1983 Strat 2 knob upgrades

Patton

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Here's a pic of my April 83' hardtail. I personally love the neck, body contours, odd Fender decal and don't miss the 2nd tone knob. I sold the 2005 JV Strat a few years ago because while it looked sweet I didn't really bond with it. And it was kind of heavy. I often think about drilling the 83' body for string through but I like it as is. I did use the neck tilt to tilt it up slightly to make the break over the saddles a little sharper.



stratocasters 3 2-27-16 001.JPG
 

Patton

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Sorry; I thought you meant a different tremolo. I agree with @Matthias - the way that trem is made just tighten it all the way down so it's sitting flat on the face of the guitar and call it a day; otherwise you may be better off getting a more traditional body from somewhere else and using that neck for a build. I also agree with him that these are increasing in price - if there's no sentimental attachment to the guitar then try selling it and buying something else.

Here's what the body is routed like under the pickguard:

zemmwumuqsljaqghhng1.jpg


ilfx6dx8gfatcrqne0ny.png


There were some hardtail Standards back in the day but they are few and far between; I found this hardtail on Reverb and while there's no photos with the pickguard removed to how the body is routed it looks like the bridge has to screw into wood that is removed for the tremolo:

nh5dicnyo2leleyamtha.jpg


https://reverb.com/item/31391376-fender-1983-hardtail-stratocaster

I've had the pickguard off my hardtail once and it's just solid underneath the bridge. Standard single coil and control routing. Nothing special there.
 

John C

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I've had the pickguard off my hardtail once and it's just solid underneath the bridge. Standard single coil and control routing. Nothing special there.

Thanks for verifying - I figured as much from the few photos I've seen of 1983-84 Standard hardtails but didn't want to speak without verification.
 

teleplayr

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While these may not be the most beautiful or beloved stratocasters made, as has been mentioned they are collectible. Their weird features were only made a short time, and as such some people will pay more than a "regular" strat for one of these things I don't think you should fiddle with too many mods. It would be more cost effective to just sell it and get a new guitar rather than fiddle with it and destroy value.


You're probably thinking of what is known as a "Smith Strat" they are collectable and any mods done to one of these guitars will ruin the value. The last Smith Strat I saw for sale was $1,600 and that was some time ago and might be a lot higher now.

Like Kloun said, rather than butchering one of these, sell it and buy the Strat you want.
 

Denton

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Well I was close to ordering a loaded custom shop 69 pickguard off eBay this weekend, but I think I’m going to start trying to bond with the pickups I have. I might try a black pickguard to mix things up.

Since it was my father-in-laws guitar that was inherited, selling is out of the question. I will keep it regardless...just trying to get the best sounding strat possible. Pickups measure 5.6 ish measuring through the cord with a multimeter
 

John C

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Well I was close to ordering a loaded custom shop 69 pickguard off eBay this weekend, but I think I’m going to start trying to bond with the pickups I have. I might try a black pickguard to mix things up.

Since it was my father-in-laws guitar that was inherited, selling is out of the question. I will keep it regardless...just trying to get the best sounding strat possible. Pickups measure 5.6 ish measuring through the cord with a multimeter


Nice looking guitar, and good that you're going to keep it.

I will point out that none of the currently available Fender pickguards fit these guitars - not a 50s vintage style, not a 60s vintage style, and not the American Standard/Series/Professional style - if you want to make change to another color you'll have to either find an old one (although I don't think these were in any color than the white) or have one made for it.

EDIT: I was wrong; Fender and Fender-licensed pickguards do fit; it's just the hole pattern that is different. Thanks for the correction @Beachbum!
 
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Denton

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Is it just a hole line up issue, or is it the overall shape? The 83 has 12 holes, I see some 11 holes on eBay. If all but 1-2 holes line up, I’m not too concerned. I’d go with black, which wouldn’t be noticeable if a couple holes aren’t filled.
 

Beachbum

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Is it just a hole line up issue, or is it the overall shape? The 83 has 12 holes, I see some 11 holes on eBay. If all but 1-2 holes line up, I’m not too concerned. I’d go with black, which wouldn’t be noticeable if a couple holes aren’t filled.

I'm pretty certain that it's just a matter of the missing 12th hole. I bought this one from Allparts some years back (advertised as fitting Fender Strats). The holes lined up perfectly with no need for drilling extras. Come to think of it in all of the years I've followed these guitars on forums I've never heard of anyone having a problem with Fender branded or Fender licensed pick guards fitting.

VTo6wKsTbRv3W-mHbvkCcsZyh8HADqRV_OExJCLnJeUu6MxtRii4NDlP3dqZE_YdiUJwBJBsdJTv9KiB1HSP_tZxJ3uLuz1io-gZzRC-WYF1GhN2vCSeWZCG1LSXDIkumC83qAnqRWXZ-Yk5Wt5LYmK-7mbJuTH-1fqLiGtWkk1ao9vBbI5ZJsTTOC9JpiAM-LhAo6WCkwoJhFmvN7Ub5QVS6PtdpYp6iQGRS3T3W7_mJESq7FwjXa0VWQKJZLw4f1nyZCItTtPVK4n6wQGoWmJXCuisjpaM36UcQ0Rv_G--oiLUX5HSvbpWKbULfzT3c3HSwXDnqyD1KZC9ZkRDqYhT3z01y9lfCDGd1FXMwJ7XgkbZn0xeATXMXDnc9ZpUXoleUf-2sPXl_ajLQnwrDUEA-cWHNvDiUKo5uKBREQEjeicFEUwtj-tt_vHsig-nMpnqeC529UshPPwBdFiTCIETIH0wKCfykqGyHUPk9NJxs2UBdNUC4jfN4JxDnMkTd6sxwvOM8q9De1HNGkdZIjLPQztr1gWfp3T_VGUxScm9mal4mz_SzzxXzWU5Qo112cEX5IGmtjp9HPgASFuVavY9voSzPPb86cJwrjE_lh3r46p81tw_uxMdBxJWXLLRYOlFpDXHcr_d2MUZleHPqvCrSzTquV6F4UeI-6p4PKkMDSs41iNOd5NvfbSEEw=w521-h693-no
 
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Beachbum

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That is a great looking Strat! The pickguard is perfect with that Sienna Burst

Thanks:) By the way at one time I looked long and hard for a hard tail bridge that would fit but no luck. The best I could come up with was Warmoth who can spec one that way but since I pin the bridge anyway I just couldn't see spending the bucks.
 

Denton

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I really don’t have an issue with bridge...it will stay in tune pretty well. Plus my #1 is my Les Paul so I’m used to checking tuning pretty regularly lol.
 

John C

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I'm pretty certain that it's just a matter of the missing 12th hole. I bought this one from Allparts some years back (advertised as fitting Fender Strats). The holes lined up perfectly with no need for drilling extras. Come to think of it in all of the years I've followed these guitars on forums I've never heard of anyone having a problem with Fender branded or Fender licensed pick guards fitting.

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Ah - good to know; for some reason I was thinking the shape was slightly different as well - that it flattened out more toward the bottom - but that is just an optical illusion since there isn't the traditional Strat output jack. Sorry about that guys.:oops::oops::oops::oops:
 

Collin D Plonker

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Mods are for newer/cheaper guitars. As time goes by, the ones that weren't touched are worth the big bucks. I love tweaking my guitars, but I wouldn't fool with that, even if you intend to keep it.
 

Tone Chase

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The screw location, at the top, between the neck and middle pickup is different than traditional 11 screw pick guards.

Then the extra 12th screw at the top, near the input.

The original pick guards for these a simple, single layer, one colour guards.
 

Denton

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Mods are for newer/cheaper guitars. As time goes by, the ones that weren't touched are worth the big bucks. I love tweaking my guitars, but I wouldn't fool with that, even if you intend to keep it.

If I did any mods, it would be a loaded pickguard with no broken solder joints or added pickguard screws. All I would need to do to is add solder an input jack and remove a pot on the loaded guard I believe.
 

Beachbum

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If I did any mods, it would be a loaded pickguard with no broken solder joints or added pickguard screws. All I would need to do to is add solder an input jack and remove a pot on the loaded guard I believe.

Even better some of the companies make them with the pickup, ground and jack connections all plug and play. In this case I used EMG passives but I'm sure that there are others to choose from.

ZLmR5TERb6WTLfHX_wOWcVIqj96WgkUMlDyDdnqfhxBKsPn71cpvk9ttMkUFzw_CVKgOzCRX7boTZBhJwcEaHLNSbzPObxfNEPAuI3Acr0W5BxVLCGqj4Uhk0PrtpkEinNXnaWkyqdUe9mdNFLRbhQGwcpcaAh28y-kP5cRbV9Ifswgr6cIvjndDW6BkIvoj5_UV9iLCXnsemBvzROWAV1BL8Tla-eNjNipU_3RZVwgvQtmrKH-P4VnKW-oKji1b30KvB6_cR3ukqgT4N7b-3CinjZVsGEIKKKeCecT9jbt4Ow22O7I3GSYNa0PPPKPC5owGUQpq-GJJt1U_BxTPhOqYzwjc3kbk_S5NaQA__g2FNGjnnUztDYGsplSG_GK28_Acdtw4cs_ynfPCtLQg-rMX7VuzyixsQsDMyLjC7Y9nR5PSCq4WzK9VFHM2L2YS55qQYh68GSa2nKtF3iKB8qXGcrIJnNHGOusZTcoUVb7yL5pV26AKm5iPQ2SkGpeBKlB4V2jtDp9j7mUdW9riazoJaZYtM1MZ05mKIC5GFZF9xjskKEgWVnOhyi0ObSNcKHyY5nRwVQMPZZp_0xJpcEWk54uk6pIvholbS_9-gMLgLodD5Dj46XclkKdQNnAeC7US_5OmhbN1d93kcAnwUhqxGOlTu4e2g6IQH1tOR_2j_4Jvd4PfQ1SDuED5WA=w650-h693-no
 

adjason

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I kept breaking strings so I changed the saddles to graphite about 20 years ago- my frets are so indented I hardly every play it but every time I drag it out from under the bed I really like its tone. the thing is getting on to 40 years old, I would keep the pickups as is. 69's are nice but are they better? I would say no- keep the tone knob low and play around with the pickup height
 




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