Are 1970s strats desirable?

Ryno1331

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Edit - due to responses. I'm not looking at buying one just was very surprised by the prices considering the sterotypes I've heard.

https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/listing/fender-stratocaster-sunburst-1970-s122/22030338

Browsing through the fall CME sale for fun and saw this. There was also a 1974 for somewhere around $3,500. I guess I thought 50's and 60's guitars were collectible but now 70s? For some reason I thought they weren't as popular (could just be a false stereotype I heard).
 
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Stratman Dan

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Well, the kids of the 70's are quickly becoming the old farts of the 50's and 60's....

So..... like their predecessors, they want to remember their childhoods....and said childhood had guitars and cars from the 70's.

I would back the truck up and pray you are correct.
 
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There were some fairly nice ones. Awesome? I didn't find that.

The thing to make note of is, people had such low opinions of them, that some of the nicer ones got used up and tossed. In some instances the rejects and the heavy ones persisted. The ones I've played recently, that sounded great, were heavy and you just IMO have to accept that - there was a time when heavy was considered very acceptable. Lots of young fit players with young, limber backs and the fresh folks can tolerate that weight.
 

MkIIC+

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My '78 Strat was a dog. It was a three bolt model. Easily the hardest guitar to play that I've ever owned. Even with a pro setup, the neck just wasn't right. I've got a Select Strat and an American Standard that just blow it away.

The 1970 listed above probably plays better but I can't see playing $7000 for it when you could by a brand new one for $1-2k or pony up the dough and order something from their custom shop. You probably could even order one to the exact specs of a 1970 and relic it for less.
 

Fitzer

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1,780
1970 in certain color and fretboard combinations are pretty valuable due to Hendrix. 70s Strats are collectible now, but there are a lot of dogs out there. I like ones that aren’t too heavy and escaped with a thin finish. Most have modern style thicker finishes, and for reasons totally beyond me, some have thin vintage style finishes that wear really nicely (even later 70s ones). They are kind of fun to hunt down due to the inconsistency. The good ones are pretty good!
 
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I had a '73 sunburst that was just a stellar guitar and I owned it while working in a shop that had a small stable of proper vintage strats, everyone knew what a great guitar it was. But, yes, it was fairly light, great neck, great chimey pickups, lots of checking for that era and was a well played road warrior along with a top notch refret. Previously owned by a west coast fusion cat & session player. I used to run it through a Twin Reverb fitted with Gauss PA speakers, holy fat tone that amp must have weighed 100 pounds but I was 24 years old, no big deal. I sold the strat at a $200 profit thinking I'd run into another one at a great price, those days have passed.

Meanwhile, there's no shortage of flat fret caked on finish heavy duty machines from that era that will survive WW3 so play'em and find out for yourself.



As for price, a 70's Strat is no more a $3,000 guitar than a 50's Strat is a $30,000 guitar IMO. Who cares what you pay if you like it. Don't let the ****ing 3 lick snob brigade tell you what guitar is "for professionals" or some stupid crap like that. Be your own man.
 

derekd

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I remain open but every Fender from the 70s I've run across had issues. I'm sure they made some fine guitars during that era but I've not seen one.

Gibson's Norlin era is over criticized from my experience. I have played and owned 70s Gibsons that were golden. You probably have to be a bit diligent about what you are getting into.

Good luck with it.
 

Ryno1331

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2,421
Hhmmm judging by some of the responses I'm not sure my post was read or understood. I'm not looking at one, just was very surprised by a 7k pricetag (on sale) for a 70s strat.
 

chrisjnyc

Supporting Member
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6,288
It's more of a long view, and that its going to be worth a lot more in 10-20 years. Same thing for 70's Gibsons. You could buy them for cheap, but they are edging up now. Still too many dogs out there to buy online\without trying it...
 

MKB

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In one way the 70s Strat pricing is a bit hard to believe, as around here back in the day it was well known many of them were not that good. Apart from the quality issues and weight, they had the dense bodies and thin sounding pickups, not a pleasant guitar to crank through a NMV Marshall (though some players like Robin Trower might digress). But I'd imagine that same wimpy sounding guitar might rule through modern amps\modelers and effects, as the newer gear can work much better with weaker pickups.

That being said, IMHO the 70s Strats have a very unique feel to the neck, something about the shape and radius, and I actually miss that quality from the ones I've owned. I haven't played a newer Fender that had that feel. My last late 70s Strat was extremely well set up, and it was a player for sure. It might be the only Strat I miss out of all I've owned.
 

Flogger59

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10,781
The first half of the 70s Strats were OK with a lot of good ones. Past 76 a few things happened. They sourced some really heavy ash, but weight meant sustain back in the day. Sustain was the holy grail, and a whole industry grew around brass parts.

Die cast bridge saddles played a role in the suck.

Machine tolerances drifted a lot as the decade went on resulting in the neck pockets that we know and hate.

Compensation went from hourly to piecework and body contours became but a rumour.

In order to delay wear marks on maple boards a thick layer of poly went over the frets. New 78-79-80 Strats were pretty much unplayable to me just for that, never mind the 12 pounds of creaky plink that came with it.
 

COYS

Member
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5,174
It seems the only times you hear people pining for 1970s Fenders is when they want a "birth year" strat.

Between the 3-bolt neck, large headstock, heavy weight, and often spotty workmanship... that might be the only reason I'd want one...
 

killer blues

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3,043
Edit - due to responses. I'm not looking at buying one just was very surprised by the prices considering the sterotypes I've heard.

https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/listing/fender-stratocaster-sunburst-1970-s122/22030338

Browsing through the fall CME sale for fun and saw this. There was also a 1974 for somewhere around $3,500. I guess I thought 50's and 60's guitars were collectible but now 70s? For some reason I thought they weren't as popular (could just be a false stereotype I heard).
70-71 I've played some excellent ones. Nothing after that though. 75-79 all dogs except for that 25th anniversary model with the 4 screw neck.That was a decent guitar.
 

drbob1

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26,833
The "interesting" Telecasters with the Wide Range pickups started in the early 70s, so if you like that sound you're stuck with that era. Some of them are sublime. I have a Thinline from 73 that sounds really good. When "This is Me Laughing" borrowed some gear to record, out of all my guitars that's the one they settled on as their favorite. OTOH, I've got a 73 custom that's just OK. Strats are similar, there can be really good ones and "meh" ones. But they are vintage now, like it or not, and command a premium. CME's prices are aspirational, they'd probably take a little less if someone really wanted that guitar BUT I'd want to play a 70 before I dropped big money on it to be sure it was the right guitar for ME. Oh, and it's no more egregious than Harmony guitars selling for $1k now, or a Teisco Spectrum selling for $3k because Eddy played one, not because it's anything great mechanically!
 




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