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Pointy bit gets easier and then pointier




One guitar that has been a sticking point for me ever since I started this thing has been a 93 US Am Std strat.

I got it on Jan 18 1994. Birthday present. It has been the heaviest gigged out of all of my guitars and is on its third? (I think) re fret.

Its put in a lot of miles all over our big state.

It was stolen and recovered and also lost at an airport and recovered 3months later. I call it a boomerang. It comes back.

After it was stolen a friend and well respected luthier here took it, re fretted and refinished the neck to a lovely and natural vintage amber. When he presented it to me I was over the moon. It looked as sensational as a midnight wine/burgundy and maple strat was ever going to look. (Im not a fan of the midnight wine colour).

Unfortunately, it played and felt like crap and I hated it. I actually resented it but couldnt sell it because of emotional attachment.

Its been on the block to sell as well as two other guitars that have emotional content attached to them.

Before it was taken away to be refinished the neck on this strat was gray. I had peeled the finish off after a tour we did one summer up the top and through the middle of our state. Our state is a desert. Its hot. Paint peels.

The neck felt great unfinished and I played it unfinished for over a decade. It was not pretty. It was a dirty grey mess from just behind the nut up to the 22nd fret. But it was the guitar I could not put down. I would go looking for another strat to buy but always walked away thinking mine was better or more suited to my less refined playing style.

The refinish killed the guitar for me. The guitar didnt feel right and I couldnt play it the same way. So after a while I didnt play it at all. In fact it has sat unstrung and with out even a pickguard and wiring in it for about two years

Last night I fixed it. It had to be done to give that guitar a chance at staying with me.

It was a quandary for me to work through. To give it a chance to stay I had to make it less attractive to potential buyers should it fail at the chance it was given.

I removed the nitro finish on the fretboard and on the back of the neck. I could tell early on during the process that in terms of playability it was going to be beneficial. By the time I had removed all the finish I needed to but not yet put the strings on I knew that I had uncovered something very cool.

After a restring and a few hours of playing the guitar is unquestionably staying. Everything I remember loving about this guitar is back. Its alive. It vibrates and resonates strongly when technique isnt hindered. Its a very direct strat, it makes you play in a physical way and I love that quality.

What this means is that I now have four strats that I want to keep. It also means that my H150 is coming up for review in much the same way this strat did but more quickly than I had anticipated.

Out of the remaining guitars I have the H150 was gigged the least(with the exception of a recent purchase). It has not pulled its weight(considerable) and put food on the table or fuel in the car. It is the most attractive however and has wonderful classic LP tones and I do enjoy playing it. I have pride in ownership of it.

It has a few weeks, or months, to impress me and show me it isnt a redundant fixture in my guitar rack. I am going to have to harden my resolve with this H150. Its cool and I really like it, but I feel the same way about everything its going up against.







Recommended Comments

The Strat design and the Les Paul design are polar opposites. I've tried to like Strats but for me they just don't feel "normal". But it's all about whatever works best for YOU. And as for playability, I'm totally spoiled seeing as how there is a small guitar shop down the street from me that has a PLEK PRO machine. I would recommend them to anyone who is interested in having a flawless action on their guitar.

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Its not really a strat v lp thing. Im comfortable with most guitars. I do like strats though.

I have had plek'd guitars, theyre alright. What killed the guit for me was nothing to do with the superb fret work but the refinish. Since writing the OP I have removed the finish off the neck of another guitar and as with the 93 strat it feels great. Im eyeing up my cs strat and weighing up whether to give it the same treatment.

Its been a wake up for me. I dont know why I havnt put 2 and 2 together before now. I like unfinished necks and always have. I just forgot. :)

I cant do it to the H150.

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you know Jeff? You should try the Heritage Little One. The neck is HPL and the individual maple laminates are dyed, not finished. There is no finish anywhere on the guitar for that matter.

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