Strat 3 bolt neck with micro-tilt ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by wolfpack, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. wolfpack

    wolfpack Supporting Member

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    70's style
    are these really that much of a problem ?
     
  2. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    I had one. The only thing i've ever heard people complain about is the stability of the 3-bolt neck. I didn't have any problems with it. The micro-tilt adjustment is basically a shim for the neck. You don't even really use it unless you have to.
     
  3. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    had mine since 1981 and it has never shifted or been less stable than any gibson neck or any of my 4 bolt fenders
     
  4. kmcmichael

    kmcmichael Member

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    I had several of them and they can definatly shift.
     
  5. Franktone

    Franktone Member

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    A lot of great records have been made with them. Ritchie Blackmore did Machine Head using one, as far as I remember. I think he said that it lost its sound or playability after the album was done and got rid of it. Again, it was a long time ago that I read or heard this. A friend at university that became hooked on Strats in 1974 asked me to come and try out a creme Strat with Blonde fret board at a local music store. It looked incredible but the 1st string left the fretboard sideways when I examined it. We called over the sales guy and he simply put the guitar back into the display case and walked away. Much later we found out that Fender included instructions for you to slam the body down onto your lap to realign the body. My friend became so turned off, he bought a new tobacco 74-Gibson 335 instead. But I have seen many people get great sound out of these guitars. It is just a matter of tinkering with it and being careful on how you handle the guitar after you align it. Some people converted them to four bolts, but I don't suggest that, since these are now serious collectors items today. I never thought that would happen, but its turn has come.
     
  6. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Had a 3 bolt ASAT. I was never really comfortable with just 3 bolts, but it never moved or went out on me. I think the micro tilt idea is bad.
     
  7. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    The CBS Fender 70s strats had problems with manufacturing tolerances that sometimes manifested in shifty necks. This was the source of the problem rather than the 3 both neck design. Current product isn't built with worn out Fullerton equipment. The "Fender neck adjustment" described above works just as well with 4 bolt necks-in fact its a standard technique for adjusting string alignment on bolt-on neck guitars regardless of who made it. Most Fender guitars made today have the microtilt neck angle adjustment. The whole 70s strat suck legend has some basis in reality but generally is blown way out of porportion.
     
  8. Strat58

    Strat58 Member

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    Hi oh man I realy hate those 3 bolts necks had couple of them and always shift when I jump around. I used to get it to a builder and let the neck glue into the body (well kind of glued) but that didn't helped a bit, bought a Flying V as main stage guitar. I always moved and jump a lot on stage and those guitar can't take that kind of strain, hmm wonder how Ritchie did that. Now I have severall USA vintage re. Strats with 4 bolds but I don't jump around stage anymore, It would like be silly to jump like those days, still play behind mine head though :)
    Peace Strat58
     
  9. acwild

    acwild Member

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    Ritchie Blackmore still uses the three-bolter, but he glues his necks.
     
  10. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I had a 3 bolt Telecaster Custom.

    Oh, how I hated that guitar. It was my first "real" electric guitar. But the neck join was so unstable that even during somewhat vigorous strumming would knock the neck out of alignment. You'd have to push down in the cutaway and slap up under the neck, and it would pop right back in tune. It was embarrassing.

    In the years that have followed and complaining about the implementation of the 3 bolt design- a few knowlegeable folks have said that it's a matter of some grip tape and a shim to keep the neck from shifting from side to side.

    I have had a 3 bolt G&L L-2000 for the past 10 years and it's every bit as solid as any four bolt neck I've ever played.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Franktone

    Franktone Member

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    The tail block in the early seventies tremelo strats changed to chromed mazac (white metal) which had less mass than the earlier massive steel tail blocks. This would slightly effect the resonance of the guitar, but is generally not noticed. The bridge pieces also became chromed mazac and would corrode under sweaty hands. Fender was looking for quicker and cheaper ways to make the guitar. The finish by the mid seventies switched from laquer to polyester and the sunburst guitars looked considerably different. No question, laquer is not good for the environment. The bodies of most Strats became heavy because they were now made out of heavy ash instead of alder, and certainly the sound changed somewhat. The staggered pole pieces were now all at the same height, and some of the phase shifting sound of the Strat dissappeared right in front of your eyes. Nevertheless, the Strat still survived and were selling large numbers, and still had that characteristic Strat sound to a great extent, and 70's 3-bolt Strats are collectible today and treasured. I turned my nose up at them for the longest time, but see them now as legitimate fine guitars. A little tinkering with paper spacers or cigarette package cardboard strips, or tape to increase the internal friction could easily fix the 3-bolt problem.
     
  12. keninsyr

    keninsyr Member

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    My first real guitar was a brand new 74 strat. It would shift but a quick yank was all you needed. Paid $240.00 for it brand new! Saw the same era strat going for $3000.00 a couple of months ago!
     
  13. KingOfStomp

    KingOfStomp Member

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    I've got a 76. There are two paper shims in the neck pocket to make the strings align nicely. I played it for years before I learned about these things and have also got to say that I've have never had the neck shift on me, either before or after the shims. I've played ones where they do though, but we all know that that period was notoriously an inconsistent one.

    The neck on mine plays REALLY nicely, which is why I've always held onto it (the guitar that is, although I have certainly held onto that neck lots of times too!). It's a great neck! Hands down the best thing about that guitar. The body is ash, and yes, too heavy. When set up just so though that guitar is one of the best players I have ever come across, which is why I put up with it and it's horrible goofy big headstock (yuck).

    Like a lot of guitars, find a good one and it will be, um, a good one. The pickups in mine are really good, very rocky, although I have swapped out the whole of the electronics and put CS69s in mine at the moment because I wanted that particular sound. It certainly didn't sound as stratty as a lot of strats before the change, but didn't sound bad, just different and came through amazingly when playing with other instruments.
     
  14. russiancrowe

    russiancrowe Member

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    I bought mine new in '77 and never had any problems with the neck shifting untill about a year ago. The neck has never been off the guitar so the screwholes should not be striped. I take it in for truss rod adjustment about once a year. It's getting so bad that I'm probably going to make it a 4 bolt neck. I don't care what that does to the value because I'm never selling it anyways.
     
  15. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    The only problem with the 3-bolt system is an owner that doesn't know how to set it up properly.

    Any competent tech. can make a 3-bolt just as stable as a 4-bolt. A shim made of sandpaper, metal mesh, etc. will keep it from moving around.
     
  16. wolfpack

    wolfpack Supporting Member

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    I'm wondering if the current re-issues have improved construction ?
     
  17. Franktone

    Franktone Member

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    The current Stratocasters seem quite good to me. I have a red standard strat fro m about the year 2000. I still think the tail block is not quite right even it is a hunk of steel. The problem is that counter sunk holes that they drilled for the nut of the strings to sit in locates the nut too close to the top side of the guitar, and that is not nearly as good as having the nut sitting closer to the back of the guitar like on the old ones. Seems like a bad oversight to me and leads to loss of sound from the string to the body of the guitar.
     
  18. Rumble

    Rumble Instrumental Rocker Silver Supporting Member

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    I removed the micro-tilt assembly on my '79, added a circular piece of wood that fills the circular recess in the neck pocket and neck. Impossible to shift.
     
  19. SvenHock

    SvenHock Member

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    Its more the neck pocket than the way the neck is attached. Some of the neck pockets back in the day were cut a little big.
     
  20. Dezzy

    Dezzy Member

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    yes they do have a different sound over conventional strat's, very rock like, they have that Yngwie Malmsteen type overdrive when you put a pedal in-front of it, I like the sound as it's different, and i have to many strat's that sound the same, this one stands out, i did think about a pickup change, but mine is an International one, and it's in amazing original condition, and i don't want to knock anything off the price by adding new solder joints lol, as i plan to sell it in 20 years when i am 54, hope it fetches more than I payed, I think it will be hard not too like
     

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