Fender custom shop or original 70s strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by hhawkins, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. hhawkins

    hhawkins Member

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    Thinking of getting another strat. I've been looking at some of the custom shop relics which I love but have also been looking at some original 70s strats on eBay.

    Which do you guys think would be a better buy? I know some of the 70s strats weren't that great but then again I know there are some out there that are great and have real mojo.
     
  2. IR79

    IR79 Member

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    Hi,

    I have a custom shop relic and it is a fantastic guitar.

    I have tried quite a few 70s strats, was considering a birth year one, and they were not that great.

    That is not to say that you won't find one that is.

    If you buy a custom shop there is a very good chance you will great guitar, if you look hard enough you may find a good 70s strat.

    I could never find a nice unmolested 70s that I liked.

    In general they are too heavy, I don't like the neck shape, have thick poly paint and many of them have been messed about.

    Why not get the custom shop to build you a 69 relic, unfortunately they don't do 70s strats that aren't masterbuilt and have the best of all possible worlds, with the neck, frets, colour and pickups you want.

    If you wanted a "vintage" strat you may have more luck finding a great 80s one than a 70s one.

    Ian
     
  3. Totally Bored

    Totally Bored Member

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    Make sure you get a wieght on the 70's Strat. Some are very heavy. Love mine. It's beat to hell tho :bonk


    Better than a Custom Shop :dude

    [​IMG]
     
  4. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    I would get the Custom Shop. Their build quality is better than most mass produced 70's guitars. Each type has it's own merits though, so if you can try both, you'll find what's right for you. I had a Telecaster Deluxe from 1978. It sounded great but it weighed a ton.
     
  5. DCross

    DCross Member

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    Easy.... get the Custom Shop.
     
  6. Da Geezer

    Da Geezer Supporting Member

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    This!

    I played a 70-something natural hardtail the other day, and while it played and felt fine, the first thing I noticed was the weight....I mean Norlin LP-type weight (I had a 12#+ '76 Standard, so I know). The thing felt like it was made out of concrete. Solid, to put it "lightly"
     
  7. RJLII

    RJLII Member

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    Go Custom Shop. Get the NOS Flavor. Relic it yourself by playing it constantly over the next few years.
     
  8. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I had an original 70's Strat, hard tail, natural finish. It sucked. Heavy as a boat anchor and pretty abused in every way. I got it for a 92 std USA tele, the guy I got it from was nice enough to give me my tele back... so that was my experience with a 70s strat.

    I'd go custom shop any time!
     
  9. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    I just traded a 2011 Fender 60th Annv. Blonde tele in mint condition for a '75 Fender strat. The Strat needs fret leveling , truss rod
    adjustment, be intonated, and have the saddles set up properly.

    It's a Mocha strat, which if far from the prettiest colors, but I did the trade based on a few things.

    1) the neck was one of the thinnest necks I'VE ever played on any 70's strat
    2) it was very light , and weighed less than ANY 70's strat I've ever played
    3) since I got it for $500, it will hold it's value WAY more down the road than the '11 Tele.
    4) it just has more mojo cause it's been gigged a lot and has the battle scars to prove it.

    If you're looking for a guitar that plays great and sounds great right out of the box, then go CS.

    If you find the RIGHT 70's strat that can be set up to your liking, then the 70's could be better for you down the road in case you want to get your money back. Just something to think about.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Mike7

    Mike7 Member

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    Get the Custom Shop Strat. Word around here was 70's strats were mainly dogs Fender was under new ownership and they did everything they could to cheapen the product and increase profit. Of course now those same people who told you that now say "70's strats vintage" but they are they same dogs they always were. You would be better off with late 80's and up American standards that you should be able to get for $550- $800 all day long.
     
  11. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    + I really hate that 70s large headstock... but if you are looking for a 70s strat, you are probably fine with that.
     
  12. xXMeebleXx

    xXMeebleXx Member

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    Custom shop without a doubt... Better electronics, build quality, and finish. Not to mention a warranty.
     
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

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    As I've mentioned often, I'm a former owner of a wonderful '73 Strat with original case that I sold for very cheap in '92 because enough people had fed me the line about all 70's Strats being bad. D'oh! There are a lot of good ones out there but finding one may be tricky.

    But, if you're going to spend $3k+ on a Strat, I'd go with a custom shop just to have a greater chance at a good end product. BTW, the Strat on their 70's Time Machine Relic page looks just like mine did. :cry:
     
  14. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I love the late 60's early 70's strats. They are some of the best AFAIC. Headstock rules. If you buy a nice one, and don't overpay, it will appreciate most likely. If you buy a new CS, it takes a hit immediately. You could buy a used one to counter that.

    The '69 CS strats are killer. I've had a few, you get the big headstock and they are still nitro finish. nice chunky necks. Great guitars.
     
  15. davemccarthy707

    davemccarthy707 Member

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    I have a killer 79 Hardatil Strat. Best Strat I have ever picked up. It does have a 2 piece ash body though (1 very large piece and a small piece maybe that contributes to the tone). I would not part with it for any Custom Shop Strat I have ever played.
     
  16. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    You've kinda answered your own question. Some of the 1970's Strat were great, and some were not. If you're buying sight unseen then it's a toss up anyway, since you might not like a Fender custom shop guitar, either. The best thing to do is go to a large guitar show, or maybe a large dealer, and try a bunch of 70's Fenders and see if you find one that speaks to you.

    I had a natural ash '79 Strat that was a great guitar.....I should have kept it!
     
  17. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

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    There is a tremendous amount of poo pooing on 70's era Fenders. I have a 78 Antigua Tele that rivals anything I've ever played....ever. Playability is just like butter.
     
  18. FXPedal.com

    FXPedal.com Member

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    I own '73, '76 and '79 Strats as well as a '69 NOS. The '69 isn't just the best of the lot, it's in a different class. Excellent tone, playability, weight - and it stays in tune!

    Clearly some others have/had great 70's Strats, my experience has been that "good ones" are very rare. Not so with the '69 RI's. Every one I've played, six or so, has been an excellent guitar. So much so that I rolled the dice and bought one on eBay. It was a wise choice.

    If for some reason I bought a 70's Strat on eBay I would do so knowing that I'd have to change the pups and bridge right away and that it would weigh a lot. Go in with low expectations and you might be pleasantly surprised.

    The exception to that is the 4 bolt era ~'70-71. Those tend to be lighter and just better guitars all around. You will pay a premium for one, though in addition to better quality there's a much greater likelihood that its value will increase at a higher rate than a later 70's Strat.

    Please let us know where you land.
     
  19. Yogi_Sizzle

    Yogi_Sizzle Member

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    I have CS65 and a 1972 strat. Both are really nice guitars. There are plenty of bad 70s starts out there but there are also some great ones out there as well. Mine is lighter than my Avri and is about 7.4 lbs, really curvy, and sounds amazing. If I'm buying sight unseen I'd buy the CS, but if I could get my hands on both I'd probably lean towards the 70s strat if all things were equal.
     
  20. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

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    I bought a '77 Strat new- I was young and dumb. It was the worst Strat I've ever had. It weighed a ton, the pickups were awful, the cutaways had ripples where they didn't finish the sanding and the finish was 1/2 inch thick. Beware!
     

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