Fender Stratocaster Maple Black 1974


Seventies Fenders usually get a pretty bad rap from guitar snobs and self-proclaimed experts, but as the price of fifties and sixties Strats get hyped up to dizzying heights, good instruments from the following decade are starting to sound like a great bargain. After all, old wood is old wood and a good seventies Strat which has been played for almost half a century can resonate with the best of ‘em.

That very clean and original 1974 model ticks all the boxes of what makes a later Strat cool as can be: it has the three bolt neck, the big headstock with the black CBS logo and the bullet truss rod sticking out of the neck into the headstock. The headstock and the maple fretboard have aged into different shades of yellow/cream for a look that unmistakably evoques Ritchie Blackmore’s Custom Shop model. The black body with a white pickguard and maple fretboard give it a classic Blackie vibe, or make it look like the coolest Guitar Hero controller depending on when you were born.

That vintage Strat has been refretted, but all the rest of it is original, including the pickups who have a typically bright and dynamic seventies sound, perfect for funk or U2-influenced pop. Give it a chance, and 70s Strat may well become your new obsession.

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