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What to do about my first real guitar

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by loopfinding, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

    Jun 19, 2011
    europe endless
    so i have a 96 MIM strat. 3TSB with a rosewood fretboard. it was my first real guitar. it's not ever on the table for sale.

    problem is, i don't really play it. i'm not really a strat guy. but i do like to pull it out for the neck pickup once in a while. or wacky divebomb stuff. i've upgraded the trem block, replaced the saddles, put in a three way switch, put in a PTB tone system, shielded my cavities, deglossed the neck. these are all mods that aren't too crazy that definitely made the guitar better in my eyes.

    the real problem here is that i really dislike the neck. it's just so damn thin. thinner than any MIM in the last 15 years. so i'm toying with the idea of buying a fatter MIM standard rosewood neck from the last ten years. i'd keep the old neck around in storage. i'm also not entirely keen on 3TSB so i'm also flirting with the idea of getting it refin'd in walnut/oil finish for the wood feel.

    should i keep it as is? swap the neck? is a refin too far?

    i don't know whether to keep it intact as a reminder of my childhood or to actually change it into a more viable member of my stable that i'd be willing to use more often.
  2. dlaroe

    dlaroe Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2009
    Not quite BFE, NC
    The only things left from my first guitar and only strat are two knobs, the body and the neck and it's been replaced because it needs fret work. I'll play it sometimes for the novelty of strat tones and then put it back in it's old beat up case.

    I'd say leave it looking like it is, you go to far and the nostalgia is gone but you still can't sell it.
    loopfinding likes this.
  3. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA
    You've identified the problem, so I'd say run with that. You say that you're not a "Strat guy", so at the very least make this one the ONE Strat you actually enjoy every once in a while. You say you'll never sell it, so I see no problem with getting a refinish if it will make the thing at least a little bit more attractive to you.

    My first "real" guitar is an '83 Bullet S-3 that I hardly ever play. The frets are worn, the pickups are weak, it doesn't like to stay in tune if I leave it alone for too long, and I've made a custom pickguard for it, removed the middle pickup, and installed a 3-way toggle switch. But there are so many memories that accompany that guitar that I'll never sell it, no matter how much I neglect it. Someday I might do a re-fret, install some single-coil-size "rail" humbuckers, and cut a new nut so I'll enjoy playing it more, but it'll still be my first guitar.
    SRHmusic and loopfinding like this.
  4. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Jun 2, 2013
    near Chicago
    Put on the comfy neck, keep the old one in case you go more nostalgic.
    SRHmusic, NewKid and loopfinding like this.
  5. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 30, 2011
    Hang it on the wall and don’t spend any more money on a guitar you’re keeping for nostalgia.

    I have a 2018 MIM Strat that I sometimes think of upgrading but then I remind myself that it just there to play once in a while. It comforts me to know I have a Strat even though I prefer Teles and Jazzmasters.
    loopfinding likes this.
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