Let’s Talk About The CBS Years

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dlew919, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,324
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    Apparently the instruments were rubbish. But...

    The thin line came out.
    And the custom, with the Seth lover pickup in the neck.

    Do these redeem cbs? Or should they be overlooked?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    4,934
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    Plenty of fantastic guitars where made in the seventies.

    Don't believe the internet BS.
     
    tele12, Peltogyne, 77Davey and 11 others like this.
  3. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,347
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    Nueces Strip
    Besides the ugly headstock I never had an issue with the 70s stuff
     
    rich815, El Tele Lobo and dlew919 like this.
  4. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,841
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    South London UK
    I've owned 2. A '75 Strat (which I still own) and a '79 Strat.

    The '75 replaced my '79 which was stolen and later recovered damaged. The 75 is heavy by modern standards. I got it v cheap from a pal who helped me out when I needed it. I replaced the pickups with Texas Specials which improved it. the neck is nice. The internet says 'don't get the three Bolt neck because it's unstable'. At least on mine that's BS. It is solid as a rock.

    The '79 as I remember it was very good. Nice neck. The pickups were strong and sound very Stratty. I have them installed on a Parts build. The body finish was thick poly which came off in chunks - just like MIMs do today.

    I think the 70s CBS were inconsistent except for the thick poly.

    I played a 70s tele for a short while (borrowed). I remember it was heavy and sounded good when the top was rolled off a lot with a bit of boost. The neck finish was a bit plasticy.
     
    DanDII and dlew919 like this.
  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,388
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    Everybody knows 70's Fenders were awful so I can only give you $250 for your '73 Strat.
     
    77Davey, ClashCityTele and dlew919 like this.
  6. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    61,131
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Quality control did indeed suffer, IMO.
    The CBS era ushered in “innovations” that were ill considered, and ill conceived.
    Polyurethane finishes, polyurethane shot over frets on maple necks (which flaked off said frets during string bending), ill fitting neck pockets, microphonic pickups, heavy wood, multi piece bodies with poor grain matching, unstable 3 bolt neck joint, micro-tilt (good idea, poor execution), big headstocks (for better logo recognition on screen), bullet truss rods (see micro tilt), and skinny nut widths were all CBS hallmarks.
    Yech!
    The innovative guitars, Thinlines, DeLuxes, and Customs (second generation) were not well received at the time.
    As the years progressed, they did find their fans.
    As a sidebar, Fender’s solid state amps were a massive failure.
    CBS era stuff was full of improvements that weren’t.
    Being a young wannabe guitar hero in that era cemented my undying disdain for CBS era Fender stuff, and Norlin era Gibson stuff.
    Keep the bean counters out of the R&D departments, please!
    End of geezer screed!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
    beagle, P Thought, DanDII and 7 others like this.
  7. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,808
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    I owned a '71 Jaguar.
    I never had the opportunity to A/B it against a pre CBS but I liked it.

    From what I've read...take that for what it's worth... quality control got looser and cost cutting measures were implemented resulting in some less than stellar guitars making it out of the factory.

    I assume some really nice ones did too.

    As always, caveat emptor.
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  8. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,324
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    I’m not buying or selling. I’m very happy with my 2012 deluxe Nashville. And my 2013 squire cab.

    But it’s interesting isn’t it? The Baldwin years at Gretsch are disliked too, but as afar as I can see, there wasn’t the innovation that fender had. That was to come later.

    It’s interesting isn’t it? I don’t think Leo would hav com up with the thinline.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,608
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    Amps too.
     
    77Davey, bftfender, kris ford and 2 others like this.
  10. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,324
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    Always wanted a blackface.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    20,115
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    CBS year instruments weren't as desirable at vintage guitar shows during the 1990's. They kind of took off the last 10 years as the prices of everything went up. Hendrix, Blackmore, Robin Trower, and many others didn't seem to have much of a problem with them when they were new.
     
  12. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,505
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Yes they did. Read any G.P. article published in the 1970s and they commented on how much they disliked the new stuff coming out (see Brookdalesbill's post for reasons why). That was why whole vintage thing started. Then when the well moneyed people became involved in the late 1970s and early 1980s, particularly the Japanese buyers, that's when things really became expensive but now its simply about being old or nostalgia. The actual qualities of the instrument and desirable specs have little to do with actual value of the instrument.
     
    bblumentritt and brookdalebill like this.
  13. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    637
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Location:
    San Antonio
    In the mid-nineties I had a 73 deluxe that was my first real guitar and the one the eventually got away.

    It came with a super distortion pickup and a shifty neck that would almost send the high E off the board.

    A guy in Chicago replace the Dimarzio with a Gibson for me and took some of the extra poly of the neck.

    I loved that guitar even more than a 62 strat that I had for a little bit. I know that is blasphemy in most circles. I just couldn’t bond with it.

    I blame that deluxe for my gaseous run through a lot of guitars. Until I finally decided I just just buy what I wanted instead of looking for something to replace it.

    Now I have an all original 75 and I fixed the shifted neck myself. Out of 25 it’s the guitar I pickup most.
     
  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    20,115
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    I was talking in terms of making good music in general. I agree about Blackmore...I should have used somebody else but my memory isn't what it used to be :). People back then used what was available, but the quality issues of Norlin Gibson and CBS Fender are what spurred the vintage guitar market...you are correct. "What's in the case?" was the most common phrase uttered as you were attacked at the door of the guitar show.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  15. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,154
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    People forget that a lot of desirable amps were made in the CBS era—the later blackfaces and early silverfaces being the most notable.

    My 2nd-favorite amp that I ever owned was my old ‘72-ish Fender Bassman Ten. Sounded amazing, built like a tank (as heavy as one, too), and never let me down.

    To be fair, my least-favorite amp I ever owned was of that period, too—but I’ve had several 70s silverface amps that were spectacular.

    I have played (but unfortunately, haven’t owned) a bunch of 70’s Fender guitars, and truth be told, the ones I played were no more hit or miss than a lot of used instruments I play today...my old cheapie student-model Musicmaster Bass was a killer little rocking machine that has grown in popularity over the last few years—I’ve seen multiple bands of all stripes with one in use recently.

    Now, most of the guitars I’ve played were owned by good players who had their guitars set up correctly; perhaps they had one of the “Wednesday Guitars” that also benefitted from the expertise of a good or great luthier/tech...that undoubtedly helps my opinion of them.

    Also, they weren’t brand new when I played them—they were well-used and broken in nicely.

    I don’t like the narrow nut width on many of the later Strats of that era.

    I (personally) love the WRHB-equipped Telecasters (Custom, 72-onward Thinline, Deluxe). The giant headstock (of the Deluxe and the Strat) has grown on me (taste-wise, fortunately not size-wise) over the years.

    I like the looks and feel of the 50s and 60s instruments and amps better. There are gems and duds in every era—and there are undoubtedly more duds per capita in that era...but if you approach them with an open mind, the 70s stuff was not all crap.
     
    kris ford likes this.
  16. kris ford

    kris ford TDPRI Member

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    61
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Location:
    Detroit

    I had a Bassman 10 as well!

    That and a DS-1 and a '74 Oly White Thinline tele was my first "good" rig.
     
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  17. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,324
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    The best amp I ever owned was the fender m80 from about 1989. Received wisdom will tell you that a solid state amp is terrible. I was fantastic. I still have it but it needs a major service.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  18. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    1,748
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    brookdaledill has it about right.

    Cost-cutting reigned supreme. What did that produce?

    Pickups in the late'60s wound from odd lots of mismatched wire of different type and gauge.
    Resulting change? Crappy tone and a shift to 1M pots.

    Eliminate the quality incentive program, whereby every worker had to sign off on their work and pass it to the next guy, who would test. 100% quality resulted in bonus pay. This was scrapped and replaced with a per-piece pay system.
    Result? Poor lead dress in amps, resulting in more noise and unwanted oscillation, causing CBS to change the circuits to compensate for the poor execution, bringing a loss of the beloved blackface tone and replacing it with lifeless tone.

    The CDB solid state amps were a total and complete disaster. Every one came back. Poor design and poor assembly, such as mounting the power transistor heat sinks backwards, ensuring that they overheated.

    The Dave Markle banjos were great instruments, until CBS decided to buy cheap brass tone ring metal instead of the bell-quality that's required. They ruined the tone of the banjos, and almost ruined Dave's name and reputation. He left CBS in the second half of 1969 because of this, and went on to make more banjos, using Woodhaven to make his special cast tone rings.

    None of this is Internet BS, and can be verified by pre-Internet sources. Some of us were around then. There are very valid reasons why Fender almost went belly-up in the early '80s and had ceased production.

    I bought a brand new Fender Telecaster Custom in 1975. The WRHB sounded great. The SC bridge pickup sounded good. The neck as KRAP. The aforementioned polyurethane shot over frets on maple necks (which flaked off said frets during string bending), as well as the ill-fitting neck pocket with the awful 3-bolt system that allowed the neck to pretty much slide around at will, so much so that it broke the finish off the upper bout. I find it humorous and idiotic that people are paying $3,000 for such a guitar, when they can get a brand new one for less that 3x a better guitar.
     
    Flakey and dlew919 like this.
  19. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    Posts:
    637
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Location:
    San Antonio
    I thought the thinline with regular tele pickups came out preCBS.

    My understanding was that the early 70s innovations came out during Leo’s consultancy — while the company was transitioning. All that stuff got started / designed before the sale.

    “Let’s make a brand new pickup with new tooling and materials” isn’t something a big cost-cutting corporation would say.

    I’ve read in a few places that the 3 bolt was one of the last things Leo designed for Fender. But it is the internet so you never know.
     
    dlew919 likes this.
  20. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,692
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    Hendrix in 68 or 69 speaking about why he chose the Strat decried the vintage craze already taking hold - specifically mentioning old Les Pauls and Telecasters. He didn't hate his CBS Strat and owned more than one. Yes he owned other guitars, and Fenders with Marshalls.

    As for Solid State Fenders - they were released as early as 66 and would have definitely have been under development in the Leo era. Leo didn't like distortion. He wanted clean - yes it was on MusicMan amps, probably due to market forces. From a solid-state preamp.

    Leo wasn't a guitarist. If he was, he'd play jazz or swing. Or Hawaiian. Don't get me wrong, I still marvel at what he achieved, real small guy builds enterprise by hard work. And his vision helped us with what we like today and he was enormously influential.

    My first Fender was a 73 Mustang and a good guitar with a nice finish. Short scale and the funky pickups are why I sold it. But it had great build.

    I've owned a 78 Tele and it was great but too original to change so I sold it. My favourite guitar is a ''99 69 Thinline Reissue. I like it because now it looks like an original.

    I'm looking for a natural latev70s Strat with maple neck and I think I found the right one. Yep - the poly is cracking on it - I'm happy to pick it off and replace it. That makes it lower priced.

    I played a 60s L-serial Strat a while age, briefly. It was original as far as I could tell. I didn't get a chance to fiddle with it or the amp, but I thought it incredibly insipid. It had a slim rosewood neck. The finish wasn't great - it was faded pastel Sonic Blue and I remember it as very dull.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.