Welcome back friends!
Today’s post will focus on Vintage Fender Stratocaster pickguards form the 1970s CBS era. The early 1970s ushered in some structural and cosmetic changes for the Stratocaster model. The 4 bolt neck attachment was switched over to the infamous 3 bolt with micro-tilt adjustment, this by the way was one of Leo Fender’s last contributions to the company he had sold in the mid 60s. The Pick-ups were switched from staggered pole-piece models to flush pole-piece ( Another controversial change) As well as the tremolo being now made of a single die-cast unit with new chromed saddles. One other major change was the plastic, in other words the pick-guard, vol/tone, switch knobs and pickup covers. Originally white since the 1950s,
Fender decided to go with the “New Look” Black plastic (BWB) triple layer pick-guard at the end of 1974/Beginning 1975. The Vol/Tone knobs, switch tip and pick-up covers were also scheduled for the same change but they made their appearance a bit later as Fender was exhausting it’s stock of white accessories. As a result you can spot many Stratocasters from that era with black pick-guards and white knobs and pick-up covers (aka Tuxedo model ) Note: The beveling of the pick-up mounting holes as well as the pick-up switch mounting holes were changed and were now flush, the mounting screw models were changed to accommodate this alteration. The 11 pick-guard mounting screws and mounting holes however remained beveled.
Other than the obvious color change and minor changes in the mounting holes, the new BWB pick-guard was virtually the same as the previous WBW model, same 11 mounting screw placement and dimensions , same plastic material, same aluminum shielding sheet with square bottom cut-out. In mid 1976 the serial numbers switched from the neck-plate to the headstock and we began seeing new Fender serial# stickers on the under side of the pick-guards and neck joints. Many of these stickers dryed up and fell off during repairs, or clean-up so all you may see is a felt pen inspection mark and many times on early models nothing at all depending on who was cutting and inspecting the pick-guards on a given day at the Fender plant
You can visit my onlineguitargenie guitar parts store to find an original 1974/75/76 BWB pick-guard in excellent condition. A set of original 1970s pick-guard mounting screws are also available.
That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar. Visit my store for some very hard to find vintage parts at great prices, just click on the Guitar parts shop tab on the home page!!