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Thread: Lead IIs

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretbender View Post
    Anybody remember the Lead I and Lead II? A buddy had a Lead II and I thought it was a fine guitar. Shorter scale made it play a little stiff, but tonally it had plenty of quack and spank and just played, sounded and felt like a real Fender all around. How come i never see 'em anymore, not even in pawn shops?
    I know - super old thread but want to correct some misinformation:

    The Lead series was NOT shorter scale --- but they did feature a more sculpted and slightly smaller body and one of the narrowest neck and nuts ever to come out of the factory. This gave them the appearance of, and sometimes players the mistaken idea that they were of shorter scale - but they are indeed not. I own a Lead II & III -- original owner w/ original factory manuals etc...

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    Thanks, Dasein, and welcome to FenderTalk! Yes, they have a regular Fender scale length. I now own a Fender Lead III (the model with the giant humbuckers) and it is a very nice guitar, but like you said, the nut width is pretty narrow. The humbucker do kick buttocks, so they must be kinda hot. I've never tested them so I don't know what they read. I'm not the original owner but I do have the original case and the factory manuals that came with it.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAguitar View Post
    Thanks, Dasein, and welcome to FenderTalk! Yes, they have a regular Fender scale length. I now own a Fender Lead III (the model with the giant humbuckers) and it is a very nice guitar, but like you said, the nut width is pretty narrow. The humbucker do kick buttocks, so they must be kinda hot. I've never tested them so I don't know what they read. I'm not the original owner but I do have the original case and the factory manuals that came with it.
    Nice to be here (and sorry for digging up such an old thread)

    I've had my Lead III since 81 - I still play it today. Picked up the Lead II last summer - it has a slightly wider nut than my iii and also a slightly bigger body. As the series evolved the bodies got more sculpted - my III is so contoured that it that it fits my body like no other guitar - not a hard edge on the whole body. The humbuckers in the III are great because you can also split the coils, so for versatility they are amazing. And as hard tails they have tuning and tone stability like no other Fender I've played.and are great for recording - really quiet. The X-1 pickups in the ii are super hot as well (and can be found in one of the positions on "The Strat" from the same period as well as the Dan Smith Stratocasters, but the iii with those Seth humbuckers can't be beat. My jaw always hangs open in disbelief when I see Leads where these pickups have been swapped out.

    The Lead II is famous for being the first guitar gifted to the Hard Rock cafe (by Clapton) - had he held onto it a little longer who knows what would have happened to the model. The whole line was hurt sales wise by the lack of whammy bar (and distribution) -- particularly as the Lead I was itself supposed to be a Super Strat (with the single humbucker). The lack of whammy lead lots of them to be butchered (usually w/ Kahlers because of the slightly smaller and thinner bodies) but if folks can find one - especially the III ---- they wont be disappointed. In my whole life of playing and traveling the world I only saw one other Lead series guitar in the flesh. As a 13 year old playing a lead III, I never ever met someone who even knew what my guitar was.

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    OK, so those really are Seth humbuckers? A friend of mine told me that Seth Lover was involved with those but I've never researched it to check that out. And I don't know why everyone is was so upset that they didn't have a whammy bar. All of my Strats are either, decked, blocked, or both. I guess I'm just a hard tail guy.

    I really should dig my ol' Lead III out and play it some more. I haven't in years and it deserves more attention. I just remember being confused with the switching system and didn't work on it enough to get used to it.

    I kinda liken the Lead series to Gibson's Nighthawk and Blueshawk, both of those were capable of a wide range of tones, but never really caught on. And yeah, I have one of each of those. My only gripe with them was their ultra small bodies, because I play fairly aggressive and the body wouldn't stay still enough for me to get along with in a live situation.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

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    I had a Lead I in the early 80's. Good guitar, people always wondered how I could get such great sounds out of one PU on a "Fender for beginners"-guitar. And it had a real one-piece maple neck - no glued-on fretboard. Now it's gone for money.

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    I never thought they were beginners guitars. I just thought they were Fender's attempt to introduce a new model to their line. Unfortunately, the F brand's customers has pretty much limited them to the Telecaster and the Stratocaster for guitars.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

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    Those 'buckers were indeed designed by Seth Lover, with ceramic magnets. Typically read about 13k.
    The Human Torch was denied a bank loan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAguitar View Post
    I never thought they were beginners guitars. I just thought they were Fender's attempt to introduce a new model to their line. Unfortunately, the F brand's customers has pretty much limited them to the Telecaster and the Stratocaster for guitars.
    I think same as you did, where are also HM Strats, Showmaster series...


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    Really, and the Coronado, the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar?
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

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    As I understand they were an attempt to undercut the cheap Japanese copies - after they dropped them the Squier brand appeared. I love mine. Check out the Dixie Dregs' Punk Sandwich where Steve Morse smokes with one.

 

 

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