Any Guitar guru's out there? Identify this Strat...

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Banana Crotchbuckle
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Any Guitar guru's out there? Identify this Strat...

Post by Banana Crotchbuckle » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:58 pm

When I was in college I traded a four track to a fellow who had got this guitar at a pawnshop sometime in the past. It is a peculiar specimen - the only thing I can think of is that it's one of those handmade guitars that were sold to serviceman in SE Asia (judging by the build, aging and the fact that there was a large Air Force base just outside of that town). I asked a luthier once and he said the neckplate could be a fender plate from the era, but that is all he would guess. The appliqu? on the headstock is a 70's strat design and the frets and strap buttons brass, the nut and dots bone but no truss rod.
The body is made out be what what looks like teak - there is real fine rich red dust all over the inside from this wood (the pics don't do justice to the color). What's weird is that the painting technique is the same as early Fender - paint over varnished wood. I take this out once a year and then put it back not knowing what to do with it. I cannot find the original bridge or tuners, but neither said anything helpful. The pickguard seems to be not of the era. Any guesses? I know this seems kinda random...

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DrummerMan
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Post by DrummerMan » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:47 pm

If you don't get the answer here, I'd post about over at tdpri.com. It's a telecaster site, but there's a lot of people over there who know their general fender vintages. That's the only help I can give. I don't know crap about strats myself.

rty5150
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Post by rty5150 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:07 pm

i dunno, but things about that guitar don't really add up. very few strats had matching headstocks. the body is not a typical fender wood. the decals look iffy, the neck pocket is...well, rough. the pickups have plastic insulation not really period correct for late 60's strat. pics didn't show if it had a bullet truss rod, but i can almost assume so since the end of the neck showed no screw.
just a weird strat if not a fake.


rich

Banana Crotchbuckle
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Post by Banana Crotchbuckle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:15 am

yeah i know - its half janky but an old janky - I have not figured out why yet, that is the mystery. It is not a new ripoff, but an old and odd ripoff probably.
And I will check out that tele site - that might be the ticket.
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???????
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Post by ??????? » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:58 am

Just for a definitive "it's not a real Fender," here are some things wrong with it:

The body appears in the pics (hard to say for sure) to be made of Mahogany or Luan, which is a southeast asian wood often used on cheap imported guitars. It is definitely not alder or ash, the two Fender woods.

The neck also does not look like the correct maple.

I don't see a truss rod in the neck (that IS the end of the neck in that picture, right?)

Look at the "r" in stratocaster... actually both "r"s. Wrong font. A little curlicue tail that was never used by Fender for anything!

But perhaps the most amusing is the "offset contour body" sticker, which was only used by Fenders on the Jaguars and Jazzmasters. Strats said "ORIGINAL contour body."

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Post by rty5150 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:18 am

the abundance of neck screws in the body as well as the painted headstock were the hugest red flags for me. the sticker on the new style trem was also sketchy.

rich

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Post by sound for sandwiches » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:31 am

Why does it only come out once a year? is the neck warped or something? Fender or not (and I agree NOT, for sure) it looks like an ax with a lot of mojo.

David

(edit: did I just say Mojo? ewww.)

Banana Crotchbuckle
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Post by Banana Crotchbuckle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:59 am

yeah, I don't think this guitar could have passed by anyone with a discerning eye, I just cannot figure out who the audience was - it was not built to be antiqued or rare, it is just of that era. This could not have been sold in a music shop - it's not that well mimicked. I can't figure out why they did not put a truss rod in it if the channel was already there! (that is the original neck). So all I can figure is that maybe someone bought it on the street or some backroom music shop back in the day somewhere not in the US - is that a good guess? It seems right to me...
And I don't know why I always put it back - maybe I tend to put the $150 it would require for a new neck towards analog keyboards instead :D
In college when it was assembled the neck was a little warped so I shimmed it with a plastic bread bag clip - damn you invisible truss rod! But it worked.
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Post by Eggmann » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:16 pm

Google "serviceman guitar". I think you will find your answer.

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Post by Eggmann » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:19 pm

Actually "servicemen guitar' with an E.

Here's a link:
http://www.jimshine.com/phillipino/viet ... copies.htm

Banana Crotchbuckle
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Post by Banana Crotchbuckle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:53 pm

holy crap I think that is it! Even down to the double sets of screws on the neck!
http://www.jimshine.com/phillipino/stripped0.jpg
thanks eggmann!
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Banana Crotchbuckle
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Post by Banana Crotchbuckle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:21 pm

i should also add that if this rousing action has gotten your blood up for this guitar, i will trade it for synths! It is going back under the workbench for another year. Thanks all - mystery solved! Jim is going to put it up on the "Vietnam Serviceman Copies" page.
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KennyLusk
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Post by KennyLusk » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:35 pm

??????? wrote:Just for a definitive "it's not a real Fender," here are some things wrong with it:

The body appears in the pics (hard to say for sure) to be made of Mahogany or Luan, which is a southeast asian wood often used on cheap imported guitars. It is definitely not alder or ash, the two Fender woods.

The neck also does not look like the correct maple.

I don't see a truss rod in the neck (that IS the end of the neck in that picture, right?)

Look at the "r" in stratocaster... actually both "r"s. Wrong font. A little curlicue tail that was never used by Fender for anything!

But perhaps the most amusing is the "offset contour body" sticker, which was only used by Fenders on the Jaguars and Jazzmasters. Strats said "ORIGINAL contour body."
+1 on this...noticed the mahogany right away and the "Contour Body" sticker (Jazzmaster) and the "R"s roll out at the bottom like they do on the old Jazzmaster decals. Nice pickup there dude. Lokks like Eggman nailed it. I love this place.
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Banana Crotchbuckle
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Post by Banana Crotchbuckle » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:25 am

One last update - Jim has been real great over there from the Vietnam Guitar pages - I send him some updated photos and he ascertained that the pickups are a matched set of Fenders from May 1979. Who would have thought? I guess now I should really get a good neck and put this thing to use! A true frankenstrat...
Last edited by Banana Crotchbuckle on Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KennyLusk
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Post by KennyLusk » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:38 am

Absolutely man. hey, who wouldn't want a strat with a mahogany body?
"The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, "I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?" Terrence McKenna

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