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1996 Fender '65 Stratocaster Order Made ST65, Candy Apple Red w/ USA Pickups & Tweed Case, Japan MIJ


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Up for sale, a 1996 Fender Stratocaster '65 vintage reissue model ST65 in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with a tweed hardshell case. A rare "Order Made" example with non-catalog features, this golden age Made in Japan Stratocaster boasts a rare 1965 feature set including a small Pre-CBS-style headstock, transition logo, pearl dot inlay, and a custom color Candy Apple Red finish accented by a three-ply mint green pickguard.

Tonewoods include a basswood body and a maple neck capped by a thick slab rosewood fretboard. The guitar is loaded with its stock trio of Fender American Vintage 57/62 pickups, faithful to early '60s spec with black fiber bobbins, cloth-covered leads and staggered alnico magnets. The guitar offers plenty of sparkling cut in the bridge position and throaty, bell-like chime at the neck, with quintessential Strat quack at the in-between positions on the five-way pickup selector switch. This guitar weighs 7lbs 12oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a modestly slender C-shaped profile carve with lightly rolled fretboard edges and full, inviting shoulders in all registers, measuring .820” deep at the 1st fret and .940” at the 12th. The thick slab rosewood fretboard has a vintage-spec 7 1/4” radius and exceedingly clean original slender fretwire which retains its full factory height with well-rounded crowns, with only a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-2. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 42mm (1.650”) in width, carved from bone for optimal note clarity and sustain. The headstock sports a small Pre-CBS shape paired with a '65-spec "transition" logo. The Kluson-style Gotoh tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The “Made in Japan” text and N-prefix serial are present above the four-bolt neck plate, and the neck heel retains its ST65 and "Order" factory stamps.

All of the electronics function as intended, and the original trio of factory-installed Fender American Vintage 57/62 pickups are wired to the stock harness with a five-way pickup selector switch and Volume/Tone/Tone control array. The chrome hardware is bright and clean with just a touch of patina, and the vibrato actuates easily, complete with the original arm. The three-ply mint green pickguard is notably clean, paired with cream pickup covers and aged knobs.

The custom color Candy Apple Red gloss finish is rich and vibrant, extremely clean with cosmetic wear limited to a scant few dings on the body as a whole. The finish on the neck profile is a silky smooth semi-gloss.

A tweed hardshell case is included.