rich menga books search contact

***Secret FSR Fender guitars? Yes, they exist, and they're right here

Amazon links are affiliated. Learn more.

Vintage guitar of the week #4 - 1974 Fender Stratocaster Natural

What Fender did to save a buck in the '70s ended up with a Strat that has a unique look to it.

This week's vintage guitar is a '74 Strat in "natural" finish. The way this particular look of Strat came about was from Fender trying to save money on production costs.

There were a lot of guitars in the '70s aside from Fender (Gibson as well as other guitar companies did this too) who rolled out "natural" finish guitars where you saw wood, wood and more wood. This style, at least at the time, did cost less to make.

Now to note, Fender does make this guitar brand new right now, so if the price tag of the real-deal '74 is too much, you can get pretty much the exact same guitar in a new version. And it is literally exactly the same guitar, 3-bolt pattern neck plate, "F" tuners, bullet truss rod, "U" shape neck and all. How do I know this? I actually played one in person at a Sam Ash guitar store and can say that oh yes, the new one is just like the original. The only thing the new one doesn't have are 41-year-old pickups, which matters to vintage guitar collectors.

Is it normal that the pegboard (headstock) is different in color than the neck?

On a '70s Fender, yes this is normal as they came from the factory that way. Don't ask me why because I don't know exactly why, but it does add in that "I'm from the '70s" Fender character to the instrument.

What does a "U" shape neck feel like?

The easiest way to describe a "U" shape is that it's bigger in the rear, has much more "shoulder" to it and a lot more room for your thumb.

If you've never played a Strat with a "U" neck on it before, you do get used to it quickly. At first, it feels like a big hunk of wood, but after noodling and strumming around on it, you'll find it to be a comfortable player.

New or vintage?

As said above, this particular '74 is really clean for what it is. Nicely priced and has a slight yellowing from age.

The new '70s Strat, as I can confirm right up front, does not have that yellowing; it's built exactly as it would have come brand new from Fender in '74. It is an ash body just like the real vintage, but in the end, it's a new guitar. Same specs from top to bottom, but still new.

Ultimately, there are two things that will convince you to go with new or vintage. The new one is Mexico-made and isn't aged. The vintage is USA-made and is aged.

If you do decide to put down the money and get the vintage, it is nicely priced, given you get one in good condition.

150801

image
Best ZOOM R8 tutorial book
highly rated, get recording quick!

Gibson Les Paul Headstock New and Premium Used Gibson Les Paul guitars are all right here

⭐ Recent Posts

PRS SE EGThe guitar PRS wants you to forget, the SE EG
This is what PRS was making in the early 2000s.

NUX Duotime Stereo Delay Pedal3 solid reasons to use digital delay instead of analog
Switch to digital and you'll enjoy using the delay effect for guitar a whole lot more.

Boss RC-5 Loop Station Guitar Looper PedalWill looper drums ever not suck?
It is amazing that this problem still exists.

The best looking Dean Z I've ever seen
This is an example of when Dean does the Z right.

Black Sabbath - Black SabbathMy favorite Black Sabbath track from their first album
It's not what you think it is.

🔥 Popular Posts 🔥

Gibson MarauderGibson's "Norlin era" electric guitars
Norlin era Gibsons are some of the worst guitars Gibson ever made. Find out why.

PRS SE EGThe guitar PRS wants you to forget, the SE EG
This is what PRS was making in the early 2000s.

Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Golden 1954 Heavy Relic StratEverything you ever wanted to know about nitro guitar finishes
Is it good? Bad? That depends on your point of view.

Why I still use RAR instead of 7z
Nerdy computer crap time.

Casio F-91WCasio F-91W cheat sheet
A quick guide on how to set the time, date and a few other tips and tricks.

Ibanez AX120 - best cheap SG alternative?
This guitar is an absolute steal. You get a lot of guitar here for a very little price.

Fender American Professional Stratocaster and TelecasterThe final word on Stratocaster vs. Telecaster
The final word on whether the Stratocaster or the Telecaster is the better guitar.