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A friend of mine has asked me to help her sell a MIM Stratocaster. The guitar looks new, no significant wear or dings, sounds and plays great... I was hoping to get her $400 for it. Also comes with a Marshall 15w amp and a Hercules guitar stand. I thought it was a great deal. A guy came to look at the guitar and noticed two small cracks on either side of the neck where it bolts to the body.., I had seen them but didn't think much of it but he rejected the deal because of it. I don't know that much about Strats to know if it's a big deal or not. The guitar seems solid as a rock and plays incredibly well. What do you guys think? Here are some pics.

 

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I haven't had a strat for a long while and I dont recall seeing this before. If it has had a bash (I am not saying it has) it may just be a break in the finish.

Since you are selling, it might be worthwhile to remove the neck and check whether this cracking extends into the body rebate.

 

Hopefully it wont be. Once the neck is off though, you can photograph the recess for proof of the bodies integrity. That should satisfy further potential customers.

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I'll add the disclaimer that my advice should be double-checked with an authorized blah, blah...

 

Plus, insert that I now only play a LP,and am therefore super-badass...

 

You'll find those cracks on a lot of Strats. I've never seen one that wasn't a surface crack only. The one you posted looks a bit big, but could be the zoom - how long is it?

 

Plus, it's a MIM, so it's poly. I.e., pretty thick lacquer - which make the net joint poly cracks look worse than they are.

 

Not at all unusual on MIMs. Cosmetic. Usually doesn't get noticeably worse with time, being poly.

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Taking pics of the recess, as mr. Evans suggests, could be a good idea.

 

But I've seen it on so many used Strats that I personally, if I were buying, don't think I'd even ask. I think a lot of potential buyers won't, either.

 

Good-looking guitar, btw :)

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Yeah, I've see a lot worse cracks in neck joints on Strats. They are most likely finish cracks and purely cosmetic. Between two guitars, all things being equal save the finish cracks, I would buy the guitar without the cracks. Really, you are asking about $300+ for the guitar. There are a lot of Strats out there for $300+ that have zero problems (at least here in California on CL).

 

I really don't know what causes these cracks. My first guess would be over tightening at the factory and settling over time and my second guess would be from mis-handling. As you can see the guitar appear spotless, so I can't imagine it is from mis-handling. I have seen quite a few neck cracks from mis-handling, but there are usually other signs like dings and gashes on the neck or body. This guitar does not appear to have any.

 

Hopefully, you get what you are asking.

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Really, you are asking about $300+ for the guitar. There are a lot of Strats out there for $300+ that have zero problems (at least here in California on CL).

Dave, FWIW, I bought a MIM Strat 8 years ago (new), from GC, for $399 inc a HSC, and have no cracks anywhere. A quick internet search indicates that here (SoCal) they are going anywhere from mid $200's to mid $300's. Not sure of the value of the amp, but as gip2012 says, I hope you get what you're asking.

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glp: I had a Jap Strat back in the early 90s that I took good care of, in a climate controlled environment, and it developed those cracks. No idea why Strats appear to be susceptible.

 

Yeah, price seems a tad much (for the US; don't get me started on my native Sweden) - depends on the amp, though - but good work if you can get it, so to speak.

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Lot's and lots of strats have those cracks at the neck joint.

 

If he doesn't want it because of that, let him try and find another one without them.

 

I think it has more to do with the shape of the wood at that spot, as well as having a hunk of maple crammed in there.

 

I used to have a lot of strats, and none of them ever had any structural issues or actual cracks at that spot. Not once. Not ever. Never SEEN one thas has.

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I would pass based on the pictures and it was made in Mexico

4H

I have to somewhat laugh at this because I took the Fender factory tour a few years ago. The only difference between MIM and MIA is that Fenders made in America are made by Mexicans in Corona. Fenders made in Mexica are made by Mesicans in Mexico. It's true. LOL.

 

BTW, all necks are made in Corona and sent to Mexico for assembly.

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For $400, and including a Marshall practice amp and a stand, I would buy the guitar.

 

I would ask to remove the neck to examine the neck joint to make sure that the cracks were only in the surface of the finish, but that's not an unreasonable request.

In my opinion.

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above posting is the personal opinion of the poster Sparquelito, and his alone. No connection between his opinions and the Gibson Guitar Corporation and/or the Gibson guitar web forum is implied.

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Here's my thought on the subject (refer to my member title to the left): I personally have never seen these cracks on older Strats, when QC was supposedly so high (a huge lie) nor have I seen it on 70s and early 80s Strats when nothing to leave the Fullerton plant was fit to start a fire with (another huge lie). I have ONLY seen this crack on post CBS instruments where all is sunny.

 

My thought is that the neck pockets are too tight on these newer Strats. There's no room for expansion. Everything is crammed together so tightly that the wood squeaks as the neck screws are tightened. If the neck expands any, or if the body shrinks a little, or there is a blow of any kind, POP!

 

People complain about sloppy neck fit on the older Strat. Agreed. However it can go the other way too.

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Here's my thought on the subject (refer to my member title to the left): I personally have never seen these cracks on older Strats, when QC was supposedly so high (a huge lie) nor have I seen it on 70s and early 80s Strats when nothing to leave the Fullerton plant was fit to start a fire with (another huge lie). I have ONLY seen this crack on post CBS instruments where all is sunny.

 

 

My thought is that the neck pockets are too tight on these newer Strats. There's no room for expansion. Everything is crammed together so tightly that the wood squeaks as the neck screws are tightened. If the neck expands any, or if the body shrinks a little, or there is a blow of any kind, POP!

 

People complain about sloppy neck fit on the older Strat. Agreed. However it can go the other way too.

 

So what are you really saying?

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Oh no!! I think I'm gonna keep the Strat... It plays so nice and sounds amazing. I took the neck off to have a look at the cracks and they are only in the finish and very small. The wood is perfect. It's an exact copy of the white Hendrix Woodstock Strat. If I have to sell it cheap I'd just a soon keep it myself...

 

BTW, when I took the neck off it was a perfect fit not tight or loose.., fits like a glove, I have no idea why the cracks appeared but I know it's no big deal. When I put the neck back on and tuned it up it played even better than it did before..,

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Oh no!! I think I'm gonna keep the Strat... It plays so nice and sounds amazing. I took the neck off to have a look at the cracks and they are only in the finish and very small. The wood is perfect. It's an exact copy of the white Hendrix Woodstock Strat. If I have to sell it cheap I'd just a soon keep it myself...

 

 

A wise choice, Dave.

 

I would've done the same thing myself.

 

Of course, I'm a guitar addict, and I cannot be trusted to help a friend with a guitar without wanting it for myself.

[crying]

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The polyester paints used in modern times tends to thicken a tad right at those two curve points. The neck is screwed on as the paint is curing. Since a decent Strat is a true joy to try and play well, it can get vigorous. That vigorosity leads to pulling and pushing around on the neck, which cracks that slightly thicker paint. In the realms of Fender shortcomings, it is barely noticeable and not an issue.

 

You are, as usual, quite welcome.

 

rct

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I have 5 Strats right now and luckily mine do not have the problem.plus I have been refinishing guitars for close to 40 years now.

If you look close at the cracks, you will see the that area is " raised" just slightly.

That is due to the lack of room for expansion as the neck is trying to move due to the string tension and playing the guitar.

If it were an actual crack in the wood around the neck pocket, the finish would not be raised as it is showing.

That area of the neck pocket is the thinnest in the wood of the guitar body and also the thinnest area for paint.

It's really nothing to worry about .

I have seen countless Strats do the exact thing over the years.

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Here's my thought on the subject (refer to my member title to the left): I personally have never seen these cracks on older Strats, when QC was supposedly so high (a huge lie) nor have I seen it on 70s and early 80s Strats when nothing to leave the Fullerton plant was fit to start a fire with (another huge lie). I have ONLY seen this crack on post CBS instruments where all is sunny.

 

 

Come to think of it, I have only noticed this problem on MIM Stratocasters...I mean, there's that old picture of Hugh Garriott standing on a Strat placed between two chairs. I wonder if we could recreate that with a MIM and see what happens to the paint and neck joint...

 

http://drkevguitar.com/2014/08/22/truth-about-truss-rods-2/standing-on-fender-neck/

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