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CS Cunetto Era Relic Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by pjwill, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. pjwill

    pjwill Silver Supporting Member

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    What years were these made? As late as 98? What is the going price for one in excellent condition.

    Thanks,

    Pete
     
  2. johan

    johan Member

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    The "Cunetto era" = From June of '95 to May of '99

    A Cunetto era Relic Strat in "good" condition - Difficult to say. You can still find them at times for 1600-1800 but usually they are +2000 dollars.
     
  3. pjwill

    pjwill Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Johan. I have an oppurtunity to buy one at $1900. I think that I will go for it.

    Pete
     
  4. johan

    johan Member

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    Sweet! Good luck! Haven't tried a Cunetto Strat but are they as good as the Nocaster I have...congrats :D

    Which model? Mary Kay Blonde 50's or ??

    I have some Cunetto links on my site.

    Cunetto era Fenders
     
  5. bluestein

    bluestein Member

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    I first saw a Cunetto strat in 96 at a shop where I had some of my guitars on consignment. It was propped in a corner of a display case - no fanfare, tags, anything. Green gunk on the bridge, cig burns etc....... Just tossed there.

    I thought it was another used instrument on consignment. Out of curiousity I picked it up and noodled around for a while. Played great, resonant as hell.

    Got home that night and couldn't get the instrument out of my head. Called back the next morning and inquired about the "rat-o-caster" in the corner. That was my introduction to relics and Cunettos. Bought it on the spot.

    Got it home - and the first great thing that happened is that my wife DIDN"T even ask how much it cost....looked like a pawn shop beater. ;)

    Played for a while - had one of those transcendental experiences where hours pass unnoticed. What a GREAT instrument - by any standards.

    At first I was really put off by the appearance - the aging - I'm really anal about my guitars. (No belts, clean completely every time after playing etc)....this relic was beat to death.

    I found out I was really comfortable with it - didn't worry about scratching it with buckles, rivets. I didn't care if it "looked" old on stage - I just found it to be corfortable - like my favorite shoes.

    Ten years up the road now it's STILL the one instrument thats always out - and the first one I reach for.

    I've bought other relics since then - but the early Cunettos (95, 96) are still some of the most magical instruments I encounter.
     
  6. johan

    johan Member

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    Nice post Bluestein

    I bought my Nocaster unseen in Boston. I was going to the States on holiday and though I should pickup something nice. I didn't have much time for music shops so I found one on the net and made a deal before I went there. OK, that was only two years ago but it's my favorite guitar and I will keep it forever. Wonderful guitar! Doens't matter which amps I use...through hot humid summers or cold dry winters...it's always perfect. :)
     
  7. 59burst

    59burst Gold Supporting Member

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    I've had two Cunetto era relics - a 50s' strat and a 60's strat.

    The 50's strat was incredible in every way. It was perhaps the best playing/sounding strat new or vintage I've ever played. It sounded great clean, dirty, heavily distorted, you name it. It could go from chicken' pickin spank to violin tone without a sweat.(Unfortunately, I didn't bond with it, as I can't seem to get comfortable on maple fingerboards ...)

    The 60's one was nice, but no different than any other later ones I've played or owned. (I've owned several other CS and Time Machine instruments ...)

    Just my experiences with them ...
     
  8. jreardon

    jreardon Member

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    I've just bought a Cunetto era Strat. It's the 50th Anniversary 'Diamond' relic made in Nov 1996. Plays great and relicing seems to be more authentic than my 2001 56 Strat

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. pjwill

    pjwill Silver Supporting Member

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    Bluestein...It is opinions like yours that got me interested in a Cunetto Relic. Here it is...

    [​IMG]

    It is a 98...so not one of the early ones, but I still think that it is a good deal at $1900. It will be the perfect match to my CS Time Machine 60 Tele Custom, which is by far the best Tele I have played (IMHO)...and I have played many.

    Couple of quick questions? Do all Cunetto era Strats have 9.5" radius boards? and did they come originally with 5-way switches?

    Pete
     
  10. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    Yes, all Cunetto relics came with the 9.5" radius. I'm pretty sure they came with the 5-way, but I could be wrong on that.
     
  11. johan

    johan Member

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    My '96 Nocaster Relic :)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. jreardon

    jreardon Member

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    Mine has 5-way fitted as original
     
  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Call me shallow if you like, but I cannot bear the incorrect headstock shape on these early Custom Shop Strats, or any of the US Strats of the same period. That's a significant part of the reason I could never bond with the (non-relic) CS I had, and I would never buy another no matter how good it sounded... it would always annoy me.

    It stands out a mile and completely destroys any illusion of the guitar being a genuine oldie to me. I just flat-out do not like it, even when there's no attempt to make the guitar look like an old one.
     
  14. jreardon

    jreardon Member

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    John, don't doubt you are correct, however, what is exactly incorrect about the CS headstocks?

    I've just compared my latest CS headstock to a picture of my old 62 Strat and it looks very similar.

    Custom Shop Headstock

    [​IMG]


    62 Strat. Apologise picture is a bit blurred

    [​IMG]
     
  15. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    This...

    [​IMG]

    Have a look at the lower edge under the Fender logo - the right one has a double curve, with a sort of 'breaking wave' shape to it, the wrong one simply a convex 'sag', almost like a slimmed-down CBS shape. It's actually that the wrong one is too skinny across by the B machinehead, so you can't reshape it correctly either - I would have if it had been possible! (that's my ex-one in the bottom pic BTW). I suspect Fender might have done it on purpose to prevent faking of old guitars, since I find it hard to believe they just did it accidentally... although they've made other apparently baffling mistakes over the years too. They have (obliquely) admitted it's wrong though, by advertising the most recent reissues as having 'correct head shapes'. How new is yours? (which does also have the wrong shape).

    NB, I'm not making any judgement on the tone and/or quality of the guitar, just on a bit of shaping which I personally find very ugly and totally negates any supposed superiority of these CS models. I could never even look at that one of mine without it annoying me.
     
  16. jreardon

    jreardon Member

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    Cheers John

    I thought that perhaps the bits near the B string seemed to be a bit thinner than the pic of my old one.

    I have two CS models. A 56 Strat relic dated 2001 and the 50th Anniversary 'diamond' relic dated Nov 1996.

    These headstocks don't bother me. The ones I don't like are the big ones on 70's models. They look way too big for the neck.
     
  17. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Wow John,
    You have quite the eye for detail...maybe too much so.
    I still dont quite appreciate the curve diff...it's miniscule to me.
    Then again, I like the Tyler headstocks. :)
    S>
    j
     
  18. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Maybe time for a new sig John?

    Something like:

    John P

    "shallow and easily annoyed..."

    :D :D :D :D
     
  19. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    Any idea when they "corrected" the headstock shape? I have a '56 relic with a COA date of April 2002. The headstock shape looks like the "correct" shape to me.

    The "wrong" shape doesn't bother me in the least. I'm just curious when they made the change.
     
  20. Relicula

    Relicula Supporting Member

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    I have owned seven of the Cunetto's over the past 10 years, dating back to late 95. I currently have 3.

    I just sold one on the board a while back, daphne blue, it was an early 96.

    I have found them to be the very best of new fender guitars, and the only alternate to old wood I will consider. I know that some have had great success with non Cunetto relics as well, and of course there are dogs in the bunch too. One of them was a total bone, but that was the only one. I wish I hadnt sold the daphne blue one, but that always happens it seems.

    As far as neck angle's, and headstock thangs, thats up to the personal preference of the player, I love the way these guitars sound and especially feel.

    I sold my last one for 2100, and I would not consider selling any of the others for less. Look what prices are for everything today, 70's strats for 4k, vintage for 25k, and relics for 2k.....its a no brainer for me. I would consider one of these before the others mainly on the financial end, but tonewise they are worth every penny.
     

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