I never had much time for 70’s Fenders but I had one of these on long-term loan from a friend, and got to really like it. Then one day, it got stolen from my car at a gig, so I was duty bound to replace it. I got close with a maple necked one, but it still led to a falling out.
Several years on, I found another, this one, for myself. It’s not all-original – the horrible original ‘F brand’ tuners have been replaced with much better but not authentic replica vintage Klusons, and the bridge plate and saddles are also 50’s replicas.
I still have the original neck pickup bit have replaced it with a Lollar, a great improvement. The bridge pickup was rewound like an original Blackguard’s by the obscure Barat fifteen years ago and also sounds fantastic. The most recent mod was a four-way switch, giving both pickups in series or parallel.
I don’t mind about this because all of these things are improvements, both pickups are hotter than stock and it plays beautifully for a guitar from an otherwise unremarkable period in Fender’s, and indeed most guitar makers’, history. (Three-bolt neck, anybody?) People may be calling anything more than about a week old vintage these days, but imho that’s just the dealers trying to create a new market and revenue, and I’m not buying it. True Vintage for me means Golden Age, and that’s 50’s-early 60’s max.
But you know how you can tell a good guitar by how often you pick it up? Well, I pick this one up quite a lot. Not a Blackguard, I grant you, but a real player, my most frequently-gigged guitar…