Why '63 Strats?

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by scolfax, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. hogy

    hogy Member

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    January '65.
     
  2. jnovac1

    jnovac1 Supporting Member

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    what are your views about g&l?
     
  3. hogy

    hogy Member

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    I really don't have any. They never aesthetically appealed to me, so I skipped them. They are certainly well made.
     
  4. Eugene'sAxe

    Eugene'sAxe Member

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    I always thought 1961 was the holy grail year. And slab all the way for me
     
  5. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    Plus first year lam fingerboard right? Could be those changes.
     
  6. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    My thought was just that the older sounded cooler to him, the body or pickups had '59' penciled on them Is the story right?
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    Not that I've played many., but i'm still haunted by a 61 hardtail I played once.
     
  8. grapeshot

    grapeshot Supporting Member

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    I read that Fender's 57/62 pickups were modeled after a set of vintage '63 pickups.
     
  9. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    The newer ones (like in the 50's classic player strat) aren't bad at all.
     
  10. bluejaybill

    bluejaybill Member

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    I used to think that but have since owned and played a bunch of both slab and laminated, there may be some differences but both can be great. And I don't think you can say that any year was a holy grail year. '60 was a GREAT year for telecasters for instance, and you don't see them around much- I think people keep them.

    To me there were 5 different eras in pre-CBS strats: 1954 was unique with the "bakelite" parts and unique early pickups, then 55-58 where the features were standardized, '59 with maple neck and alder bodies, '60-62 slab era, and '63-'64 with the laminated rosewood boards. All are a bit different. I've played and owned '55-58 strats, and never bonded with them. I've played quite a few '59 maple/alders that I like.

    Certainly slabs go for a bit more than laminated. I would think that the laminated years would be at a great price point for someone looking to get into a vintage strat for a bit less (though still not cheap!). All I can say is I love my '63 and a lot of others have come and gone for me over the years.

    I think they ramped up quite a bit during those years as well, probably why they went to laminated. Braz was getting scarce.
     
  11. bojocatkite

    bojocatkite Member

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    Can you unwind the bobbin and rewire with the old wire (after removing the broken segment, if this is the inner wrap lead that's broken) ?

     
  12. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Member

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    yes, but remember he had his choice of Strats... his brother was a 50's maple neck guy, as were Derek O'Brien and Denny Freeman. Stevie knew what was up, no doubt.... and if he didnt, Charley Wirz surely educated him.
     
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  13. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Member

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    57/62 pickups.... I would love to hear that 63 they were modeled after. I have to say, that 1982-86 run of Fender RI stuff is simply the best guitars they made since 1964.

    54-56 Strats were almost identical, I thought? The bakelite stuff was used for those 3 years. As I've said before, I've had the good fortune to play 3 different 1956 Strats and all 3 were dogs in every way possible I thought. However, there are others out there that sound incredible. If messing with old Fenders has taught me anything, it's that there are no absolutes / no constants. Good, bad, well made, poorly made, big or small neck, hot or mild pickups... each one is a fingerprint unto itself. All the internet parroting on "well, this year had a boat neck! and this year had a fat neck! and this year had 6.339 ohm middle pickups!" is 110% pure bovine excrement.
     
  14. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Longstanding friend of mine has one of the first 175 Strats ever made. It's obviously a '54. I actually found it for him 25+ years ago. I was able to spend a few hours with that guitar, and I have never played/heard/seen a Strat that compares.

    It was the first time I really understood what "bell tone" meant. And it played effortlessly.

    He (my friend) also has a '56 and '59 amongst his collection. But that '54 is something to behold. The only thing not original on that guitar was one of the vol/tone controls (if I recall correctly). It was replaced with a '56, which has a bit larger skirt. Otherwise, it was dead-on original and simply glorious.

    Haven't had my hands on that many early-to-mid 60s Strats; maybe 40-50. At least for me, none of them stood out like the '54.
     
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  15. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    No, just no.

    There are inconsistencies with vintage Fenders as with everything else in life for sure, but definitely not as many as people think, at least not before the early to mid '70s.

    Those were factory guitars, with specific materials, neck profiles and pickup designs throughout the years, anybody who has spent a little bit of time with vintage guitars knows this, not from books, but from observation.

    So yeah, save for the occasional outlier, you'll find specific types of neck profile within specific years, definitely different pickup materials (magnets, orientation and wire), winding patterns & output, different body woods, fretboard type and material etc. It's not like, save for a special order, you'll find a V-neck or a heavily tapered, sometimes pencil thin neck at the 1st fret of the previous period in early '65.
    Choices were made by management and implemented by foremen, and even on a Friday afternoon it's not like the winding gals or guys decided to take off the current guides on the machines, put the ones used 5 years earlier if they could find them, and decided to use a different wire, tension and patterns, just for kicks…

    I highly doubt the 57/62 pickups were modelled after a typical '63 pickup, they would have a bit more output to start with, and the winding pattern would be different in nature.
    And obviously a typical '57 pickup is different than a typical '62 pickup… I think they tried to make a quintessential "vintage" low output Strat pickup 20 years after the fact, and they sound OK.
     
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  16. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    And for me, '63 is not my favourite period, by far -and I am sure there are guitars out there that would change my mind-.
    Mid '64 to '68 is my favourite time for strats, with a split when they changed the pickup wire, I love both.
     
  17. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    A friend of mine had an early ‘54, serial number stamped on the back plastic cover. Nice guitar but a bridge pickup so bright it would rattle your fillings. Nobody messed with the tone control then.

    I had a chance to hold SRVs Number One in 1985 when he came through St Louis opening for Huey Lewis. His roadie Bryon Barr handed it to me while he ran out to the bus at soundcheck. I was flabbergasted at the wear, the stick-on postal letters, a bit stunned to be holding it. Not light, not heavy. That’s all I can remember because Huey Lewis came by and grabbed it from me.

    As others have pointed out, generalizations about Strats that are meaningless unless you have one in your hand. I have a 2013 American Vintage ‘59, rosewood board, and that ended an almost 50 search.
     
  18. frank4001

    frank4001 Member

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    I have a late '62 laminate board also. I feel the same. Funny thing I can't figure out. Bought it as a refin and the neck does have a later logo. But the body is red then you can see another red underneath the arm rest area . I saw a picture of Gary Moore's and it's the same so I wonder if it's original...no matter beat to hell and sounds great. Neck dated Dec. '62. Black bottom pickups.
     
  19. Kurzman

    Kurzman Supporting Member

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    I have a '66 CAR that is shot gold>CAR>gold>CAR and I've seen pics of two other '66 CAR Strats just like it.
    I think it's kind of impossible to know exactly what was going on in the Fender Paint shop 50+ years ago.
     

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