Vintage 1965 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst


Welcome to Cream City Music's Vintage Gear Archive, a history of the remarkable vintage guitars, basses, and amps we’ve bought and sold over the years.

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What makes this guitar special: An early-CBS Strat with all the fit & finish of the Pre-CBS era. This beauty dates to late ’65, and is complete with a set of super-responsive gray bottom single-coils, along with a silky smooth Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and a lightweight, resonant ash body. Beyond a pro refret, a 5-way switch swap, and a set of reproduction tuners, it’s completely original! Plus, it sports a beautiful three-tone sunburst with plenty of red shining through along the edges-so it looks as great as it plays. Professionally setup & inspected by our expert in-house luthier staff, so it’s ready to go right out of the case.

Cosmetic condition: Great shape for its age, with some expected wear & tear. Various scratches, dents, dings, nicks, chips, and scuffs are present, with visible weather checking in much of the finish and visible pickwear on the guard. The body edges show expected chipping, and a previous owner carved their initials on the lower back side of the guitar. Most of the finish on the back of the neck has worn off from years of playing, and the headstock sports a couple small drilled holes on the front. The tuners are contemporary reproductions, and there are drilled holes under them from previously mounted replacements. The neck has been professionally refretted, and the upper right corner of the pickguard has chipped off, as has the upper left corner of the tremolo cover (there is a filled hole above this mounting screw as well-see photo). There is visible oxidation on much of the hardware. Overall, this one has great look to it, with a beautiful vintage patina.

Body: Contoured double cutaway solid ash body in sunburst finish with 3-ply white pickguard. String-through tremolo bridge with individually adjustable Fender Pat. Pending saddles.

Weight: 7 lb, 13.5 oz

Neck: C/D shaped solid maple neck (Rounded like a C, with slight shoulders…very comfortable!) with aged pearl side dots and pearl dot inlays. Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard is in terrific shape, with only some light wear. Neck has been refretted, and frets show almost no wear. Transition headstock logo and Fender reproduction tuners. Neck is straight and truss rod works great. Neck thickness measures 9” at the first fret, and .92” at the 12th. Neck dates to December of ’65.

Electronics: Original gray bottom single coils date to ’65 (Bridge-6.02k ohms, Middle-5.92k ohms, Neck-5.94k ohms) . 3-way switch has been swapped for a 5-way. Pots are original and date to ’65. All electronics have been tested and are in fully functioning condition.

Case: Original hard shell case included. Case is a bit rough around the edges and sports a few stickers, and the springs on the latches are worn, but it still serves its purpose. Original tremolo arm is included in the case, along with an extra set of vintage strap buttons and the chipped off piece of the trem cover. 

Why We Love Fender

It's hard to find a name more synonymous with guitars than Fender. Ever since Leo Fender burst onto the scene with his now-iconic Telecaster, Fender guitars have found homes in the hands of brand new guitar players and seasoned rock stars. When the headstock says Fender, you know you're getting a quality instrument.