A buddy has a '74 hard tail he wants to trade me but it has been routed for buckers. It has the original pickups and guard in it now (it actually plays fantastic and is extra light). Any idea how much to take off?
I'd knock off at least 40% assuming he's asking a stout price. Since you didn't indicate what he's asking for it, it's really kind of hard to say given mid 70s Strat asking prices are all over the board. The general rule of thumb on refins or routes to the body or headstock cracks is 50%. , but since it's a 70s Strat instead of a 50s Strat, the discount adjustment may be less.
He's wanting around 2000-2200 or my '66 Deluxe Reverb straight up. I bought the amp from him and it is in fair to good shape with a reversible mod to take the negative feedback loop off. He has the original speaker and I would take my blue dog out. Has a bathtub route but is light and really resonant and is a special player. PU's sound fantastic. Probably a pretty good deal for both of us if I can verify that the pu's and everything else is original.
What does he want for the guitar? If it seems fair to you then buy it. No way is that enough of an issue on a 74 to devalue it by 40%. An otherwise no issue 56 strat then maybe. A mint 74 will never reach the high values of 50s and 60s Fenders. In other words the rout is not that big an issue on that particiular guitar.
1974 Strats on Gbase are $3500 to $4500. Even assuming the lower end of this price range is considered "stout" (which dealers asking prices usually are), what if you knock 40% off for a route like I said? Hmmmm, that's $2100. Frank, your 2K figure is even MORE than 40% off.
And while you might not consider that route that big of a deal for that particular guitar, we thought the exact same thing when we routed Jimmy McKnight's 64 Strat back in 1978. After all, it wasn't worth that much either. It was 14 year old guitar with a somewhat banged up, dull finish and putting a humbucker in the bridge like EVH seemed to be the thing to do.
True, a 74 will never be worth as much as a 50s or 60s Strat, but that's not the point. A 70s Strat is not a $300 guitar anymore. You may not think having a routed out body is a big deal now, but never say never.
But of course, if you're just looking for a player and not an investment, you may not care. But even issues guitars are investments. Even though you're talking hundreds of dollars in variable instead of thousands of dollars like 50s or 60s Strats, you still want to buy into the guitar at a fair price for what you're getting. At least I do. Issues guitars will ride up in value like nonissues guitars. If they didn't, my 59 refin Strat would still be worth 600 bucks like I paid for it, right?