Are 64 Stratocaster's Worth More Than

Nonvintage

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A 65 Strat. All things being equal condition wise for all original. Re Fret and a 5 way are ok for me. It seems 64's are about 3k more due to the pre CBS factor, pickguard, dots and headstock logo. I'm not interested in a Refinished one. Thoughts.
 

Adam Zaiger

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id say so, but depends on features. For example a 65 with mint guard and clay dots could equal or exceed a 63 with a white guard and celluloid dots.
 

Laurent Brondel

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Transition period, I don’t think the year matters as much as the features, if at all.

I would assume an L series would be worth a hair more than an F plate, BRW vs. EIR board, spaghetti logo vs. transition logo, green vs. white guard, clay vs. pearloid dots etc.

Also the big headstock (Sept ‘65?), would assuredly bring less. Although these days, who knows?
 

Nonvintage

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I have a 66 and want pre-cbs. I can't see getting a 65 the difference in price vs. value is too much. I know my 66 is a good one.
 

KFBR392

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Just look for a late transitional 66 with pre-CBS features (nitro, Klusons). Those are the best “value” in vintage Fender IMO because they have fat headstocks and are not “the good ones” so to speak. You’re not getting chunky pre-CBS necks or small headstocks, but you have nitro finish and good old wood and good old pickups at basically half the price of guitars that came out just a few years earlier.
 

bterry

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If the ‘64 has all pre-cbs features it’s worth a fair bit more.

After things like logos, dots, pick guards change they are equivalent to an early ‘65, essentially, and these are in a different bracket.

It’s a bit arbitrary once things start to change because some buyers could like X but not Y, etc. For example, for some people the newer plastic pick guard drops the value a lot, but for others not so much. Depends on your aesthetic preferences and what you consider pre vs post CBS, I suppose.
 

Nonvintage

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Transition logo, green guard, pearl fret dots and side dots are cool with me. FWIW, I hate clay side dots..
 

crosse79

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A 65 Strat. All things being equal condition wise for all original. Re Fret and a 5 way are ok for me. It seems 64's are about 3k more due to the pre CBS factor, pickguard, dots and headstock logo. I'm not interested in a Refinished one. Thoughts.
Well with your user name, I don't know why you are looking for one..... just kidding. Just get the L serial numbers if you're after a 65.
 
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1,553
If the 64 has the same butt ugly transitional Fender decal as a '65 I wouldn't pay a penny more, same guitar.

All guitars have to be judged on their own merits. No two alike.

Some bursts are ugly, some are not.

Weight differences.

Etc.

Honestly the break for me goes back to the veneer vs slab boards. A big cut in quality.
 
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Laurent Brondel

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I have a 66 and want pre-cbs.
The pre-CBS thing is vastly overrated, it's not like things changed overnight, it took years and to varying degrees depending on item.
For instance, the vast majority of BF amps are CBS amps.

Late '64 and early '65 are the same guitars with the features I described above overlapping, not all at once and on the same guitar necessarily, for a few months.
BTW the big headstock, and later the 3-bolt neck were Leo's ideas (and patents).

The difference between a late '64 / early '65 and your '66, besides the peghead and fretboard material, will be the pickups, they changed wire mid or late '65.
 

guitarplayer1

Silver Supporting Member
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441
I agree with a lot of what has been already posted ... I'll add: Many people associate the real change from "pre CBS" to post as the size of the headstock. Obviously that's a feature that does not require much expertise to see ..... but yes ... a '64 with those features you mentioned would typically be worth more. Of course, the real factor with those transition guitar values would be condition ... IMHO.
 

sws1

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The pre-CBS thing is vastly overrated, it's not like things changed overnight, it took years and to varying degrees depending on item.
For instance, the vast majority of BF amps are CBS amps.

Late '64 and early '65 are the same guitars with the features I described above overlapping, not all at once and on the same guitar necessarily, for a few months.
BTW the big headstock, and later the 3-bolt neck were Leo's ideas (and patents).

The difference between a late '64 / early '65 and your '66, besides the peghead and fretboard material, will be the pickups, they changed wire mid or late '65.

If you're talking sound and engineering aesthetics alone. But we're talking about collectibles, so logic goes out the window. That's why things like "cream plastic" on Les Pauls command $10k+ higher tags than ones with black plastic (despite being rarer.)
 
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1,553
Reading the 50 years of the Stratocaster Chronicles this afternoon, it seems a lot of people who saw a lot of these guitars like Gruhn and others could see quite a difference between pre and just post CBS acquisition Strats nearly right away, within a year for sure.

CBS was a nightmare from the start.

"So you make amps, can you make radios?"

"So you make guitars and amps, can you make furniture?"

I quit reading for the day right about where Don Randall tells a story of a rack of totally defective guitars, bad nuts, warped necks and worse and when he came back from lunch they'd all been boxed and shipped.

CBS had called, not enough guitars shipping, "ship all guitars now, they can be fixed by dealers in the field".
 

JordanS0012

Gold Supporting Member
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113
Reading the 50 years of the Stratocaster Chronicles this afternoon, it seems a lot of people who saw a lot of these guitars like Gruhn and others could see quite a difference between pre and just post CBS acquisition Strats nearly right away, within a year for sure.

CBS was a nightmare from the start.

"So you make amps, can you make radios?"

"So you make guitars and amps, can you make furniture?"

I quit reading for the day right about where Don Randall tells a story of a rack of totally defective guitars, bad nuts, warped necks and worse and when he came back from lunch they'd all been boxed and shipped.

CBS had called, not enough guitars shipping, "ship all guitars now, they can be fixed by dealers in the field".

I think a lot of it is aesthetic too. To this day, the bullet truss rod looks terrible, there's a reason it was never picked up by any other companies. It's so inconvenient to have to remove the neck to access the truss and yet that design choice has stuck around because it looks the best.

A lot of CBS strats have issues but other than the weight, the Jazzmasters and Telecasters are still really good guitars (while being very different than pre CBS guitars). Because of Hendrix, they were pumping out strats, and I remember reading in an article with Dan Smith that Fender had switched their payment model to pay workers based on the amount of guitars that they were able to clear. Predictably, this resulted in QC going out the window, because every guitar that was approved was a bonus, and they couldn't make enough strats anyway.

But a lot of players still made music with those guitar. Fender made a crazy amount of guitars in the 70s. To me, 66-71 guitars can vary a lot, they are still really great and sometimes they do feel just like pre cbs guitars but it is more hit and miss than the early ones, the necks feel different and the finishes feel different most of the time, although sometimes there is a big headstock strat that feels and looks just like a pre cbs one.

One of the best Fenders I've ever played is a 67 rosewood telecaster, just a perfect guitar. By 1971, the stratocasters, even with four bolts, feel pretty different, and the poly finishes wear really weird. Hendrix played a lot of big headstock strats though, and the maple cap ones are insanely rare, to me its still an insanely cool era of Fender, but once that bullet truss rod comes in everything goes to ****, and while its not as bad as people say, they do just feel clunkier.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a post 71 strat, I would buy a JM or Tele if it was priced right. The one thing I will say though is that era is unique. Once you hit the 80s, reissues start, and most of the changes that happen to the strat are just minor hardware adjustments that 1.) don't really improve the guitar and 2.) are not very memorable.

The 70s stuff, for all its flaws, still feels like its own era with its own design choices, and you really can't say that for everything past 84 or so, so I think in its own way the 70s gear will hold value decently just because it is pretty unique. Most people have been priced out of anything pre 71 so as long as vintage prices go up 70s Fender stuff will too.
 
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To this day, the bullet truss rod looks terrible,

but once that bullet truss rod comes in everything goes to ****

These narrow minded opinions are not gospel.

Leo invented the Micro Tilt 3 bolt neck. Fender makes it again on a variety of 70's inspired guitars without any problems.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a 3 bolt Strat.

The Poly finishes aren't that weird, just fine actually.

Here's my 7lb 10oz '74 with a better neck pocket than my AVRI.

Q1070550.JPG
 
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JordanS0012

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
113
These narrow minded opinions are not gospel.

Leo invented the Micro Tilt 3 bolt neck. Fender makes it again on a variety of 70's inspired guitars without any problems.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a 3 bolt Strat.

The Poly finishes aren't that weird, just fine actually.

Here's my 7lb 10oz '74 with a better neck pocket than my AVRI.

View attachment 583927

lol to each his own!!! like anything aesthetic its just preference. i think theres a reason most guitars have truss covers though and a bullet truss just sticks out like a sore thumb (literally).

i do actually love seeing people play 70s fenders on stage because its not super common, but as far as comparing it to the earlier ones, i dont like the design choices as much.

like i said though, the 70s ones have a vibe, they are their own thing whereas strats from the 80s/90s blend together with modern strats, and in that sense i think they will hold status as vintage instruments despite not being golden era
 
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1,553
It's a good thing Blackmore, Yngwie, and countless others didn't get hung up on the "ugly bullet truss rod".

Blackmore tore the place up on an Olympic White '74 just like mine, as well as others.

Ritchie-Blackmore-Credit-Fin-Costello-Redferns-HERO@2560x1625.jpg


The Bullet truss rod is a pleasure to use, and so is the micro tilt.

Maybe this dislike stems from a deeper inner conflict, something more Freudian.
 




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