Up for sale, a 1950’s prototype Fender Stringmaster Double 8 vintage console steel in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original telescoping legs and rough blonde tolex hardshell case. A completely unique mid ‘50s iteration of the Stringmaster, this Double 8 features many clues that suggest its conception as a custom one-off R&D build, a very common occurrence with Fender and steel players during this era. The body is a solid, single piece of old-growth mahogany with the original custom color red finish, likely given the Cimarron Red moniker most closely associated with Bill Carson’s band and his famous red Stratocaster. The body is mounted on a cast steel frame identical in material to the frames seen on Fender’s earliest Rhodes Piano Basses circa 1961. The Tone control is mounted on the right side of the steel frame, offering a custom configuration that caters to Alvino Rey-style swells and effects.
This Stringmaster has the 24 1/2" medium scale (the middle of the three scale lengths offered for this model), and 31 fret range. A unique wiring arrangement utilizes a Tele control plate and three-way switch for selecting either or both necks, complete with Master Volume control. All four of the original black bobbin pickups are intact, wired to the stock tone cap with modern replacement 250k CTS pots.
Cosmetically, this early Double 8 is in exceptional condition, with the original gloss Cimarron Red finish and gleaming chrome mounting plates for the pickups, with original covers intact for both bridges. The Tele-style control plate, knurled knobs, and top hat switch tip are modern replacements. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few isolated spots of lacquer checking and light wear on the edges of the instrument.
The original rough blonde tolex case is included and in excellent condition with the same red crushed velvet interior seen on the earliest Stratocaster cases. The original case handle is intact as are the latches.