Not so new NGD: 1982 "Smith Strat"

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Steve D, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Well, a bought a 1982 Stratocaster from a friend who needed cash fast. It's black with rosewood fretboard, my least favorite Strat look. I sold my strat a while back and have had no interest in ever having another but I knew it was a so-called "Smith Strat" and they were sort of collectible so I figured the price was low enough that I could help a pal out and still sell it and make a little on top. Then I began playing it.

    Good lord, this thing is so different than my old 90s strat. Half the weight, all 50s style deep body contours, super slim fast neck. I knew that Dan Smith was an executive brought in to save Fender because everyone had begun to think their quality sucked (sound familiar?) but I hadn't realized that in 1982 he basically shut down the factory and completely rehabbed the Strat line with the first vintage reissues and the so-called "Smith Strat" which is sort of 50s like (small headstock, deep body contouring, light weight wood), truss rod adjustment in the body end of the neck but with later stuff like the 70s style tuners, the five-way switch, and that great big 70s "Stratocaster" logo on the little headstock. So it's sort of like a 50s reissue but not really. They wanted perfect quality so they only made them in small numbers (like Custom shop quality) and by 1983 the corporate honchos said to make more money so they made something like an early 70s SG pro with the prewired pickcaurd, just two knobs and the jack in it's place and so the true "Smith Strat" is just 1982. A rare bird. Those later cheapened up ones that led to the end of the original Fullerton factory because nobody wanted them are called "Smith era" strats. Not the same though, don't be fooled.

    Anyway what I know is I can't sell this guitar. It was my wife that talked me into keeping it. I would say things like "whoever gets this is getting a fantastic guitar" or "the buyer is going to love how fun it is to play" and she finally said "oh for god's sake, just keep it." She's right, I can't bring myself to sell. So now it's officially mine!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  2. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Member

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    Congratulations! Who can argue with a good strat? I have two of them (not Smith though).
     
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  3. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Congrats woo hoo! I dont have any Fenders anymore but that one looks fine!!
     
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  4. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Thanks fellas. It's a dopey thing but notice the green text on the knobs. Fender used to use paint with bronze in it to make it gold colored and it oxidizes to green as it ages. 37 years is enough time for it to happen. It's a stupid little detail like that which makes this different from some reissue or something. And a shout out to a friend on a strat board, I was mentioning how one of the knobs was a modern "aged white" one that didn't match at all and he just sent me a complete set of three 1982 knobs because he wanted to see them on a guitar again. The guitar enthusiast community is pretty awesome.
     
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  5. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    She said ( finally ) oh for gods sake just keep it!

    Ha ha i missed that earlier.

    You apparently did a fine job of talking about it!!!
     
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  6. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Active Member

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    Nice Smith Strat! Awesome to see a legit one. Every time I see a "Smith Strat" for sale near me it's 2 knob 83ish Strat that's not a Smith. Someday I'll come across one. Hopefully. Glad you got to keep it.
     
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