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Strat Trivia


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I was watching Antiques Roadshow today and learned something interesting. A girl brought in her late father's guitar and amp for an appraisal. It was a '59 sunburst strat, ser. no. 37721, and the amp, same year, was also a Fender. The appraiser took the neck off the guitar to look for the pencilled in date/sig of the inspector and found nothing written there. He mentioned that prior to 1959 there was a factory worker who was pencilling in profanities on the neck butts! Leo learned about it and decided to stop marking the necks entirely until 1961. Afterwards all necks were stamped with the date rather than written in. The guitar was estimated at $25,000 btw. :D

Edited by Southpa
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Here's another couple for ya:

-The Fender Synchronized Tremolo System is actually mis-named.

Leo named it a "tremolo" system, but in correct musical terms, it should be called a "vibrato" system.

-The Fender Synchronized Tremolo System was actually designed to float!

Guitars would leave the factory with about 1/2 a step of pitch raise capability. Most stores screwed the trems down so that they only dropped pitch; so first-time players wouldn't get frustrated with the issues associated with a floating system.

It wasn't the best floating system, but it was a good try. Thankfully, Mr. Rose came along 25 years later and improved things.

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wonder what it would have been worth if it had featured a penciled in profanity..seems like it would have been even more rare.

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"It's a well-known fact that [in 1959] they dispensed with penciling in the dates," Kerry explains. "They went to a rubber stamp in 1960. Why? Well, there was rumor that there was a guy at the end of the production line and he was penciling in not the dates but profanity, and then bolting the necks together. Leo Fender heard about it, and said, 'Okay, you guys, no more writing the dates in pencils.'"

:D funny. I wish I had one of 'em '59 necks..

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If it was that guy at the end of the line's job to check how level the frets were, then I think he was just writing an accurate description of how the neck would play.

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