Up for sale, a 1966 Fender Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, finished in original custom color Candy Apple Red and complete with the original hardshell case. 100% original save for a professional refret and bone nut, this Stratocaster is one of the very first to feature the larger '60s headstock, with date codes spanning late 1965 to January, 1966.
Tonewoods comprise an alder body, maple neck and dark, tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard, and the natural acoustic tone is smooth, balanced and lively. The original gray bobbin pickups all retain their original winds, with a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position on the three-way switch. The instrument offers a very silky, quintessential “bell-like” neck pickup sound with a woody cut, while the middle pickup is dry and percussive. The bridge pickup is very sparkling and sweet, with an upper midrange presence and plenty of spank, in-line with the additional jangle often attributed to Fender’s gray bobbin single coils. Rounding out the tones on tap, the in-between switch settings have a scooped, squawky quality. 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 distinctive carve only seen from 1965-66, moderately chunky and C-shaped with full shoulders, notably uniform in depth up the fretboard, measuring .860" deep at both the 1st and 12th frets. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained, with pearloid dot inlay, refretted with flawless jumbo fretwire. The guitar plays 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, carved from bone and measuring a hair over 1 9/16" in width (1.590"). On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe double line tuning machines turn smoothly and the waterslide decal is near-mint. The neck heel retains a bold December, 1965 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-dated to 1-10-66. The pickups meter at 5.8k ohms in the bridge position, 5.95k in the middle, and 5.75k at the neck. The original Stackpole pots date to the 32nd week of '65, and the solder joints are untouched. All of the hardware is original including the early "F" neck plate, jack cup, and vibrato unit with original block, arm, Fender-stamped saddles which show uniform surface patina. The original ashtray bridge cover is also intact. The vibrato has a smooth, easy-actuating 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 Candy Apple Red nitro lacquer gloss is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, and the forearm wear through the color coat exposes the gold metallic base (above the white primer) used in this era. There is prominent vertical lacquer checking across the body, an area of buckle rash at the edge of the belly contour, and some additional wear through the finish largely concentrated along the back lower bout body edge. The nitro lacquer on the neck profile is silky smooth, with light palm wear through the finish on the treble side edge.
The original black tolex hardshell case is included. The case features two functional latches, the original handle, and raised Fender logo on the lid.