1964 Lake Placid Blue Fender Stratocaster

Who am I? My real name is Michael Gilmer. I go by audiosway on forums. When I was a professional musician/engineer I went by the name Michael England. Still do with the music industry stuff. I’ve played on some major label albums from punk to country. Recorded some pretty good albums. Even worked on some Grammy nominated and Grammy winning albums. That was fun.

But, my real passions has always been Pre CBS Strats. The guitar above is my dream guitar. I remember when I was about 17 I used to go down to a local luthier’s shop and work with him some. He had toured with Stevie Ray for many years and was the sound man for Joe Bonamassa for a while. Really good guy named Donnie Opperman. He taught me a ton about everything from running sound to refretting guitars. I remember he always had a bunch of parts laying around and they were all Pre-CBS. That’s where I got bit by the bug. There was something special about those guitars. That wood just had something to it.

I remember vividly that Donnie had built a partscaster that he played live. It was a 61 white refinned body, Tortoise pickguard, set of black bottom pickups, bridge, and a 59 neck. What an amazing sounding guitar. I remember watching him play live and it sounded huge. From there it was always on my mind. Anything from 54 to 65 as long as it was a Stratocaster.

So, over the years (about 30 nearly now) I’ve had my hands on so many original guitars and parts and have studied every single detail of them. I’ve probably read every book. From time to time I’ll see guitars go up for sale that I remember seeing at a show when someone else owned it.

Building this site has been a passion of mine for the last several years. Guitarhq.com had always been a good resource to me. But, it hasn’t been updated in some time and I saw so many things that could be done better. Also, there is some mis information on there as well. Things have just become a little more refined over the years as we’ve seen more guitars.

Well, that brings me to Pre CBS Stratocasters. As I said, I’ve wanted to do this site for many years and now I’m finally making it happen. There will be galleries of guitars on here. There is a pinterest board I just started. Pre CBS Stratocasters Pinterest Board.

I hope you enjoy it and feel free to contact me.