It's Stratocaster Time... and this is no run of the mill strat. This, ladies
and gentlemen, is one fine Stratocaster from the latter half of 1958. Refinished,
yes, but other than that, almost everything is where it should be. And on
top of that, this guitar SMOKES. But you could probably have guessed that.
This guitar is owned by a friend of mine, and I am selling it on consignment
for him. He bought it from a personal friend who also happens to be a guitar
repair technician and Stratocaster enthusiast and restoration artist. The
guitar was originally Fiesta Red, or possibly Dakota Red, and appears to have
been fairly heavily worn before being repainted - not all dings were eliminated
in the refinish. The current color is off-white, and our suspicion is that
whoever repainted it was going for the look of George Harrison's '58 Strat,
the one he played during the "Concert for Bangladesh". It seems
to be a very old nitrocellulose finish that is cracked and wearing off in
the obvious "player" locations, revealing the custom-color gray
primer and flakes of the red original finish. With the exception of a portion
of the neck heel, where sanding left the edge of the body just a little rounded
away from true, there is minimal"distortion" of the original shape
as a result of the refinish.
The neck has been refretted with early '70's style jumbos. The fingerboard
was refinished at the time (signs of this work can be detected along the top
edge of the neck), while the back of the neck and the headstock are still
bearing the original finish, with the original decal. The decal itself is
faint on the "f", and the fingerboard finish is quite worn. The
back of the neck shows less wear. The tuners are the correct Klusons for a
'58, but they are not original to the guitar. At some point, the instrument
was fitted with other tuners, and screw holes are visible on the back of the
headstock. They have been filled. The string tree is original. It also appears
that someone had a second tree on there for a time, as is evidenced by a filled
hole between the D and G strings. The side of the headstock retains the "...ez"
of someone's name, once written in 1/8" letters but now sanded off, on
the area below the horn. It is nearly invisible, but a cool little detail
serving as an indicator of the use this guitar has seen. The neck date is
"8-58" - hand written on the end of the neck butt, and still very
clear. The serial # is 28958.
The pickups, pots, caps, wiring, knobs, switch and switch tip are all original,
and the wiring harness shows no evidence of resoldering of any kind. The pickups
are the black bobbins you would expect. The correct '58 shield is under the
pick guard as well. The pick guard itself is a reproduction. The pickup covers
are, according to the aforementioned Seattle-based tech who installed them,
from a set of '61 pickups. The vibrato block was restored to the guitar, again
by the same tech. It was originally the property of his partner in the restoration
business, who was saving it for the right '58. It has the extremely shallow
ferrules, and the " FENDER PAT. PEND." saddles, an almost certain
indication that it is a '58 vibrato block. While not original to the guitar,
the vibrato arm is also quite old, but the tip is a replacement. The jack
plate is original, as are the strap buttons.
A hardshell case is included - not original, but one of the modern brown tolex
retro fender cases with the plush orangeish interior. The guitar weighs about
8 pounds - not super light, but quite comfortable and not too heavy.