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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1957 strat specs

So I'm thinking of having Ron Kirn build a custom strat to 1957 specs. After research, playing a couple and talkimg to dealers, 57 seems to be the year for strats.

Any good resource (or suggestions) for neck profile dimensions and pickups windings (or brands...I know there's a million put there but I feel like ron would do a great job winding them based on my barnbuster pups), magnets and any other things I should relay to him for the build? I understand that mid 56 to 58 are V shapes and can vary throughout those years but i feel they hit their stride in 57.

I feel like Fender reissues are a good place to start but they always seem to get stuff wrong, the neck profile for example (comparing 64 jazz bass vs custom shop I have..CS hasore of a U shape than the real thing). So I'm not sure if their guitar necks are more similar than their basses.

I've already settled on a three tone burst...so I'm not keeping it spot on for a 57 but want something close to feel of a 57 but look of early 60s.


Thanks for the help!

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Old August 19th, 2013, 07:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would pick a neck profile that is comfortable for you and not worry if it is vintage.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well the baseball bat barnbuster neck is nice but the c shape strat and tell necks after 58 are too slim and flat. The make my hand hurt, but I feel like I need something that is best of both worlds...which is why I think the V is the way to go.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 08:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I didn't like the '57 RI but the new '56 Pure Vintage RI got all the details right and the neck is SO much better. I've got 2 of them! The neck profile is less of a thin pointed V and more of a round U. Both of mine taper to over an inch thick at the 12th fret. Think chunky '52 RI almost Nocaster like.

The finishes look less plastic-like and more authentic to their vintage reissue as well.

The price is just right too. Don't base it on the list price. I'd recommend emailing some dealers you should be able to get one 1500ish shipped.

I'm a notorious guitar flipper but I've still got my 2 Pure Vintage Reissue Teles I bought back in December, my '65 Pure Vintage Reissue Jazzmaster, and 2 recent '56 RI Strats. They aren't going anywhere.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Are these the same as the AVRI series? I heard this year's batch is the closest yet to the real thing.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 10:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geddy402 View Post
Are these the same as the AVRI series? I heard this year's batch is the closest yet to the real thing.
The are technically the "new' AV line that replaced the old '57s.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 10:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredDairy View Post
I didn't like the '57 RI but the new '56 Pure Vintage RI got all the details right and the neck is SO much better. I've got 2 of them! The neck profile is less of a thin pointed V and more of a round U.
The AVRIs were around for about three decades. There was not just one shape during that time. My '57 AVRI from 1992 has a C shape that is about 7/8" at the octave. The V didn't come around until they "fixed" it in 1998. I have a feeling you'd actually like my guitar. For my purposes, they got it right 20 years ago already.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The AVRIs were around for about three decades. There was not just one shape during that time. My '57 AVRI from 1992 has a C shape that is about 7/8" at the octave. The V didn't come around until they "fixed" it in 1998. I have a feeling you'd actually like my guitar. For my purposes, they got it right 20 years ago already.

I disliked the earlier AV RIs even more so than their redesigns in '98. That goes for the Teles as well.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 11:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Fender necks were hand shaped back then, so they were all different from one to the next. Actually, Fender has a whole bunch of models based roughly on '57 strats. The Clapton strat was modeled after his '56/57 parts strat, the Jeff Beck strat is, I believe, another variation. (Both of these have 9.5" radius boards with med jumbo frets I think.) I have an Eric Johnson strat which is yet another tweaked '57ish strat with a specific pickup set and a 12" radius board. I think I just saw a very nice MIJ '57ish strat on the wall in my nice guitar store, next to some '50's MIM strats--one of which had a nitro finish. The 50's Road Worn strats are also in that ballpark and have a really nice V neck (I have a '50's Road Worn tele and the slight V neck is GREAT; the deeper V on my EJ strat is GREATER.)

Jimmie Vaughan strat is yet another V neck.

Given the variety of Fender guitars available, I would personally go to a well stocked store and play a whole bunch and see if any specific feature set or specific guitar floats your boat...I have had friends order custom built guitars from various builders and while most were very happy, there were some cases of "not bonding"... For this reason, I prefer buying guitars off the wall of a store, hands on. (This goes even more so for acoustic guitars.)

You might want to check out some of the necks on the models above and see what you like...

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Old August 20th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You might also decide whether you want a hard V or a soft V. The hard V has a more pronounced ridge at the bottom of the V and the sides are straighter. I've played some old Strats that had a VERY V shape to the neck. My '56 has what is called a soft V. The V is there, but it's delicate and my hand doesn't notice it, it just feels right to me. I much prefer the soft V.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think soft V is what I'm leaning towards. I have a lead on a 57 with refined neck, replaced tuners and added string tree for $17k. That sound like a descent price?
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Old August 20th, 2013, 03:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The Eric Johnson is definitely a soft V, around .900" at the first fret--and transitions to a C as you go up; the Road Worn 50's tele is also a soft V, around .865" at the first fret. (I assume the 50's RW strat may be the same but am not sure.) The JV as I recall is a bit more pronounced.

As for $17k for a real '57, I do not follow vintage prices enough to know if it is a good INVESTMENT value--and the vintage market has been subject to some pretty large ups and downs. If you are playing live, the audience will never know the difference between the sound of a real '57 strat and a reissue (or even a standard MIM strat with good pickups). If you are even thinking about a guitar at this price, you are not likely interested in a player so much as an icon with a great deal of "rare postage stamp value" attached to it. Insure it well...
Best of luck to you,
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Old August 20th, 2013, 04:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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To throw some more specs into this thread.
My one '56 AV RI is .910 at the 1st fret
The other is .925 at the first.
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