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I can’t  say that this Fender 1979 Strat is 100% original – Yet if you examined it, very carefully, 2 or 3 times, then I dare say many would probably be still none the wiser about any changes – There are four non original features – Of these four changes then I certainly did not pick up on three of them straight away –  So let’s look at these four changes :-

1) Sometime in the past an additional strap button has been fitted to the lower horn – Now removed – I have to assume someone has played it left handed – Yet the original top nut has never been re-cut for such changes – As such, I can only assume that any left handed player had left it strung right handed – So as per Albert King and Eric Gale, were they just played the guitar upside down and never changed the strings

2) There was no trem arm in the case when I acquired this Strat – No problem, as I thought I may well have an original one lying about in my spares box, with the 10-32 imperial dimensions – As it happens I didn’t have an old/used example, but I did have some new 10-32 size arms in stock, but quickly found they did not fit – To loose – Now it is a known fact that 70’s trem blocks often have stripped threads – So that was my first thought – Assuming this was the case, I then had a chat with a good guitar tech I know, who could re-tap it out with a metric thread – Often 5 or 6mm – It turns out that it had already been tapped for a new metric 6mm thread – Just that I did not have any such trem arms in my bit box – So I purchased a new one- Bottom line is that the trem now functions, as it should, albeit with a tapped 6mm thread and trem arm

3) Professional re-fret –  I was about to pass comment that this is a good example of a late 70’s Strat – But I’m not sure that is strictly the case with this 79 Strat – Maybe my following explanation is tongue in cheek – Towards the middle/end of the 70’s the build quality of Fender Guitars had dipped somewhat – To be fair, it is not the case that all models from this era are below par, but if you tried 10 similar Strats, then you’d probably find 3-5 dogs – 3-5 that are just about acceptable but nothing to write home about – Then 1 or 2 better examples within the mix of 10 – So whilst the better examples are what Fender should have delivered, in reality, good examples are the exception- In short, if you are looking for a good late 70’s Strat, then this one has to be considered – The re-fret was done some while ago and whoever carried out the work did a good job – It now has a set of medium jumbo size frets, with no lacquer over the top of the frets (un-like the original spec) – This alone has seriously enhanced the guitars playability – Often I find an all original 70’s model, with thick lacquer over small frets, just makes string bending so ‘un-friendly’ to play – This Strat is now set-up with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and feels so much more ‘friendly’ to play, with a sensible fluid action – Frets are nice and clean and show no signs of wear

4) The conventional wiring on a Strat is tone pot neck, plus tone pot middle – The ‘modern’ wiring is often tone neck + tone middle/bridge – This Strat now has such a ‘modern’ wiring – If you wish to put it back to ‘stock’ then this is an easy change to make as required – The plus point of such a mod is that you can trim any excessive highs that you may encounter when selecting the bridge pick-up – As required, a slight tweak on the tone pot, will ensure smoother/softer highs

Further details, in no particular order :-

Overall a guitar with plenty of old school mojo – Yet plays far better than you’d expect to find, compared to most other Strats from the mid/late 70’s era – Is it the best Strat that has ever been made then I can’t answer that as to many different models from different eras, to consider – But in my opinion it out performs many other Strats from the same era, so a Strat that is now well over 40 years old to play, so plenty of character, yet fun to play, own, enjoy

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.