Late 70's Strats??

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by MK333, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. stringbender11

    stringbender11 Member

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    In response to people saying that great music was made on 70's Strats I'd agree, but.. you can't really compare the guitars famous (and wealthy) rock star types were playing to the off-the-shelf version a normal person would buy. I have no doubt their stuff (amps, too!) were really almost custom jobs that had little in common with what was hanging in guitar shops back then. Plus the real story in that great music being made was the talent of the musicians - not the gear, just as today.

    Regardless, modern manufacturing techniques have completely transformed mass produced guitars. As I said earlier, even lowly Squiers and Epiphones are often very nicely made guitars, so the better stuff by Fender and Gibson (and others) really shines. Makes the 70's versions look like something a 12 year-old made, imo.

    I for one believe we live in a golden age for guitarists in that for very little money, you can buy very nice equipment. And for a bit more money you can buy some really spectacular stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  2. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member

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    I agree that we live in a golden era. I also agree that modern guitars....like the American Standard strat are great specimens.

    I hate to over generalize but it’s flat out wrong that all regular production run Gibson and Fender guitars from the 70s suck. That is just not true and way to general of a statement. I think it’s fair to say that they slipped and it was not a golden era especially for Gibson or Fender.

    Besides Blackmore....what big stars used 70s strats. I have to research that but I’m sure he is not aLone. True, Ritchie had hid Strats heavily modified.
     
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  3. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    Glenn Tipton, Robin Trower, Jimi for starters.
     
  4. stringtree

    stringtree Well-Known Member

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    Good point!
    To much credit given to the guitar, and way not enough to the player! :dude:
     
  5. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    Yep, brand new Strats, didn't give two shits, still playing them and if Jimi was alive he would still be playing brand new guitars too, i bet.
     
  6. stringbender11

    stringbender11 Member

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    No, you're absolutely right. I didn't mean to imply all 70's Strats were crap, because that certainly wasn't the case. In fact I think a lot of them were probably very nice guitars. But as said, there were many duds.
    Especially the late 70's ones I've seen - always crude looking and heavy compared to a modern Strat. It's really quite shocking to see an original up close - we're so spoiled now by the modern versions. One thing I've also noticed, is that the actual really sweet 70's ones people still have never seem to come up for sale. It's always the boat anchors, lol. I guess players don't like to part with the really nice examples of the era. :)
     
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  7. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    Robin Trower, Lowell George, Paul Barrer (from Little Feat ) These are a few that I thought of that play 70's Strat's
     
  8. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    Lowell and Paul were quoted as saying they preferred old ones, but so much gear gets stolen on tour that they used new ones live.
    But they didn't have any reason to play guitars they didn't like, or that sounded bad. So they were saying the '70s Strats might not be as great, but they were good enough.

    Trower had always preferred brand new guitars, and replaced them every few years. Started playing new Strats in Procol Harum in the late '60s. Went to buy new ones when he went solo. Said he had to try a dozen at Manny's to find 3 good ones. Used them for his first few Trower albums/tours, then switched to pre-CBS vintage. Says the new FMIC Trower Signature is what the late CBS's should have been.

    Blackmore played '70s Strats. But he modded the hell out of them. He's one of the patron saints of the aftermarket upgrade industry.

    Same for Malmsteen. He likes the aesthetics and the heft, but he modifies them drastically as soon as he gets them.
    ------------------------
    Note: when snobs diss "70s Strats", we're not talking about 1970 and 1971. Those were the same as late '60s Strats.

    Jimi was resting in peace before the 3-bolt, Bullet truss, or cast bridge were even conceived by CBS efficiency experts.

    He played used small-head Strats first album and tour. Then switched to new big heads.

    But he had an endorsement deal with Gibson, not Fender. Played his SG on the Dick Cavett Show, and played his Flying V's so much that Gibson made him a custom lefty V.

    CBS never gave him anything, never used him in ads, never even spoke to him. He had to buy his Strats, and when he damaged them during enthusiastic shows, the roadies pieced together the unbroken parts from several guitars to have a working one. CBS was building him a lefty all-rosewood with the idea of maybe wooing him away from the Gibson endorsement, but he died without ever knowing about it.

    So there's no guarantee he would have adopted the 3-bolt models. He might have just held onto the black one and the white one, then started playing a Travis Bean or something.

    To be fair, CBS didn't give guitars to anybody. They were selling more than they could make. (Remember how I said quality suffered because production quotas kept getting raised?) The guitar industry as a whole sold more guitars every year. Gibson didn't give Jimi all the Gibsons he played. Might not even have paid him for his picture on the guitar store posters.

    Lots of us love Strats. And want them to have the Fender name on it.

    The classical economics idea that consumers make rational choices was abandoned long ago, but the myth remains. People will pay more for a MIJ Fender made by Tokai than for the exact same Tokai model. Lots of Squier models are better than lots of Fender models, but plenty of people buy the Fenders.

    Angry "Buy American" bumper stickers were another '70s thing. Imports were hurting the auto industry, the electronics industry, textiles. Strats still sounded good enough and played well enough to sell in huge numbers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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