Up for sale, a 1966 Fender Mustang in perfect working order with a soulfully aged original Olympic White nitro lacquer finish and rare slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard. A slab Brazilian rosewood fretboard was a feature typically reserved for pre-CBS Fender instruments produced from 1959-mid 1962, but was also implemented on the Mustang exclusively from 1965-65 for a couple short production runs as on the example seen here.
This Mustang has a bold natural sound that translates well through the stock gray bobbin pickups with great jangle and clarity. Since the pickups are essentially flat pole Stratocaster pickups with covers over the magnets, the tones are surprisingly similar, although the Mustang has the added benefit of a pair of three-way on/off/on pickup switches for a very cool out-of-phase hollow twang and quack when the switches are engaged in their innermost or outermost positions. Weighing 7lbs 11oz, we’ve had this Mustang professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a substantial, chunky C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder and practically uniform profile depth as you travel up the fingerboard, measuring .910” deep at the 1st fret and .935” at the 12th. The fretboard is particularly rare in that it’s a Brazilian rosewood slab, something only seen on a select few Mustangs produced in 1965-66, eschewing the much more common veneer boards otherwise seen throughout the Mustang’s original production run. The guitar has been professionally refretted with slender vintage-spec fretwire which has good meat and crown, currently showing light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-10 and light playwear into the fretboard between the G and B strings from frets 1-8. This guitar plays cleanly up the 24” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The upgraded nut is a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1 5/8” in width. On the headstock, a replacement set of aged Fender “F”-stamped tuning machines work smoothly and hold pitch well. These tuners perfectly match the footprint of the originals, dating to the 1990s with natural surface patina. The original Fender Mustang waterslide decal is intact on the headstock face, and the neck heel retains its bold January, 1966 date stamp and inspection stamp, and the neck pocket has the correct paint stick markings indicative of an original finish.
The electronics all function as intended, with the original gray bobbin pickups wired to the harness with properly spec'd modern USA-made CTS 250k pots. Shielding paint has been added to the control cavity to ensure an optimal noise floor. Plastics include the original pair of knobs, uniformly aged pickup covers, and the wide bevel nitrate red tortoise pickguard. The treble-side corner of the pickguard at the cutaway horn has chipped away, but the guard is stable and secure. The original bridge with barrel saddles is present, accompanying the Pat. Pending vibrato unit (complete with the original arm). This vibrato has excellent spring tension and actuates with a light touch, jumping back to the original pitch with ease. The chrome has plenty of shine on the vibrato, control plate and bridge base, with some wear through the plating on the barrel saddles.
The Olympic White nitro lacquer finish exhibits prominent vertical lacquer checking and deep yellowing of the clear coat, with wear through the clear coat along the body perimeter revealing the original bright Olympic White finish beneath. Cosmetic wear includes buckle rash central to the waist and a number of small chips and dings on the body as a whole, largely concentrated along the lower bout body edge. There is a small doweled hole from a former strap button relocation on the treble-side horn. The neck profile is extremely smooth, with deep ambering of the nitro lacquer, palm wear through the nitro gloss on the profile shoulders, as well as a few shallow marks behind frets that have no impact on comfort or playability.
The original gray speckled hardshell case is included and quite clean beyond a few small stains and scuffs, featuring black leather ends, the original handle, and functional latches.