Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. 100% original aside from a hand-carved bone nut, this Strat comes at the tail end of Fender's golden age, featuring an L-prefix serial number plate, small Pre-CBS-style headstock, and an extremely dark and tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard. Via the original trio of gray bobbin single coil pickups and three-way pickup selector switch, there's a tonal purity and liveliness to each pickup setting. The bridge pickup has a snappy sparkle and chimes all while retaining body and focus, the middle pickup has a percussive cut and jangle, and the neck pickup is wooly, warm and very harmonically rich with a sweetness perfectly suited to lead work. Naturally the "in between" pickup settings deliver thinned-out quack and focused nasally snap with aplomb. Extremely acoustically resonant at 7lbs 8oz, it's evident as soon as you strum your first chord what this guitar can achieve when plugged in. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar and strung with fresh 11-50 strings, we simply can't heap enough praise on this Strat.
The maple neck has a slender C shape at the nut, with more shoulder as you travel up the board and a full, round handful from the 9th fret and beyond, measuring .810" deep at the 1st fret and tapering to .985" at the 12th. The neck profile is silky smooth and lightly figured, with the ambering of the original nitro lacquer highlighting some microscopic birdseye and broad quilt figuring in the higher registers, and palm wear through the gloss behind frets 1-6. The Brazilian rosewood veneer fretboard is extremely dark and tight-grained, retaining the original fretwire which has been freshly leveled and crowned. The frets retain roughly 70% of their factory height and show zero wear. The guitar plays effortlessly in every register, and the original nut has been substituted for a hand-carved piece of bone measuring just over 1 5/8" in width. On the headstock, the original nickel Kluson Deluxe double line tuning machines are intact and still turn smoothly, holding pitch well even with liberal use of the vibrato. The small Pre-CBS headstock shape is present with an early transitional logo, and the neck heel retains a clean and bold March, 1965 stamp. The truss rod nut is also flush with the heel, indicative of the limited adjustment this neck has needed in the past 55 years.
All three original hand dated gray bobbin pickups are intact with original windings on each coil, cloth covered leads, and untouched solder joints, with CTS pots that date to the 16th week of '65. The body routes are untouched, and all original plastic parts are intact and show sparingly little aging including the wide bevel white pickguard, pickup covers, knobs, and switch tip. The guard shows sparingly little shrinkage, with only one tiny split at the bass side neck pickup mounting screw. The L series chrome neck plate is intact and one of the last #s in this series before Fender changed to the F plates late in the year. The original tremolo block is present, currently setup with three original springs and fitted with the original arm. The vibrato actuates very smoothly and jumps back to the original pitch with ease, perfect for subtle shimmer and deeper expressive vibrato work. The chrome hardware is notably clean, with light, uniform patina across the original Fender-branded saddles.
The finish is 100% original, with significant red remaining in the central ring of the burst and only a light "tan line" when comparing the exposed finish and that which is protected beneath the pickguard. Cosmetic wear is limited to one small spot of wear through the burst down to the sealer coat on the bass-side lower bout of the top, some small scattered nicks on the inside edge of the bass-side body horn, and modest buckle rash on the back, primarily between the tremolo cover and L-prefix neck plate. There are also some scattered marks across the back, with wear primarily on the back of the bass-side body horn and lower bout edge. As the photos show, this is a lightly played and very well-kept Stratocaster with a bold nitro lacquer finish, all original electronics and plastic parts, and flawless, original fretwire.
The original no-logo black tolex hardshell case is included and particularly clean with minimal wear on the black leather ends, original latches that still spring open, and the stock handle.