Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Boasting a nitro lacquer light relic Burgundy Mist refinish courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars, this Strat comes at the tail end of Fender's golden age, featuring a small Pre-CBS-style headstock and an extremely dark and tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard.
This alder-bodied Strat has a very lively natural acoustic tone, with the woody, dry snap of a seasoned tonal platform that translates faithfully via the original trio of gray bobbin single coil pickups, coupled to the original three-way pickup selector switch. There's a tonal purity and liveliness to each pickup setting, with plenty of spank and a bright, bouncy quality very representative of Fender’s early gray bobbin winds. The bridge pickup has a snappy sparkle and chime all while retaining body and focus, the middle pickup has a percussive cut and jangle, and the neck pickup is wooly, warm and very harmonically rich with a sweetness perfectly suited to lead work. Naturally the "in-between" pickup settings deliver thinned-out quack and focused nasally snap with aplomb. Weighing 7lbs 11oz, it's evident as soon as you strum your first chord what this guitar can achieve when plugged in. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with fresh 11-50 strings, we simply can't heap enough praise on this Strat.
The maple neck has a fairly slender C shape at the nut, with nice round shoulders in every register and lightly rolled fretboard edges, offering appreciable heft and chunk from the 7th fret and beyond, measuring .825" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 12th. The nitro has been brought down to a silky satin feel along the profile length, with a more ambered nitro gloss on the headstock and heel. The Brazilian rosewood veneer fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained, recently professionally refretted with vintage spec 6230 fretwire which shows just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-3. The guitar plays effortlessly in every register, retaining the original 7 1/4" fretboard radius, and the original nut has been substituted for a hand-carved piece of bone measuring 1 5/8" in width. On the headstock, the original nickel Kluson Deluxe double line tuning machines are intact and still turn smoothly, holding pitch well even with liberal use of the vibrato. The small Pre-CBS headstock shape is topped off with a replacement transitional logo, and the neck heel retains a clean, original September, 1965 stamp. There is an older cleanly repaired split along the line of the two bass-side neck mounting screws, structurally sound and posing no issue. 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, cloth covered leads, matching markings on the bobbins from the original pickup winder at the Fender factory and 12/7/65 dates. The pickups meter at 6.14k ohms in the bridge position, 5.68k in the middle, and 5.5k at the neck. The original Stackpole pots date to the 32nd week of '65. The body routes are original save for a nigh invisible previously patched humbucker route in the bridge position. The bridge pickup cavity was also fractionally enlarged on the end nearest the tremolo post-finish to closer match the original route shape and better accommodate the original bridge pickup.
The plastic parts are of various vintages but not original to the instrument (save for an original tremolo cavity cover), with a set of older naturally aged knobs and pickup covers, and a more recent wide bevel '65-style parchment guard with just a touch of aging. All of the hardware is original including the early F neck plate, jack cup, and vibrato unit with original block, arm, and Fender-stamped saddles. The vibrato actuates very smoothly with three springs and jumps back to the original pitch with ease, perfect for subtle shimmer and deeper expressive vibrato work. The chrome hardware is notably clean, save for patina across the saddles.
The body features a professional refinish courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars in one of Fender's rarest custom colors, Burgundy Mist. The body shows no wear save for the tight horizontal lacquer checking and light simulated relic treatment applied by Riggio. The neck profile is silky smooth and flawless.
The original black tolex hardshell case is included. Two of the three original latches are still functional, the metal skeleton of the handle is intact (taped over), and the black leather ends show honest wear. The plastic frame for the small Fender logo on the case's exterior is also present.
A note on shipping: Shipping in the continental USA will be $250, fully insured and shipped via FedEx Two-Day Air. Overnight shipping available for an additional fee at buyer's request. We happily ship WORLDWIDE.