Stratocaster Guitars

1959 Fender Stratocaster

Color: Sunburst, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00066)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

This lightweight Stratocaster weighs only 7.60 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches and a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. Solid alder body, maple neck, and slab rosewood fretboard with 21 frets and clay dot position markers. Headstock decal with "Fender" in gold with black outline, "STRATOCASTER" in black beside it, "WITH SYNCHRONIZED TREMOLO" in black below it, and "Original Contour Body" at the ball end of the headstock. Single "butterfly" string tree. Individual Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons. Four-bolt neck plate with serial number ("43125") between the top two screws. Three-ply (white/black/white) pickguard with eleven screws. Three staggered-pole pickups with balanced outputs of 5.72k, 5.73k, and 5.74k, respectively. Three controls (one volume, two tone) plus three-way selector switch, all on pickguard. White plastic Stratocaster knobs. Fender "Synchronized Tremolo" combined bridge/tailpiece. Original hardshell case.

This fine and totally original November 1959 Stratocaster has no neck date, as usual, and "11/59" in the vibrato springs cavity. The pots are all stamped [stackpole] "304-5948" (November 1959). "With the notable exception of a few months after Spring 1959 and the 1973-1981 period, Stratocaster necks were quite consistently dated at the heel from 1954 onwards. This date is revealed when the neck is removed or at least loosened from the body, so that its bottom end can be examined. Various dating marks have actually been used at the factory over the past decades...After April 1959, the dating procedure was temporarily suspended for several months and then resumed in early 1960. Rumour has it that FENDER stopped marking any date because someone complained about an obscene message penciled on the neck of his new guitar! This explains why the latest Maple Neck Stratocasters from the 1950's and the earliest models with a 'slab' rosewood fretboard do not feature a neck date, although they usually carry a body date!" (A.R. Duchossoir, The Fender Stratocaster, p. 66).

"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 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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