Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with a vintage hardshell case. This Strat features a nitro lacquer refinish in Sonic Blue by Eric Daw (of Pin-Up Guitar and The Fret Files podcast), retaining the original trio of gray bobbin pickups.
This Strat hails from the tail end of Fender’s golden age, and tonewoods comprise an alder body, maple neck and dark, tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard, offering a natural liveliness with both tonal breadth and treble shimmer, qualities faithfully captured by the original pickups. The gray bobbin pickups have a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position; the bridge pickup has a barking, woody quality with both girth and treble sparkle, offering more overall heft than many Strat bridge pickups. On the five-way switch's "in-between" settings, there's quintessential Strat squawk and honk. The middle pickup has a dry percussive sound, and the neck pickup is round and fat, with a bell-like clarity. Weighing 7lbs 12oz, this Strat has been 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 at the nut with full shoulders in every register, quickly gaining more heft when traveling up the fingerboard and feeling more substantial than the micrometer measurements may imply. The neck measures .805” deep at the 1st fret, .880” at the 5th, and .980” at the 12th. The dark Brazilian rosewood fretboard has pearloid dot inlay and its original 7 1/4" radius, refretted with pristine jumbo fretwire. There is light finger wear into the rosewood from frets 1-3, and the guitar plays cleanly in every register up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The modern hand-carved bone nut measures 1 5/8" in width.
The headstock face has been refinished in ambered nitro lacquer, complete with the proper "transition" Fender Stratocaster waterslide decal. One additional string tree mounting hole has been cleanly doweled, and a set of modern aged Kluson Deluxe double-line tuning machines have been fitted, perfectly matching the footprint of the originals. The neck heel retains a bold September, 1965 date stamp, and Eric Daw has recreated the Fender factory-style “paint stick” markings in the neck pocket, where he has also signed and dated his finish work.
All three original gray bobbin pickups are intact, with cloth-covered leads, and the bridge and neck pickup retain the handwritten dates on their baseplates, reading 11-9-65. The pickups meter at 6.05k ohms in the bridge position, 6.3k in the middle, and 5.85k at the neck. The five-way selector switch is a replacement, and the original CTS pots date to the 10th week of '65. Original hardware includes the L-prefix neck plate, jack cup, and vibrato unit. The vibrato actuates smoothly with a fluid, responsive feel perfect for subtle shimmer and deeper expressive vibrato work. Plastics comprise the original trio of uniformly-aged knobs and pickup covers, along with a replacement three-ply wide bevel parchment pickguard.
The gloss Sonic Blue nitro lacquer refinish executed by Eric Daw has good saturation, subtle greening of the clear coat, and horizontal lacquer checking. The original rounded body contours have been faithfully retained, and beyond the simulated marks of wear as part of Daw’s relic process, the body shows no additional playwear. The neck profile is silky smooth and fast-feeling, with natural palm wear through practically all of the gloss along the profile length.
A vintage Fender black tolex hardshell case is included; the case has clean black leather ends, functional latches, the original handle and a raised Fender badge on the lid.