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Do we like transition Stratocasters?

IMMUSICRULZ

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
616
I commonly refer to transition Stratocasters as the "trannycasters" for obvious reasons. The last of the pre-CBS Strats are often referred to as the "transition" Strats. Though they are not what I would consider the "peak period" of the Strat, the trans Strats were an obvious part of the Strat's rich history. If you own a transitioning Strat, you're lucky. If you own a Strat from another period, well...you're still lucky.
During this period, the headstock logo changed from gold spaghetti style to block gold. Clay fingerboard dots changed to pearloid, pickguards changed increasingly from 3-ply celluloid pickguards to white plastic, and the grey bottom pickups arrived, with the famous Alnico V magnets.

Robert Cray's famous 1964 Inca Silver Strat
1647328863432.png

Nancy Wilson's 1965 Fiesta red Strat (which is now on display at the Experience Music museum in Seattle)
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and Bob Dylan's 1964 sunburst Newport Folk Festival Strat (which sold in 2013 for $965,000 with all pre-transition specs)
1647328979726.png

The transition Stratocasters lasted well into the first years of the CBS take-over, at least until 1966 and 1967. By 1968, the blocky logo with black hand lettering would appear on the headstock, which was also made larger (ostensibly to avoid neck warping.)

I've also seen a lot of Jazzmasters, Telecasters, Precision and Jazz basses from 1964 and 1965 a lot. Shows that despite every Fender having its imperfections, they are still fun to play.

This thread should at least clear up the confusion most people get involved with regarding Transition Strats.
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
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20,252
The logo changed in 1964, well before the CBS deal was signed in Jan 1965. Green guards were also not spec by 1965.

Headstock size was the only real change from CBS until the very late 60's when the body contours got lame. Then three-bolt microtune neck plates in the early 70s.
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,321
The logo changed in 1964, well before the CBS deal was signed in Jan 1965. Green guards were also not spec by 1965.

Headstock size was the only real change from CBS until the very late 60's when the body contours got lame. Then three-bolt microtune neck plates in the early 70s.
correct as that was the transition logo , which changed several more times until the larger logo became permanent in 1969 .
 

somebodyelseuk

Active member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
350
'Big heads' first appeared on Jaguars when it was introduced in '62. IIRC, so did the new logo.
The 'green' guards changed in 63 or 64, because the material they made them from 'gasses' off. That gas is nitric acid gas, which apart from being very corrosive. when in contact with wood is extremely flammable. They changed the material as a result of stock room fire.
 
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david.beason

Active member
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
259
I love my '65 Strat

SpeuHWr.jpeg
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2011
Messages
442
I love the transition era. they're my favorite fenders bar none. i think late 64-early 66 ish is when they all looked the best. i like the pearl dots, white puckguards and especially the transition logo. binding is cool as long as you have dot inlays. my number one guitar is an american vintage 64 tele in blonde. i like those specs. i wish it had the later logo but that's just aesthetic.
maple cap necks are also super cool. I'm planning on putting together a strat, a tele and a p bass, all with maple cap musikraft necks.
if i had the money for 50s or 60s fenders, I'd take transition era over proper pre cbs any day.
 
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