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The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How To Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat [Hardcover]

Paul Balmer , Hank Marvin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 15 2007 Book
There are six million out there--from Eric Claptons million-dollar "Blackie" to your treasured hand-me-down--and still the world cant get enough of the Fender Stratocaster, the legendary electric guitar-of-choice for players and dreamers from pioneers like Buddy Holly to todays garage-band heroes.

This is the worlds first hands-on, how-to manual for the Strat, taking the mystery out of maintaining and modifying what is really a relatively simple instrument (two boards, some wires, some pickups). It shows you how to make the most of your Stratocaster--and how to make it truly your own.

With clear text and colorful illustrations, this guidebook takes readers through the basics of selecting and buying Strats; maintenance and repairs such as tuning, setting intonation, tremolo alignment, fret repairs, bridge and nut adjustments, electrics troubleshooting; spur-of-the-moment stageside fixes; and some basic performance enhancements like adding "hot rod" Fender and aftermarket pickups, locking-tremolo nuts, and more.

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Product Details

Product Description


Vintage Guitar, February 2007

“The book takes the mystery out of maintaining and codifying what is really a simple instrument, and shows the reader how to make it truly their own … one of the best at showing you how.”

Library Journal, Feb. 15, 2007

“A clearly written owner’s manual and tune-up/troubleshooting guide full of hot rodders’ tips and tricks … This first guitar maintenance and repair book to focus on a specific mode is sure to be in demand at public and specialty music libraries.”

About the Author

Paul Balmer is a veteran guitarist, author, and documentary film producer. He is the author of a biographical book and film on Stéphane Grappelli, among others. He lives in England.

Hank Marvin is the lead guitarist of The Shadows, one of the most influential rock bands before the The Beatles. His guitar playing was a great inspiration to others, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Brian May, Tony Iommi, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, and many more. Marvin was also one of the pioneer users and innovators of the Fender Stratocaster. In 1992, Fender honored him with the limited-edition Fender Squier Stratocaster Hank Marvin Signature Model.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Fender Strat Maintenance and Setup Aug. 10 2009
This is a great book to help you setup and maintain your strat. Covers various models, well explained and is geared towards various levels of skill and comfort level when working with these guitars.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Fender Strat May 10 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on a whim as I wanted to put together a Strat buying parts from Ebay or whomever. Let me say I am glad I purchased this book!! I read articles on the various setups and how to correct them. I found that I never knew all items in the bridge setup of Fender guitars. This alone is worth the price of the book.

I had a 1999 model that I was never happy with. So I thought I would just check some of the setups detailed in the book such as string heights, tuning on 12 fret, and how the bridge setings work. This guitar was so far out of alignment I couldn't believe it. I went through the instructions, reset and made ajustments, and couldn't believe the guitar could ever sound that good.

If you want to understand your Strat, I highly recommend this book. Also, if you buy a Squire or cheaper version of Fender, I have no doubt that with the help of this book, you might turn a poor guitar into a much better performing guitar. Hope this might help the reader to enjoy and may be even fix a guitar that you think should play or sound better. Try the book and i know you will be glad you did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Guitar April 8 2011
This is an excellent book for the moderate to advanced guitar enthusiast. Nicely laid out and easy to understand.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything expected March 30 2011
I got everything I expected from this book, everything promised on the cover.

First, some (but not too much) history of the Strat, including highlights of the changes made over the years and why and when they occurred.

Then, sets of excellently-clear and thoroughly-illustrated instructions for setting up a handful of the most popular Strat models. In aggregate, they cover pretty much any combination of popular Fender parts you're likely to find. More-risky repairs such as nut replacements and refinishing are covered too, but with careful warnings about using a pro if you don't know what you're doing.

Extremely serious collectors of vintage guitars, or experienced luthiers embarked on significant restorations, may want more than this book. But for the rest of us, it's everything needed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bad book, don't loose your money Feb. 21 2011
By fab
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Few history that anyone could write about the instrument, very week in setup and maintainance
Got the Gibson and Fender books, both are bad.
I don't recommend the Paul Balmer book series.
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