Up for sale, a 2005 Fender '68 vintage reissue Stratocaster model ST68-85TX in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Replicating a very specific and rarely seen set of features on any Strat, this "Crafted in Japan" model has both the exceptional feel and tone for which Fender Japan is known. With a slab, maple cap fretboard (with no "skunk stripe") and USA-made Custom Shop Texas Special pickups, this Strat delivers a quintessential Woodstock-era Hendrix feature set with a gloss Olympic White finish.
There's plenty to love about this guitar, and each position on the five-way pickup selector switch is distinct. The Texas Special single coils have black fiber bobbins, cloth-covered leads and staggered pole pieces, with slightly more output and midrange heft than a vintage-spec wind. From throaty, rich lead tones in the neck position, thinned out squawk in positions 2 and 4, and a bell-like, shimmery bridge pickup, this Strat covers all the classic tonal bases. Weighing 8lbs 1oz and professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, we've dialed in this Strat with low action, accurate intonation, and 10-46 strings.
The maple neck has a medium C-shaped profile carve with full shoulders in every register and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .905" at the 12th. From 1959-68, a maple fretboard was a special order feature for Fender, and this guitar perfectly replicates the vintage construction used in that era, with a thick slab maple fretboard omitting the walnut "skunk stripe" otherwise seen on the back of the neck for inserting the truss rod. The slender frets on the 7 1/4" radius fretboard are flawless with their full factory height, offering effortless playability up the 25 1/2" scale. The nut measures 1 9/16" in width, and the large '60s headstock has the correct block logo, "Synchronized Tremolo" text, and chrome Fender "F" tuners. The guitar retains its "Crafted in Japan" text and R-prefix serial number at the neck heel.
All of the electronics work as they should, with the trio of USA-made Fender Custom Shop Texas Special single coils wired to the stock Japanese harness which boasts full-size 250k pots. The guitar has a full-size zinc tremolo block, and the vibrato responds effortlessly for deep dives and expressive warbles, jumping back to the original pitch with ease. The chrome plating is bright and clean on the bridgebase and jack cup, with uniform patina across the saddles. Plastics comprise bright white pickup covers and pickguard, with a touch of uniform aging on the knobs.
The Olympic White gloss finish shows just a couple shallow dings on the body perimeter and a few very faint scuffs in the clear coat on the back between the neck plate and tremolo cavity cover. The deeply ambered gloss on the neck profile is flawless.
The original Fender gigbag is included.