NAOSD: My old Strat returns!

metropolis_4

Shredder
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New Again Old Strat Day!

I bought this guitar new on my 16th birthday in ‘96. I’d worked all summer to earn the money for it and my parents chipped in a little for my birthday so I finally had enough.

I drove across town to a guitar shop and originally wanted a Tele because I saw a picture of George Harrison playing one. But the guy at the shop (who was an ‘80s metal guy) told me “Tele’s are for country, what you need is a Strat. Rockers play Strats”. So I got a Strat :rofl

It was my only electric for a long time and I can’t even begin to guess how many gigs and how many hours of practice I’ve spent with this guitar. It’s the guitar I really learned to play on, it’s the one I grew as a guitarist and musician with.

It’s been through a ton of changes over the years. The original pickups were terrible. I’ve had more different pickups in it than I can even remember. I routed the neck and bridge for humbuckers and as you can see also roughly routed a battery compartment (it had EMGs for a long time).

The tuners are from an old American Deluxe Strat I had for a while. And the threads for the trem arm stripped out and I replaced the whole block with a Calllaham. It had GraphTech saddles and nut for a long time.

Eventually the frets wore down to nothing. I’d already had them leveled and crowned a few times and there was nothing left. For some reason I was worried about getting it regretted, so I just bought a new neck. But the new neck never felt right. I tried several necks, including some fairly high end ones, but the guitar just didn’t feel the same. It lost something that made it less enjoyable to play, so it’s been sitting in its case more often.


Last month I decided to finally have it restored to its former glory. I had the original neck refretted and put back on, a new nut, and DiMarzio HS-3 and HS-4 pickups with all new wiring. (Those DiMarzios were the first pickups I ever put in the guitar!)

I finally got it back last week and playing it for the first time I got all choked up and teary. It was like being reunited with an old friend. This guitar hasn’t looked or played like this in 20 years; it was just like the day I bought it almost 27 years ago.

This neck has worn in to match my hand and my playing (you can see the spots where it’s worn to the wood) and it feels better than any other neck in the world to me. It’s so perfect, it’s like an extension of myself.

I took it straight to the theater and played that nights show with it and it was such an amazing experience. Like being transported back in time. I don’t have words to express how happy I am to have it back.

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Nice! Can't go wrong with a black strat.

Eventually the frets wore down to nothing. I’d already had them leveled and crowned a few times and there was nothing left. For some reason I was worried about getting it regretted, so I just bought a new neck. But the new neck never felt right. I tried several necks, including some fairly high end ones, but the guitar just didn’t feel the same. It lost something that made it less enjoyable to play, so it’s been sitting in its case more often.


Last month I decided to finally have it regretted and restored to its former glory. I had the original neck regretted and put back on, a new nut, and DiMarzio HS-3 and HS-4 pickups with all new wiring. (Those DiMarzios were the first pickups I ever put in the guitar!)
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That is a fine looking specimen! Nice real relicing on the neck :D


Now I'm feeling sad. My first real guitar was a black MIM strat HSS. Sold it like a dummy when I was 18 thinking I would never get nostalgic. If anyone ever sees a black HSS strat with a duncan distortion in the bridge, hmu :LOL:
 
That is a fine looking specimen! Nice real relicing on the neck :D


Now I'm feeling sad. My first real guitar was a black MIM strat HSS. Sold it like a dummy when I was 18 thinking I would never get nostalgic. If anyone ever sees a black HSS strat with a duncan distortion in the bridge, hmu :LOL:

I almost sold this one a couple times back then and I’m so glad I didn’t!


It’s funny how time and our experiences with something can change its value to us.

I mean, the only reason I bought this was because a guy a shop told me I should buy a Strat. And it’s just a basic black MIM Strat. Nothing special about it. It’s not the most amazing sounding Strat out there. I’m pretty sure the body is Poplar.

If I were shopping for a guitar today I might not even bother looking at this one.

But to me it’s the best Strat in the world and I wouldn’t trade it for any other guitar on earth. No other guitar in the world feels as good to play as this one
 
I don’t know what was going on with QC at the Mexican plant in the ‘90s but this guitar had a couple big QC issues.

Check out the gouge on the original bridge baseplate around the second screw hole:

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Also the two pickguard screws closest to the bridge were tremolo screws!

My guess is that the person doing the assembly stripped out the holes and so they “fixed” it by putting longer screws on those two holes :wat

Because it was my first, for a long time I thought that was normal. I assumed those two had to be longer for some reason.

So the first time I had a Strat without trem screws there I thought it was wrong and wondered if I should put the right screws there
 
Awesome!

So glad for you!

I’m curious about the HS3 pickups—

Are you by chance an Yngwie Fan?

I originally bought them back when I was a kid because I wanted noiseless pickups and I was a fan of Yngwie’s tone.

I hadn’t used them in a long time before putting them back in this guitar and I find that I still like them a lot, I find them to be very versatile.
 
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New Again Old Strat Day!

I bought this guitar new on my 16th birthday in ‘96. I’d worked all summer to earn the money for it and my parents chipped in a little for my birthday so I finally had enough.
I also had a black '96 Mexican strat! I bought it new and didn't keep it for very long, but I remember it being one of the best playing off-the-shelf guitars I've ever owned.
 
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