Stratocaster Guitars

1965 Fender Stratocaster

Color: Three-Tone Sunburst, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 01887)
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A Fine 1965 'Pre-CBS' L Series Stratocaster


1965 Fender Stratocaster.


Another great and all original 1965 'L-Series' Stratocaster - it weighs just 7.40 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-to-thin 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 clay 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 small metal spacer. Individual "two-line" Kluson Deluxe tuners with oval metal buttons (stamped inside "D-169400 / Patent No"). Neckplate with four screws and serial number "L12521" at the top. Three white plastic-covered staggered-height pole pickups with outputs of 5.92k, 6.09k, and 7.60k. Three-layer white plastic pickguard (metal shield underneath) 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 JAN 65 B". Two of the light gray bottom pickups are dated & signed in pencil "EP 2-12-65", the treble pickup is signed "IL" in pencil and all three of the potentiometers are stamped "137 6501" (CTS, January 1965). This all original pre CBS Stratocaster is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition. The only thing that has been altered is that the original three-way pickup selector switch has been changed out (probably in the seventies) for the later-style five-way version. There are a few very small and jnsignificant surface marks on the sides and a very samll amount of belt-buckle scarring (nothing through to the wood) on the back.The three-tone sunburst top is remarkably clean. There is some light wear to the original frets and the guitar plays perfectly. 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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