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What the heck is this guitar?

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  • What the heck is this guitar?

    Bought the weirdest guitar today for $50 from a pawnshop. It was cheap because it has a broken tuner and is so strange. Guy said it had been sitting in the back for about 15 years. All the hardware is marked like Fender, but I'm not sure any of it is genuine. It is a strat-ish body and neck with a 3 bolt neck with a micro tilt sort of adjustment, but then something kind of like a Mustang floating bridge/trem (but I can't find any Fenders that had one quite like this). Logo on headstock is a crappy looking decal that doesn’t seem to match any actual strat year, missing the “Contoured Body” bit, and also there is no truss rod adjustment. Like at all. I am not even sure there is a truss rod. The tuners do look like 60-70’s cheap Fender ones, but what is up with slotted screws?. Pickups look nothing like a strat pickup to me, and it is obvious that the route was made bigger to accomodate. Looks like trem was added later since the cavity for it has no paint spray in it. There is no route on back for springs so it was never a synchronized style tremolo, could have been a converted hardtail. Lastly, instead of a 5 position switch, it has a rotary switch mounted inside with an arm screwed to the shaft to make it into a linear switch with four positions, one for each pickup individually and then one that is neck and bridge pickups together. This thing kind of seems like a vintage Russian counterfeit or something, where they tried to make it look like a Fender but it all looks wacky and overly complicated and crude and weird.

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  • #2
    The Russian guess is probably good... I'd contact The Different Strummer from Vintage Guitar magazine; or whoever it is that covers offbeat weirdlings from strange countries.

    I like it!

    Justin
    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
    "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    • #3
      Saw something like this once, it was made in India. One per customer please, no matter how many pairs of arms you may have.



      Havin' a party, subcontinental style. Where's the band?
      Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
        Saw something like this once, it was made in India. One per customer please, no matter how many pairs of arms you may have.



        Havin' a party, subcontinental style. Where's the band?
        Is that Gene Simmons with the sword?
        Looks like an old counterfeit to me. I would have paid $50 for it too.
        Vote like your future depends on it.

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        • #5
          I'm really liking some of the quirks on this guitar, but there are some drawbacks too. It has a great sound unplugged, the Mustang-ish bridge/trem acts as a resonance chamber. I think balancing the pickups might be tough as the bridge is much higher than a strat bridge and even with the pickups as high up as they go there is still quite a gap. The rotary knob as a switch is still the thing that baffles me most. Did they fab the bracket and the arm, or did they modify bits from a broken switch to attach it? It is some genius Mcgyvering, for sure, but so much harder than it seems like it should be.

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          • #6
            The end result looks a bit like one of the guitars I McGyver'd/PartsCasted/Destroyed when I was younger.

            I've used a rotary switch but never thought to go the extra mile to rotate it 90 degrees and manufacture a lever arm for it! While that much may be original, from the looks of the choice of screws (and the condition of the screw heads!) I feel confident in asserting that someone or several have been in the thing. Who knows what may have been changed over the years?

            Props for the quirky/cool factor.
            If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
            If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
            We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
            MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey

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            • #7
              Never seen strat pickups with quite that arrangement of ceramic magnets glued to the backs. Why the extended pickup routs?

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              • #8
                I was thumbing through an old issue of Guitar World Jan2001 and came across an article that describes your guitar quite well. Known as the Vietnam Strat , built in Asia sold to GI's for $100/$200. The article claimed they had little value as collectibles but worth $300/$400 in 2001. At $50 you got a deal and probably paid what it was worth to begin with.

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                • #9
                  Oooh, sweet! There were amps to match, dressed like the Fender Solid-State series of the time, but they were tube amps. Might be worth hunting one down just for a set!

                  Justin
                  "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
                  "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
                  "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That thing is super sweet! ... and awful, all at the same time! Yeah, it has all the hallmarks of a "servicemen's" guitar. I've seen a few in person, though not this type of 70s three-bolt Strat type. I have a Jaguar knockoff somewhere in storage.
                    If you pick up any amps or electronics, have a tech look at them. Some I've seen were made for different voltages overseas and do not do very well on US power without some mods.

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