We can't say this is the rarest guitar we've ever had in the shop, but it certainly makes the short list of those "find another" vintage pieces that exist in the world.
This 1964 Fender Stratocaster features its original custom color Shoreline Gold finish along with a factory 'A' neck, making it a true pre-CBS unicorn. It's got all of the features befitting of a great early/mid 60s example, like clay dots, 3-ply green guard, an 'L' neck plate, and double-line Kluson tuners. The guitar features a superb sounding set of original black bobbin pickups - we don't wanna call favorites on this just yet, but the neck pickup has the quintessential Strat tone and then some. The original wiring harness is fully intact including the 3-way switch; volume and tone pots feature proper period-correct date codes of '6422', indicating these were manufactured the 22nd week of 1964.
The aforementioned 'A' neck is a unique oddity not seen on many Stratocasters during their golden years of production. Stamped on the end of the neck following the two-digit year of manufacture, the 'A' designation represents a change in nut width from the standard 'B' neck spec of 1 5/8" to a skinnier 1 1/2" nut width, most commonly used on short scale and/or student model guitars like the Duo Sonic. It's most certainly original to the guitar, as it sports the original "spaghetti" Stratocaster decal and standard scale length of 25 1/2", along with some imprints on the neck that match up with the neck pocket. For all intents and purposes, this indicates that it was a Special Order guitar.
The frets are also original, featuring the smaller wire of the era; despite the frets being small, they've still got enough height to welcome a nice playing experience. They certainly don't impede the resonance of the instrument, which rings like a tuning fork even with a lighter touch.
Speaking of resonant - this Strat has a very lively acoustic response with some great energy transference from the neck to the body. You can really feel the notes and chords jump out of this guitar. Plugged in, that same quality is quickly apparent. Notes have a particular "bounce" and immediacy that is also harmonically rich with great warmth and sweetness.
With very few examples of this rare custom color on the market, you're not likely to see many examples in existence that are as clean and complete as this one. It's such a terrific guitar by all merits - tone, feel, originality, and collectability.
Condition: Very Good+/Excellent-. A fantastic example in every way, with nothing more than your average to below-average play wear. Very well cared for and maintained throughout its life. Light discoloration and fading of the clear coat and through the top coat into the base coat in some spots, most notably on the treble side edges where the guitar has contacted the case. Buckle rash adjacent to the bottom left corner of the tremolo cavity cover that has revealed bare wood. The tremolo cavity cover has a small chip in the top left corner. The original 3-ply pickguard shows minimal shrinkage and only one crack of note, in between the pickguard edge and the neck pickup mounting hole on the bass side, along with a small repaired crack in the pickguard off the top edge on the treble side. There's a slight protrusion in the fingerboard at the 17th fret indicating a neck screw may have been cut slightly too long from the factory, causing the screw tip to extend through the neck heel and into the veneer. It remains stable and we've opted to leave it be without modification.
Priced with the original blonde hardshell case, original bridge cover and tremolo arm, original strap, hang tags, and cable.
- Original Alder body with factory Shoreline Gold finish
- Maple neck with Rosewood veneer fingerboard and clay dots
- Neck stamp: 2APR64A - Stratocaster neck, April 1964, 1 1/2" nut width
- Slim 60s C profile: .78" @ 1st fret / .93" @ 12th fret
- Original frets
- Original double-line Kluson tuners
- Original 3-ply pickguard
- Original stagger-pole black bobbin pickups w/ Apr 24 1964 date stamps on each base: Neck - 6.00k / Middle 5.90k / Bridge 5.79k
- Original wiring harness: pot codes '6422'
- Original bridge, saddles, tremolo bar, and bridge cover
- Original Blonde hardshell case
- Weight: 7lb 7oz