Classic Vibe 60s Strat - My thoughts after 12 years

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Matt Jones, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Member

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    Hard to believe the Classic Vibe series came out around 12 years ago. Like many here, I was intrigued by the good reports coming from fellow guitar players, and there was a time when these went on sale at Musician's Friend shortly after their release for I believe $199. I remember calling Musician's Friend and placing the order, and mine arriving a few days later. It occurred to me this weekend that I have had this guitar for somewhere around 12 years now, and considering how inexpensive it was, I think it has held up really well.

    The first thing I did after receiving it was to use a brillo pad (or steel wool) and remove the finish off the neck. I have always preferred the bare feel of my EBMM Silhouette Special, so I wanted to get that feel on the CV. Next, like any self-respecting gear pager, I "upgraded" the pickups, because I thought the originals were pretty bright. I went with Onamac Windery, which was probably the flavor of the week here at some point in time. I remember buying them from a guy on Ebay named Kerry, and they were somewhere around $90-100. Aside from playing it and changing strings, that's all I have done to it over time. It has been a wall hanger and spent most of its years outside the gig bag as to make it easy to grab and play. Despite staying out, it has always held its tuning, and I don't recall making any neck adjustments past the first setup. Overall a very light, resonant, comfortable, great playing and sounding guitar.

    Here are a few photos I took...

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  2. The_Bell

    The_Bell Member

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    My 50s is an unquestionable good bit of wood.

    Hard to tell, does yours have a round lam board? I thought that was a feature on the 60s, curious if it was consistent through the years.
     
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  3. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    Excellent! Thanks for the write-up. :aok

    How are the frets holding up?
     
  4. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Member

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    Are you referring to the fretboard? It is rounded a bit but I don't think it's laminate. Looks like a solid piece to me.

    No issue with fret wear, but I have a couple other guitars that share time with this one, so I guess actual hands on time is less than normal. Nothing out of the ordinary, though.
     
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  5. The_Bell

    The_Bell Member

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    There a few terms for it (yes not true laminate), picture is worth a thousand words:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. dazco

    dazco Member

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    No, he doesn't mean laminate. Round lam is just a term people use for a RW board thats got a curved bottom laminated onto a curved maple neck. And yes to the person who asked about whether thats been a feature since day one.

    My number one is a CV60s and i love the thing tho i haven't had it nearly as long as you. But put it this way....it replaced a MIM classic 60's with a callaham trem that was my #1 for almost 20 years, and i parted it out and made the CV my #1 and redrilled the trem holes and put the callaham from the MIM on it. Tho i did this because i wanted a strat with a 9.5" board, turned out the CV actually sounds better. I have a set of fat 50s in it. Such a great strat that i really cannot fault with the mods. I even liked it with the stock trem which i felt has a certain punch that was actually unavailable in any trem i have used including the callaham ! But in the end i wanted the sound of the callaham back because it just sounds more like stereotypical strat tone. Anyways, IMO these are the best value in strats and teles ever, even if they could use some upgrading. (stock pups are actually good, just not what i was looking for)
     
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  7. Route67

    Route67 Member

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    These kind of long term reports (in contrast to NGDs) I value very much - thanks for taking the time, especially from the point of view of someone who was there at the beginning of the Classic Vibes. Reports of fret wear is something I’m always interested in hearing about, and has been answered already.

    My ‘60s CV Strat was only with me for about one year before I passed it on as a gift (purchased new). I never changed the pickups - found the stock too thin to my liking without much midrange (dark). Glad it worked out for you, thanks again for the report.

    PS. I’m a big fan of the CV ‘50s Tele, though - the sustain on the one I have now is unbelievable - the tight grain quarter sawn neck feels very alive with vibration under the fretting hand.
     
  8. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I have that one too, the 50s tele. Mine isn't quartersawn but my strat is. Both fab guitars tho both modified. You put a quality trem on the strat and it transforms it completely. The tele is w/o a doubt the best build quality i have ever seen anywhere near that $. (tho got mine used dirt cheap, so even crazier deal) Like yours it's a total sustain machine.
     
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  9. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Member

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    I checked and it is curved.
     
  10. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    Thanks! I'm always interested on fret wear with inexpensive guitars. For some reason I always feel frets should be made out of stainless steel, but that's a hangup of mine.
     
  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Great review.

    Yeah, I don't normally want a Q sawn neck, but on a neck this thin in profile, it was probably not a bad thing. And those CVs with a flat sawn neck, often were quite good sounding and stable anyway.

    I recall the price being $ 249 or $ 279, but I could see a few being sold for $ 199 before the dealers realized how hot these might become. And the price as gone up steadily since then, except when some dealers blew out the CV Duosonics for $ 199 or thereabouts.

    Today the going rate for guitar makers in China could be double or more, what it was 12 years ago. And this could explain why the Model is now being made in Surabaya. Where it won't be bad but I doubt it will surprise people the way these did then.

    ++

    Anyone here get one of those One Piece Alder bodies on their 50s or 60s SB?
     
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  12. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Member

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    Yes, I think they were $279 to start, and for whatever reason, there was some kind of sale at $199. I saw it posted here and you couldn't order online, it had to be called in.
     
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  13. dazco

    dazco Member

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    No but mine appears to be 2 piece with the seam being right in the middle and very hard to see unless u r looking closely. But u never know on bursts because with the last inch or so on the body edge being black he last inch or thereabouts could be another piece.
     
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  14. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I recently got one of these. Great guitar, and unlike most other 'affordable' guitars I've played, I don't get that feeling that I need to mod the thing. The pickups sound great, action is low, fretwork is good, intonation good, etc etc. The only thing I'd like to do to knock back the gloss on the neck a bit
     
  15. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    I clicked on the images to make them full-size, it sure looks like a slab board to me. The curve would be on the under-side of the rosewood fingerboard, the slab board has a straight bottom edge. Yours looks like straight bottom in those pics. Did the Asian 60's models ever really have a round lam board on them?. I didn't think they were that vintage-correct.
    Al
     
  16. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Member

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    I guess it could go either way the more I look at it.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Naaa, it's very easy to see it's lam if you look at the middle and then near the edge and u see the thickness is the same. A slab will be much thicker in the middle. You will also see more maple in the middle under the board where a slab will be equal all the way across. All CVs have lam, they never used slab, trust me. Some or all other squiers use slabs like the standards and such. One thing i don't get tho is that neck looks aftermarket because in the pic the frets look bigger and theres no tint or logo on the head that i can see at least.

    EDIT: Ahh, you posted just b4 me. Yeah see, thats a lam w/o any doubt. But why don't i see the logo and why do the frets look bigger than mine?
     
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  18. The_Bell

    The_Bell Member

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    He said he sanded, guessing he did not stop at the nut - tis a shame if so (purely IMO)
     
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  19. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Member

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    Yeah I originally stopped at the nut but didn't like the way the contrast between the original yellowish tint and how the new bare wood looked so I just took it all off.

    The frets look big in the pictures but I think they're fairly small.
     
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  20. LBXPDX

    LBXPDX Member

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    My Squier partscaster has an 08 50’s CV body and a 98 MIM Squier neck. Even with a full sized steel block it is a mere 7.25lbs.

    [​IMG]
     
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