I always find myself drawn to these pre-CBS Strats, more so even than the 50's versions that have made their way through. The last one that haunted me was a '63, and this one has a similar gravitational pull. There's something about the neck shape and the sound of the pickups in this era.
It is also nice to get the later year Strats that still retain the spaghetti logo. Purely a cosmetic thing, but it is a thing.
This guitar is light and extremely comfortable to play. The neck is worn perfectly and the body shows the classic wear of a well-loved instrument.
I always like to get the changes out of the way, so here you go:
Frets have been very professionally changed. They are larger than original spec, but they've been played in some and really add to the playability. For most players, these lightly worn frets will last for years and years. The original frets are in the case.
The nut has been changed to a bone nut, which was very nicely done. The original nut is in the case.
The switch is a 5 way, but it looks original - check out the pics! I have never seen a changed switch age like that! The switch tip is original.
At some point, the original output jack failed. The owner at the time performed a misguided replacement. When the last owner of this guitar obtained it, there was a big, bulky output jack wired to the harness. - it must have been whatever the old owner had laying around. In order to get the jack to fit, some localized "woodwork" was performed in the output jack cavity. See the pictures for details. An actual vintage output jack has been returned to the guitar, and this is the only area where this unskilled woodworker has messed with the guitar - thankfully!
The only other thing we noticed when doing our thorough assessment on this guitar is that one neck screw is shorter than the others. Upon closer inspection, we found that the short screw appears to have broken at some point. We checked the holes in the neck and there is no portion of the screw stuck inside. We are admittedly a bit flummoxed by this but everything works correctly so we put it back together just as it came to us.
The rest of the guitar is original.
The neck shows some light birdseye figuring, particularly on the headstock. The finish is played off the back, so it doesn't show as well as it would otherwise.
The pickups, dated APR 24 64, and the pots (codes are 307-6403) are all from early 1964 and are original to the guitar with all solders original and intact except for the output jack lead.
THe original backplate and trem arm are in the case.
The finish shows that years of work were done with this guitar. The pickguard is displaying the typical shrinkage, but is not cracked anywhere. One of the original tuning machines is pretty tight, but it functions well and is certainly better than the typical loose and sometimes wonky Klusons on a guitar that has been played as much as this guitar.
Included is an original, no-logo Fender hardshell case.
We'll be sad to see this one go, but the pain should be over pretty quickly as these guitars always move fast!
Weight: 7lb 4.50z
Pickups: Neck 6K, middle 6.16K, bridge: 5.82k