Weird "fender" Strat Id Help Requested

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by toomanycats, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Here's an interesting guitar I crossed paths with today. This one was in a Habitat for Humanity store in the section where items are displayed for silent auction. From twenty feet away it nearly gave me a heart attack.

    Holy sh*t! An old Fender Strat leaning against the wall in the thrift store!
    IMG_3864.JPG

    A closer look.
    fullsizeoutput_4a0.jpeg

    Fender neck plate and a beautiful finish on the back of the neck. But does the shape of the horns look off to you?
    fullsizeoutput_4a4.jpeg

    The truss rod plug is plastic.
    IMG_3859.JPG

    The decals looks very fake to me. Nut appears to be plastic. Note that there is only a single guide for the E and B strings. Someone has strung it backwards hbowner style.

    fullsizeoutput_4a1.jpeg

    The tuners have been replaced with Gotohs.
    fullsizeoutput_49f.jpeg

    The neck and middle pickup have the look of Alnico rods magnets (parallel lines), while the bridge pup looks like it has steel slugs (concentric circles).
    fullsizeoutput_49e.jpeg

    Two point bridge with fender bent steel saddles.
    fullsizeoutput_49d.jpeg

    The trem block looks like what's typically seen on cheaper imports.
    fullsizeoutput_4a2.jpeg


    Some other relevant observations:

    *The body is thin like a newer Affinity or Bullet.
    *There's a sloppy gap between the neck and the body at the upper pocket, as if they may not belong together.
    *The paint on the body is obviously not original. Looks like a poor rattle can job with lots of orange peel.

    My tentative conclusion is that this is some type of aftermarket or other non Fender/Squier brand body. The neck may be from a 90s MIM "Fender Stratocaster Squier Series" guitar. The saddles and neck plate are real Fender. The neck and middle pups are Alnico, while the bridge is ceramic.

    Current bid is $50. I'm not sure I'd pay even that much for it, though there's no telling how much higher it will go. People sometimes get stupid with silent auctions.

    So what do you guys think it is?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
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  2. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I think its what you think it is. A partscaster/Squier botch project.

    I'm on my cell phone, but even still, I can see the edges of the decals, like they just applied it to the surface of the headstock. Those edges would be disappeared under clear on a legit neck. The only exception would be a genuine Fender replacement neck (they dont spray clear over the decal on those), but they wouldn't have a plastic TR insert or a plastic nut.
     
  3. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    Trem plate screw holes being parallel vs offset is an import indication, IMO. Along with the tremblock, narrow body depth, etc. you already noted.

    Nice color.

    32$ is my highest bid. But I'ld start lower.
     
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  4. jamdogg

    jamdogg Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Good assessment - a cool guitar @# 20' away.
     
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  5. slowhand84

    slowhand84 Well-Known Member

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    Yep the decal looks very suspect, though those are Gotoh Japan tuners so there is a possibility it's a MIJ Fender neck and someone changed the decal. Or just a nice set of tuners included, who knows!
     
  6. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    The part that looks funniest to me is the way the fretboard spills into the wider part of the headstock.
     
  7. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about the tuners some more, it occurs to me that if they had been changed from those cheapo diamond/hex jobbers, there should be six empty screw holes. You may well be correct that the Gotoh tuners are original to the neck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  8. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    I prefer crown heads and 90 degree tabs but for some reason Gotoh tuner still make me happy anyway.
     
  9. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    That sure is a thick slab of rosewood though.
     
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  10. hatchmusic

    hatchmusic Well-Known Member

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    Horns look off to me and the bridge is not a fender bridge. Also the truss rod plug on the neck appears to be too dark. The decal could be a repro waterslide.

    I would say that it's probably a mighty mite neck on some random import body.
     
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  11. hatchmusic

    hatchmusic Well-Known Member

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    Didn't even notice the thick rosewood fretboard.
     
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  12. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    Now that I got a better look at those pics, I've got a Tele neck from a Squier Bullet or Affinity (I don't remember which, and I've long since stripped the neck to bare wood), and it has an identical plastic insert at the truss rod.
    The rosewood does kinda ride up high on the headstock too, but not as high as that one.

    I don't know if fretboard thickness is a reliable indicator of manufacturer. I've seen all kinds of fretboard thicknesses on low-end Squiers. The neck on my partscaster Tele is from an $89 S101 guitar. I bought it from some random dude on ebay, and it's got a thick, rich looking slab of rosewood, and flame all over the place! Looks like a $400 Warmoth neck! A better indicator, I believe, is headstock thickness. They get pretty thin on cheaper guitars.

    That horn does look whack too, now that I can see it better. And the neck plate and the bridge and/or pickguard are crooked.

    I think this is a Squier neck on some random, cheap, Strat copy body.
     
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  13. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It looks like a Squier Japan neck to me on who knows what body. Most Fender Japan necks have the truss rod adjust in the heal, most Squier Japan in the headstock but there are exceptions for both. The neck with Gotoh tuners is probably worth quite a bit more than the current bid.
     
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  14. BrianSkeezer

    BrianSkeezer Well-Known Member

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    The body looks to be identical in shape to my Squier Affinitys, even with the "weird" horn shape. I agree with Mossman, the bridge looks very crooked.
     
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  15. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    One of the reasons why I thought the neck on the Habitat for Humanity auction guitar may be a "Fender Stratocaster Squier Series" is that I saw one of these relatively rare guitars later that day. It was in a pawn shop (where else). $269.95 isn't a bad price, though it's not giving it away. They knew what the had.

    Apart from the maple vs rosewood fretboard, I found the necks on these two guitars to be almost identical. Pre CBS headstocks, single string guide, plastic truss rod insert, and similar finish.

    fullsizeoutput_49a.jpeg

    fullsizeoutput_49b.jpeg

    fullsizeoutput_4a3.jpeg

    fullsizeoutput_499.jpeg
     
  16. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Not a bad idea but I don't think so. Squier Series were made in both Japan then Mexico but I don't think they ever used Gotoh tuners. Just like you pointed out earlier, you would see the second hole. Also the Japanese Squier Series have very specific looking matte finish on the maple. I have a MIJ Squier Series Telecaster and it is my favorite Tele neck I've played counting other Squiers, Fender USA, Fender Japan, etc.

    I would say this neck is more likely Squier Japan from late 80's which also have fantastic Fender necks. I have one of those as well but don't think I have any pics with me but I might. I'll check later.

    If you could get them to let you take the neck off that would give you lots of info.
     
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  17. jimytheassassin

    jimytheassassin Well-Known Member

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    First off, that Fender Squire series is three times better than the humanity guitar. My squire series is till my number one player. Second, I don't think the neck on the humanity guitar is a squier series, nor a squier or anything fender. It looks wrong. The string guide is misplaced too high up even for squier (or for so many as i've seen). Its installed around the 3rd tuner.. most High E guides i've seen are in the middle of tuners 2-3 or lower. There are unfortunately the remote chances I'm completely wrong, because these things have been made in a dozen different countries. But the profile shape from the nut to the tuner side definitely off IMO. $50 bucks is about right, unless the neck really is amazing.. then $75 :p

    ALSO, what's up with the tremolo. I've never seen one that completely captures the studs in a two point system. Quick search reveals aliexpress has this style available. I have never seen this on previous import guitars though, unless it's aftermarket like wilkinson or something.
     
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  18. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I Stand corrected by myself, lol. The Fender Squier Series from Mexico like the one you posted used Trap Tuners but the Japanese Squier Series did in fact use Gotoh. I can post the pics I have of my Squier Series Tele later. I got it for 2 bills back when I was buying 1-2 a week so never did a NGD because I was sensing some fatigue from the masses.

    That could be a Fender Squier series Japan neck and if it's anything like the Tele necks it is akin to being handed down from the Gods themselves and you need to grab it.
     
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  19. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    @Mossman would have found out that the neck on my #1 was handed down from the gods but he was so shocked by the 'house paint' finish that he didn't even attempt a strum.
     
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  20. guitaro

    guitaro Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    @toomanycats, you should see if you can get them to let you take the neck off. Tell them you are a professional guitar tech (a little exaggeration is no problem) and that you are strongly considering offering more than their current high bid but you want to be sure it's really a "Fender" (I actually think it's a Squier Japan which is a real Fender). You can also offer to replace the strings which oddly are configured as a lefty currently. Also at least one of the strings isn't even seated in the trem block. So while you are doing them a solid getting it strung properly you can take the neck off and check the markings on the heal.

    The thing is, as slowhand pointed out, those are definitely Gotoh Japan tuners, and they look like they are stock to that neck so usually 1 + 1 = 2
     
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