Fender Stratocaster Non-Tremolo Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965)

Fender  Stratocaster Non-Tremolo Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1965)
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$32,500.00 + shipping
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Item # 10467
Prices subject to change without notice.
Fender Stratocaster Non-Tremolo Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 107957, sunburst lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black tolex hard shell case.

This is a beautiful and stunningly well-preserved Fender rarity: an original 1965-6 "Hardtail" Stratocaster, built without the tremolo system that is one of the model's hallmarks. While the less expensive "non-trem" option was advertised as available for the Stratocaster from the beginning, relatively few were actually ordered or produced. This is especially true in the mid 1960's when the whammy bar was deemed a necessary part of any rock & roll or country player's sonic palette, and even beginner grade guitars were expected to offer the feature.

This Stratocaster dates to late 1965/early 1966, with a rosewood fingerboard neck dated to October of that year and a low numbered example of the new "F" neckplate. The visible pot code is to the 52nd week of that same year, so the guitar would have been assembled and sold in early 1966. We have seen many 1965-6 Stratocasters, but VERY seldom encounter a "hardtail" from this period. It appears non-trem Strats were not produced at the time unless Fender sales received an order for one.

Apart from the solid bridge screwed directly to the body this Strat shows typical period features. The rosewood fingerboard is the thinner laminates Fender began using after mid-1962, inlaid with the pearl dots phased in at the end of 1964. The neck still carries the original smaller Pre-CBS style headstock with the gold "transition" logo decal also adopted in '64. These are subtle changes but make a difference to Strat afficionados, giving each period's instruments their own distinctive character. A Stratocaster made a few months later would feature the newer large headstock that is a CBS signpost.

The finish on the body is a beautifully blended 3-color sunburst, less "target burst" than many from this period with a subtler mix of color. The vibrant red layer has hardly faded at all over the decades. The pickguard is the white plastic also phased in in early '65. All three single coil pickups have a strong well-defined tone. The sound of this non-trem guitar is somewhat different in detail from a standard Stratocaster as the slight natural "reverb" provided by the tremolo springs is absent. The tone is a bit more Telecaster-like as it shares that model's through-body stringing, but the unique Stratocaster electronic array remains intact. "Hardtail" Stratocasters have remained a minority taste through the decades but there are players who prefer them to the common tremolo models, and sometimes to any other guitar.

All 1960s Stratocasters have endured as player's favorite over the last decades, offering up a somewhat meatier tone than either the earlier maple fingerboard guitars or the later '70s CBS examples. For the player who has "non-trem" on their checklist of favorites, this is a real find, a unique feeling and sounding Strat and an exceptionally well preserved one at that.
 
Overall length is 38 15/16 in. (98.9 cm.), 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

We almost never describe vintage instruments as near mint, but this one comes pretty close. This is a beautifully preserved and wholly original guitar, showing some VERY minor wear but still in exceptionally fine condition for being 55+ years old. The sunburst body finish retains nearly perfect color with virtually no fade and a very nice largely unchecked patina. The lacquer is far better preserved than most with showing some tiny dings, dents and handling marks; the only notable damage is some "strap burn" from contact with vinyl along the bottom edge of the body on either side of the endpin. Fortunately this is confined to that localized area. The finish remains entirely original with no additions. The back of the neck and headstock show hardly any wear.

All hardware on the instrument is original and fully intact. The white plastic pickguard has hardly shrunken up at all and none of the tips or screw holes are distorted. The bridge and saddles are extremely clean without the normally encountered corrosion; it looks as if the chrome cover was always left on; it is still with the guitar.

Internally the wiring is unaltered with all original components; the masking tape wrapping on the pickup leads is fully intact. The solder joint where the grounds meet the volume pot looks sloppier than the others; it is possible this was redone later or it may simply be less exacting factory work from this very busy time at Fender. The grey-bobbin pickups are all original, very strong and sound great in any combination.

The original frets appear to show some light re-crowning but play very well; there is some light wear on the fingerboard indicating this guitar was played but exceptionally well cared for when new. It rests in a very nice original black Tolex HSC, which shows only some minor wear. Included is the original grey cable, some period strings and the best piece of "Case Candy", the original Stratocaster hang tag/instruction booklet with the serial number written in and Allen wrench still taped to the back. Overall this is a wonderful and rare package of Fender delight, a Strat with a difference! Excellent + Condition.