CBS era quality

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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Jaguar018
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Re: CBS era quality

Post by Jaguar018 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:48 am

If you are a guitar collector, or you worked in a shop where a decent number of guitars have passed through your hands then I think some generalizations can be made. But most individual players base their conclusions off a small handful of guitars, and that becomes their baseline.

For investment purposes, go with Pre-CBS, for "I just want to play a guitar I like" purposes just try the guitar and see what happens. I impulsively bought a beat up Norlin-era pancake Les Paul Custom with cracks in the top because it was cheap(ish) and it just had a bit of a special feeling about it. It will never make me any money.

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by simonhpieman » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:20 am

Sorry to go over this again, I remembered this morning that I tried the guitar in this very video, too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkFSoKMQQPM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's The Music's Jaguar that they used regularly on their song Jag Tune (how creative). You can see from the binding that it was from the very beginning of the transition, I recall it being a 65 but it was a while ago and my memory isn't getting any younger.

It didn't play especially well as the frets were pretty low and for a while I was a MASSIVE fan of The Music. I was even offered it for a reasonable price via a phonecall from the staff to the boss who was drunk in a nearby pub. That probably says a lot about the fact I chose not to take it. It sounded pretty decent and looked ok but just didn't jump up at me, despite being head and shoulders above the AVRI I tried at the same time.

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by mgeek » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:16 pm

MechaBulletBill wrote: But the collector-inflated value of that guitar today (versus, say, 20 yrs ago) means that it isn't cost-effective to harvest the good bits of anything older than about 1985 with the F-word on it. You'd be better off going with an older MIJ (although prices are already pretty high on certain models due to their rarity outside of Japan) or spending similar money on something new.
Yeah I was talking theoretically.

TBH I feel like my Fender days are behind me. Not weird enough! ;D

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by Despot » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:04 am

Jaguar018 wrote: For investment purposes, go with Pre-CBS, for "I just want to play a guitar I like" purposes just try the guitar and see what happens. I impulsively bought a beat up Norlin-era pancake Les Paul Custom with cracks in the top because it was cheap(ish) and it just had a bit of a special feeling about it. It will never make me any money.
You're dead right - if you're looking to hold whatever money you've put into something, or even turn a few bucks in a few years, go with pre-CBS (or McCarthy era Gibson). None of my 'keepers' have been CBS or Norlin Gibsons ... let's put it that way. That Tele Custom I mentioned dogs my sleep though ...

I must have had around 50/60 guitars pass through my hands at this stage - and from that I guess the generalisation would be that your chances of finding a great instrument are better from the 'golden years' - but if you're a player on a budget and you want to go vintage rather than modern/reissue, you can find some great CBS guitars ... just be prepared to wade through a good deal of chaff to find the gem. Case in point - that Tele Custom is for sale locally in Dublin at less then the price of a second hand custom shop Tele ... and it's a far far better guitar.

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by F tuner » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:20 am

I think a lot of the lore on the internet is regurgitated from the talk that was laid down in the late 80's. During that period it was anything post CBS was considered lousy.

When eBay came along and during the boom time in the late 90's there was an enourmous amount of inventory in attics and basements all over the US that were suddenly made available to a global audience, for starters it indicated the sheer number of guitars fender produced and sold in the 60's and 70's and the amount of Fenders that has been sitting idle in homes all across America.

As the Fender economy progressed online, the 54-64 era got expensive, so folks transitioned to 65-67, then there was the collectors/Hendrix folks who placed a premium on the 68-70's era which was a specific sub market. So over time people started to realised that hey the 65-67 era Fenders were still quite good.

Then that let to further obsession with obscurity such as highly desirable map cap was ok and overrode anything else, or a 67 Charcoal Frost Metallic something was suddenly worth 15K to 40K through its obscurity

Then with the spiralling costs of a 68 strat suddenly people moved the boundary to "the last of the 1971 4 bolt strats with no bullets" or the last of the custom Colors were still acceptable, like a 71 strat in Sonic Blue is highly fashionable.

Post 71 for a strat, really its starting to cross over into mediocre to junk. There are guitar stores all over the place with inventory from 73 to 76 that they think is hot stuff, only cause the earlier years have been redistributed. I was in a guitar store the other day and they had a bunch of 77-79 era strats in multiple natural finishes asking a pretty penny. Whilst I'm sure there are good ones now and then, these ones were total junk.

I think something happened at fender during 1977 specifically, I think that was the year when they consolidated all the factories and replaced some equipment, something happens in 1977 where it really circled the drain - I don't think the line in the sand is 1964. I think there was a dotted line late in 1971, during 1973 is was looking rough, but by 1977 it was terminal.

There is a lot of snake oil internet hype about 1982-1986 strats. They are good, they are not covered in pixie dust. Or worth what the market is paying for them now. When you look at it "the last of the fullertons" it wasn't the same factory floor, it was a different area. You had a small group of guys who were passionate about the brand and had access to vintage guitars, but they still couldn't get it right even then, they look like knock offs even now.

I don't think Fender recaptured the magic till about 1999, with their first round of AVRI. Ironically iteration of AVRI that was done circa 2014 was actually their best ever, the 1964 reissues and then the 1965 reissues that have come out since then have been much close to the old thing, from a cork sniffer point of view, ironic since they also then ousted Eldred just at the crucial moment. What he was doing was creating a real good groundswell of engagement with the global community and really starting to build a good narrative if you watch his videos from around 2008 - 2014. They were really tapping into something that they should of stuck with for a few more years.

The Fender of today is just a corporate instagram robot. They have been all over the map with what they are doing. I think it is true a lot of the companies that produce non digital - non technical things, are trying to ride the wave of cool with the digital generation - these days you see a lot of posing and YouTube hipsterdom with relics in bedrooms and some such, but rarely do you see much of this gear in a live, real world situation. A lot of the gear now is made and purchased to be posted on the internet for likes, rather than actual use.

Even the custom shop stuff at NAMM this year, you watch the videos, and you can see these guys are making the gear for "likes" and retweets. It's nice that a master builder can put a thousand diamonds on a strat, or use a plank of wood from Ireland or get Pamelina in to paint a mermaid, yet an AVRI strat is only available in 3 colors.

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by dm_cambridge_ma » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:07 am

spacecadet wrote: leading to the "target burst" and then the "faux burst" to hide the mismatched wood. (Some people, including me, like this look.)
I believe my AV 65 JM is the target burst. Personally I never cared for sunbursts until I saw this style.

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by dm_cambridge_ma » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:14 am

will wrote: 1966-onward
Wood started getting junkier and heavier.
What is the consensus on high-end Fenders now, regarding wood? I will say my AV 65 positively sings acoustically. The most resonant guitar I've ever played. (Or maybe it's just harder to tell in a noisy guitar shop)
I guess you need to get the finish off to make a full diagnosis. They did put out those CME walnut Specials, which give a peak.

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by spacecadet » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:03 pm

dm_cambridge_ma wrote:
spacecadet wrote: leading to the "target burst" and then the "faux burst" to hide the mismatched wood. (Some people, including me, like this look.)
I believe my AV 65 JM is the target burst. Personally I never cared for sunbursts until I saw this style.
The AV65's are an intentional replication of 1965 target burst. I do like how vivid they are, and they look basically perfect for the time period.

Everything about the AV65's except for the fretboard wood (which is supposedly an intentional change) is crazy accurate to a real 1965 JM, including the burst. Fender really went all-out recreating even stuff that some people *didn't* like about the early CBS models.

So it's not just yours - that's how the AV65's are designed. The AVRI's were different, and had a darker burst with more grain visible (somewhat like a real 1962, but I think real 62's were a bit brighter).

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Re: CBS era quality

Post by Kinx » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:43 am

The neck pocket on my 72 Jazzmaster is tight - not as tight as on my '65 Mustang, but still pretty tight, I would say much more than on my 2003 American Standard strat (it's a great guitar, but I can put heavy gauge picks in the gap between body and neck on bass side of the body). It is actually pretty light, definitely not heavier than any of my newer Strats or Mustang.

I was a bit worried about the F tuners becauce they feel a bit cheap, but this guitar is rock solid - it actually stays in tune better than any other guitar I have ever owned, even with original bridge (I have installed mastery bridge to cure the string skipping issues). This one is a keeper :)

Not only that it stays perfectly in tune, but it also is one hell of a player, I used it all over our new album - this track nicely captures the sound of it's neck pickup

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBZwKmBSH6o
Check out my band, The Atavists ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG-HZtrljMg

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