SRV Strats

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Tapp, Dec 21, 2005.


  1. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Have the SRV strats changed in anyway over the years? I noticed Pau Ferro fingerboards now, but did they come with these 10yrs ago. Has anyone noticed better/worse quality over time?

    Do you prefer the different position of the trem arm; can this be changed to the "normal" side?

    thanks!

    Tapp
     
  2. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    My now wife bought me one of the first run as an engagement present.......
    the first lot had Brazilian Rosewood fretboard. Two piece highly figured body (supposed to be Alder but most people seeing mine say it is Ash).

    I remember taking it to Leroy Aiello at Mandolin Bros for a set up and he marvelled over the fret job from Fender (highly polished too). It is as well put together as my Custom Shops. It's my second "go to" Strat after my Chapin now (but I did have the pick ups, guard and wiring changed by Jimmy Somma, it has Fralins now).

    No, you cannot change the "tremelo" to a righty it has lefty routing in the body.
    Trust this helps.

    Best, Pete.
     
  3. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been real happy with my '93. I've seen some that weren't as nice as mine and I've seen some that are nicer...

    Sure you can change the trem, you just have to route out the wood. I changed a righty to a lefty...that's how Stevie got his lefty. I really prefer the lefty trem.

    Good luck,
    Mike

    [​IMG]
     
  4. DiazDude

    DiazDude Member

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    :AOK I've got one of the early ones(1991) w/Brazilian board. I've been told the first 50+/- were basicly custom shop made. I bet it's true. The neck on mine is to die for. I've seen & played several and they don't feel the same. Less resonant.
    The only thing I've done to mine is change the pickguard to gold annodized.
     
  5. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I had a very early one too (91 or 92 maybe, but I forget offhand; it was the first one my shop got in) and as others have said it was absolutely astounding. I still have no idea why I sold it...well, technically to fund the purchase of the CS Strat I still have. It was one of the single nicest Fenders I've ever played & I've tried everything from real '54s up to current stuff. As much as I love my CS Strat I still wish I had that SRV. I haven't compared it to a new one though so I can't comment there, but I did look at one a week or so ago and it didn't seem quite as nice. No BRW board either, but still a nice guitar for what it is I suppose.
     
  6. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    Thanks guys for the info. Did the early one's have a 12" radius too? I've played a new one at a local store and the setup is bad but the neck feels really nice. Warmoth lists the neck as an assymetrical profile but I didn't notice it. Just feels like a fat C to me. I've also played the Eric Johnson and thought it was nice too but I just don't like the V shaped necks.

    So if you had your choice between say a 93 or 94 and a new one?? It seems to be hard to find an early run '91.
     
  7. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    I sold mine because that neck is just too high-maintenance. Seemed like every cold day I had to tweak the damn thing if I didn't want to fret out somewhere.

    I tried a couple more since and had the same problem. I guess it would work fine if you didn't bend strings alot...:jo
     
  8. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    I've actually owned 3 of them over the years and they have all been good guitars. The one I currently have is a great guitar. The build quality is really strong and it plays and sounds great. I considered selling it to fund a Les Paul, but have changed my mind because it's such a good strat. But, with any large manufacturer, there are individual exceptions I'm sure. If you buy used, I'd consider buying from a place that has a return policy just in case.
     
  9. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    They always came with pau ferro fingerboards.
     
  10. kev

    kev Member

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    Personally, I would hunt down one as early as I could, but of course play it first if you can. The only other Strat I've played that absolutely made my guitar feel and sound sterile was a real '64 that was/is a road warrior. I was shocked at the difference, but I shouldn't have been. That was back in '98. I'd like to do that taste test now. Hmm, anyway...

    I own a SRV, pao ferro board, neck and body stamped March '92. I've owned it since '92. The radius is 12". Maybe it's from playing it, or just my own bias, but I've yet to play a nicer SRV example. I've seen some of the brazilian board SRVs from early in the run, but never played one so I can't comment to any examples earlier than mine. Mine just feels like home. I prefer the lefty trem, but part of that spurs from the fact that I don't play any other Strats/trem equipped guitars unless I happen to borrow someone else's guitar. A couple of months after I had it, the trem arm snapped off at the block and the threads could not be successfully removed, so I have an aftermarket trem assembly. The aftermarket trem bar is a heavier gauge than the stock, which I guess is comforting. It's two piece Alder, lightly figured (I have seen much more figure in later examples). I don't know how the figuring affects anything, but some say it does. I've used .011 gauges strings on it since the week I got it from the store. No troubles with the neck or fretting out on mine. I do have the action set pretty high though, so that's got to be a factor towards the lack of fretting out. I will say that I would like to build another body to mate to the neck so that the neck will sit deeper into the body, just out of curiousity more than anything. On mine, as well as most all of the others I've seen IIRC, the neck sits high in the pocket, I presume because of the depth of the U carve and Fender not adjusting the routing out of the body template to compensate.

    One thing I've noticed on the examples I've seen and played since the first year's run is the difference in the sunburst. This has nothing to do with the tone or feel of the guitar, strickly just a personal preference, but I love the 'burst on mine. It is applied all the way up into the contours on the front and back. Mike Duncan's '93 in this thread is very similiarly applied. Here's another example from '92: http://www.vilo.net/srv.htm

    Here's a BAD photo of mine:

    [​IMG]

    Have fun looking, do your research as you are here, and watch the for sale ads around here and elsewhere. In the sales I have watched (minus ebay and the BRW board factor) '92 and '93's go for under a grand.

    Kev
     
  11. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Sold mine because I couldn't deal with the narrow/tall frets.

    Loved the sound and neck carve though.
     
  12. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I bought SRV strat in 1992. This guitar rings..

    Volume pot, frets, pickups are changes.

    I don't use a trem.

    Many of my students bought SRV strat in late 90s.
    I thought neck was bigger than mine.

    Now I got new Suhr strat.(based on my SRV neck...
    and soft V custom). No noise with pure tone!

    Tomohttp://www.tomofujita.com/jpn/photo/gear/ga_036.jpg
     
  13. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    The very first ones came with Brazillian Rosewood boards. Very few of these were made - I've seen estimates of 50-100, but who knows. I've seen pics of them and they go for big $$$ on ebay when they come up.
     
  14. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Always wondered why you can purchase a brazilian Fender licensed neck from Warmoth for a small surcharge yet so many fall all over themselves to acquire those fingerboards on production instruments...
     
  15. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    Thank you for setting me straight. :Spank :) I remember when they came out, everything I read, and all that I have seen where pau ferrro. That is what I didn't like about them.
     
  16. corgiears

    corgiears Member

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    Hehe - I'm a Fender geek - too much useless info. And I like the Pao Ferro myself! :)
     
  17. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    After owning a few SRV Strats, IMHO, my Vintage Hot Rod '62 Strat is what the SRV strat should have been. Nice chunky neck, medium jumbo frets on a 9.5" radius, and a thin nitro finish. I replaced the pickups with Van Zandt Vintage+ and, to my ears, my VHR'62 is a lot closer to the SRV sound than all the SRV signature Strats I've played/owned.
     
  18. KBR

    KBR Member

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    I have sold lot's of Van Zandts to SRV Guitar owners.
    I wonder why they didn't use the Frets SRV used, 6100's???
    Maybe a Suit miss judged them when designing the axe?
    & The Tex specials, pups ain't close either.
    I won one of these Guitars when they first came out and the 11th fret was smaller than the other 20...I called em on it and They sent another axe in a week. I sold it for $900.
    They are boat anchors to me/ who has friends make 6- 6 1/2 lb strats that feel good around midnight when I might have to do another set.

    http://www.myspace.com/kennyblueray
     
  19. kev

    kev Member

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    Highly suspect, at least from all I have read on the subject. If Fender could verify specs based off of a serial number, it would be news to me. Mine's a low serial number as well (908551), but I wouldn't claim BRW board without a professional weighing in as I'm just a guitar player...LOL!

    I have a woodworking/guitar player friend that argues that mine is BRW based off of the knot stating that Fender would not have used pao ferro with such a 'defect' that early in the model run, but again, we both admit to much ignorance on the subject.

    [​IMG]

    IMHO, there's too much hype about the early ones (and yes, I may be guilty of hyping having reread my post from 2005 here). It's the same as it ever was, unless you are collecting and/or want to have one with a BRW board, find one that speaks to you regardless of the year/sn/species of wood.
     
  20. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member

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    Weren't the early ones finished in nitro? I bought one fathers day of '92 (yep a fathers day gift to myself) and I swore they were advertised as nitro finish - just like the American Vintage RIs of the time. I was suprised to read later they have poly finishes. Did this change at some point or were they always poly?

    Anyway, I should have never let mine go.
     

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