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Stratocaster Guitars

1965 Fender Stratocaster

Color: Three-Tone Sunburst, Rating: 9.00, $16,500.00 (ID# 01462)
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An All Original 1965 'Pre-CBS' L Series Stratocaster.

 

1965 Fender Stratocaster.

 

Another great and all original 1965 'L-Series' Stratocaster - it weighs just 7.50 lbs. One-piece alder body, contoured on back and lower bass bout. This pre-CBS Strat has a nice fat nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches, a wonderful medium neck profile, and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. One-piece maple neck with 'veneer' Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 21 original medium frets and pearloid dot position markers. Small headstock with 'Transition' logo with "Fender" in gold with black outline, "STRATOCASTER" in black beside it, "WITH SYNCHRONIZED TREMOLO" in black below it, and four patent numbers "2,573,254", "2,741,146", "2,960,900" and "3,143,028". Single "butterfly'" string tree with nylon spacer. Individual "two-line" Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons (stamped inside "D-169400 / Patent No"). Neckplate with four screws and serial number ("L90870") at the top. Three white plastic-covered staggered-height pole pickups with outputs of 6.15k, 6.11k, and 5.93k. Three-layer white plastic  pickguard with eleven screws. Three white plastic Stratocaster knobs with ribbed sides (one volume and two tone) plus three-way selector switch. Six-pivot bridge and tremolo unit with through-body stringing. The end of the neck is stamped "2 JUL 65 B". The light gray bottom pickups are dated & signed in pencil "9-3-65  BS" and the pots are dated "137 6514" (CTS, April 1965). This all original pre CBS Stratocaster is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition. There is some surface finish loss on the back of the body which has been caused by a belt-buckle. This area measures approximately 3 1/2 x 3 inches and extends under the tremolo back-plate (the white plastic cover was obviously not on the guitar at the time - many players removed these to facilitate easier changing of the strings). There are a few other fairly small surface marks or surface chips on the sides - but the top is remarkably clean. There is some wear to the original frets and the fretboard but the guitar still plays perfectly. It has a typical 63-65 sound and in the 'middle' (2 and 4 positions) the "Knopfler/Hendrix" 'quack' is quite breathtaking. Complete with the original tremolo arm and bridge cover. Housed in it's original Fender black hardshell case with black leather ends and dark orange plush lining (9.00).

The Stratocaster was launched in 1954 -- samples around May and June were followed by the first production run in October - and it was priced at $249.50 (or $229.50) without vibrato. This new Fender guitar was the first solid body electric with three pickups (Gibson's electric acoustic ES-5, introduced five years earlier, had been the first overall). The Stratocaster also featured a newly designed built-in vibrato unit (erroneously called a "tremolo" by Fender and many others since), to provide pitch-bending and shimmering chordal effects for the player. This was the first self-contained vibrato unit: an adjustable bridge, tailpiece, and vibrato system all in one. Not a simple mechanism for the time, but a reasonably effective one. Fender's new Stratocaster vibrato also had six bridge-pieces, one for each string, adjustable for height and length. The Stratocaster came with a radically sleek, solid body, based on the shape of the earlier Fender Precision Bass, contoured for the player's comfort, and with a yellow-to-black sunburst finish. Even the jack socket mounting was new, recessed in a stylish plate on the body face. The Fender Stratocaster looked like no other guitar around -- and in some ways seemed to owe more to the contemporary automobile design than traditional guitar forms, especially in the flowing, sensual curves of that beautifully proportioned, timeless body.

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