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1961 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Pre-CBS Guitar Olympic White w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1961 Fender Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order. This vintage Pre-CBS Strat features a tight-grained Brazilian rosewood slab fretboard, original black bobbin pickups, full complement of original hardware and plastic parts, and a body-only professional nitro lacquer refinish in Olympic White.

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 sweet bounce and sparkling cut, while the neck pickup is round and rich, with the bell-like chime and detail one expects from a classic Fender single coil. The "in-between" positions on the switch have that snappy, thinned out squawk. Quite simply, this 1961 Stratocaster is a prime example of the reverence afforded the "Pre-CBS" era. The guitar weighs 7lbs 7oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve with modest shoulder at the nut and a gentle, yet appreciable increase in overall heft up the board while remaining fast-feeling and effortless, measuring .785" deep at the 1st fret and .935" at the 12th. The thick slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard is an extremely dark and tight-grained cut, appearing almost like ebony, retaining its original 7 1/4" radius and refretted with flawless medium jumbo fretwire. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut has been upgraded to a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the original Stratocaster waterslide decal is intact and notably clean, and the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines function smoothly. The heel of the neck has the original 7-61 grease pencil date, and the neck pocket retains the original Sunburst finish.

On the body, all of the electronics work as they should with a trio of original black bobbin pickups mated to the stock three-way Switchcraft toggle. The middle and bridge pickups retain their factory windings, while the neck pickup has been professionally rewound, balancing well with the other two in terms of output and tonal properties. The two original Stackpole pots date to the 21st week of 1961, while the third pot was replaced in '72 with a proper 250k CTS component. The body routes are untouched, save for a small channel added at the neck pickup cavity to more easily access the truss rod nut.

The mint green pickguard is original, exhibiting graceful aging, slightly darker on either side of the strings. There are two small repairs to the guard, one on the edge facing the vibrato where a small half moon piece was cleanly inlaid with matching green nitrate, and a second smaller piece at the truss rod adjustment point. The original pickup covers, knobs, and back plate are intact, and the vibrato unit is 100% stock and complete with pat. pending saddles and the original trem block. Currently utilizing three springs, the vibrato actuates very easily, with a notable touch-sensitive response and stability. From quick flutters to more drastic dives, this vibrato unit works just as designed and the trem block is an integral part of a Strat's sustain and tonal character. The vibrato arm is original too.

The body features a professional body-only nitro lacquer refinish in a pitch-perfect shade of Olympic White, and cosmetic wear post-refinish is limited to just a touch of buckle wear extending to the plastic tremolo cavity cover and a few minor marks on the lower bout body edge. The original nitro lacquer gloss is intact on the neck profile, with light palm wear through the gloss for a silky smooth playing experience.

The original brown tolex hardshell case is included. The case exterior is a bit rough, with most of the brown leather trim missing, yet the original handle is intact, as are the stock latches, and the case is structurally sound with a clean orange interior and case pocket. The original frets are included in the case pocket.