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1965 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Electric Guitar Sherwood Green w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, featuring a body-only nitro lacquer refinish in custom color Sherwood Green, courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars. This Strat hails from very early in the ‘65 model year, retaining its original mint green wide bevel celluloid pickguard. Other features of note include a small “Pre-CBS” headstock, transition logo, and pearloid dot inlay on the Brazilian rosewood fretboard. All electronics, hardware, and plastics are original too.

An alder-bodied Strat with a very lively natural acoustic tone, the guitar offers an inherent smoothness and treble presence that translates well through the pickups. The original gray bobbin pickups all retain their original winds, with a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position on the modern five-way switch (original three-way also included). The bridge pickup has a bouncy snap and sparkle, while the 2 and 4 positions on the switch have plenty of quintessential hollow Strat quack. The middle pickup has a nice dry percussive cut, great for complex chord passages, and the neck pickup delivers a chewy, broad sound that’s both warm and punchy with a bell-like chime and exquisite detail. The guitar is well-balanced on a strap and weighs 7lbs 14oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with fresh 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The maple neck has a slender, fast-feeling C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with lightly rolled fretboard edges, modest shoulders and a gentle increase in overall heft in the higher registers of the fretboard. The profile measures .780" deep at the 1st fret and .955" at the 12th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features pearloid dot inlay and has been refretted with flawless vintage-spec slender fretwire. The fretboard retains its original 7 1/4" radius, and the original nut measures 1.675” in width. This guitar plays cleanly in all registers up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. On the headstock, the original nickel Kluson Deluxe double line tuning machines are intact and turn smoothly, holding pitch well even with liberal use of the vibrato. The small Pre-CBS headstock shape retains its original, nigh-flawless transitional logo. The neck heel retains a very clean and bold February, 1965 date stamp and the “paint stick” markings from the original Sunburst body finish have also been retained in the neck pocket.

All three original gray bobbin pickups are intact with original windings on each coil and cloth-covered leads. The original CTS pots date to the 5th week of '65, and the switch has been upgraded to a modern five-way. All of the hardware is original including the L-prefix neck plate, the jack cup, and vibrato unit with original block, arm, and Fender-stamped saddles. The vibrato actuation is particularly smooth and easy, jumping back to the original pitch with ease, perfect for subtle shimmer and deeper expressive vibrato work. The chrome plating on the hardware still has plenty of shine, with consistent surface patina on the saddles. All of the original plastics are intact, including the trio of knobs with greened text, pickup covers, and the wide-bevel mint green pickguard, which sits remarkably flat with sparingly little shrinkage, also retaining its stock aluminum shielding plate.

The Sherwood Green nitro lacquer body finish was expertly applied by Riggio Custom Guitars, complete with vintage-spec Desert Sand base coat, surgically accurate in regards to nailing the correct tint and saturation for this particularly elusive custom color. There's light ambering of the clear coat, with prominent horizontal lacquer checking and some simulated marks of wear as part of Riggio’s aging process, including some wear along the edge of the belly carve revealing the color coat (without clear) and base coat. The neck profile retains its original nitro lacquer, worn down to the smooth bare maple along the majority of the profile from contact with the palm. The profile is exceedingly smooth and clean, with just a couple very small shallow marks.

A modern Fender G&G Deluxe tweed hardshell case with red poodle interior is included.