Unusual '74 Mustang (mystery solved, thanks everyone)!

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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Unusual '74 Mustang (mystery solved, thanks everyone)!

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:51 pm

Hey everyone. New member here. I've always liked old Fender offsets and wanted to get one someday. However, considering that I'm an average player at best and only play at home as a hobby anyway (and I'm poor), I was never able to justify a serious purchase like this... Until the pandemic happened. I've been watching the listings on Ebay, Reverb, Craigslist, and FB Marketplace for months now (pulling my hair at the prices) and I've decided that I don't want to wait and see if the prices on vintage offsets will keep climbing up or will eventually drop in a couple years as some of us predict. So, I've decided that it's now or never and pulled the trigger on the best deal I was able to find on a vintage Mustang. Of course it's not a 60s one (those are virtually impossible to find for less than 1300), but I thought it had a nice sound for a 70s Mustang (never owned one but I literally watched every single demo of 70s and 60s Mustangs that I was able to find on YouTube and, it seems like, the quality was more consistent in the 60s, so a higher price tag makes sense). Here is the demo of my find recorded by the previous owner (I don't have the guitar right now as it is still shipping to me): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KSfkV7MPnk

I have never seen a 74 Mustang like this before. Since he mentions in the video that this is most likely a refinish and it looks like the original knobs and pickup covers were replaced at some point (they are black, I believe they are being shipped to me as well), I thought - well, that makes sense, he just made some cosmetic modifications to suit his personal preference. Until I stumbled upon this Japanese reissue today: https://www.ebay.com/i/183982514449

Has anyone actually ever seen a 70s American Mustang like this before?
Thank you in advance for your advice,
Nik
Last edited by HedonismBot on Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by mbene085 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:06 pm

All the hardware is shiny, it's a shiny flawless poly finish in a colour that didn't exist in the 70's, and the switches, pickups, and knobs are modern replacements. There's absolutely no reason to believe that's a vintage Mustang unless he pulls off the neck, shows you the heel and neck pocket, takes off the control plate and shows you the pot codes.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by countertext » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:31 pm

If it’s already on the way, be prepared to file whatever complaints you need to in order to get your money back. It looks like a nice Mustang, but if you paid a high price for vintage USA and it turns out to be new Japan, that ain’t right.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by adamrobertt » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:32 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:06 pm
All the hardware is shiny, it's a shiny flawless poly finish in a colour that didn't exist in the 70's, and the switches, pickups, and knobs are modern replacements. There's absolutely no reason to believe that's a vintage Mustang unless he pulls off the neck, shows you the heel and neck pocket, takes off the control plate and shows you the pot codes.
Yup. At best it's a highly customized vintage partscaster. At worst, it's a modern reissue.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:01 pm

Yes, reasons to be apprehensive as everyone says.

One note of comfort (hopefully) - the neck on the video does not look the same as the Japanese reissue - different tuners, slightly different Fender decal, and no serial no on the neck heel (which would have confirmed it as Japanese), two string trees (which would be right for a 70s post competition Mustang). Of course these things could have been changed...

You need to see all the dates the seller referred to. If those all check out, and you get the original pickup covers, knobs, etc., you might just have a refin job there .

Did he give you a serial number you can look up? I’d agree that the chrome parts look very shiny, so would be slightly worried that the neck plate has been replaced (looks like someone’s added a plastic gasket under it anyway).
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before....

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by JVG » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:50 pm

Lefty vibrato? Stevie Ray’s Mustang!

Do you care to say how much you paid for this guitar? (Totally understandable of you want to keep it private ;) )

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by mbene085 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:52 pm

Oh I didn't see the sentence that revealed it's in transit. That's rough. I really hope a very fair price was paid, there's a chance some parts are original but it's looking real partscastery so far.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:10 pm

The seller sent me the pictures of the pots and pickups (not the neck stamp, though). The pots date to the last week of 1973 and the date on the pickups is some time in 1974 (can't recall exactly right now). The code on the neckplate looks accurate to 1974. The finish, the knobs, the pickguard and pickup covers seemed kinda fishy to me. But then again, the (I assume) original black knobs and pickup covers are included. Did you see the second link in my original post? Why the heck would this MIJ reissue be called "Classic 70s Mustang" if similar Mustangs didn't exist in the 70s in the first place?

There's a few of those MIJ classic 70s Mustangs out there, check this out: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... lassic+70s
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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:20 pm

Also, I could have asked for a picture of the neck stamp, but decided not to. It bit me in the ass before: you find a listing on Ebay that looks like it was made by a non-professional (no pics of date stamp, pots, etc). You ask for additional pictures of the guitar. The seller post these for everyone to see... And boom, it's gone because some dude with deeper pockets than mine showed up and outbid everyone. I don't even bother to deal with professional sellers. Those think that every mid-seventies burst stang is worth 2 grand.
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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:39 pm

The finish is not exactly minty, the video doesn't do the justice. Looks like nitro to me (judging by the checking pattern), which would have to be a refinish. I don't think Fender used nitro any more by that time. Or did they?
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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:41 pm

Got it pretty much for the price of an MIJ reissue.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:58 pm

As someone mentioned above, the neck doesn't really look like an MIJ. It occurred to me, though, that it might be a partscaster (lefty vibrato?). But then again, I didn't pay a fortune for it.

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by countertext » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:00 pm

Can’t the hot dog on a Mustang vibrato be turned around?

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by HedonismBot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:42 pm

countertext wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:00 pm
Can’t the hot dog on a Mustang vibrato be turned around?
I was just going to ask that (never had one, so I don't know).

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Re: Unusual '74 Mustang: anyone seen one of these before?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:48 am

HedonismBot wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:42 pm
countertext wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:00 pm
Can’t the hot dog on a Mustang vibrato be turned around?
I was just going to ask that (never had one, so I don't know).
Yes, I suspect that’s absolutely what’s been done there, though I can’t see clearly on the video. I don’t see why the sausage couldn’t be unscrewed and put back on the right way round, assuming the threads aren’t seized.

On the Japanese 70s Mustang thing, Fender Japan has a long history of being historically inaccurate - they are more in the spirit of the time period rather than correct in detail. These have the contoured body, so are being called 70s models. I have a CIJ “57” Strat in ocean turquoise, a colour that wasn’t used until about 1965. It’s still a great guitar.

It’s sounding more like you have a pretty good deal on the way, but do check all those dates carefully, see if in real life the metal parts look like they are almost 50 years old, and see if you can find any evidence of the original body colour.

Have you seen this site?

http://www.fendermustangstory.com/

It suggests to me your guitar could be a 1974 neck on the change over from white button tuners. The body should be poplar, or possibly ash (not Alder). The original body colour would have been blonde, black, white, walnut, natural, or sunburst (very 70s colours!)

Keep us posted!
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before....

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