Mid-70s, no vibrato, refinish.... hold on, look again and you might be surprised
Maybe not such a popular combination but this 1974 Fender Hardtail Stratocaster might just surprise you. Not a common sight but the hardtail Stratocaster is popular amongst musicians looking for the tone but have no need for the vibrato.
This guitar has had a body refinish. Unfortunately no trace of the original finish can be found as a matt red undercoat was applied before the black. The black nitrocellulose finish is reasonably well applied and isn’t too thick. The neck has its original poly finish and is in good shape with some wear to the front and the back particularly the front around the first few frets on the bass side. This wear stretches to the nut and onto the headstock face where the nitro hasn’t worn so well though this does add to the guitars character.
The frets are original too and have plenty of life left in them. The three-bolt neck joint is solid and the micro-tilt function works well. The electronics are correct, pots dated 37th week 1973 and pickups dated 1974. The selector switch has been replaced at some point with a five way switch. The pick guard and plastics have faded a little but aside from the knobs, are correct as far as we can tell. The tip of the guard at the lower horn has broken off but doesn’t affect its stability.
Sonically this guitar certainly delivers. The original staggered pole 1974 dated pickups are crisp sounding with a wide variety of tonal options. The addition of the five-way switch helps access the in-between tones more easily. The combination of maple fretboard and these pickups does make this a great guitar for some funky chordal work ala Nile Rogers but can quickly swap to more mellow neck position tones for some more Hendrixian noodling.
Not necessarily from the most favoured period in Fender’s long history but this guitar certainly shouldn’t be overlooked if you are searching for vintage tone at an affordable price.
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