Some of the last of the 4 bolt "Hendrix" Strats, this early 1970 example should be enough to get you interested....
For many, including myself, the larger headstock Stratocaster is iconic. Not only wielded by a certain James Marshall Hendrix but also Ritchie Blackmore and Robin Trower to name but a few. Here is a fantastic example, the last of the four bolts.
This guitar represents the last of the Stratocasters made before the more major design changes brought about by the sale of Fender to CBS came into being. Many consider the four bolt design to be superior for its stronger connection to the body and more stable tuning compared to the the later three bolt. There also seems to be more care taken with construction, specifically the neck pocket.
This guitar is in excellent shape, a few dings and scratches as you’d expect but no serious wear. This is due in some respects to the poly finish which is undoubtably more durable than the nitro. Even so, there is no fade to the finish, each colour retaining its vibrant hue. The neck too is very good, again a few superficial bumps but not sign of the checking that can affect the finish.
The Nitrocellulose applied to the headstock is still very glossy and has escaped much of the discolouration and checking that can occur. There appears to be a small filled hole on the headstock that which like a second string tree may have been fitted at some stage. As you can see from the photos, the original frets have plenty of life left and the fretboard is in fantastic shape. The back plate has been lost to the mists of time, as is so often the case with the Stratocaster.
Internally, there have been some historic changes made. The guitar has retained its correct pickups, each is stamped with a code denoting 1970. We believe the volume pot is correct but its is hard to verify the date stamp as its obscured by solder. Both tone pots have been changed at different times, the neck tone pot more recently and the middle tone pot in the mid-70s. The three-way switch is correct.
Sonically, with the classic grey bottom pickups this guitar certainly fills the position of archetypal late 60s/early 70s Strat. Neck has that smooth tone that begs for those lower string riffs so beloved of Mr H. The middle introduces more bite and aggression while the neck just cuts through. The ‘secret’ in-between tones are also very sweet on this guitar making for quite the package. The medium C neck is very comfortable and smooth to play.
Overlooking these later guitars is a crime as they still represent an important part of the Stratocaster story. Here is a fantastic example that sounds as good as it looks….
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed and tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers, by appointment only, at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment Only) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile: 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607