Up for sale, a 1960 Fender Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original brown tolex "knucklebuster" case and strap. 100% original save for a replacement tremolo arm, this vintage Pre-CBS Strat has date codes spanning late 1959 to January, 1960.
The alder body yields an extremely lively and pronounced natural acoustic tone with a crisp, balanced quality and an underlying sonic breadth. Via the three-way pickup selector switch, each pickup has a vital, distinct voice. The bridge pickup has a prominent upper midrange presence and bounce, while the neck pickup is woody and sweet, with the bell-like chime and detail one expects from a classic Fender single coil. The "in-between" positions on the switch have a snappy, thinned out squawk. Quite simply, this 1960 Stratocaster is a prime example of the reverence afforded the "Pre-CBS" era. The guitar weighs 7lbs 5oz, benefitting from a professional setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-49 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile with modest shoulders at the nut, yet the neck is more substantial in this register than the more severe C shapes from earlier in ’59. The profile carve has a gentle increase in depth and roundness in the higher registers, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 12th. The thick slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard has dynamic two-tone grain (lighter on the bass side) and the original slender fretwire still has decent meat, with moderate wear on the crowns of frets 1-5, with wear growing lighter and extending to fret 9. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nut measures 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the original Stratocaster waterslide decal is notably clean, and the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines function smoothly. The heel of the neck has no pencil date, consistent with late 1959 production, and the neck pocket and heel have a perfectly mirrored finish exchange.
On the body, all of the electronics work as they should, with the trio of original black bobbin pickups mated to a three-way Switchcraft toggle. All three pickups retain their factory windings, and the pickups meter at 5.75k ohms in the bridge position, 5.83k in the middle, and 6.05k at the neck. Solder joints on the wiring harness are untouched, and the Stackpole pots date to the 46th week of '59. The mint green pickguard is incredibly well-kept with gentle aging and sparingly little shrinkage, contrasting with the parchment pickup covers and deeper aging on the trio of knobs. The vibrato unit is complete with pat. pending saddles, the original trem block, and the "ashtray" bridge cover. Utilizing five springs, the vibrato currently has a deliberate yet smooth response, and with fewer springs the vibrato can be very touch-sensitive and easy actuating. The tremolo arm is a vintage-spec replacement with an aged tip. The tremolo cavity retains its grease pencil 1/60 (January, 1960) date.
The nitro lacquer Sunburst finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, presenting as a relaxed "2.5 burst" on the top, given the less stable red lacquer Fender used in this era, and retaining a slightly more pronounced central red ring on the back. Natural playwear includes buckle rash between the belly carve and tremolo cavity, some finish chips, largely on the lower bout body edge, and various additional expected minor nicks and scuffs from careful use. The nitro gloss on the neck profile is extremely smooth, with light palm wear on the shoulders.
The original brown tolex "knucklebuster" hardshell case is included. The case retains its original trio of latches (including the centrally located latch between the handle that gives this case its nickname), along with the stock handle and particularly clean brown leather ends. The original strap is also included.