You can have it in any colour, as long as its black, white or sunburst. Oh ok then, Lake Placid Blue it is......
Surely on of the most diverse of custom colour shades, this one is mega rare to boot. 1974 Fender Stratocaster in Lake Placid Blue
Unless you fancied olympic white or black, custom colour Fender Strats and Teles were rare birds by the early/mid 70’s. With CBS firmly holding the corporate reigns, trying to order a real custom colour Strat involved a lot of patience on the customers part and a fir bit of perseverance by the dealers. It seemed as if CBS were only really interested in churning out stock items by the many, many dozens, so finding a genuine custom colour from this period can be a pretty difficult task, in fact probably more difficult than finding an early sixties custom colour.
This guitar is in amazing shape. The colour has survived very well with hardly any fading at all, just a little yellowing of the clear coat and so remains as more of a blue hue than green. There are a few dings, most prominent is on the top edge, but these don’t detract from the overall look of the instrument. You’ll also notice the finish has been scraped from the control cavity near the tone pot. This was a sometimes seen procedure carried out in the factory when the pick guard wouldn’t go on due to inaccuracy with the body route.
The neck looks fantastic. There is no real wear to the finish on the back or on the fretboard, just a few very minor dings. The factory original frets have plenty of life left in them.
The plastics and hardware are well looked after as you’d expect with only some minor corrosion on the saddles. The electronics have been corrected as the guitar arrived with a 5 way switch which replaced with a 3 way switch that was in the case pocket, we can put that 5 way back if the buyer prefers. The pots and pickups are correct and the solder joint here are undisturbed.
1974 is of course the last year of the staggered pole Hendrix type pickups and is pretty much considered to be the final year before things got really, really messy at CBS Fender
The guitar comes with its correct Black Tolex Fender case along with the original sales receipt and Fender warranty (unfortunately that ran out in 1975!)
Sonically we are definitely in the ‘Strat’ zone here with regards to tone. The grey bottom pickups have a glassy tone which really evokes the sound you imagine when discussing the Stratocaster, in the writers opinion. This is in no way a criticism as these pickups deliver a wide variety of tonal colour which is especially pleasing in the ‘in-between’ settings. The maple neck also adds a brightness to proceedings which makes this guitar ideal for some Robin Trower-esque excursions into fuzzy-univibe-land (slight return).
A rare thing indeed with a lot going for it in the looks and tone department. Don’t let the three bolt neck put you off, this one works very well and is rock solid!
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