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1965 Fender Stratocaster Vintage Electric Guitar Sunburst w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for a professional refret and new nut, and complete with the original hardshell case. This Strat hails at the tail end of Fender's golden age, with date codes spanning December, 1964-January 1965, featuring a small Pre-CBS-style headstock and early transition logo.

Tonewoods comprise an alder body, maple neck and dark, tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard, offering a natural liveliness with both tonal breadth and treble detail, qualities that translate well through the pickups. The original gray bobbin pickups all retain their original winds, with a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position. The bridge pickup has a rich, woody quality with both plenty of girth and treble sparkle, offering more overall heft than many Strat bridge pickups of the era. On the three-way switch's "in-between" settings, there's a distinctive squawk and honk, and this modestly thinned-out sound retains good body and a bell-like presence. The middle pickup has a dry percussive sound, and the neck pickup is particularly round and fat. Even single notes on the plain strings have lots of body and presence in the neck position, and this pickup is extremely dynamic and responsive to player inputs. 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 accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, quickly gaining notable shoulder and heft, with a substantial, chunky shape in the higher registers, measuring .800 deep at the 1st fret, .880 at the 5th, and .975 at the 12th. The neck profile is silky smooth and fast-feeling, with natural palm wear through the majority of the gloss on the profile length. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained, with pearloid dot inlay, retaining its 7 1/4" radius and refretted with medium jumbo fretwire. The frets show virtually no wear, playing cleanly in every register up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut is a modern replacement, measuring 1.675" in width.

On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines are intact and still turn smoothly, and there is a tiny and professionally addressed split extending from the low E tuner mounting screw, not fully wrapping the headstock corner. The small Pre-CBS headstock shape sports its original transitional logo with some oxidation of the gold "Fender" text. The neck heel retains a very clean and bold December, 1964 date stamp and the original paint stick markings are present in the neck pocket. The truss rod nut is also flush with the heel, indicative of the limited adjustment this neck has needed in the past 55+ years.

All three original gray bobbin pickups are intact with original windings on each coil and cloth-covered leads. Each pickup is hand-initialed by its original winder, along with 1-22-65 and 1-25-65 dates. The pickups meter at 6.15k ohms in the bridge position, 5.85k in the middle, and 5.95k at the neck. The original CTS pots date to the 1st week of '65, and the solder joints are untouched. All of the hardware is original including the L-prefix neck plate, jack cup, and vibrato unit with original block, arm, and Fender-stamped saddles which show uniform surface patina. The vibrato has a taut, deliberate feel, jumping back to the original pitch with ease, perfect for subtle shimmer and deeper expressive vibrato work. All of the original plastic parts are intact too, including the white wide bevel pickguard which sits very flat with no splits, and the gently yellowed pickup covers, knobs, and switch tip.

The vibrant three-tone Sunburst nitro lacquer gloss is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, and the central ring of red is particularly rich. The guitar exhibits pick and palm wear through the gloss on the inside edge of the treble-side cutaway, with additional wear through the gloss on the body perimeter, primarily at the treble-side waist and where the forearm crosses the top, and various small dings and scuffs from honest use on the body as a whole.

The original black tolex no-logo hardshell case is included. The case has a functional central latch, original handle, black leather ends that are quite clean, and some scuffing and staining on the case lid.