Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, 100% original save for a five-way pickup selector switch. This stunningly well-kept and original Strat hails 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.
An alder-bodied Strat with a very lively natural acoustic tone, the guitar offers an inherent smoothness and treble detail that translates well through the pickups. The original gray bobbin pickups all retain their original winds, with a distinct, vital sound in every pickup position. The bridge pickup has a bouncy snap and sparkle, while the 2 and 4 positions on the switch have that distinctive scooped sound. The middle pickup has a nice dry percussive cut with inherent detail, great for complex chord passages, and the neck pickup delivers a chewy, broad sound that’s both warm and punchy with a bell-like chime and exquisite detail. It’s simply “that sound." 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 spot-on intonation.
The maple neck has a very elegant, fast-feeling C profile carve at the nut, with lightly rolled fretboard edges and slight shoulders, offering significantly more shoulder and a round, chunkier shape in the highest registers of the fretboard, measuring .795" deep at the 1st fret and .840" at the 12th. There is only very light palm wear through the nitro gloss on the profile shoulders from frets 1-5, and the gloss nitro on the profile is exceedingly clean and glossy on the length of the neck. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained, with pearloid dot inlay and original slender fretwire. The original frets have been freshly leveled and crowned, currently showing zero wear, and while quite low in overall height, notes ring out clearly in every register. The fretboard retains its original 7 1/4" radius, and the original nut measures 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 retains its original nigh flawless transitional logo with some oxidation of the gold "Fender" text. The neck heel retains a very clean and bold July, 1965 date stamp and the original paint stick markings are present in the neck pocket along with an original shim. 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 8-12-65 dates. Even the original lacquer from potting the pickups is still intact on most of the pole pieces, a testament to the sparingly little use this Strat has experienced. The original Stackpole pots date to the 16th week of '65, and the solder joints are untouched save for the replacement five-way switch. All of the hardware is original including one of the last L-prefix neck plates, the jack cup, and vibrato unit with original block, arm, Fender-stamped saddles, and original bridge cover. While setup with five springs, the vibrato actuation is particularly smooth and easy, jumping back to the original pitch with ease, perfect for subtle shimmer and deeper expressive vibrato work. Worth noting, the factory vibrato route is fractionally wider than usual on the treble side adjacent to the trem arm insert (there is no finish loss in this area). The chrome hardware is positively gleaming, and all of the original plastic parts are intact too including the white wide bevel pickguard, pickup covers, knobs, and switch tip. The plastics are uniformly aged with a warmer parchment tint to the pickguard and greening of the text on the knobs.
The Sunburst is extremely bold and warm, with a perfectly preserved central ring of red and subtle ambering of the clear coat further enhancing the saturation of the burst. The finish exhibits virtually no lacquer checking, and wear is limited to a small spot of light buckle rash between the neck plate and edge of the belly carve, with an even smaller spot of wear through the nitro on the outer edge of the bass-side body horn. There is also a tiny spot of case rub on the outside edge of the treble-side body horn, and a few scattered minor marks on the body as a whole.
The original black tolex no-logo hardshell case is included, equally as nice as the guitar with the original trio of latches and original handle intact.
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.