Fender's post-CBS era carries with it some questionable changes during an otherwise historic run of producing some of the world's most iconic and classic instruments in history, but there's no denying that some truly incredible guitars were made at the end of the decade. We'd like to think this Stratocaster is one of them...
In from its original owner who purchased it new, this 1969 Fender Stratocaster in its original Sunburst finish captures all of the period elements of the late 60s double-cut while still retaining some of the early and mid 60s tonal qualities and feel.
First impressions of this Strat are that it's incredibly resonant. Coming in at a great mid-weight for Strats (about 7 3/4 lb), it rings like a tuning fork with great natural sustain and acoustic volume. Surely the expert level refret by Laurent Brondel is helping here - having a fresh set of Jescar 55090 frets installed to replace the very worn originals absolutely transformed this guitar from good to beyond great. The comfortable Slim profile neck splits its shape between C and D going up the neck, with a nice lean taper making it a breeze to play in any position.
Plugged in, the original stagger-pole grey bottom pickups deliver classic Strat tone with a bright, punchy voice. The original 3-way switch still remains, and it's a friendly reminder that sometimes the stock pickup format is the way to go. Each position has a distinctive voice that complements the other very well. Of course, you can find those 2 and 4 positions with some delicate placement of the switch.
In terms of originality, it's somewhat of a unique piece. The body, electronics, hardware, and plastics all date squarely to 1969. The wiring harness has pot codes that date to the 34th week of 1969. The pearloid-backed 3-ply guard is correct for the year as well. The original stamped Fender Pat Pend saddles and tremolo bridge are intact and original, albeit with the replacement of 3 saddle height screws that were previously rusted out. The neck is dated March of 1968 but looks like it may have sat at the factory before being paired up with the guitar. It has a poly finish throughout which indicates finish was applied after Fender changed over from nitrocellulose as well. It certainly makes for an interesting story, but not entirely out of the question considering how Fender was operating at the time.
As a single-owner instrument that received a healthy amount of play time over the years, the frets were simply worn through and unsalvageable. The aforementioned refret by Laurent Brondel brought it back to life and re-established some Grade A playability to an already killer Strat.
Condition: Very Good+. Original 3-tone Sunburst finish is excellent with some minor to moderate wear throughout. Various body dings, nicks, and scratches primarily on the body edges and adjacent to the input jack plate. The back of the body has some buckle rash and worming in the finish. The pickguard is crack-free and the other plastics are also quite clean. The switch tip has been replaced, and the tremolo arm is a Gotoh vintage style replacement.
Priced with original Fender hardshell case.
- 3-tone Sunburst finish over Alder body
- Maple neck with laminate Rosewood fingerboard and pearl dots
- MAR68 Neck Stamp
- Neck profile: .82" @ 1st fret / .89" @ 12th fret
- Original Fender 'F' stamped tuners
- Refret by Laurent Brondel - Jescar nickel-silver 55090 fretwire (replaced nut)
- Original 3-ply pickguard
- Original Grey bottom pickups: 5.52k ohm Neck pickup / 5.48k ohm Middle pickup / 5.59k ohm Bridge pickup
- Original electronics - '6934' pot codes (34th week of 1969) and original 3-way switch with a replaced switch tip
- Original bridge with Pat Pend saddles - three saddle height screws replaced
- Gotoh vintage style tremolo arm
- Weight: 7lb 13oz
- Serial # 256518