Friday, October 3, 2008

A Players Guitar 53 Years Young

Born in December 1955 this Original Stratocaster is amazing.

It's not every day that you see something like this.....let alone hold it and play it.
I was so impressed with this guitar I feel a rant coming on.....

When Andy brought this in he said that this was one of the crown jewels of his collection.

And he wasn't kidding. Just looking at her, I got chills....gotta play her......gotta hear what she sounds like plugged in....need to feel the neck in my hand and the weight on my shoulder.

I took so many pictures of her I had to combine some of them just to do this post.
So here's what you don't see:
First lets just say there isn't an uncrackled (i just made up that word) spot on her, anywhere.
The years have not been kind to the finish....but she looks so good.
All the logos are intact. but the crackling is abundant.
All the metal surfaces have that worn down polished over the years look. And any surface that isn't showing wear has rust. The pickups and their Bakelite (Yes Bakelite) covers have been worn down almost to the coil in the neck position. The single ply white pickguard is worn even under the strings. The jack plate is pitted and the scratched from years of use.
And then there is the bridge. Looking at the pictures doesn't do it justice this bridge is trashed. The saddle height adjustment screws are rusted in place or stripped. I believe 3 were working. Amazingly enough, once I applied some oil to the intonation adjustment screws, they all broke loose and I was able to manipulate them.
The neck is in line with the body, crackled from top to bottom.
The frets are worn and showing grooving. the nut is worn down on the sides and in the string grooves. The tuners are somewhat loose and couldn't be tightened. The grooves in the fingerboard are so deep you can take dental impressions of them. There is a slight warp to the neck on the low E side up by the neck pocket. The truss rod was holding tension just fine with no rattle at all, for a guitar this old and abused thats amazing.
The electronics are ALL Original. Even the Oil Filled Cap. Look at the Hand written tolerances.

So add this all up and what do you get.......A very PLAYED guitar.......Used and Abused.

I gave her a rub down, blew the dust out of her crevices an pots.
I strung her up, intonated her, and plugged her in.

This guitar played and sounded better than any of the newer guitars that I've recently played.
The pickups have Punch, Bite.....whatever you want to call it they sounded Amazing...Beautiful.
The feel of the neck was so comfortable, you would have thought it was built for your hand.
The weight was perfect....not too heavy not too light.
Just enough sustain that the notes carried on without me.
It almost played itself.
Even with all the damage to the body and neck.........She was perfect in her own world.

I was so impressed that I asked Andy to Will it too me..........he laughed.

I wasn't kidding............

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