1965 Refin Stratocaster Inbound... Couple Questions

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by WayneLawKid, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    I have generally been a vintage Gibson guy, but have dabbled in custom shop Strats over the years. I had been eyeing some original 64s over the past few months, but couldn't stomach parting with upwards of $20k to get one that looked "right." Last week I stumbled across this refinished 1965 and after some good spirited haggling with a very nice seller, decided to pull the trigger somewhat on a whim. It was sold as a LA studio guitar, that was acquired in a bulk sale of studio gear. It should be here on Monday, and I have a 30-day review period to decide if it's a keeper.

    So with that in mind, here are my questions for the more expert members of this forum.

    1. Does the logo appear correct for a fall 1965 transitional model (Sep 65' Neck date)? The neck finish and logo are represented as original. But the transition logo is a bit different than many that I have seen around, but I do see identical examples with this logo around the web. Including from some that I recognize as reputable dealers. (For example, Wildwood Guitars:
    https://reverb.com/item/26411720-used-vintage-1965-fender-stratocaster).

    2. The grey bottom pickups look correct to me, but most sets I have seen have matching markings on the bottom. Across the 3 they are are all 10-19-65 or 10-20-65, but it appears each has a separate winder's initials. Possibly "AY" on the neck. I do know the bridge pickup was swapped out at one point, and the bridge pickup route deepened probably accommodate a hot rail (Damn the 80s and 90s). But the pickups are represented as "original." Any red flags?

    3. Anything jump out about the body? Probably tough to tell without having it in hand.

    I know the tuners are non-original, 5-way has been installed, and it appears the bottom-most tone knob is modern. I can't tell about the saddles quite yet. First post here. Thanks for your time, thoughts, and expertise!

    m6esobsuovxizcnehnqi.jpg 1.1.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg View attachment 448841 7..jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  2. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Strat-Talker

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    That is awesome! I love 64-66 strats the most! That soldering on the volume control looks like S#!T though
     
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  3. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Strat-Talker

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    I really love those rosewood veneer fretboards too! Was there any indication of the neck size?
     
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  4. SpeedKing

    SpeedKing Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah, it's a B.
     
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  5. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster

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    Did a '65 have a full shield under the pickguard?

    Nice guitar!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
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  6. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    The soldering on the volume pot will be cleaned up if I decide to keep it :D. But yes, not a pro job.
     
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  7. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    Aside from the "B" nut width, it has been described only as a "comfortable" neck. But the 65s I have played have generally been fuller feeling, so I'm hoping this is in keeping with that. My favorite neck profiles for both Gibsons and Fenders have always been the 64-65 taper. Modest at the nut and full at the 12th fret.
     
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  8. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    Any insight on the originality/correctness of the logo and pickups? I should have it in hand tomorrow.
     
  9. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Silver Member

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    Here's an example where pickups are dated different days:

    http://www.hi-guitars.com/VG2357.html

    And here:

    https://www.folkwaymusic.com/museum/electrics-/id.83

    Note the headstock has has the holes enlarged for replacement tuners (not the replacement tuners that are currently one). It now has adaptor bushings (seen as rather large on the face of the headstock) to fill the larger drilled holes and accommodate the thinner original style shafts.

    [​IMG]

    If it's the original vintage case, it was sitting around in the shop for a long time. That case was discontinued in 63, followed by a white tolex, then black tolex case. This one should be in a black case. But as mentioned, it could have been a 63 case sitting in a shop for two years. More likely the guitar was paired with the case at a later date.
     
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  10. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks, Bazz Jass! My best guess from the case is that it is actually from the 1980s, given the shag-like interior. Certainly not original. And good eye on the conversion bushings. I'll be interested to see what's going on under the tuners, but based on the added and filled holes in the back I'm guessing it was reamed to 10mm to accommodate Gotoh or Sperzel tuners. Tis a shame, but I generally gravitate toward "three-legged-dog" types of guitars. Saves me some money, and I still enjoy them.

    Good find on the other mismatched pickup dating. I should have it in hand later today and hope to have a closer peek at what's going on under the pickguard.
     
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  11. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Silver Member

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  12. EyeLikeTortoise

    EyeLikeTortoise Strat-Talk Member

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    Did you get the guitar? How is it? Looks great. I love L series Fenders.
     
  13. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Silver Member

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    Cool to see that... an actual Abby pickup from back in the day.

    That Strat is lovely!
     
  14. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    It's here! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to spend a ton of time with it due to work. Body and neck both check out with the appropriate dowel marks and holes. The refin is definitely old (glows green under black light) and has a fair amount of cool checking and wear. It plays and sounds awesome. Nice chunky neck. More pics to follow (including detail shots) this weekend! Here's a quick one I snapped.

    unnamed.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  15. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    So after a weekend of settling in, I can firmly say this one is a keeper! It plays and sounds out of this world good. I may try to take a video just to sample some of the tones. Here is my run down for those interested:

    The Neck

    The neck profile is exactly what I was hoping for. What I call a "Goldilocks" neck - Full but not too full (815" at the 1st fret; .975" at the 12th). The nut is on the wider side (1.665"), which is great for a Gibson-guy such as myself, who wants to wade into the pre-CBS Fender pond. Original finish on the neck, which is nicely worn. Even a little flame on the maple. The fretboard is very dark and has that "black glass" look that only old Brazilian rosewood gets. Refretted with medium jumbo wire and in need of a level, but plenty of life left in them. Tuners are average-quality Kluson copies, which will be replaced. Conversion bushings due to tuner holes being reamed to accept modern Fender tuners. Oh well!

    The Body

    I cannot stress enough just how cool of a refin this is! First off, it is an OLD candy apple red refin which actually black lights correctly. Pretty cool! Some nice checking, dings, and a ton of back wear. The CAR was shot over the original yellow body dye, which you can clearly see in the photos of the back wear. The finish Is very thin and has sunken a bit into the grain.

    The dowel markings are plainly visible on the front and back of the body (see a few of the thumbnail photos below). You can still see a few of the circle router starting points in the middle pickup route and control cavity route. The Bridge pickup route was deepened by about 1/4" but the sides of the route are undisturbed.

    Electronics/Hardware/Plastics

    The pickups are original and have their original windings (shot of the neck pickup below). All 3 dates between 10-19-65 and 10-20-65. Neck pickup has "AY" initials, which is pretty cool! The bridge pickup was previously taken out, but is now back in there. No reason to doubt its originality. All pots date to the 10th week of 1965. 5-way installed long ago.

    The Pickguard, pickups covers, shield, and two of the knobs are original. One tone knob has been replaced. The Pickguard has shrunken a bit, and the shield is protruding very slightly in a few spots. Such is life! No back plate, hence the crazy amount of back wear.

    The Trem block and bridge plate are original. The saddles are 1980s AVRI replacements, which is too bad (sold to me as having original saddles). I may hunt some down, but they are awful pricey and this is already a player's git-fiddle. Original Trem claw and screws. Original 2" neck screws with the tips slightly sanded down.

    How about some photos (Detail shots to show the dowels too)!?!

    11.jpg 12.jpg 13.jpg IMG_3818.jpg IMG_3767.jpg IMG_3769.jpg IMG_3770.jpg IMG_3772.jpg IMG_3774.jpg IMG_3778.jpg
     
  16. EyeLikeTortoise

    EyeLikeTortoise Strat-Talk Member

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    Congrats man! That looks killer. Glad you are happy with it. Looking forward to hearing the audio clips.
     
  17. Daveycoyote

    Daveycoyote Strat-Talk Member

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    Beauty i was talking with seller...but I can't get over what people want these days lol
     
  18. WayneLawKid

    WayneLawKid Strat-Talk Member

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    The seller was great to deal with! He was very open to discussing a realistic value of the guitar given the issues he knew, and some that he did not (i.e., case not original, bridge saddles not being original). He even gave a partial refund yesterday because of the non-original bridge saddles. Stand up guy.

    All is all, it's a player grade Strat that made its way to my guitar room for a fair "four digit" price - well under the original ask. Tough to put it down!