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Colour of plastic on 50s style strat?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by AJBaker, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    What's your preference?

    Fender these days seems to like combining a white single ply pickguard with cream coloured knobs and pickup covers.

    Recently I swapped out some covers: my CS70s strat had a (3 ply) cream guard and white covers, and my CP50s strat had a white guard and the rest was cream.

    While I was doing some work on both guitars, I swapped out some parts, and now the CS70s is all cream and the CP50s is all white.

    I'm trying to decide if I like the look.

    On the one hand, on the originals, the colour was never 100% consistent and the knobs were sometimes extremely white, and later on sometimes turned cream. The pickup covers often weren't even the same colour as the knobs!
    This inconsistency has a certain charm, just like the later mint green guards.

    On the other hand, I'm fairly certain that Leo Fender planned for everything to be the same shade of white when he designed the strat and ordered the parts. By having everything be white, it looks more like what Leo intended, but it looks almost 'too new'.

    But then again, the white/cream combo is almost clichée these days, I think it would look better if it wasn't quite as yellow.


    What's your preference?
     
  2. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Unless the guitar is old/relic’d, I find parchment is aged enough for plastics. A white pickguard will do you on a 50s Strat but I’d be tempted to take the sheen off a bit with some rubbing compound.
     
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  3. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

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    I like white 1-ply with white or light parchment knobs and pickup covers. I didn’t used to like the all white look, but now I do.
     
  4. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    The cream on the new ones I find to be cartoonish. I have two twenty something year old fenders that are now naturally cream but nowhere near that dark. And some from the sixties after a certain point, the guard never aged, the type of plastic was all over the place. I knew someone with a 60 something jazz bass and the guard was as white as snow still. Knew another guy with a 60 something jazzmaster, the white plastic was all a light parchment. The plastic tint they use on some of the modern americans and some of the squier VMs is perfect for that vibe and holds relatively long too. But it’s impossible to find aftermarket. My understanding is the single ply guards from the 50s generally stayed pretty white.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  5. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    That one ply white / cream knobs & covers combo is maybe what I love the most on Strats.
    In the meantime this is the first picture of a Strat I ever saw in my life:
    upload_2021-2-28_22-40-27.jpeg
     
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  6. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I think I once read that someone like Ron Kirn or Don Mare (don't quote me, I can't remember who) said that having all the plastic be the same colour made it look like a walmart guitar.

    I think is funny though how poor quality 50s/60s plastic has become a sought after look, when Leo was no doubt yelling at his suppliers to just provide him with 'white' plastic! :)
     
  7. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I prefer Cream/Blk/Cream.
    To get the knobs, pup covers & switch tip to match, I take 1000 grit sandpaper to the knobs & pickup covers & soak them in a solution of strong coffee, enough grounds to make a pot but in about a coffee cup's amount of water. Soak them until they darken to taste...pickguards normally won't stain like that. Direct sunlight will do the trick.
    This pickguard is a Fender mint green guard I left in direct sunlight for 2 summers. The 62RI is had been on had been replaced by a Warmoth Crm/Blk/Crm guard & I put the original outside and forgot about it until I built this hardtail in 50's style 2-tone. MJT did the finish & I used a neck off a '02 '57RI.

    F688647F-367D-49AC-A524-9F4E6EB2A754.jpeg
     
  8. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've got the original 1 ply pick guard, pickup covers and knobs on my 1982 JV Squier Strat ('57 spec/style). It's interesting to see how they have aged (38 years now). It's hard to photograph, but it's gone more of a parchment sort of colour (based on other parts I've bought described as such). The knobs have slight fine cracks in them and are a little darker than the 'guard as are the pickup covers. The selector switch isn't original so it's a little white looking (must try the coffee trick on it). I like how it has aged, but I guess I'm biased. :)

    I've bought some plastic parts more recently as part of a second Strat build (the JV has earned a rest ;) ). It's been difficult finding parts that don't look too white as I don't want it to look 'brand new': I'd like to aim for something close to the JV's parts, except this Strat will have a 3 ply early 60's look. I mistakenly bought a Mint green that looked almost pistachio, quickly exchanged for a lighter version that is much nicer: Doesn't look green on it's own, but does next to the JV's pick guard.

    I'm currently waiting on a Fender set of 'aged white' knobs, switch tip and back plate, so I'm hoping these will be more like my JV. Hopefully those aged white on the (light) mint green will look similar to some of the genuine '59 Strats I've seen for sale, that I'm basing my build on.

    This is the look I'm going for on the '59 style build (from an advert for a genuine '59 Strat):


    1959 Strat full view.jpg

    This is my own JV Strat, but the colours don't look quite the same as in person. This makes the knobs look quite bright, but they aren't in person. The Bareknuckle pickups don't quite fit perfectly inside the original covers, but I prefer the worn look:
    IMG_3071.jpg

    The whole guitar (it was refinished in nitro about 5-6 years ago as I'd resprayed it twice with rattle cans...):
    JV Squier in case.jpg
     
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  9. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    16147005229754650717898981106496.jpg White on white (but slightly off white).
     
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  10. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    16147006201148649832949226104632.jpg Cream on cream for comparison.
     
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  11. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    Here's one for you, I have a mexican pbass made in 1996 and just recently I noticed the tone knob is quite a bit darker than the volume knob. I've had it for several years and I'm pretty sure it's aging.

    I have a white pickguard strat with cream knobs that I bought that way and it doesn't look that cool. They're real shiny and I think they are probably more cream than actual Fender ones. I forget the name of the brand these are. I think Guitar Fettish. I want to put black on there cuz I have a black switch tip and I think it will look good with the burst on the guitar.

    One more thing, I replaced a single ply white on a Squier Bullet Strat 2010. I put a black on on there but what's amazing is that you can see the difference in color from where the knobs covered up the pickguard. It was quite a bit whiter under where the knobs covered it up but when you look at the pickguard itself it looks pretty darn white white.
     

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  12. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Nice picture!
    That's a nice example of what I personally think is 'too' yellow for the knobs.
    Would pure white look nicer? Or a slight off white?
     
  13. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, pure white would like nicer. I robbed those to put on my Tele though... And I like them on there. LOL. I plan to order black for this one.
     
  14. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Holic

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    A pic of my Tele for reference....
     

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