Today, Fender Stratocasters made in the 1970s are generally regarded with affection, and have become sought after by many guitarists for their historical interest and vintage kudos. And it’s true that some 70s Strats were better than others – and this is one of the better ones.
The Stratocaster of the 1970s was still, in the grand scheme of electric guitar building, a solid and useable product. But it did have a few updates that differed from the 60s models. Those included a 3 bolt neck joint with tilt adjustment, bullet truss rod, skunk strip neck rear, large headstock with F style tuners, non-staggered pole pieces on the pickups, a lack of custom colours, and later black plastics.
This one is a bit special in that it features the staggered pickup poles of the late 60s & early 70s models.
We know that many 70s Strats have had major or minor surgery during their lives, sometimes for good reason. But this one remains amazingly original. It was obviously one of the good ones, so it has stayed pretty much the same as the day it left the factory.
About the only update we can see is a 5 way selector switch, which is not a bad thing. The 5 way became standard in 1977, so it was on its way already.
Apart from that this one appears to be all original. We cannot discern any changes to –
Body & neck finish
All pickups (staggered pole)
Tremolo bridge & saddles
Plastics including knobs & pickguard
Wiring & pots
Some 70s necks were of the narrower variety but this one has a fairly standard width of 1 5/8” at the nut. Radius is 7 1/2” but string bending is clean and easy in all positions.
This one is in amazing condition for a 44 year old guitar. It has a few minor scuffs & dents in its original finish, and some light buckle rash on the rear. Apart from that, this one is pretty much out of the box. The neck is very clean – front and back. And there is no tarnishing of the metal parts.
The pickups sound great – everything you’d expect from a 40 year old Strat. The bridge is rock solid. The very 70s reverse-F tuners work perfectly and look fabulous on that oversize headstock. The frets appear to be original, and with almost no wear apparent – years of life left.
Weight is 8.9 lbs so not too light, but not too heavy. A pleasure to play, with lots of character and that 70s style that ain’t coming back any time soon.
Comes in original Fender case in good condition.