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Stratocaster Guitars

1958 Fender Stratocaster

Color: Three-Tone Sunburst, Rating: 9.25, $34,500.00 (ID# 02102)
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A Near Mint December 1958 Stratocaster

 

1958 Fender Stratocaster

This near mint, December 1958 Stratocaster weighs just 7.70 lbs. Solid alder body, contoured on back and lower bass bout, and finished in three-tone Sunburst. One-piece fretted maple neck with a nut width of just over 1 5/8 inches, a scale length of 25 1/2 inches,  and a very fast thin-to-medium profile. Maple fretboard with 21 original medium frets and black dot position markers. Small headstock with decal with Fender "spaghetti" logo in gold with black trim, "STRATOCASTER" in black beside it, "WITH SYNCHRONIZED TREMOLO" in black below it, and small decal with "ORIGINAL Contour Body" at the ball end of the headstock. Individual single-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons (stamped inside: "D-169400/Patent No"). Single butterfly string tree. Four-bolt neck plate with serial number "34211" between the top two screws. Three white plastic-covered black-bottom single-coil pickups with staggered polepieces and nice, balanced outputs of 5.35k, 5.85k, and 5.87k. Single-layer white plastic pickguard with eight screws. Three controls (one volume, two tone) plus three-way selector switch, all on pickguard. White plastic knobs with gold lettering. Fender "Synchronized Tremolo" combined bridge/tailpiece (six-pivot bridge/vibrato unit with through-body stringing). The neck has a pencil mark of "12-58," the neck pickup cavity has the name "Carrie" in pencil, and the middle pickup cavity has a pencil mark of "12/58." The potentiometers are all stamped "304 839" (Stackpole September 1958). This guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition with just a few very small and insignificant surface marks/dings mainly on the sides of the body. The original frets show some playing wear but have plenty of life left. The fretboard shpws very minor playing wear on the first three frets only. Otherwise, this sixty-year-old guitar is one of the best looking and playing "Fifties" Strats that we have ever owned. Complete with the original tremolo arm and bridge cover, original Fender hang-tag with matching serial number, original black leather guitar strap, an original set of Fender Mastersound Super-Smooth strings and two original 1957/58 Fender Fine Electric Instruments catalogs. Housed in its original Fender "Tweed" case with brown leather ends and orange plush lining (9.00). We have substituted the original rubber pickup washers for a set of later springs - this improves the pickups the height-adjustment - the original rubber washers are included in the case. We have also set the guitar up with three out of the five tremolo springs - the remaining two springs are also included in the case.

"The Stratocaster was launched during 1954 [and was priced at $249.50, or $229.50 without vibrato]...The new Fender guitar was the first solidbody electric with three pickups [Gibson's electric-acoustic ES-5, introduced five years earlier, had been the overall first], meaning a range of fresh tones, and featured a new-design vibrato unit that provided pitch-bending and shimmering chordal effects. The new vibrato -- erroneously called a 'tremolo' by Fender and many others since -- was troublesome in development. But the result was the first self-contained vibrato unit: an adjustable bridge, a tailpiece, and a vibrato system, all in one. It wasn't a simple mechanism for the time, but a reasonably effective one...Fender's new vibrato had six bridge-pieces, one for each string, adjustable for height and length, which meant that the feel of the strings could be personalized and the guitar made more in tune with itself...The Strat came with a radically sleek, solid body, based on the outline of the 1951 Fender Precision Bass. Some musicians had complained to Fender that the sharp edge of the Telecaster's body was uncomfortable...so the Strat's body was contoured for the player's comfort. Also, it was finished in 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 especially the flowing, sensual curves of that beautifully proportioned, timeless body. The Stratocaster's new-style pickguard complemented the lines perfectly, and the overall impression was of a guitar where all the components ideally suited one another. The Fender Stratocaster has since become the most popular, the most copied, the most desired, and very probably the most played solid electric guitar ever" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of Fender, p. 18).
 

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