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Thread: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

  1. #41
    Forum Member JM3's Avatar
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    What were we talking about?

  2. #42
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    Yes, it is a long-wynded thread

  3. #43
    Forum Member Erock_Germany's Avatar
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    We were talking about Cunetto guitars, which ones they really are and if they are worth the extra buck.

    My take on it is as follows:

    1) That era of CS guitars were nice but not accurate in the vintage specs - these are the ones that were aged by Cunetto

    2) Cunetto was the ground breaker in this Relic thing (I am not a fan but that does not matter here). He experimented and is as far as I am concerned very competent and certainly innovative

    3) Cunettos are only the guitars touched by him and aged by him/his workshop

    4) Fender - in a true move of outsource exploitation - used him to break the ground, establish the process, transfer know-how and then dumped him to insource and took all his ideas. Typical greedy corporate move.

    5) Current production CS guitars of vintage spec are more accurate, more consistent and generally better quality than those of that era and are in my mind the real thing (I have one) albeit somewhat overpriced. I mean how many real vintage Strats had those wild birdseye and AAAA flame maple necks, Texas Special type pickups and those wierd color shades that were present and pushed in the era in question?

    6) The relic jobs are more realistic today for the most part. Still not my cup of tea. After all, Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Hank Marvin but to name a few used new guitars i.e. NOS...personally I like to age my guitars myself and actually take good care not to bang them all up...

    Just my take on it. So the logical decision is: they are not worth the extra money compared to current CS guitars that are overpriced anyway.
    "Sorry" - John Belushi as he smashed a guitar in Animal House

  4. #44
    Formerly joe mama
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    Quote Originally Posted by Kap'n View Post
    I had to look up who that guy was.

    ahem...too much time on forums is probably to blame. He's at the top. One of the best players, with melodic sense, sings like a bird... and the tone and looks and...some guys have all the luck.

  5. #45
    Formerly joe mama
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    I had a bunch of Cunettos. Very nice and still some of the nicest looking as far as the paint and distressing. The guitars themselves are no better/worse than what the CS was putting out in the late 90's. Same wood supply, build etc... Vince just painted/stained them and Fender still built them. There's no extra mojo or magic. I love the look of his oly whites.

  6. #46
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    And then straight from Vince about Quality of Cunetto era Fender Custom Shop relic guitars:

    I have seen people attaching the Cunetto name to any Fender from '95 to '99 or to Relics that we did not do. That's plainly inaccurate and just not cool, but of course there is so much ignorance and misinformation out there when it comes to this stuff, you really can't say whether it's malicious, dishonest or just the result of some folks who just don't know what they're talking about. I don't particularly dig it when I see "Cunetto Relic" on a guitar that is clearly not, and so poorly aged or bastardized that it looks rediculous. Me and my guys took our work seriously, and don't like to see counterfeiting under our banner for any reason.

    It is my opinion that the guitars that we happened to be doing were some of the most tonally great and "vibey" guitars that Fender had done for a long time. Only part of that coolness had to do with the aging process. The Custom Shop of that era was a braintrust of the absolute best and most knowledgable electric luthiers in the world IMHO, all under the care of John Page. When you've got that much talent giving input on what the pickup, body and neck specs should be, you're going to get great guitars. Also keep in mind that we had our pick of the best of the best bodies and necks that Fender was doing at the time. When we needed parts, guys like Jay Black, Kenny Gin or John Cruz could just walk over to the wood mill and select bodies from hundreds of choices. Now I'm not saying they don't do that now, but I think that for the first time, the early Relics for the most part were the most widely distributed "production" model to be done from super-select parts. That's just my view though.

    As far as whether or not the aging artwork was better or worse in the different "eras", I guess that's just a matter of personal opinion. I think it's kind of amusing when I read the opinions of some of the folks on the 'net who like to see themselves as "experts" and pass judgement on the authenticity of the look and feel of an aging job, when you know they've probably never owned a real '50's or 60's strat or tele, and their only exposure to one was a 5 minute viewing of a marginal example at a recent guitar show. I do know how many years I spent studying, photographing and documenting the details of vintage Fenders, experimenting and working in ways to reproduce them, and teaching these things to the people that worked for me. I think that passion came across in the work, and I think there are a lot of other folks out there who seem to agree, and for that I'm grateful.

  7. #47
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    Great post, BM58!

    I too am a fan of the Cunetto-era Strats. The like/dislike of the relic process of the guitars not withstanding, the foundational aspects of these instruments were outstanding given the hand-selected lumber, vintage-spec pickups, and careful hand-fitting and assembly by patient professionals motivated by historical authenticity. Thanks for the insight.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

  8. #48
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    Great post, BM58!

    I too am a fan of the Cunetto-era Strats. The like/dislike of the relic process of the guitars not withstanding, the foundational aspects of these instruments were outstanding given the hand-selected lumber, vintage-spec pickups, and careful hand-fitting and assembly by patient professionals motivated by historical authenticity. Thanks for the insight.


    Thank you, i finally got bought Fender Custom Shop 1958 Fiesta Red Cunetto Relic 1997 Stratocaster PD3, Platinum Dealer - 9th of 40 made - in February this year from Netherlands, The Fellowship Of Acoustics to here Finland where i live. I have played guitar since 1972 and have had over 50 guitars through years and never have had as great, perfect and absolutely awesome Stratocaster like this Cunetto. I have another great relic strat too, but it's is as well near that Cunetto era. Fender Custom Shop '69 Olympic White Closet Classic 2001 Relic. Some parts are made in 2000. Also John Cruz involvement in process of making it as in Cunetto Stratocaster. i'll add some pics of both Strats.
    [IMG]https[IMG]https://maihinnousu.net/dyn/gallery/f/5129.jpg[/IMG]://maihinnousu.net/dyn/gallery/f/5149.jpg
    Last edited by Bluesman58; 03-26-2023 at 10:32 AM.

  9. #49
    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Cunetto Era Stratocasters - 1996 - 1998

    I'm not a big fan of Fiesta Red but yours is gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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