in excellent shape for its age with only a few nicks on the body. However the original electronics are pretty corroded and it is in desperate need of a fret job.

So my first question to you is, what should my next step be? Should I have it re-fretted? And lastly, what about the electronics? I have considered simply preserving all of the current electronics and dropping in a loaded custom shop pickguard.

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
I would only do what is needed. If it needs a refret to be playable then thats is the only option there. I would only replace electronics that are not working.
Thanks for the input. Refret is definitely needed. The electronics do not currently work. Pretty much no sound except a loud hum. What would your move be for that?

Also, the tuners and bridge are pretty well rusted and gunked. Any thoughts?
 

your name here

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,658
All of what’s corroded and currently non-functional can likely be restored. I’d do a bit of research first and take it to a tech who knows vintage guitars well...

Also, you’re not allowed to start a thread like this without posting pics. It’s against the rules. :D
 

deepcove17

Member
Messages
953
Thanks for the input. Refret is definitely needed. The electronics do not currently work. Pretty much no sound except a loud hum. What would your move be for that?

Also, the tuners and bridge are pretty well rusted and gunked. Any thoughts?
As stated above find a reputable tech who works on vintage guitars to deal with electronics and corrosion issues. It is worth a few extra dollars to have it restored properly and retain as much of its value as possible.
 

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
All of what’s corroded and currently non-functional can likely be restored. I’d do a bit of research first and take it to a tech who knows vintage guitars well...

Also, you’re not allowed to start a thread like this without posting pics. It’s against the rules. :D
Well it looks like I need to find a reputable tech to take a look.

And here you go!

 

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
As stated above find a reputable tech who works on vintage guitars to deal with electronics and corrosion issues. It is worth a few extra dollars to have it restored properly and retain as much of its value as possible.
Any ballpark on what I could expect to pay? Also how much cleaning, if any, of the hardware would you allow?
 

Bassopotamus

Member
Messages
332
Any ballpark on what I could expect to pay? Also how much cleaning, if any, of the hardware would you allow?
Refrets are in the 3-600 buck range it seems like. It may just need a level and recrown, which is more like 100-150. Honestly, I’ve taken guitars in with what seemed like gnarly fret issues that were resolved by just cleaning them up

electronics depend on what’s wrong, but a strat is really simple under the hood. Probably it’s just a bad solder joint someplace, along with cleaning the pots. Even if you had to replace everything but the pickups, it’s probably under 100 bucks parts and labor.

as for cleaning the hardware, I’d leave anything that doesn’t impede function. What I see In the pic (at least in my phone) is pretty clean. This looks like a great score that isn’t too far away from ready to rock
 

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
Refrets are in the 3-600 buck range it seems like. It may just need a level and recrown, which is more like 100-150. Honestly, I’ve taken guitars in with what seemed like gnarly fret issues that were resolved by just cleaning them up

electronics depend on what’s wrong, but a strat is really simple under the hood. Probably it’s just a bad solder joint someplace, along with cleaning the pots. Even if you had to replace everything but the pickups, it’s probably under 100 bucks parts and labor.

as for cleaning the hardware, I’d leave anything that doesn’t impede function. What I see In the pic (at least in my phone) is pretty clean. This looks like a great score that isn’t too far away from ready to rock
Awesome. Does anyone have any suggestions for someone in the Southeast? Hopefully in the Carolinas or Georgia.
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,990
Hit the frets with some 0000 steel wool or synthetic equivelant. If you use SW mask the pickups or take the neck off. If the pickups make sound leave them alone. Spray the pots if they are scratchy. I don't see any corrosion worth worrying about on a phone. Polishing the frets is about as difficult as falling off a log and hardly takes more time. Likewise most "corrosion" can be dealt with with elbow grease. Don't **** with working pickups. The less you do the better. Clear enough?
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,990
I read a little more closely. My guess is the Jack is dirty or not connected...broken wire or solder joint. Most of that other stuff can be cleaned up or at worst replaced. Note that the Fender Schaller tuners changed somewhat mid 70s or so.
 

bandmaster

Member
Messages
765
Well it looks like I need to find a reputable tech to take a look.

And here you go!

A Strat in that condition, I highly doubt that there is a major problem with the electronics. Probably just a broken or cold solder joint or something else really minor. Find a luthier/tech who is familiar on how to tread vintage guitars. He would know how to do a correct re-fret and how to work on the electronics.
Why don't you contact Hogy here from the TGP, he would be a good guy to talk too.
 

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
Hit the frets with some 0000 steel wool or synthetic equivelant. If you use SW mask the pickups or take the neck off. If the pickups make sound leave them alone. Spray the pots if they are scratchy. I don't see any corrosion worth worrying about on a phone. Polishing the frets is about as difficult as falling off a log and hardly takes more time. Likewise most "corrosion" can be dealt with with elbow grease. Don't **** with working pickups. The less you do the better. Clear enough?
I read a little more closely. My guess is the Jack is dirty or not connected...broken wire or solder joint. Most of that other stuff can be cleaned up or at worst replaced. Note that the Fender Schaller tuners changed somewhat mid 70s or so.
I greatly appreciate all of that info!
 

Hugh Honey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
114
That looks very very clean.

Do _not_ under any circumstance polish or otherwise “restore” any hardware on that guitar. You will destroy any value.

Definitely take it to a reputable tech and have them check it over :)
Gotcha on the hardware. Once I find a tech, the goal will just be playability for everything.
 




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