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1982 Fender Lead III Vintage Electric Guitar Torino Red, 100% Original w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1982 Fender Lead III in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original molded hardshell case. The Lead Series instruments, produced at the tail end of the CBS era from 1979-82, offered unique pickups and switching options not found on other Fenders of the era. The Lead III, only produced in 1982, features a pair of high-output Seth Lover-designed humbuckers with dedicated coil taps for each pickup.

Tonewoods include an alder body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard. The Seth Lover-designed humbuckers are wound notably hot, both metering at 13.2k ohms, delivering full, bold tones with a broad, harmonically-rich lower midrange and pristine, singing highs. Both can be coil tapped independently or in tandem for single coil operation, delivering traditional Fender spank and percussive cut. This guitar weighs 8lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The maple neck sports a “soft C” profile designed specifically for the Lead Series. It’s a medium C-shaped carve with very modest shoulders and a feel akin to a very rounded soft V, measuring .835” deep at the 1st fret and .930” at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard has a 7 1/4" radius, dot inlay, and flawless slender fretwire, playing cleanly up the 25 1/2“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1 5/8” in width and the headstock has clean decals and an E1-prefix serial number, as well as the Schaller-made Fender  "F" tuners which turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The neck heel is stamped 1-28-82, and the neck pocket has a serialized sticker, matching the serial on the headstock.

All of the electronics function as intended, and the circuit features untouched solder joints and CTS pots which date to the 10th week of '81. The pickups are governed by Master Volume and Tone controls, with a three-way pickup selector switch and three-way coil split toggle. The string-through-body six-saddle bridge has clean chrome plating, and plastics comprise the original pair of knobs and the three ply black pickguard, which has some requisite scuffing on the treble side of the strum path.

Cosmetic wear on the gloss Torino Red finish includes a light finish reaction in the cleat coat along the treble-side body perimeter and back, likely from prolonged contact with the case lining. There are also a few tiny dings on the body edges and lower bout on top, and a number of faint finish scratches in the clear coat of the gloss. The smooth ambered gloss on the neck profile is flawless. This instrument smells slightly of cigarette smoke, which also extends to the case.

The original black molded Fender USA hardshell case is included.