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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 1977 Stratocaster Verification (Codes / Refinish?)


Hong Kong

Apr 6th, 2018 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile  


Wondering if the folks can help me out with this.

I just recently acquired a black/black 1977 Stratocaster (serial number s7xxxxx). I noticed the numbers on the bottom of the pickups look a bit weird. The pickup codes seem to have the year number at the beginning rather than the end. For example, I see 78xxxxx -rather than xxxx78 (which was what I was expecting). Anyone else see this on late 70's strats? I do realize the QA was a bit off during this time period, but have they been known to muck up the code stamps as well? Looks-wise, the pickups look legit: gray bobbins with the yellow mark, black/white wire, and brown tape. Note, the pickups are extremely microphonic...I can just tap slightly on the pickuard and it is very audible through an amp.

I also note and am suspecting a refinish. The reason is there is an area where part of the coating has chipped off near the neck pocket. I see a white layer under the black layer, which seems a bit peculiar to be just primer. I also note the guitar has what appears to be a bit of orange peel finish coating in some parts of the guitar (not mirrorlike, but looks like some small dimpling). The guitar also seems to have a permanent "finish" smell. No codes or anything in the body cavities, just a yellow sticker. I do see the typical stamps and signatures in the neck pocket. Again, is this representative of the quality being churned by the factory, or perhaps something else?

Any help would be appreciated.


Contributing Member

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Buena Buena
Apr 6th, 2018 10:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you could post links to pictures (the pickup bottoms, showing the labels--along with close-ups of the neck pocket and cavities on the front of the guitar), that would be the info we need to provide definitive answers to your questions.


Hong Kong

Apr 7th, 2018 12:20 AM   Edit   Profile  

Not mine, but the pickups look exactly like these. See second to last photo. Notice the serial number on the pickups start with 77... I presume since I've found another '77 with this code format (albeit incorrect), mine isn't that uncommon and most likely genuine?


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Contributing Member

Get ready for the

Buena Buena
Apr 7th, 2018 01:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Oh yeah, those are original Fender pickups from that period.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 1977 Stratocaster Verification (Codes / Refinish?)

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