1974 CBS era Sunburst Fender Stratocaster with tremolo

• 2nd Mar, 2016 • 1 Comments      << Back to Blog List


My first electric guitar was a red Watkins Rapier 33 bought on hire purchase from the Bell's Music Catalogue, which I used wear out thumbing through the pages. This guitar was the closet thing I could afford that resembled a Strat and in my imagination it was a Strat. However, I still desired the real thing and when I got my first job I started saving like crazy to buy one, although the saving didn't last very long, as on one of my regular Saturday tours of the music shops in and around Sheffield I found my dream guitar in Carlsbro Sound Centre, a brand new sunburst Strat with a hard case. Anyway, the exitement got the better of me, I traded in my Watkins Rapier and signed on the dotted line to another hire purchase agreement.

This guitar has served me well and is ageing gracefully with the laquer wearing through on the body chamfer and the rosewood fret board becoming slightly concave between the frets from finger wear. It has had a  re-fret, a new nut and the frets have since been re-profiled. I was never really happy with the bridge pickup, this being a little too cutting and so I had a Kent Armstrong installed which gave it a fatter sound and I also assigned one of the tone pots to it so that I could roll-off the highs. Later I decided to replace all of the pickups with Seymour Duncan: Hot Rails (bridge), Cool Rails (middle) and Vintage Rails (neck). I have also replaced the three position pickup seletor switch with a  five position switch to get those in between settings, along with the volume pot and bridge saddles.

This guitar has always been something of a challenge to play on account of a fairly high action, albiet very rewarding.    

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  1. Chris

    Ah - I remember the Bell's Music Catalogue with great nostalgia. I used to read it front to back over and over. Your post really brings back some memories...

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